The School of Social Sciences
The Policy Studies interdisciplinary major focuses on policy issues that are of public interest. Students pursuing the Policy Studies major evaluate and analyze both the determinants and the effects of policy decisions, gaining an understanding of the policy-making process addresses theoretical issues as well as applied and prescriptive policy questions.
Students may take policy studies only as a second major. It complements majors in any university department. For instance, engineering or science majors who are contemplating careers in business or government can investigate how technical innovations or regulations are adopted and implemented as matters of public policy. Humanities majors can explore career options where language skills are particularly valuable.
Students are encouraged to investigate research opportunities with Rice faculty. Students also may elect to participate in the Washington Semester Program at American University, which includes both course work and an internship in the federal government. Students may also participate in the Rice Policy Studies Abroad program in London for course credit, which includes an internship experience in London. See the policy studies director and website for more information.
Upon completing the BA degree, a student majoring in Policy Studies will be able to:
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Policy Studies (POST) must complete:
The areas of specialization available to students pursuing the POST major are listed below:
CORE REQUIREMENTS Students must complete 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the list below to satisfy the Policy Studies major's Core Requirements. The Policy Studies major's Core Requirements introduces students to the fundamental concepts and tools needed to understand and study policy, regardless of the policy area on which they choose to focus. The four courses ensure that all Policy Studies majors have a common professional vocabulary and conceptual frame of reference.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATIONStudents must complete 6 courses (18 credit hours) from one of the following six groups to satisfy the Areas of Specialization requirement. The courses listed are illustrative and not all-inclusive; students should review with current course offerings and discuss course substitutions with the policy studies director, who approves substitutions. The Policy Studies major's Areas of Specialization requirement provides specialized training that builds on students’ work in the Core Requirements of the major.
Healthcare Policy and Management
Law and Justice
Urban and Social Change
Energy Policy Studies
CAPSTONE REQUIREMENTIn consultation with the policy studies director, each student also must complete an approved capstone requirement. This requirement may be met by participating in an approved Rice University study abroad program, a School of Social Sciences Gateway experience, or another approved internship or research opportunity.
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the undergraduate Policy Studies degree and major. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: POST Department Description and Code - Policy Studies: POST Degree Description and Code - Bachelor of Arts degree: BA Major Description and Code - Major in Policy Studies: POST
Policy Studies does not offer an academic program at the graduate level.
The official course offerings, including course descriptions, listed in the Policy Studies Undergraduate Requirements section can be found in Rice's Course Catalog.
To view the most recent course schedule for the 2016-2017 academic year, see Rice's Course Schedule.
For additional information regarding Policy Studies, see the department's website: http://policystudies.rice.edu/.