As of last week, Ohio State students can enroll in a new Bachelor of Science degree program in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.
After more than a year of program revisions by the college, the Ohio Department of Higher Education approved the new BS degree in public policy analysis.
“When we designed this program, we wanted it to focus on economics and data analysis, so it’s a little more quantitative-based,” said Chris Adams, programs manager for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. “There are more economics requirements, and it requires calculus and extra courses in methods and higher-level data analysis.”
This BS degree differs from the Bachelor of Arts in Management, Leadership and Policy that is currently offered in that the latter focuses more on management, politics, program organization and behavior, while the BS focuses more on data analytics and finance.
“I enjoy analytical reasoning, whether it’s economic theory or quantitative problems. This major allows me to develop more of an analytical background that will be useful in grad school and in the workforce for a variety of jobs.” — Alex Rhodes, a third-year in public policy analysis and political science.
“It’s important to note that both degrees have elements of public policy, management and finance,” Adams said. “The difference is just in the extent that these things are covered.”
Adams said that a survey was given to students currently in the BA program, and more than 30 students expressed interest in switching to the BS track.
Some have already made the switch.
“I enjoy analytical reasoning, whether it’s economic theory or quantitative problems,” said Alex Rhodes, a third-year in public policy analysis and political science. “This major allows me to develop more of an analytical background that will be useful in grad school and in the workforce for a variety of jobs.”
Adams noted that the introduction of this new degree sets OSU apart from other public universities with public-affairs programs.
“We’re really excited about it because it’s pretty rare for undergraduate public-affairs schools across the country to offer two different degrees,” Adams said.
Adams explained that students who graduate with the BA degree might be more interested in campaign work or starting a nonprofit or community action program, while students with the BS degree might be better suited for budget analysis or campaign finance.
“It’s not designed that one is the easy degree and one is the hard degree,” Adams said. “Students are able to explore different interests with each degree.”