What Is Public Policy?
A passion for serving others and the desire to make the world a better place are the reasons why students choose to study public policy. Enroll in the Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in State and Local Public Policy degree program at Grand Canyon University, and examine how ethical political leadership can make a difference. Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this government degree explores the complex facets of political behaviors and ways to apply this information to affect positive social change.
This bachelor’s in public policy degree surveys the framework of local and state governments. There is a focus on the political and social landscape of Arizona. On-campus students find the learning community at GCU to be particularly dynamic and informative, given its close proximity to county, city and state headquarters.
What Is a Bachelor of Arts in Government Public Policy?
The BA in Government with an Emphasis in State and Local Public Policy degree prepares students for a constantly changing political landscape. Students learn how to process complex information and communicate it in ways that are accessible to a wide variety of audiences.
Ethical and creative problem-solving is at the heart of a public policy degree. Students examine historic and modern problems facing American communities, and explore ways of addressing these issues in an ethical manner that is aligned with the Christian perspective. Public policy students have a passion for bringing about positive change, and this degree guides them in learning how to bring their visions to reality.
What You’ll Study for a Government & Public Policy BA Degree
The government degree builds foundational knowledge regarding the American government, American Constitution and international affairs. Students then take an in-depth look at state and local governance, political theories, municipal government and public policy analysis. Some of the core competencies covered by this degree program include:
- The American Constitution from its colonial origins to the present, including key concepts such as the separation of powers
- Qualitative and quantitative methods for researching politics, such as hypothesis testing, inference and causal reasoning
- The impact of policy making on public opinion, interest groups and governing institutions
- Contemporary topics in federalism that impact state and local communities, including health care, transportation, homeland security and environmental protections
Additionally, senior students take the Government Capstone course, which explores career opportunities in governing entities and agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
Career Opportunities with a Bachelor of Arts in Government - Public Policy Degree
This government degree with a specialization in public policy equips graduates to pursue rewarding careers in service to their communities. Some jobs that may be related to this degree include the following:
- Legislative aide or correspondent
- Research analyst
- Public administrator
- Regulatory affairs specialist
- Campaign worker
Public policy majors may venture into the corporate or nonprofit arenas. They may pursue work as advocates or lobbyists for the reform of health care, education, human rights or security. Graduates may also run for an elected office in order to directly serve the interests of their local or state communities. Upon graduation, you may decide to further refine your skill set and knowledge by pursuing a graduate degree.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
- COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.