How do I Choose the Best School for Public Policy Studies?

D. Jeffress
D. Jeffress
Cost is a major aspect of choosing a public policy school.
Cost is a major aspect of choosing a public policy school.

A public policy education from a good school can prepare an individual for a profession in law, government, social services, healthcare, and dozens of other fields. A person interested in pursuing public policy studies must first investigate the credentials of a school and its professors to ensure that he or she will receive a quality education and a valid degree. Further, it is important to choose a school that offers the appropriate degree program for a student's career goals, be it a bachelor's degree in general studies or a highly specialized doctorate. Looking into a school's success rates and job placement opportunities can also help an individual decide on the best school for public policy studies.

Most employers of public policy workers highly regard degrees from respected, accredited schools. It is essential for prospective students to look into the credentials of different schools before applying for admission. Accreditation is usually provided by private academic organizations, such as the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration in the United States. Information about accreditation status can usually be found by searching a school's website or speaking with admissions counselors.

Once accredited schools have been identified, an individual can narrow the field of choices by considering what degree plans certain schools offer and comparing them to his or her career goals. General public policy studies emphasize the methods in which policy decisions are made and carried out as well as the latest developments in local and international policy trends. An bachelor's degree can prepare an individual to become a social worker or an aide to political scientists and analysts. At many schools, students can pursue master's or doctoral degrees in specialized fields, such as international relations or policy administration. Such degrees can lead to job opportunities as political scientists, government officials, researchers, and many other esteemed, important occupations.

Investigating the reputation of a school can provide additional insight into the quality of a public policy studies program. Many university websites provide access to information about their national ranking, graduation rates, and the likelihood of finding a job after college. Some schools also feature success stories and testimonials from recent graduates. Finding out information about specific professors and other faculty members can further help a student choose the best public policy studies program. An individual can usually examine a teacher's professional accomplishments and areas of interest by viewing his or her profile online.

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    • Cost is a major aspect of choosing a public policy school.
      Cost is a major aspect of choosing a public policy school.