Make Policy in Your Field

Minor in Public Policy

Some of the most far-reaching decisions about science, technology and enterprise are made in the public policy arena. MIT's interdisciplinary Public Policy minor enables students from across the Institute to develop their understanding of public problems and how governments attempt to address them, with emphasis on the process and outcomes of policymaking.

The minor is a three-tiered program. The first tier provides foundational knowledge of public and private institutions where policy decisions are made and implemented, and an introduction to the rationales for government action and the policymaking process. The second tier explores methods (both qualitative and quantitative) of analyzing and assessing the impacts of policy change. In the third tier, students choose an in-depth, three-subject program of study in a substantive field of policymaking.

Areas of specialization include science and technology, international development, environmental policy, social and educational policy, and security and defense, among others. A custom track can be created in conjunction with the Public Policy minor advisor. Contact the public policy minor advisor Professor Teppei Yamamoto or Scott Schnyer for more information and to fill out an application.

Note: Urban Studies majors are not permitted to minor in Public Policy. Political Science majors can minor in Public Policy, but classes being used to fulfill their major cannot be used towards the minor.

Requirements for the Minor in Public Policy

Public policy looks at the nature of public problems and how we attempt to address those problems through government action. The HASS Minor in Public Policy is designed for science and engineering students who would like to understand better the many ways that their field of technical expertise may influence, and be influenced by, federal, state, and local policies. The HASS Minor in Public Policy follows a six course sequence that is divided into three tiers.

  • The first tier (2 courses) introduces the fundamental concepts and ideas that guide how we think about public policy and government action
  • The second tier (1 course) explores methods of policy analysis.
  • The third tier (3 courses) offers an in-depth exploration of a specific policy field.

Structure of Subjects

Lists of subjects by track are available HERE.

I. Introduction to Markets, Politics, and Public Policy (two required

  • 11.002J/17.30J Making Public Policy (HASS-S, HASS CI)
    - a basic introduction to the concepts and theories of public policy
  • 14.01 Principles of Microeconomics (HASS-S)

II. Policy Analysis (one subject required)

  • 11.003J/17.303J Methods of Policy Analysis (HASS-S)
    - overview of methods used to evaluate different approaches to public policy
  • 14.03 Microeconomic Theory and Public Policy (HASS-S)

III. Policy Track

Three subjects chosen in one of the following policy tracks:

  • Social and Educational Policy
  • Energy and Environmental Policy
  • Infrastructure Policy
  • Science and Technology Policy
  • Labor and Industrial Policy
  • International Development Policy
  • Security and Defense Policy
  • Urban and Regional Policy
  • Health Policy

Students may propose their own tracks for approval by their minor advisor.

Students may substitute one subject for a semester long internship in their chosen field for one subject, upon the approval of their minor advisor. The internship must be at least 9 units and must be for a letter grade. For information on the Department of Political Science internship program contact Katherine Hoss, 253-3649,