The Policy Studies program serves as the administrative home of two majors at Dickinson: the Policy Management major and the Law & Policy major. Both majors are designed to help students develop complex problem solving skills in an interdisciplinary context so that they can address contemporary policy problems that are framed by ethical norms.

Policy Management major

Policy Management majors develop and learn to apply complex problem solving skills across a wide variety of institutional contexts (in the public and non-for-profit sectors, in the private sector, and in international settings). Policy Management majors also take an ethics elective and an internship which must be approved by the student's Policy Studies advisor.

Law & Policy major

Law & Policy majors develop and learn to apply complex problem solving skills in areas where law and policy intersect. Majors study the structure of the legal system (POSC 248, The Judiciary) and its philosophical underpinnings (LAWP/PHIL 255, Philosophy of Law). Law & Policy majors also take two law electives, one policy elective, and a law-related internship, which must be approved by the student’s Policy Studies advisor.

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

POSC 120, American Government
ECON 111, Introduction to Microeconomics

Normally, these two prerequisite courses must be taken before the Foundations in Policy Studies course (LAWP/PMGT 200), which is typically taken in the spring of the sophomore year.

For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Policy Studies.


Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Social Sciences (Division II):
POSC 120, American Government
ECON 111, Introduction to Microeconomics.

Suggested curricular flow through the major

For the Policy Management and Law & Policy majors, refer to the following advising sheets:

Policy Management Major advising sheet

Law & Policy Major advising sheet


To graduate with honors as a Policy Management (PMGT) or Law and Policy (LAWP) major you will need to conduct some original research and produce a thesis that meets the standards set by the Policy Studies faculty. PMGT projects should relate to an ongoing, real-world policy issue and be directed at an identified real-world client. LAWP projects must be a defense or a critique of a policy outcome that is legally related. You must have an overall Grade Point Average of 3.4 or better to proceed with an honors proposal.

Honors guidelines can also be referenced online by visiting the Policy Studies web page.


All Policy Studies majors must complete an internship related to law or policy. Excellent quality internships are available in the local area. Carlisle is the county seat and the state capital, Harrisburg, is only 17 miles away. Dickinson alums willing to serve as mentors and internship site supervisors are well placed in both locations. Students are also urged to consider the internship-based Dickinson Semester in Washington program.

NOTE: Students who successfully complete The Washington Center program in Washington, DC, and students who complete a for-credit internship while studying abroad would satisfy their internship requirement and would not have to complete the internship notation process. In almost all other cases, students must complete the Transcript Notation program with the Dickinson College Career Center.

Co-curricular activities/programs

Many Policy Studies majors participate in Dickinson's very successful Mock Trial program.  For more information, contact

Opportunities for off-campus study

Students are encouraged to study off-campus for at least part of their junior year. Students may be able to study off-campus for the entire academic year with careful planning and close consultation with their policy studies advisor.  The following is a list of the most popular and appropriate programs for Policy Studies majors:

Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS: Copenhagen, Denmark)

The Washington Center (TWC; Washington, DC)

Nilsson Center for European Studies (Bologna, Italy)

Dickinson in Australia (University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)