The field of public policy focuses on the various strategies and actions that governments adopt to achieve broadly accepted goals.
The public policy process often is conceptualized as a cycle of activities that include problem definition, agenda setting, enactment, implementation, and evaluation. Advanced study of public policy draws on perspectives and methods that are rooted in not only political science, but also law, history, economics, and other disciplines to allow for a comprehensive understanding of policy development as well as outcomes. Based equally on social scientific tools and an appreciation of politics, it equips the policy analyst with the ability to provide advice to public officials and advocates so that informed decisions can be made about public policy alternatives. While the focus of this field is on policy-making in the United States, a cross-national and international perspective is also included. Courses in this field cover the policy-making process, policy analysis, and substantive policy areas.