Welcome to Policy Analysis and Management!

We look forward to meeting you during orientation in the fall. 

In the meantime, you have classes in which to enroll. The following are some thoughts and guidelines for you. Please be reassured that none of the enrollment choices you make during the July pre-enroll are final. After we meet during orientation you will have every opportunity to change your schedule. You can also make changes during the first three weeks of classes.

Students typically enroll in 15 academic credits per semester. 15 credits per semester will result in 120 credits in 8 semesters, which is required for graduation. In order to maintain full-time status students must enroll in at least 12 credits. New students are not permitted to enroll in more than 18 credits.

We strongly encourage PAM Freshman to enroll in:

  1. PAM 1111 – Success in PAM and HCP (1 Credit)
    This course will help students develop goals for their time as a Cornell Undergraduate, including introducing them to resources and strategies for success at Cornell.  In addition to demonstrating how to utilizing advising tools, it will also review how to combine your new major with possible minors, study abroad or in Washington, how best to integrate curricular and extracurricular activities, and begin exploring career options. 
  2. PAM 2300 - Introduction to Policy Analysis (4 Credits)
    Introduction to Policy Analysis is a required class for all PAM students. It is taught by Professor Rosemary Avery in the fall semester only. All other PAM students will be taking this class, so it is a really good way to meet the rest of your major. The registrar’s office will pre-enroll all PAM freshmen majors in PAM 2300.
  3. ECON 1110 - Introductory Microeconomics (3 Credits)
    Introductory Microeconomics is a required class for all PAM majors. PAM courses in general rely quite heavily on microeconomics. In addition to ECON 1110, PAM majors are required to take intermediate microeconomics and economics of the public sector, both of which have ECON 1110 as a prerequisite. Therefore, in order to move through the program, it is necessary to begin the economics sequence as early as possible. Professor Sanders, a PAM faculty member, teaches the ECON 1110 course that meets on MW. If possible, you should try and enroll in his section of the course.
  4. First Year Writing Seminar (FWS) (3 Credits)
    All Cornell students are required to take a First Year Writing Seminar during their first two semesters at Cornell. If you don’t take the seminar you will receive a warning letter and you will be put on probation.  To enroll in an FWS complete the online ballot process.
  5. A Physical Education (PE) Course
    You are required to take 2 credits of PE to graduate. However, PE credits do NOT count towards the 120 credits required for graduation, and do NOT count towards the credits for full-time status. 
  6. One or Two Additional Courses to Meet Requirements on the PAM Curriculum Sheet
    Some options to consider:
  • PSYCH 1101 - Introduction to Psychology (or HD 1150) (3 Credits)
    Introduction to Psychology is a required course for all PAM majors. You are permitted to use HD 1150 – Infancy and Childhood in place in PSYCH 1101 if it is a better fit with your schedule or interests. 
  • A Cornell MATH course (3-4 Credits)
    PAM majors are required to take one Cornell MATH course, and taking the course early will help with some of the more math intensive courses that occur later in the curriculum.  (Note: PAM students cannot use MATH 1101 or MATH 1710 towards this requirement)
  • A Natural Science Course (3-4 Credits)
    PAM majors are required to take two natural science courses. One of these courses must come from either biology, chemistry, or physics. BIOG 1140 is a popular course for PAM majors. If you are interested in pre-med, then beginning your natural science requirements early is particularly important.
  • PAM 2250 - Social Problems in the U.S. (3 Credits)
    Many upper-level PAM electives apply principles of sociology in policy analysis.  Taking this introductory course help you develop a foundation in the sociology concepts you will need later in your studies.  If your schedule does not allow for PAM 2250, you are also permitted to use DSOC 1101 Introduction to Sociology, or SOC 1101 Introduction to Sociology towards this requirement.
  •  GOVT 1111 - Introduction to American Government and Politics (4 Credits)
    Introduction to Government is a required course for all PAM majors.
  • An Elective Course
    Take an elective in either the College of Human Ecology or from the rest of the University. As a PAM major you are required to take 9 credits of non-PAM courses in Human Ecology, so you can start now. Also, PAM majors are permitted to take approximately 40 elective credits from throughout the university; you may want to begin exploring other areas of interest. You could use this elective to begin working towards a minor, to supplement your studies in PAM. 


Other Notes Regarding Frequently Asked Questions: 

AP Credit: It is possible for you to waive certain PAM and Cornell requirements if you have taken appropriate AP courses. During orientation you will meet with the associate registrar and she will be able to tell you which courses will count, and which ones won’t. 

Advising: During orientation you will meet with various Cornell personnel who will answer all of your questions. Shortly after classes begin you will be assigned a department faculty advisor to help you plan future endeavors.  Jen Davis, PAM Undergraduate Advising Coordinator, will also be available to help you navigate curriculum planning, procedures, and policies.

Transfer Students: It is difficult to give concise advice for transfer students since there is so much heterogeneity. As a general guideline, you should enroll in the PAM core requirements, and the required courses that you have not yet completed. The registrar’s office sent you a list of transfer equivalencies.  Compare these to the curriculum sheet to see what requirements remain. Please schedule an appointment during orientation week to meet with Jen Davis, PAM Undergraduate Advising Coordinator, before classes begin to review your course schedule.

We are sure that there remain many questions. For those questions that are not urgent, we look forward to answering them during orientation in August. For urgent questions related to the PAM curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at PAM_Major@cornell.edu or at 607-255-1199.

More information about enrollment procedures, college policies, and the orientation schedule is available via the College of Human Ecology New Student Page. 


Sharon Sassler
PAM Director of Undergraduate Studies

Jennifer Davis
PAM Undergraduate Advising Coordinator