Department of Public Policy


Public policy explores the intersection of policy, technology, society, and the natural world. Analysis of these intersections plays a critical role in being able to address the many environmental, social, economic, and technological challenges facing society today and in the future. The programs and coursework in the Department of Public Policy allow you to combine your interests in science, technology, government, economics, and other social science fields and obtain the skills and knowledge needed to analyze and, ultimately, advocate for policy change in government or private organizations.


times faculty were published or cited in the news (2012-2018)


students in the undergraduate program with double majors


faculty involved in National Science Foundation-funded research

Latest News

  • July 29, 2020

    aerial view of buildings on RIT campus.

    RIT and Syracuse University College of Law enter into 3+3 admissions agreement

    RIT has partnered with Syracuse University College of Law to establish a “3+3” program for students interested in earning a law degree. A memorandum of understanding between the two universities was recently signed to allow students to complete three years of liberal arts and other studies at RIT, then transfer to the College of Law for three years to complete their doctorate in law.

  • May 18, 2020

    LaVerne McQuiller Williams, interim dean, College of Liberal Arts.

    LaVerne McQuiller Williams named COLA interim dean

    LaVerne McQuiller Williams, senior associate dean of RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, has been named interim COLA dean effective June 1. McQuiller Williams succeeds Dean James Winebrake, who is leaving RIT on June 30 to become provost and vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. 

  • April 22, 2020

    person writing in spiral-bound notebook.

    College of Liberal Arts honors students for writing excellence

    RIT’s College of Liberal Arts honored student achievement in writing with more than a dozen writing awards for essays varying from wasteful energy, maternal mortality, eyewitness testimony policies and seeking worth in a liberal arts degree. Each department within the college selected student awardees whose work embodies the ideals and standards of excellence, creative endeavor and scholarship.

Alumni Outcomes

  • Director, Social Research Center, Public Policy Consultant,
  • American University Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • Project Manager, Armenia Sustainable Energy Finance Project, International Finance Corporation
  • Consultant to World Bank on Energy Issues
  • Energy Sector Analyst, Dragon Capital, Ukraine
  • Project Manager, Energy Solutions, Oakland, CA
  • Ph.D. in Communications at the University at Buffalo
  • Information Technology Risk and Audit Management Associate, Royal Bank of Scotland, Stamford, CT
  • Fulbright Visiting Scientist – Mechanical Engineering, Energy Studies Institute – National University of Singapore
  • Spacecraft Vehicle Engineer, The Boeing Company, Washington, DC
  • Energy Efficiency Analyst, Integral Analytics, Cincinnati, OH
  • Program Manager, ENERGY STAR Appliance Program, U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency
  • Ph.D. University of California – Davis, Transportation Policy
  • Ed.D. Executive Leadership, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY
  • Associate Staff Member, Dynamis, Washington, DC
  • Program Analyst, Department of Veterans Affairs, Rochester, NY
  • Dockets Analyst, Bloomberg, Skillman, NJ
  • Assistant Director Research Relations, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Project Manager, Magna Powertrain, Troy, MI
  • Training & Support for Deaf in Developing Countries, The Nippon Foundation, Tokyo, Japan
  • Assistant Director, Public Safety Initiatives Center, City of Rochester & RIT Collaborative
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Energy and Environmental Policy at University of Delaware
  • Project HOPE Director, DEAF, Inc., Boston, MA
  • Researcher, Data Analyst, GIS Specialist, Energy & Environmental Research Associates
  • Senior Crime Research Specialist, Rochester Police Department
  • International Program Manager, Center for Energy & Resource Development, American University at Kosovo, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Program Coordinator, Huther-Doyle Memorial Institute, Rochester, NY
  • Ph.D., Water Resources Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
  • Energy Efficiency & Conservation Advisor, U. S. Department of State, Washington, DC
  • Research Assistant, United States Senate, Washington, DC

Undergraduate Programs

The undergraduate major provides you with the opportunity to integrate your interests in science, technology, government, economics, and other social science fields. Along with quantitative and qualitative training in policy analysis, you will take courses that deepen your understanding of the ethical, political, and social dimensions of policy issues. Through an interdisciplinary core and customizable concentration, you will develop strong policy analysis skills along with expertise in a chosen specialty area such as biotechnology policy, computer crime policy, energy policy, environmental policy, or information and telecommunications policy.

A public policy degree that explores the intersection of public policy, technology, and our natural world by integrating science, technology, government, economics, and other social science fields with the analysis of policy.

Learn More about Public Policy BS 

Graduate Programs

Our innovative graduate program emphasizes analysis of engineering, science, and technology policy and draws on coursework from a variety of relevant disciplines. Building on RIT’s strength as a technological university, you’ll interact directly with faculty members and researchers who are working on scientific developments and technological innovations that drive new public policy considerations.

A public policy master's degree that pairs theory with engineering, science, and technology to prepare you to make significant contributions to the creation of effective policy in areas that include the environment, transportation, science, and emerging technological and scientific developments.

Learn More about Science, Technology and Public Policy MS 

Minors and Immersions

This immersion provides students with a clear understanding of public policy, the policy process, and policy analysis. Students have the opportunity to develop perspectives on a variety of contemporary public policy issues, especially those that emerge from scientific and technological advancements. Policy Analysis (PUBL-301) and Decision Analysis (PUBL-302) are offered especially for students who are considering the MS in public policy or who have an interest in analytical tools.

Learn More about Public Policy Immersion 

The public policy minor provides students with a foundation in the field of public policy and allows them to make connections between public policy and other fields of study. The minor underscores the role of public policy on science and technology-based problems. Students obtain a deeper understanding of public policy and the policy making process, how policy analysis impacts policymaking, and how public policies operate within a number of specific science or technological domains. 

Learn More about Public Policy Minor