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The Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy operate on both the Oxford and Jackson campuses. The Schools of Dentistry, Health Related Professionals and Medicine, and the Health Sciences Graduate School, are based in Jackson only. (Additional healthcare programs are available through the School of Applied Sciences on the Oxford campus.) Other than these exceptions, the schools above are on the Oxford campus.

B.A. in Public Policy Leadership

Prepare for positions of leadership in an increasingly complex world.

Turning ideas into action is the focus of the Public Policy Leadership major at the University of Mississippi. Students combine the study of public policy with the study of the leadership qualities necessary to plan and implement successful policy. The interdisciplinary curriculum incorporates economics, geography, philosophy, political science, public administration, and policy.

Key Benefits

Public policy leadership is the only interdisciplinary undergraduate program of its type in this region. Students gain a broad knowledge of public policy and skills in policy analysis, organizational leadership, social science research, critical thinking, written and oral communication, consensus building, and decision-making. They acquire an understanding of the ethical imperatives of leadership, and a clear appreciation of the global nature of responsible decision-making.

Graduate Outcomes

A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Related careers to public policy leadership include government, law, policy analyst, business, natural resource manager, nonprofit administrator, education, or project development analyst and manager.

Experiences Offered

In partnership with the Lott Leadership Institute, the department offers one of a kind experiences to students through interactions with policy makers/practitioners, study abroad opportunities, and internships. The Washington Internship Experience allows students to live, work, and study in our nation's capital for a semester. Study abroad experiences have included Argentina, China, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, and South Korea.

B.A. in Public Policy Leadership Faculty

The faculty of the interdisciplinary Department of Public Policy Leadership at the University of Mississippi have Ph.D. degrees ranging from political science, geography, public administration and policy, and philosophy. Their areas of strength include civic engagement, information technology in public administration, ethics, regional development, environmental policy, economic policy, food policy, non-profit organization, social policies, and moral responsibility.

Melissa L Bass
Associate Professor of Public Policy Leadership
Weixing Chen
Chair and Professor of Public Policy Leadership
Kyle G Fritz
Associate Professor of Public Policy Leadership
Joseph Hampton Holland
Associate Professor of Public Policy Leadership
David J Rutherford
Associate Professor of Public Policy Leadership
Christian Sellar
Professor of Public Policy Leadership
Zach Vereb
Assistant Professor of Public Policy Leadership
Henry L Barbour
Adjunct Instructor in Public Policy Leadership
Charles Willis Pickering
Adjunct Instructor in Public Policy Leadership

The B.A. degree with a major in public policy leadership consists of 33 hours, including PPL 101, 210, 212, 300, 310, and 18 additional hours of 300-level or 400-level PPL courses. Pol 101, Econ 202, and Econ 203 also are required. Students are required to take at least one class at the 300 level or above in each of the following three categories:   

  • Leadership/Organization: PPL 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 384, 399, 491, 497;
  • Domestic Policies: PPL 328, 331, 342, 343, 345, 361, 362, 363, 377, 383, 384, 385, 386, 387, 389, 390, 399, 492; and
  • International Policies: PPL 320, 329, 330, 340, 360, 376, 378, 380, 381, 382, 388, 493.    The same course may not satisfy more than one category. Students can use up to 6 credit hours of study abroad (PPL 496), up to 6 credit hours of thesis (PPL 402 and 403), and up to 3 credit hours of internship (PPL
  1. toward the major, but the total credit hours used toward the major from all three combined (study abroad, thesis, and internship) cannot be over 9 credit hours.

In order to major in public policy leadership, students must first be admitted to the Lott Leadership Institute.

Christine Dickason

Christine (2015) was a founding member of the Student Food Bank and a leader with the Associated Student Body, Ole Miss College Democrats, and Mississippi First. She presented her ideas about education at a national conference and her honors thesis included a documentary film on college preparation and student aspirations in Mississippi public high schools. Christine was also a Truman Scholarship finalist. After graduation she served as former First Lady Michelle Obama's Deputy Director of Correspondence until the end of the Obama administration. While earning her M.A. in public policy at George Washington University, Christine has worked at the Government Accountability Office, the Center for American Progress, and the Global Development Incubator.

Why study public policy leadership at UM?
"Public Policy Leadership is an incredibly unique program that is only offered at a graduate level at many schools. It allows you to build enduring relationships with excellent professors. Through the program, I was able to present at a national conference, intern in D.C. (twice!), travel to local farms to learn about food policy, and take a unique, creative approach to my honors thesis. It provides a solid foundation to build a variety of careers, whether it be participating in Mississippi Teacher Corps, working for a Senator, or making your way to the White House!"

Student Organizations

Join the Public Policy Leadership Student Advisory Board.