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Setting Policy in Motion

Prepare yourself for a variety of careers in government, human services, social work and more with a minor in Public Policy Studies. The program combines theoretical perspectives and analytical tools in the disciplines of economics, political science, sociology and ethics. Unique to HWS, you’ll pay particular attention to policy implementation as part of the policy building process.

Experiential Education Creating Change

experiental learning

Be introduced to policy making jobs during Day on the Hill in Washington D.C. or gain skills to lead through the Public Leadership Education Network, a national organization dedicated to preparing college women for leadership in public policy.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.

Global Education

Global Education

Study policy implementation in Belgium or non-profit advocacy in Portugal.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

Global Education

Belonging, Diversity and Equity

All of the courses cross-listed with Public Policy Studies address issues of inequality, justice, social inclusion, and/or democratic representation.

Examples include:

  • ECON 325 Economics of Inequality & Distribution and SOC 375 Social Policy: Examine how inequality and poverty are defined and measured, how class, race, and gender influence the risk and the lived experience of poverty, and whether and how government policies have reduced or contributed to poverty and inequality.

  • POL 324 American Congress and SOC 370 Religion, Politics, & Lifestyle: Question how social institutions within the modern American state contribute to social conflict and/or its effective resolution in a context of religious pluralism, racial and ethnic diversity, and the durability of existing power structures.

Explore how Public Policy Studies shapes modern life and vice versa.

  • BIDS 214 The Politics of Reproduction

    Examine contemporary policy debates concerning technological advancements in human reproduction.

  • ECON 207 Economics of Education

    Apply the tools of economic analysis to the issue of education in the United States.

  • ECON 248 Poverty and Welfare

    Discover the nature and extent of poverty, theories of its causes, and the range of public policies aimed at easing or ending poverty.

  • SOC 225 Working Families

    Explore questions, ideas and expectations behind the “working family.”

  • POL 324 American Congress

    Study the constitutional, theoretical, and practical behavior of members of the legislative branch in relation to American public policy, other political institutions and the American public at large.

Alum Impact Studying to Make a Difference

Kayla Liszewski ’21
Graduate Student at University of Buffalo Masters of Public Health Program

From job shadowing at schools and marketing firms to working with refugees, Kayla’s path at HWS was filled with many exploratory and hands-on opportunities. Her studies and interest in health care led Kayla to pursue a master’s degree in public health at the University of Buffalo.

Companies that employ our graduates

  • Americorps
  • Bank of America Corporation
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters
  • Cambridge Advisory Group, Inc.
  • Cape Henry Collegiate School
  • Fannie Mae
  • Friends of Mark Warner
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Los Angeles Universal Preschool
  • Mathematica Policy Research
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • National Head Start Association
  • New York State Democratic Party
  • NYC Department of Education
  • Presidential Fellow, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Science Education Curriculum Creator, Cornell University
  • SRA International, Environmental Consultant
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Peace Corps

Universities where our graduates are studying

  • Albany Law School
  • Simmons College
  • Roger Williams School of Law
  • University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Stellenbosch University
  • Northwestern University School of Law
  • Syracuse Law School
  • Widener University of Law
  • University of Pittsburgh Law School
  • University of Connecticut
  • Babson College
  • University of North Carolina
  • Indiana University
  • Villanova School of Law
  • Northeastern University
  • Georgetown University