Bachelor of Science in Public Policy

The Bachelor of Science in Public Policy program is an interdisciplinary academic program, drawing upon the insights of political science, economics, research methods and statistics and other related fields, to help students tackle the “wicked problems” resistant to resolution in domestic public policy such as climate change, poverty and health care.

The coursework provides the basis to analyze economic and political issues, knowledge of organizations and how to lead them, and the foundations of policymaking and implementation. Students also gain a specialization through a minor of their choice.

Students in the program will learn to:

  • Draw upon skills from multiple disciplines to analyze and evaluate contemporary public policy problems.
  • Apply their academic skills in an applied setting through an internship or undergraduate research.
  • Develop their communication skills through written policy briefs and more in-depth analyses of issues in the academic discipline of public policy studies.
  • Conduct public policy research and policy analysis in the capstone class.

Careers in Public Policy

Two students study outside in front of the TI Plaza fountain on campus.

Students seeking a degree in public policy will be equipped with critical skills necessary for positions in public, nonprofit and private sectors. Common placement is in the following areas: policy analysis, education, consulting, government agencies, communications, lobbying, nonprofits/nongovernmental organizations, transportation, public service or financial services. Many public policy graduates also pursue professional and graduate degrees in economics, law, public administration, public policy, public health, education and planning.

The University’s Career Center is an important resource for students pursuing their career. Licensed counselors are available to provide strategies for mastering job interviews, writing professional cover letters and resumes and help students connect with campus recruiters, among other services.

Public Policy at UT Dallas

The Bachelor of Science in Public Policy is a degree program intended for individuals who seek to analyze public policy issues and implement solutions based on qualitative and quantitative research. Graduates will be prepared to engage in research for public agencies, nonprofits, the private sector or nongovernmental organizations. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in internships while in the public policy program. This will provide an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired through coursework in a professional setting, as well as to expand valuable social network connections.

The general BS degree requires 120 hours to graduate: 42 hours from the University’s core curriculum, 30 hours from the major core, 24 hours of public policy courses and 24 hours of free electives. Students must complete a minor within these free elective hours. The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences offers a 21-hour Public Policy minor and an 18 hour minor in Science, Technology, and Policy.

Fast Track

The Fast Track program enables exceptionally gifted UT Dallas students to include master’s level courses in their undergraduate degree plans. Students who meet the requirements for admission to graduate school and the minimum GPA requirement for their major can take up to 15 hours of graduate level coursework that can apply toward their undergraduate and graduate level coursework. To take graduate courses in the Fast Track program upper-division undergraduates must have completed 90 semester credit hours and petition their associate dean for permission to take graduate courses.

About the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Every new generation inherits a world more complex than that of its predecessors, which prompts a need for new thinking about public policies that impact people’s daily lives. In the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS), we examine the implications of innovation and change for individuals and communities. The social sciences are where the world turns to for answers to the important issues of today and the future such as education and health policy, financial crises, globalization, policing, political polarization, public management, terrorism, and the application of geographical information sciences to study social, economic and environmental issues.

As an undergraduate in EPPS, you will have the opportunity to work with professors who are probing issues that will affect your future. You will develop the vital skills you need to thrive in a rapidly evolving, highly competitive job market. EPPS will prepare you for careers in government, non-profits and the private sector that enable you to make a real difference in the world of today and tomorrow. EPPS is at the forefront of leadership, ethics and innovation in the public and nonprofit sectors. Our students and faculty look forward to new opportunities to study and address the complex and evolving issues of the future. Research informs much of the instruction. The school has four centers of excellence:

  • Center for Global Collective Action
  • Texas Schools Project
  • Institute for Urban Policy Research
  • The Negotiations Center

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts: Criminology, economics, geospatial information sciences, international political economy, political science, public affairs, public policy, sociology

Master of Science: Applied sociology, criminology, economics, geospatial information sciences, international political economy, social data analytics and research

Master of Arts: Political science

Master of Public Affairs: Public affairs

Master of Public Policy: Public policy

Doctor of Philosophy: Criminology, economics, geospatial information sciences, political science, public affairs, public policy and political economy


EPPS offers the following 15-hour graduate certificates, which generally can be completed in one year of part-time evening classes:

  • Economic and Demographic Data Analysis: focusing on the understanding and application of quantitative analysis of demographic and economic data.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS): focusing on the application of GIS in government, private sector and scientific areas.
  • Geospatial Intelligence: focusing on the application of geospatial ideas and techniques to national security and other intelligence activity.
  • Local Government Management: designed to broaden knowledge of important issues and approaches employed by professional local public administrators.
  • Nonprofit Management: designed to provide an overview of the nature and context of nonprofit organizations and develop competencies needed by nonprofit managers.
  • Program Evaluation: designed to provide students the opportunity to gain competencies in the design and implementation of program evaluations in fields such as education, health care, human services, criminal justice and economic development.
  • Remote Sensing: focusing on remote sensing and digital image processing.