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Science and Engineering in the Public Interest

Act, innovate and lead in the public interest. Policy often has big implications in STEM fields. Help yourself stand out by learning how policy can influence research and how research can bring change in policy.

Learn about policy implications to STEM fields, including:

  • Government funding for research and development
  • Impacts of politics on research agendas
  • Mechanisms of policy-making that support or regulate science and engineering
  • Ways innovation is accomplished in organizations
  • How communities adopt innovation
  • Communication differences between technical culture and political culture


12-13 semester credit hours that provide students with:

  • Broad awareness of the interdisciplinary landscape.
  • Foundational public affairs knowledge.
  • Detailed understanding of a specific policy domain.

Survey Courses

Choose one of two survey courses:
  • PUBAFRS 2620: Contemporary Issues in Science, Engineering and Technology Policy
  • PUBAFRS 2110: Introduction to Public Affairs

Science and Technology Policy Domain

Choose one course from a traditional science and technology policy domain:
  • Space policy
  • National security technology policy
  • Energy and environmental policy
  • Health, biomedical and biotechnology policy
  • Cyber, autonomy, information and data privacy
  • Food and agriculture policy

High-Level Public Affairs

Choose two of four upper-level public affairs courses:
  • PUBAFRS 5600: Science, Engineering and Public Policy Analysis
  • PUBAFRS 5610: Innovation, Policy and the Global Economy
  • PUBAFRS 5620: Rapid Innovation for Public Impact
  • PUBAFRS 5750: The Business-Government Relationship

Featured Courses in Traditional Science and Technology Policy Domains

U.S. Space Policy and the Global Space Economy
PUBAFRS 3620: With a broad look at space policy in the United States and international actors in the aerospace enterprise, students will gain an understanding of the complex problems associated with the aerospace industry.

Contemporary Civil-Military Relations in the United States
PUBAFRS 2630: Students learn the fundamental elements of national security policy-making and the role of the military in executing it.

Environmental and Natural Resources Policy
ENR 3200: Learn the key concepts in this policy area, how to analyze policy decisions and how to understand the formation of policy to address specific environmental problems.

Environmental and Natural Resources Policy
ENR 3200: Learn the key concepts in this policy area, how to analyze policy decisions and how to understand the formation of policy to address specific environmental problems.

Water Law
ENR 5451: Examine institutions at a variety of levels (state, federal and international) that impact water policy, analyze how they affect water access and use in different areas (agriculture, energy, etc.), and assess sources of conflict and cooperation among regional and global water stakeholders.

Sustainable Energy Geographies
GEOG 5803: Learn about the geography of global and regional energy systems, energy resources, and the changing patterns in each energy system, including the drivers of these changes.

Current Issues in Global Environmental Health
PUBHEHS 3310: Learn the fundamental concepts and principles of environmental health through critical review and discussion of current issues in global environmental health.

United States and International Health Care
BUBHHMP 3610: Students learn the history, organization and politics of the global health care system through critical review of current issues using different analytic frameworks.

Herding Cyber Cats: Information Security Management
INTSTDS 3702: Students will learn the basic structures and activities used by Information Security professionals and cyber risks to individuals and organizations.

Public Sector Data Sciences and Management
PUBAFRS 4040: Students will understand current technologies and ways governments are using data to inform policy decisions, including the ethical and legal framework for using public data to carry out data science.

Population, Food and the Environment
AED ECON 4597: This course addresses population growth and the challenges it poses. In particular, the challenge of providing everyone with an adequate diet while simultaneously conserving the natural resources on which agriculture and other economic activities depend.

U.S. Food Policy
PUBAFRS 5890: Identify institutions that focus on modern-day food policy problems, evaluate the use of policy to address social, economic and environmental aspects of food, and track the development of key federal food policy topics.

Food System Planning and the Economy
PUBAFRS 5900: Build knowledge of the food system and key players and issues related to the practice of community food system planning. Understand the role of local policy-makers and economic developers, and critique food system strategies.

Glenn College minors help you make a major impact.