B.S. at Russell Sage College and Sage College of Albany

Are you interested in making a difference? Doing something to solve a problem you think is important? Many students spend time studying issues like how to balance economics development and environmental protections, juvenile justice, economics inequality, the problems facing American families corruption in government, international human rights, and much more. But, when their interest is sparked, they don’t know where to go with it and what to do. If you can relate, welcome to Leadership and Policy Studies: Making a difference one step at a time.

In their coursework, Leadership and Policy Studies students study the inner workings of American governmental and civic organizations, the ways in which public policy is made, and the practice of politics, advocacy, and civic engagement. They also delve into the lives of exemplary citizens and leaders, track current policy issues, and explore pathways – such as law, criminal justice, economics, globalization, and environmental policy. Leadership and Policy Studies students also hone their communications skills and sharpen their policy research and analytical skills.

What makes Leadership and Policy Studies unique? The ability to create your own learning pathway. All students in Leadership and Policy Studies obtain a core understanding of “the way things work” and the skills necessary to become involved. Then, working closely with an advisor, you select coursework and experiential learning opportunities in your policy area of interest. Pathways are tailored by you, with guidance, to meet your individual career and educational goals. Examples of pathways may include:

  • Children and Families Policy
  • Community Development Policy
  • Criminal Justice Policy
  • Economic and Financial Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Globalization and Foreign Policy
  • Health Care Policy
  • Political Communications
  • Pre-Law Studies
  • Women’s Studies

New York’s Capital Region offers a rich laboratory of civic experiences for students who want to help make a difference in society. The region is home to New York State government, 60 school districts, over 120 local communities, more than 500 civic organizations, and a growing private sector of research and technology firms dedicated to improving the quality of life in the region and beyond.

Leadership and Policy Studies students are well positioned to make the most of these opportunities as they advance their educational, career and civic goals through internships in the Capital Region with all levels of government, interest groups, non-profit organizations, and private businesses.

As a career gateway, Leadership and Policy Studies provides you with practical skills and knowledge, which will build your confidence and resume as you enter the workforce or pursue higher education. In special workshops in advocacy, fundraising and networking, you will work with practitioners on career-building skills from strategic planning to grass-roots mobilization and fundraising.

Core Curriculum

Public Policy, Advocacy and Civic Engagement (PACE) Minor

The Public Policy, Advocacy and Civic Engagement (PACE) minor is designed for students in diverse majors who want to strengthen their civic skills and knowledge for a career or voluntary service in civic and political organizations. These organizations include: professional associations representing majors and professions such as biology, English, history, math, nursing, and physical therapy; community organizations serving neighborhoods and people in need; interest groups representing diverse economic, environmental, and other interests; and ethnic, gender, and religious associations. All of these organizations by the way operate on local, state, national, even international levels.

The minor consists of 18 credits: 9 required and 9 elective.