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Public Policy Analysis Major

Public Policy Analysis melds traditional academic fields like economics or biology with hands-on policy study for future leaders.

Public Policy Analysis is a unique major for undergraduate study. We seek to provide a distinctive liberal education for leaders in our global society, who will face complex and challenging issues and decisions.

Our program is hands-on and problem-focused. We offer an array of analytical techniques, a wide perspective on social issues, and practical experience.

You’ll choose from 11 formal concentrations: anthropology, biology, chemistry, economics, environmental analysis, geology, physics, politics, psychology, science-technology-and-society, sociology or design your own.

Our seniors complete a 180-hour policy-related internship and a thesis. 

Professor David Menifee-Libey and a student on the Carnegie Hall steps
Professor David Menifee-Libey and a student on the Carnegie Hall steps
Former Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter leads a seminar
Former Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter leads a seminar

What You’ll Study

    • Four courses of public policy
    • Statistical or quantitative methods
    • A public policy elective like Education Politics and Policy
    • Courses in your concentration
    • Senior thesis and internship
180
Each PPA major spends 180 hours in a semester-long internship.

Learning at Pomona

Lauren Rodriguez ’22

The Virus That Never Sleeps: How New York University Implemented Comprehensive COVID-19 Testing

Lauren Rodriguez ’22 wrote a case study of one university's work to contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus, researching the extent to which NYU had successfully implemented New York State's guidelines for reopening campuses safely, focusing in particular on the infrastructure they had developed for testing.

Samuel Hernandez Jr. ’22

Implementation and Evaluation of Vote by Mail in Oregon

Ahead of the 2020 election, Samuel Hernandez Jr. ’22 examined election policy in Oregon, looking at its historical context of vote by mail policies, the key institutions that work together to actually make elections happen, and their capacity to conduct a safe and secure election during a pandemic.

Cade Novara ’23

Preparing for the Fall 2020 Semester: An Investigation of Social Distancing Measures and Significant Obstacles for College Campuses Across the Country

Cade Novara ’23 examined the best methods for schools to re-open in the fall with stringent COVID-19 restrictions.

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Lauren Schoen
Lauren Schoen ’20

The PPA program is unique at Pomona in that it requires students to do a substantive internship either the fall semester of senior year in the Claremont/Los Angeles area or the spring semester of junior year through the CMC Washington Program. I know that my internships and classes have fully prepared me for whatever steps I take after graduation.

Faculty & Teaching

Our multidisciplinary program includes faculty liaisons in 10 different departments. The professors advise students interested in their departments’ PPA concentrations about elective courses, internships and senior theses.

Professor Richard Worthington

The major combines a broad liberal arts curriculum and the focus of an academic concentration with the hands-on, problem-focused approach of policy studies. We work to help students apply the rigor of natural sciences, social sciences and policy analysis tools to field research and practical experience so they can analyze and affect an important policy issue.