Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on analyzing problems in the public domain, ranging from the processes of making, implementing, and evaluating government policies to the ethical evaluation of contemporary social problems. Policy analysis is the use of evidence-based methods to study substantive public policy problems. Applied to the public sphere, the intent is to improve the quality of policy-making by critically examining the design and relevance of policies, their implementation and execution, and their impact on households, communities, and the society at large.
The field of policy analysis has become critically important as societies have grown more complex and as governments and public organizations play a more active role in addressing social problems and influencing the quality of people's lives. Public policies are increasingly being developed on the basis of information about individual, household, and community behavior, and programs and projects are regularly subjected to scientific evaluations and assessments.
The PAM major provides a curriculum of rigorous foundational coursework in the core disciplines, including economics, statistics, government, sociology, and ethics. Through upper-level course work in substantive policy areas and a broad range of chosen electives, students learn empirical research can generate knowledge to address domestic and international public policy problems. The curriculum is designed to teach students to read critically, think analytically, and write concisely.
1 out of every 4 PAM majors spent at least one semester engaging in research, either for credit, or earning some extra money. In addition, about 10% of PAM students engage in research every single semester.