Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    May 24, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Policy Analysis and Management

In the Brooks School of Public Policy .

Course Offerings  


S. Sassler, Director of Undergraduate Studies;  Faculty: R. Avery, C. Barrett, C. Barry, D. Bateman, N. Bottan, C. Carey, J. Cawley, J. Cunningham, R. Dunifon, P. Eloundou-Enyyegue, P. Enns, M. Fitzpatrick, G. Flores-Macias, R. Geddes, S. Gleeson,  M. Hall, M. Kapustin, D. Kenkel, C. Kling, S. Kreps, D. Kriner, P. Leung, S. Lindsay, M. Lovenheim, A. Mathios, J. Michener,  D. Miller, K. Musick, S. Nicholson, J. Niederdeppe, A. Ortiz-Bobea,  Z. Pei, T. Pepinsky,  A. Reyes, P. Rich, R. Ridel,  N. Sanders, S. Sanders, S. Sassler, D. Silbey,  L. Tach, S. Tennyson, C. Thomas, M. Waller, J. Weiss, N. Ziebarth. Emeritus faculty: J. Allen, R. Battistella, K. Bryant, R. Burkhauser, F. Firebaugh, J. Ford, J. Frances, M. Galenson, J. Green, C. Hoenk Shapiro, J. Kuder, D. Lichter, C. McClintock, J. Mueller, L. Noble, A. Parrot, E. Peters, W. Trochim, B. Yerka.  Lecturers: J. Carmalt, B. Tripp.

Policy Analysis and Management Major

Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) majors study the effects of government policies on individuals and families, public health, education, crime, product markets, financial markets, and a wide variety of other social impacts. The PAM major draws on theories and methods from economics, sociology, and demography. The research tools learned and used—social science theory, rigorous empirical quantitative skills, and practical applications to real-world policy issues—are highly sought after by the best in both industry and government.

Federal, state, and local governments have a central impact on all aspects of American life. The federal government alone taxes and spends in excess of 25 percent of gross domestic product. Public policy is ubiquitous, covering almost all aspects of societal and market interaction, from the environment to immigration, banks to farming, and social security to crime. Among current major government legislative initiatives are national health care, financial market regulation, education policy, immigration, and tax policy. Getting legislation right is crucially important to individuals, families, and society at large. Studying, understanding, and learning from the impacts and externalities of government policy are at the heart of Policy Analysis and Management.

Current  faculty members have expertise in health care, family/social welfare, demography, regulation of financial markets, transportation policy, social security, FDA regulation of pharmaceutical advertising, education, crime, law, and the economics of obesity, among others. Students take courses from, and conduct research with, experts in the field whose work informs the public debate.

The major attracts students entering the labor market into management, government, and research positions; pre-law and pre-MBA students; students interested in health administration; and students intending to pursue graduate studies in economics, sociology, and public policy.  The program also offers both a five-year BS/MHA and two-year Master of Health Administration through the Brook School’s Sloan Program.

Students will learn critical tools for policy analysis, and then apply these skills within particular areas of policy focus. Upper-level family/social welfare courses cover governmental and private-sector income maintenance, social, and human service delivery programs and policies that range from child adoption, neglect, and abuse policies and antipoverty programs to policies and programs that impinge on or regulate marriage, divorce, and fertility. Upper-level health policy courses cover programs and issues such as health care access, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, pharmaceutical management, long-term care, managed care, public health issues such as obesity, and substance abuse policies. Upper-level market regulation courses cover programs and policies governing the regulation of advertising, the regulations of financial institutions, risk and insurance markets, food and drug safety, and public utility markets. They also address issues such as privacy, the Internet, and crime.

Brooks Honors Program

Policy Analysis and Managment majors are eligible for the Brooks School honors program, which gives official recognition to students who have demonstrated excellence in their academic work and their capacity for independent research. In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the major, students in the honors program will participate in an honors seminar and prepare an empirically-based honors thesis. Honors students work with a research mentor in preparing for their thesis. Upon successful completion of the Brooks honors program, students will receive a B.S. degree with honors in Policy Analysis and Management. Interested students should obtain a Brooks Honors Program application form in the Brooks Undergraduate Office (2301 MVR). For questions, contact


  • Students must maintain a 3.3 GPA to be admitted into and complete the honors program. Students whose GPA drops below 3.3 will be dropped from the Honors Program.
  • To start the program, students may not have any outstanding incomplete (INC) grades on their record.  
  •  PAM 3120 - Research Design, Practice, and Policy  must be completed before starting the program.

