Curriculum

Todd Schenk

The Policy DA seeks to increase the visibility of policy as a discipline and emphasize its connection and importance to many other disciplines across the university. To achieve this goal, the Policy DA is developing several new curricular elements aimed primarily at non-policy majors who have an interest in policy or see a direct application to their future field of interest. 

  • In 2017, the curriculum committee implemented a campus-wide survey to inventory policy courses at Virginia Tech and identify potential synergies and gaps in policy offerings. Click here to view the 2017 inventory listing of policy-focused courses.
  • In 2018, an interdisciplinary course called¬† "Complex Decision and Policy Making: The Case of Cyber Security in 2016 Presidential Election" was co-taught by faculty associated with the Policy Destination Area from Political Science, Industrial Systems Engineering and the Calhoun Honors College/Architecture.
    • The faculty members developed the course as an interdisciplinary, policy gateway course for upper-level undergraduate or graduate students to introduce them the foundations of policy analysis and decision making in complex social and technical settings.
    • The course, offered as a special study in Spring 2019, enrolled 34 students, including a mix of majors and undergraduate and graduate students. Click here for more information on the course.
    • Plans are underway to offer the course in future semesters.
  • A graduate certificate, titled the Science, Technology and Engineering in Policy (STEP) Program, for non-policy majors to provide additional training in policy concepts and applications is also in development.
  • Active discussions are also occurring with the other Virginia Tech Destination Areas to determine synergies and possible curricular collaboration.

For more information about policy curriculum development and progress, contact Todd Schenk, the Curriculum committee chair.