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The Simon Fraser University Minor in Public Policy is an interdisciplinary program launched in Fall 2023, offering students the opportunity to learn applied public policy skills and practical analysis.
The program provides diverse, analytical and applied approaches that prepare students for policy positions in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.
Students can choose between two concentrations: Technology and Innovation Policy, which prepares students for careers in the technology sector; and Applied Public Policy. Both are designed to build skills and knowledge across a wide range of societal issues and will prepare students for careers in the public service, where hundreds of openings occur across Canada every year. In both streams, students will learn to think critically, collaborate on teams, and write and speak clearly and concisely.
Students within the Minor must take three core courses that teach policy concepts and applied and transferable skills; these are taught by faculty members within the School of Public Policy, who are renowned for their work with local, provincial, and federal government agencies as well as global policy organisations like the United Nations.
The minor provides structure to diverse academic offerings on public policy related topics across 10 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences departments, and several others, including business, computing science, and interactive arts and technology. The goal for students from across the University is to understand how public policy is interconnected across several disciplines.
Our program offers students unique opportunities, including the chance to complete an applied capstone project with input from an advisory board comprised of representatives of public, private and non-profit organisations. The program also hosts events giving students and faculty the opportunity to engage and exchange ideas with real-world policy experts. For more information about the Public Policy Minor program, visit SFU's academic calendar, and download this info-sheet.
Courses are taught at both the Burnaby and Vancouver campuses.
Who can declare a Minor in Public Policy? Do I have to be a Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences student?
Undergraduates across all SFU faculties can apply to the Minor in Public Policy. Students may apply for admission into the minor once they have completed the core lower division courses for their concentration and have achieved a CGPA of at least 2.0. Students must also meet SFU’s residency requirement, completing at least half of their overall units at SFU.
How many courses are required to receive the Minor in Public Policy?
The minor requires 30 units with an expected completion time of 16 months. All students must complete three core courses (PLCY 200, 300 and 400), and can then build an individualized pathway for the remaining units tailored around their interests. Students choose one of two areas of concentration and complete all the requirements as specified in SFU’s Academic Calendar, which must include a minimum of 30 unit. For a course to be accepted in the Minor, a grade of C- or higher must be obtained
What can students do after the program?
The Minor in Public Policy opens the door for graduate study in a variety of fields, including public policy, political science, criminology, sociology, economics, public health and business. Graduates would be well-positioned for an MA or PhD program in any of these fields.
Also, they are well-positioned for work in the public service, as well as private and non-profit sectors requiring a regulatory or policy background. The Technology and Innovation Policy concentration also equips students for professional careers in the technology industry requiring a policy background.