The need for interdisciplinary approaches to complement specialized training in undergraduate education has been widely recognized both at Rice University and across academia in general. Many of society's problems that Rice undergraduates will work to solve no longer are self-contained but instead have spill-over affects across a broad range of disciplines.

For example, students in highly technical, specialized sciences such as bioengineering or environmental engineering also must have an understanding of the social and political institutions and processes that both impact and are impacted by their work. It is also clear that the institutions Rice undergraduates will be working in are no longer narrowly defined; success in these institutions will come to those who are well trained in their specialty but who also have an understanding of the broader networks that crisscross modern society.

Health care is another area where this is particularly evident. Successful doctors and health care providers today must go beyond mastering the technological aspects of medicine to understanding the broad and complex socioeconomic matrix that surrounds health care. Students need the opportunity for more than just exposure to concepts from outside their discipline-they also need practice with their application.

The Policy Studies major provides students with such an opportunity. Students gain useable knowledge that provides value-added benefits in their future job performance. This has the benefit of providing Rice students with a competitive advantage over students from other schools as they enter the job force or continue on to professional or graduate schools.

The major contains eleven courses. The curriculum in the Policy Studies major has the following elements: a four class basic curriculum, a six class area curriculum, and a final research project.

Go to:
Basic Curriculum
Area Curriculum
Research Requirement

Donald Ostdiek, Director | Baker Institute | Room 244C | 713-348-2106
Policy Studies Program MS-24 | Rice University | P.O. Box 1892 | Houston, TX 77251-1892