University to Offer New Undergraduate Degree in Public Policy This Fall

Dr. Jennifer Holmes

Dr. Jennifer Holmes

Starting this fall, the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) at UT Dallas will offer a bachelor’s degree in public policy that will include new courses focusing on legal and legislative issues related to science, big data and the internet.

With the program, UT Dallas will be the only public university in Texas to offer a public policy degree at the undergraduate level. The University already offers a master’s degree in public policy and a PhD in public policy and political economy.

The bachelor’s degree, approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in January, will prepare students to analyze potential solutions to problems facing government, nonprofits and businesses, said Dr. Jennifer Holmes, professor and head of the political science, public policy and political economy programs.

“We’re proud to offer the new bachelor’s degree in public policy at UT Dallas,” she said. “The new degree will give students the opportunity to gain expertise in a field that continues to grow as institutions of all kinds increasingly seek people with the skills needed to solve complex problems in diverse policy areas such as environment, education or health care.”

Students will take classes from economics, political science, public policy, international political economy and other related disciplines.

Also this fall, EPPS will offer two new minors: a 21-hour public policy minor and an 18-hour science, technology and policy minor. The science, technology and policy minor will include new courses focusing on legal and legislative issues related to science, big data and the internet, in addition to a selection of policy-related courses.

“The science, technology, and policy minor will give students the skills they need to gain employment in an expanding, interdisciplinary field,” said Dr. Vito D’Orazio, assistant professor of political science. “It is a particularly great opportunity for students in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics to expand their studies into the social sciences, and to earn a minor for their efforts.”

Public policy graduates may find a variety of career options in government, policy institutes and corporations, including research analyst, cost estimator, management analyst and community service managers.

German Partnership Expands with New Dual Master’s Program

Dr. Jonas Bunte

Dr. Jonas Bunte

This fall, a new master’s program will give international political economy students a head start in gaining international experience.

Students in the dual master’s degree in international political economy from EPPS will spend their first year at UT Dallas and their second year studying at the Philipps University of Marburg in Germany. Similarly, German students will spend their first year at Marburg and then spend a year at UT Dallas.

“Texas is a top destination for foreign direct investment, and Germany is second only to the United Kingdom in Texas,” Holmes said.

“German companies are major players in our chemicals, retail, transportation, industrial goods and energy sectors. Moreover, many other German companies have acquired Texas companies. Having degrees from both UT Dallas and the Philipps University of Marburg will give students not only rigorous training from two excellent universities, but will provide students the opportunity to understand and thrive in two different cultures,” she said.

Graduates will receive master’s degrees from both universities. The coursework in Germany will be taught in English.

“The strengths of the two universities are quite complementary. You get access to twice the number of expert faculty — and two degrees — for the price of one,” said Dr. Jonas Bunte, assistant professor in political economy.

“This is a magnificent new opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Denis Dean, dean of EPPS. “EPPS faculty have been working with their counterparts from Marburg for almost two years to create this arrangement. I have no doubt students will benefit from the strengths of both universities. Furthermore, the international travel will be quite a benefit for students in the program. The University of Marburg was established in 1527. Imagine the history UT Dallas students will be exposed to at that institution. And Marburg students coming here will be exposed to all the cutting-edge science and research that UT Dallas has to offer.” 

International political economy is an interdisciplinary degree that combines the study of economics and political science. The degree prepares students to analyze economics and international relations, including issues such as trade, development and distribution of natural resources.

The dual master’s program expands an existing relationship with the University of Marburg. UT Dallas already offers exchange programs with the German university through the Education Abroad office.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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