Honors Program Requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 6 credits of PAM 4990 - Honors Program , under supervision of a Brooks School faculty mentor, with a grade of B or higher
  • Complete PAM 4980 - Honors Seminar 
  • Complete a basic and advanced statistical software training series as approved by faculty mentor
  • Attend four professional research seminars during senior year.
  • Present a poster of research  during final semester in honors program
  • Defend thesis to a committee of faculty

PAM Minor

The Brooks School offers a 15-credit minor in Policy Analysis and Management for Cornell undergraduates outside of the PAM and HCP majors. PAM minors complete PAM 2300 - Introduction to Policy Analysis  (4 credits), 9 credits of upper level PAM coursework at the 3000 or 4000 level, and additional PAM electives to reach a minimum of 15 credits in Policy Analysis and Management. Students can build the minor to focus on a specific policy area, or choose to take a breadth of courses for a general overview of policy analysis. Questions should be directed to

Minor Policies:

  • There can be no substitution for any of the required courses.
  • Students must enroll in the PAM section of the course. Cross-listed sections are NOT applicable.
  • Students must earn a grade of B- or better in every course. S/U will not be accepted unless it is the only grade option available.
  • PAM Special studies courses (PAM 4000 , PAM 4010 , PAM 4020 , PAM 4030 ) do NOT count towards the PAM minor


PAM Major

PAM Major

In addition to admitting college requirements , students in the PAM Major must complete specific requirements listed here.

The requirements listed below pertain to all students matriculating in August 2022 and January 2023.

PAM 3000/4000 Electives

PAM 3000/4000 Electives (21 credits)  
Students must take a minimum of 21 credits of 3000 or 4000 level PAM courses in addition to the PAM Core Requirements.
Note: PAM 4000 , 4010 , 4020 , 4030 , 4980 , and 4990  may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

PAM Additional Electives

PAM Additional Electives (3 credits)
Any 3 additional PAM credits (except PAM 1050 , PAM 1111  or PAM 4030 ) OR
ECON 1120 - Introductory Macroeconomics  (taken at Cornell)

ECON 3040 - Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory  

Introductory Economics

Introductory Microeconomics (3 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution social sciences requirement.

ECON 1110 - Introductory Microeconomics 

PAM Intermediate Microeconomics

Intermediate Microeconomics (4 credits)

PAM 2000 - Intermediate Microeconomics 

ECON 3030 - Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 

PAM Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution social sciences requirement.

Choose one of the following:
SOC 1101 - Introduction to Sociology 
DSOC 1101 - Introduction to Sociology 
PAM 2250 - Social Problems in the United States 
Note: PAM 2250  cannot count for both the Introduction to Sociology requirement AND the Additional PAM Electives requirement.

PAM Mathematics

Mathematics (3-4 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution quantitative and analytical courses requirement.

Either of the following:
Score of 4 or 5 on AP Calculus BC exam OR
Any 3 credit Cornell math course except MATH 1101  and MATH 1710 .

Note: If this requirement is not satisfied with AP Calculus BC then the MATH course must be taken at Cornell.
Note: AP Calculus AB credit (a score of 4 or 5) may be applied as elective credits, but does not fulfill this requirement.

PAM Government

Government (4 credits)
GOVT 1111 - Introduction to American Government and Politics 

Natural Science I and II

Natural Science I (3-4 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution natural sciences requirement.

One of the following:


BIOG 1140 - Foundations of Biology 
BIOG 1440 - Introductory Biology: Comparative Physiology  or BIOG 1445 - Introduction to Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Individualized Instruction 
BIOMG 1350 - Introductory Biology: Cell and Developmental Biology 
BIOEE 1610 - Introductory Biology: Ecology and the Environment 
AP Biology score of 5


CHEM 1560 - Introduction to General Chemistry  or CHEM 2070 - General Chemistry I 
CHEM 2080 - General Chemistry II 
AP Chemistry score of 5


PHYS 1101 - General Physics I  or PHYS 2207 - Fundamentals of Physics I 
PHYS 1102 - General Physics II  or PHYS 2208 - Fundamentals of Physics II 
AP Physics score of 5

Note: If AP isn’t used to satisfy the requirement, then the course must be taken at Cornell.
Note: No lab is required.

Natural Science II (3-4 credits)

Choose any 3 credit course with a PBS, BIOLS-AG, or BIONLS-AG Course Distribution.

Note: No AP credit allowed, course must be taken at Cornell.

PAM Additional Distribution Coursework

Additional Distribution Coursework (6 credits)
Any course with the Course Distribution PBS, BIOLS-AG, BIONLS-AG, SBA, KCM, MQR, LA, CA, or HA. Language courses may count here.