Starting this fall, UT will offer a new undergraduate minor in public policy focused on statistical tools and data analysis—skills increasingly valued by businesses, think tanks, nonprofits and the public sector.
Applications are now being accepted for the new public policy analytics minor. Students may apply online. The UT Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy is offering the program, which is open to all undergraduate majors at UT. Applicants should not be graduating earlier than spring 2018.
“Today’s world of policy, whether public policy or business policy, requires students to have skills in methods, data analysis, group interaction, and presentations,” said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center. “The training and credentialing of students will enhance job market prospects and improve productivity and job performance.”
The minor will be beneficial to all majors—not just students of political science or economics, he said.
“For example, a nursing student might have interest in pursuing a graduate degree in public health. The minor in public policy analytics would help prepare this student for graduate school and for their career,” Murray said. “A large number of degrees offered by the university could be well complemented with the new minor.”
The minor, which requires 18 hours of coursework, can support careers in numerous fields including public finance, international development, social justice, foreign policy and cyber security.
The public policy analytics minor was developed based on strong interest in public policy from undergraduates.
“Some are simply hungry to learn more to better understand the policy process and policy outcomes,” Murray said. “Others have a keen interest in pursuing careers that will involve some aspect of public policy analysis.”
The Baker Center already offers programs to meet the interests of students—including the Baker Scholars program and the new Baker Policy Challenge—so the public policy analytics minor was a good fit.
To apply for the minor, students must have completed 45 hours of course work and have a GPA of 3.25 or higher. They also must have taken prerequisite courses in policy, communications, statistics, and economics.
“When the program gets up and running full steam, we will require students to be admitted in spring of their sophomore year,” Murray said. “But during the introductory transition phase, we will be accepting applications on an ongoing basis. We need to be able to work with students in advance to ensure they are taking the appropriate coursework to advance successfully.”
To apply for the minor, students may visit the Baker Center website.
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