Political Science

Major in Public Policy

The public policy major is an interdisciplinary program in economics and political science designed to provide students with the analytical skills and historical context to understand and address contemporary policy issues. The major in public policy is useful as preparation for work in government and business and as preparation for postgraduate study in law, public policy, and the social sciences.

The B.A. degree in public policy requires at least 15 hours of advanced courses selected from the electives, with no fewer than six hours in economics and six hours in political science or public policy. Students must receive at least a C- in all classes counting toward the major. A maximum of 12 hours of (preapproved) advanced-level courses in SMU-approved study abroad programs may be counted toward the major.


Twenty-four (24) semester hours of Required Core Courses

ECO 1311 Principles of Microeconomics
ECO 1312 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECO 3301 Price Theory (Intermediate Microeconomics)
MATH 1309 Intro to Calculus for Business/Social Science
   or MATH 1337 Calculus I
PLSC 1320 Intro to American Government and Politics
PLSC 1340 Introduction to Comparative Government
   or PLSC 1380 Introduction to International Relations
PLSC 3320 Principles of Public Policy
STAT 2301 Statistics for Modern Business Decisions
   or STAT 2331 Introduction to Statistical Methods
   or STAT 4340 Statistical Methods for Engineers and Applied Scientists


Fifteen (15) semester hours of Electives
Quantitative Methods (one from the following):

   ECO 5341 Strategic Behavior
   ECO 5350 Introductory Econometrics
   ECO 5370 Cost-Benefit Analysis

Two courses from any two of the following groups:
Political Economy

   ECO 4371 Theory of Industrial Structure
   ECO 4382 Economics of Regulated Industries
   ECO 4385 Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy
   ECO 5361 Natural Resource Economics
   ECO 5365 Federal Government Expenditures
   ECO 5366 Federal Government Taxation 
   PLSC 3329 Bureaucracy and Regulatory Politics
   PLSC 3355 The Political Economy of the Welfare State
   PLSC 3382 International Organizations: Global and Regional
   PLSC 3389 International Political Economy*
   PLSC 3390 Negotiating International Trade
   PLSC 4329 The Politics of Economic Policy
   PLSC 4333 Policy, Politics and the Budget
   PLSC 4356 Latin American Political Economy* 

Law and Social Policy

   ECO 4351 Labor Economics
   ECO 4361 Economics of Education
   ECO 5320 Health Economics
   ECO 5353 Law and Economics
   ECO 5357 Economics of Human Resources
   PLSC 3321 Congress and the Legislative Process
   PLSC 3327 Texas Politics
   PLSC 3330 Law, Politics, and the Supreme Court
   PLSC 3333 Environmental Policy
   PLSC 3335 Judicial Process
   PLSC 3370 Women and Politics
   PLSC 4321 Basic Issues in American Democracy
   PLSC 4334 Politics and Legacies of the Civil Rights Movement
   PLSC 4335 Constitutional Law
   PLSC 4336 Civil Liberties: First Amendment and Privacy
   PLSC 4337 Civil Rights
   PLSC 4338 Criminal Procedure: Fourth Amendment Rights
   PLSC 4339 Criminal Procedure: Fifth and Sixth Amendment Rights
   PLSC 4341 Comparative Rights and Representation
   PLSC 4371 Jurisprudence
   PP 3310 Environmental Policy

International Politics and Policy

   ECO 4357 International Trade
   ECO 4358 International Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
   ECO 5360 Economic Development: Macroeconomic Perspectives
   FINA 4329 International Finance (Cox double majors only)
   PLSC 3340 Western European Politics
   PLSC 3345 Governments and Politics of the Middle East
   PLSC 3346 Japanese Politics and Society
   PLSC 3347 Governments and Politics of Africa
   PLSC 3348 Governments and Politics of Latin America
   PLSC 3352 Chinese Politics
   PLSC 3358 Government and Politics of Russia
   PLSC 3383 The American Foreign Policy Process
   PLSC 3389 International Political Economy*
   PLSC 4342 Why Nations Revolt
   PLSC 4356 Latin American Political Economy*
   PLSC 4381 National Security Policy
   PLSC 4382 Politics of Military Force
   PLSC 4384 American-Russian Relationship
   PLSC 4386 International Relations of East Asia
   PLSC 4391 NAFTA and Free Trade in the Americas
   PLSC 4398 Nuclear Weapons and World Politics
   STRA 5370 Strategic Management in a Global Economy (Cox double majors only)
  * PLSC 3389 and PLSC 4356 count as either Political Economy or International Politics and Policy.

For more information about the major in public policy, please contact Christine Carberry.