Undergraduates interested in learning more about policy studies through the La Follette School now have two opportunities to do so: through the Undergraduate Certificate in Public Policy and the Undergraduate Certificate in Health Policy. The certificates allow students to gain critical knowledge and experience before entering the job market or graduate school. Applications for both certificate programs open November 1.
The Undergraduate Certificate in Public Policy allows students to apply a policy perspective to their major, building a strong foundation for careers in government, nonprofit organizations, or the private sector. Courses are interdisciplinary, with students interested in careers related to key domestic and international issues such as health policy, criminal justice, education, energy, environmental studies, finance, transportation, and poverty. Students also learn to be engaged citizens, ready to improve the world around them.
The new Undergraduate Certificate in Health Policy, which was launched last year, prepares undergraduate students to understand and shape health policy in Wisconsin and in the United States. Coursework includes an introduction to health policy, analytic skills for health policy, a specialization course from a variety of options across campus, and an applied fieldwork experience. To get to the root causes of complicated health policy issues, students learn to use methods from economics, sociology, and political science.
Applications for the certificate programs open Nov. 1 and closes Nov. 30. The Certificate in Public Policy application portal and the Certificate in Health Policy application portal can both be found on the La Follette School website. Applicants should have sophomore credit standing, should have taken (or be registered to take) one of the required courses, and will submit a short statement outlining their career interests. In the interest of building a truly interdisciplinary experience, both certificate programs welcome all majors.
The undergraduate certificate programs are one of the cornerstones of the Kohl Initiative, which was launched in 2019 with a $10 million gift from former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl.
“Students find that coursework in the certificate programs grows their understanding of why policy analysis can play such a powerful role in decision making,” says Mary Michaud, undergraduate advisor and faculty associate. “The undergraduate courses train students to define problems, analyze issues, and frame recommendations. They then apply these lessons through internships, which often make them highly competitive for employment or slots in selective graduate programs.”