The Public Policy program at Penn State was created in 2018 in response to the call in the university strategic plan for Penn State to address complex global issues and enhance the ability of the Arts and Humanities to be “agents of change in addressing complex global issues.” Penn State was also one of the few research-intensive universities without a unit focused primarily on public policy. The public policy program can contribute to the public-service mission of the university, consistent with its land grant status.

Penn State is well-positioned to be a leader in public policy due to strong social and behavior sciences, cutting-edge programs in data analytics and a variety of policy-focused activities in research and degree programs from the professional schools to the natural sciences across campus.


The mission of the Public Policy program is to provide high-quality education imparting the knowledge and skills our students need in order to be ethical, public-motivated, agents of change in addressing the nation’s and world’s most pressing problems; as well as improve the understanding and practice of public policy by producing high-quality research; and provide a focal point and hub for public policy research and education across the university.