Major in Law & Public Policy

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Evan Carnes, BSPA'21

I care about law and public policy. I care about representative government and about how governments allocate funds to meet the needs of their constituents. But the thing I care about most? Helping people figure out what they like to do and how they should go about achieving it.

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Recent Alumni


Elizabeth Score, BSPA’23

Legislative Assistant, J.D. Candidate

U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

Headshot of Krishna Pahtak

Krishna Pathak, BSPA’19

Cypersecurity Analyst

U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.


Grace Bouton, BSPA’22

Press Secretary

U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

Program learning goals

Expand for detailed learning outcomes.

1.1 Describe how and why lawmaking power is distributed in the U.S. among branches and levels of government

1.2 Describe the powers and structure of the American judiciary and their impact on public affairs

1.3 Describe major legal rules and policy considerations that affect civil litigation and criminal proceedings in America

1.4 Evaluate alternative models for conflict resolution

1.5 Describe the legislative process in America and its impact on public affairs

1.6 Describe the major executive lawmaking powers in America and their impact on public affairs

1.7 Describe major legal rules and policy considerations affecting public access and input to government operations

2.1 Describe major stages and events in the development of American law and the forces contributing to them

2.2 Describe the rule of law

2.3 Describe competing concepts of justice, liberty, and the public good that stakeholders use to evaluate law and public administration

2.4 Evaluate how demographic differences have affected or may affect someone’s experience with American law

2.5 Describe major approaches to constitutional and statutory interpretation and their impact on public affairs

2.6 Describe the scope of due process, equal protection, and free expression rights, and their impact on public affairs

2.7 Describe the liability and immunity of government actors for harms caused by government actions

3.1 Describe the reasons given for and against a policy or action

3.2 Explain the context and assumptions contributing to support for and opposition to a policy or action

3.3 Extract and apply principles from case law and other authoritative sources

3.4 Distinguish between fact and opinion

3.5 Assess the impact of a policy or action on key stakeholders, interests, and values

3.6 Evaluate the strength of data supporting and opposing a policy or action

4.1 Explain specific public policy challenges

4.2 Demonstrate active listening to understand stakeholder interests and values

4.3 Assess the impact of a policy or action on key stakeholders, interests, and values

4.4 Analyze a situation to apply relevant principles of law and policy

4.5 Perform efficient and effective legal and policy research 

4.6 Generate feasible options to address a problem or resolve a conflict

4.7 Analyze the ethical, legal, economic, and policy strengths and weaknesses of these options

4.8 Propose a reasonable strategy to implement one or more options

4.9 Demonstrate proficiency in using negotiation and alternative dispute resolution methods

5.1 Organize an argument that flows logically and that recognizes its own limitations 

5.2 Write and speak clearly, concisely, and accurately using proper grammar, spelling, and legal terminology

5.3 Present information visually in an engaging and effective way

5.4 Differentiate among audiences, appraise which arguments and evidence will be most persuasive, and construct a targeted approach

5.5 Demonstrate reflective listening to the interests and values of diverse stakeholders 

5.6 Discuss issues in a civil and constructive manner

5.7 Predict opposing arguments and develop effective responses to them

5.8 Address questions responsively and authoritatively

5.9 Collaborate effectively in diverse paired and group settings

5.10 Create authentic professional work products

6.1 Explain the impact of a specific law or policy on diverse populations

6.2 Describe budgetary and economic factors that significantly affect policy adoption and implementation

6.3 Use appropriate data to evaluate policies and programs