Political and economic systems do not operate in a vacuum. The issues addressed by societies, both in the United States and abroad, such as taxation, environmental protection, regulation of business, development, health and trade policies, are influenced greatly by the political and economic interests of powerful constituencies. A variety of interest groups, including labor unions, businesses, taxpayers, consumers, environmentalists and retired citizens, attempt to achieve economic ends at least in part by political means.

The Political Economy and Public Policy major emphasizes these interactions between the economic and political systems through course work in both economics and political science. It is excellent preparation for those interested in careers in the public policy arena or those who intend to pursue graduate study in economics, political science, public policy or law.