The Bachelor’s Degree
Entering students are assigned to our undergraduate college advisor when they declare Public Policy as their major field of study. They are also assigned a faculty advisor. After their first semester, when they are acquainted with the faculty and are more knowledgeable about the department and the campus, students may wish to select a specific faculty advisor. The course of study for the B.A. is planned jointly with the college advisor, so students should consult with their advisor before each registration and from time-to-time during the semester.
One distinct advantage of the program is its location in Springfield, affording opportunities to participate directly in public policy work. Cooperation between UIS and governmental and private agencies provides many opportunities for experiential learning in public affairs and public policy.
The Public Policy program has no grading policy different from that used by the UIS campus.
Honors in Public Policy
Students with at least 15 completed hours in Public Policy courses with a minimum 3.50 GPA in those courses may apply for participation in the department’s honors program. To graduate with Honors in Public Policy, students must successfully complete an independent research project in PSC 488 Honors Closing Seminar. Students are also able to take a graduate-level course in Political Science as an elective. (Please be aware that any graduate-level course counted toward credit in a student’s undergraduate degree cannot later be counted toward a graduate degree.)
Both the study and the practice of public policy require that students/citizens speak, write, and read well. These skills are also critical for successful careers in government, law, and business.
Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Requirements
Students are required to complete a minimum of 10 semester hours of Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) requirements in the areas of U.S. Communities, Global Awareness, Engagement Experience, and ECCE Speaker Series.
In Public Policy, all majors must complete six hours of Engagement Experience – an internship program which emphasizes improvement of the student’s ability to learn from experience, career assessment, relationships between theory and practice, and realistic appreciation of public policy. The department requires that students use six hours of ECCE credit toward the Engagement Experience.
If a student can justify a different distribution of the 10-hour requirement, he/she may claim an exception to the rule by submitting a Student Petition form to the Political Science department.
Students must also take a U.S. Communities course as a part of completing ECCE requirements.