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Policy Studies (Public Affairs)

Work through an intensive curriculum centered around public policy issues while developing skills in report writing, problem solving, information gathering, computer applications, quantitative analysis, and working in teams. The program is notable for its hands-on and interdisciplinary approach.

You will leave Syracuse University with advanced knowledge of public issues and an impressive professional skill set that will serve you in any number of fields including business, healthcare, education, law, politics, and non-profit organizations.

About Maxwell

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is Syracuse University’s home for innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research in the social sciences, public policy, public administration and international relations. It includes America’s #1 ranked graduate program in public affairs, offering highly regarded professional degrees alongside advanced scholarly degrees in the social sciences, and it is home to undergraduate programs across the full spectrum of social sciences. 


Core coursework encompasses economics, government, and quantitative methods. Sample courses include:

  • Critical Issues for the United States
  • Methods of Public Policy Analysis & Presentation
  • Public Policy Practicums in Housing and Criminal Justice
  • Government and Non-Profit Agencies
  • Community Benchmarking
  • Social Entrepreneurship

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

With an especially hands-on curriculum, outside learning opportunities are highly beneficial to students enrolled in the program.

  • Work on real research and service projects as a member of PAF Consulting—an on-campus consulting company.
  • Community Service for off-campus nonprofit organizations
  • Enrich your academic experience as a Renée Crown University Honors student.
  • Attend University lectures and network with resident and visiting experts.
  • Contribute to faculty research, benchmarking, and grant writing.

Study Abroad

Well-known among the top international education providers in the U.S.,  Syracuse Abroad  is a storied part of the Syracuse experience. With over 100 programs in 60 countries, almost half of all students go abroad during their time at Syracuse. 

Policy studies majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in London and Madrid, and to World Partner programs AMIDEAST Area & Arabic Language Studies (Rabat, Morocco), FU-BEST Freie University Berlin, SIT India: Sustainable Development and Social Change, and the University of New South Wales.

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in policy studies you can pursue such careers as:

  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Government
  • Lawyer
  • Public interest advocates
  • Corporate marketing and finance

Or, continue on to graduate level education in the areas of law, education, business, or sociology.