Public Policy


Robert Lemke

Professor of Economics
Morten Chair of Public Policy

Christine Walker

Instructor in Public Policy

David Boden

Associate Professor of Sociology

Stephanie Caparelli

Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics

Ajar Chekirova

Assistant Professor of Politics

Danielle Cohen

Lecturer in History and Politics

Zachary Cook

Assistant Professor of Politics

Tilahun Emiru

Assistant Professor of Economics

Amanda J. Felkey

Professor of Economics

Minor in Public Policy

No major is available. 

Requirements for the Minor

Students must take all three required classes.

ECON 110 Principles of Economics
ECON 255 The Economics of Public Policy
POLS 226 Introduction to Public Policy Studies

Elective Classes

Students must take three classes from the menu of classes listed below.

Double‐Counting classes

Four of the above six credits must “stand alone” and not count toward both a student’s minor and major requirements. Additionally, at most three of the six credits taken to satisfy the minor can have the same prefix, including cross‐lists.

Menu of Elective Classes

AFAM/AMER 235: Racism and Ethnic Relations
COMM 287: Media Systems and Institutions
COMM 381: History and Theory of Freedom of Expression
COMM 389: Political Economy of Media
ECON 208: Systemic Racism in the US Economy
ECON 310: Industrial Organization
ECON/GSWS 320: Labor Economics
ECON 325: Economics of Land
ECON/ES 340: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
ECON 345: Economics and Law
ECON 350: Public Finance
ECON 360: Health Economics
ECON 381: Economics of Development
ECON/BUSN 410: Markets, Public Policy, and Society
ECON 430: International Trade Theory and Policy
ECON/BUSN/GSWS 465: Poverty, Inequality, Discrimination
ECON/BUSN 489: Globalization and Its Impact
EDUC 220: Philosophy of Education
EDUC 310/ETHC 340: Equity and Social Justice in Education
EDUC 320/ETHC 330/SOAN 344: Comparative and International Education
EDUC 322/SOAN 343: Education and Developing Countries
ES 210: Environmental Ethics
ES/PSYC 215: Environmental Psychology
ES 236/POLS 237: Environmental Politics and Policy
ES 361/POLS 368: Environmental Law
HIST 235/AMER 263/ES 263/URBS120: American Cities
HIST 239/AMER 270/EDUC 239: History of Education in American Society
HIST 306/AFAM 361/AMER 361: Civil Rights Movement
HIST 312/AMER 355: Immigration in US History
HIST/AFAM/AMER 319: Protest and Police in US History
HIST 340/ASIA 307: China’s Birth Policy
PHIL/GSWS 200: Philosophy and Gender
PHIL 220: Philosophy of Education
PHIL 240: Philosophy of Law
PHIL 242: Catastrophe & Risk: The Philosophy of Insurance
PHIL 245: Philosophy of Humans and Animals
PHIL/AFAM 255: Philosophy of Race and Racism
PHIL/ETHC 276: Social Justice and Human Rights
PHIL/ETHC 277: Identities, Rights, Social Justice
POLS/AMER 221: The Presidency
POLS/AMER 222: Congress
POLS 223 LGBTQ Politics
POLS 224/AMER 225: Mass Media and American Politics
POLS 225/AMER 242: Influence and Interest Groups
POLS 228: Voting Rights
POLS 233: Chicago Politics
POLS 234: Urban Politics
POLS 240/AMER 241/IREL 240: American Foreign Policy
POLS 243: Fake News, Free Speech
POLS/IREL 247: Transnational Social Movements
POLS 265/AMER 277: Immigration Law and Policy
POLS 345: Migration and Citizenship
POLS/IREL 347: Global Governance
PSYC/GSWS 355: Community Psychology
PSYC 430: Psychology and Law
PSYC 450: Health Psychology
PSYC 470: Gender‐Based Violence
RELG 239: Religion, Biology, and Public Health
SOAN 235: Racism and Ethnic Relations
SOAN 240: Deviance
SOAN 290: Social Problems & Social Policy
SOAN 395: Sociology of Law

A pre-approved internship related to public policy can be used to satisfy one of the three elective classes, as long as the internship is completed for at least one credit. Contact Prof. Lemke prior to starting the internship to receive pre-approval (1 credit per internship experience). 

PPCY 100: Public Policy Incubator

This course emulates the kind of work taking place at thinktanks, non-government organizations, government agencies, and political offices. After a four-week introduction to a particular public policy issue, students work in our "public policy incubator" to produce white papers on an array of issues. Policy and industry leaders join regularly to help students hone their analysis in ways that allow for real-world consideration and discussion by policy makers. Teams produce white papers with executive summaries and develop presentations of their analyses. All teams are required to submit their work to the College’s annual Public Policy Challenge. White papers are also presented to external policy makers. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Experiential Learning requirement.)

Learning Outcomes

Programming Statement

The minor in Public Policy Studies emphasizes experiential learning to help students pursue careers in government, non-government organizations, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. The curriculum initially immerses students in issues of the day and shows them how to ask important questions and how to evaluate all sides of an issue. Upper-level seminars require students to analyze policy issues for themselves, to use that analysis in the development of policy proposals, and to further consider strategies to implement their proposed solutions. Each faculty member works proactively to create personalized learning opportunities for students, and we engage elected and appointed officials at all levels of government as well as policy stakeholders in order to provide mentorship opportunities for students who wish to pursue particular areas of policy.

Lake Forest College also provides regular opportunities for the entire campus community to engage in policy discussions. We sponsor leaders from academic, industry, and government backgrounds to give talks and engage in lively debate on campus. Every student has the opportunity to take a seminar on a topic of particular interest with diverse topics being offered each semester. The College hosts an annual campus-wide competition in which teams of students compete by developing, presenting, and defending their own solution to an urgent societal issue. The College also funds student research and internships.

Program Goal 1: 
Students minoring in public policy will be able to perform data-driven cost-benefit analysis of policy issues and proposed solutions.

  • SLO 1.1: Students will perform data-driven cost-benefit analysis of policy issues as assessed in ECON 255.
  • SLO 1.2: Students will perform data-driven cost-benefit analysis of proposed solutions as assessed in ECON 255.

Program Goal 2: 
Students minoring in public policy will be able to persuasively present analysis of a policy issue in both written and spoken form.

  • SLO 2.1: Students will write a persuasive analysis of a policy issue as assessed in POLS 226.
  • SLO 2.2: Students will present a persuasive analysis of a policy issue as assessed in POLS 226.

Program Goal 3:
Students minoring in public policy will know the process required to move a proposed solution through the legislative process to implementation.

  • SLO 3.1: Students will identify the process required to move a proposed solution through the legislative process to implementation as assessed in POLS 226.