Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Leadership

Prepare for leadership in an increasingly complex world.

Group of students seated talking to a teacher that is standing

"The Public Policy Leadership Program offers undergrads an unusual chance to focus intensely on policy. You just dive in and learn the analytical skills you need to write legislation and policy proposals."

Joe Caplis (B.A. in Public Policy Leadership '21)

J.D. Candidate, Harvard Law School

About this Program

The Department of Public Policy Leadership in the College of Liberal Arts offers the B.A. in Public Policy Leadership. The degree prepares high-performing students for positions of leadership in an increasingly complex world.

Students must be admitted to the Trent Lott Leadership Institute in order to enroll in the Public Policy Leadership degree. Incoming freshman apply through the UM Special Programs and Scholarship Application. The deadline for application to the program is January 10.  

Turning ideas into action is the focus of the public policy leadership major. 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, history, philosophy, political science and psychology.

  • PPL majors gain a broad knowledge of public policy and skills in policy analysis, organizational leadership, social science research, critical thinking, written communication, oral communication, consensus building, and decision-making.
  • Students acquire an understanding of the ethical imperatives of leadership, and a clear appreciation of the global nature of responsible decision-making.

In partnership with the Trent Lott Leadership Institute, the department offers enriching experiences to students through interactions with policy makers/practitioners, summer study abroad, and internships. 

  • Summer Lott/PPL study abroad experiences have included Argentina, Czech Republic, Israel, China, Mexico, South Africa, and South Korea. 
  • Students pursue internships in government (White House, U.S. Congress, Supreme Court, state legislatures, and local governments) and in areas such as finance, technology, medicine, education, politics, media affairs, non-profits, science, and law enforcement.

Public Policy Leadership is the only interdisciplinary undergradute program of its kind in the SEC.  

On this Page…

    Program Information

    Program Type



    Area of Study

    Social Sciences, Law, and Policy


    4 years


    B.A. in Public Policy

    Program Location


    Required Credit Hours


    Degree Requirements

    See information below for the Public Policy Leadership major and minor. For a full description, visit the online catalog.


    Students in the B.A. in Public Policy Leadership complete 33 credit hours of public policy leadership courses.
    • PPL 101: Foundations of Public Policy Leadership
    • PPL 210: Public Policy & Quantitative Analysis
    • PPL 212: Critical Thinking, Communications & Public Policy
    • PPL 300: Public Policy and Ethics
    • PPL 310: Public Policy Design and Analysis

    One course in Leadership/Organization:

    • PPL 370: Philosophy of Leadership
    • PPL 371: Nonprofit Organizations
    • PPL 372: Introduction to Public Administration
    • PPL 373: Leadership in Public Policy Setting
    • PPL 374: Grant Writing for Nonprofits
    • PPL 384: Civic Engagement, Pub Policy & Dem in US
    • PPL 399: Advanced Quantitative Methods
    • PPL 491: Topics in Leadership/Organization

    One course in Domestic Policies:

    • PPL 328: The Corporation and Public Policy
    • PPL 331: Political Philosophy
    • PPL 342: Philosophy & Diversity in Public Policy
    • PPL 345: Environmental Ethics
    • PPL 361: Disaster Policy
    • PPL 362: Homeland Security Policy
    • PPL 363: Early Childhood Policy in the US
    • PPL 375: Regional Economic Development
    • PPL 377: Women and Public Policy in the US
    • PPL 383: Social Policy
    • PPL 384: Civic Engagement, Pub Policy & Dem in US
    • PPL 385: Food Policy & Agriculture Systems
    • PPL 386: Science, Technology, & Public Policy
    • PPL 387: Education Policy
    • PPL 389: Policy Response to Poverty in the US
    • PPL 390: Health Policy
    • PPL 399: Advanced Quantitative Methods
    • PPL 492: Topics in Domestic Policies

    One course in International Policies:

    • PPL 320: Issues in Global Economics
    • PPL 329: Economic Geographies of Globalization
    • PPL 330: Global Border Policies
    • PPL 340: Philosophical Foundation of Human Rights
    • PPL 360: Global Perspectives, Issues, & Policies
    • PPL 376: Policymaking and Governance in China
    • PPL 380: World Regions: Geography and Policy
    • PPL 381: Global Environmental Issues
    • PPL 382: Geography of Religion and Belief Systems
    • PPL 388: Public Policies of European Union
    • PPL 493: Topics in International Policies

    Three PPL advanced electives

    Three courses outside the department:

    • POL 101: Introduction to American Politics
    • ECON 202: Microeconomics
    • ECON 203: Macroeconomics
    Students complete 18 credit hours of public policy leadership courses, including PPL 101 and at least one 300-level or higher course in each of the categories for the major: leadership/organization, domestic policy, and international policy.


    What can I do with a degree in Public Policy Leadership?

    • Senior Associate, KPMG
    • Sr. Operations Manager, US Chamber of Commerce
    • Digital Media Relations Manager, National Restaurant Assoc
    • Press Secretary, Office of a Senator
    • Asst. Deputy Chief for Policy, US Dept. of Education
    • Associate Attorney, Forman, Watkins, Krutz
    • Executive Committee, Dem. National Comm.
    • Policy Analyst for CFO, Dept of Homeland Security
    • Head of Communications, Brightshop
    • Development & Alumni Relations, Vanderbilt Univ.
    • Dir. of Member Services, Congressional Republican Conference
    • Development Facilitator, City of Denton
    • Associate Attorney, Baker Botts
    • Flight Commander, US Air Force
    • Policy Analyst, Republican Governor's Assoc
    • Law Fellow, Southern Poverty Law Center

    Choosing a Minor or Double Major

    Bachelor of Arts students must choose a minor (or double major). Combine your study of public policy leadership with many other subjects based on your interests and career goals. 

    Next Steps

    Explore Affordability

    We have a variety of scholarships and financial aid options to help make college more affordable for you and your family.

    Apply to the University of Mississippi

    Are you ready to take the next step toward building your legacy?