Brookings Public Policy Minor

About the Minor

The Brookings Public Policy Minor (BPPM) is a unique educational experience that offers a multidisciplinary curriculum based upon local, national and global themes. The courses in the minor unite the best teaching and scholarship from UNLV faculty, with national experts and scholars from the Brookings Institution. This unique collaboration draws upon the diverse faculty and programmatic interests of UNLV to link knowledge, academic inquiry, and practice with the outstanding policy programs of the Brookings Institution.

The collaboration recognizes its responsibility to present multiple perspectives and enhance critical thinking and decision-making skills in a broad range of subject areas such as geography, economics, political science, public policy, and others. At a metropolitan university located in the heart of a diverse global city, the BPPM is committed to creating curriculum materials that model effective ways of working with students of all backgrounds. UNLV students are coming of age in a world of global markets where democratic forms of government emerge, struggle, and adapt amid a technological revolution that continues to alter how we think, act, and live on a daily basis. The BPPM addresses the challenge of effective teaching, learning, and communication in this ever-changing global environment. UNLV faculty and students, in collaboration with Brookings colleagues, will meet this challenge, and help build sustainable local, national, and global communities.

In Brookings Minor courses, students will:

  • Learn about real people in real places
  • Link societies by their connections and commonalities as much as by their differences
  • Integrate general issues of globalization, past and present, into the study of specific people and places in the world
  • Include cross-disciplinary approaches to break down conventional academic barriers
  • Emphasize experiential as well as classroom learning
  • Foster research and information literacy through coordinated lectures, readings, and assignments

Admission Policies

Students may declare the Brookings Public Policy minor at any time subsequent to being matriculated. A minimum overall average GPA of 3.00 must be maintained in the BPPM. A minimum grade of C is required in courses in the minor.

Academic Advising

To gain acceptance into the minor, students should meet with an advisor from the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Advising Center (702) 895-1009. Students should meet with their advisor prior to each semester they are taking classes. The program has developed a schedule of when classes will be offered. Meeting with an advisor will ensure the student stays on track and can graduate in a timely manner.

Courses (Total Credits: 18)

Students who complete an approved sequence of courses will obtain from UNLV a “Brookings Minor in Public Policy.” Priority enrollment is open to students enrolled in the Brookings Minor. Completion of six courses is required to complete the minor. Classes are, however, open to all UNLV students.

Students Must Complete

  • URST 101 (3 credits) - Brookings: Introduction to Public Policy

The introductory level (URST 101) survey course is designed to provide a general introduction to key global and national public policy issues that parallel Brookings five major programs.

Students Select 4 Upper-Division Courses:

  • PSC 401O (3 credits) - U.S. Elections and Governance
  • ECON 312 (3 credits) - Global Economy and Development
  • ECON 313 (3 credits) - Economics of Public Policy
  • PSC 405W (3 credits) - New Issues in Foreign Policy
  • GSC 440 (3 credits) - Issues in Metropolitan Policy

Three credit “Brookings courses” are available from a rotating slate of courses approved for this program. Undergraduates must select four courses, and achieve a grade level of 3.0 or above for each of the courses.

Students then complete:

  • CAPSTONE COURSE (3 credits)

As a culminating project, students must also complete a three credit “capstone” course in their college. Requirements include a research paper of roughly 3,000 words, patterned on a Brookings Policy Brief. That paper is written under the supervision of a UNLV faculty member. Selected student papers may be published by the Brookings Mountain West, the Brookings Institution, and/or UNLV's Institutional Repository, Digital Scholarship@UNLV.

About the Curriculum

Each of the courses is centered around — and guided by scholars from — the five research programs at Brookings: Governance Studies, Economic Studies, Foreign Policy Studies, Global Economy and Development Research, and Metropolitan Studies.

Governance Studies
Dedicated to analyzing policy issues, political institutions and processes, and contemporary governance challenges. Scholarship in this program identifies areas in need of reform and proposes specific solutions with the goals of: improving the performance of the national government; informing debate; and providing policymakers with expert analysis and ideas to ensure better institutional governance.
Economic Studies
Analyzes current and emerging economic issues facing the United States and the world, focusing on ideas to achieve broad-based economic growth, a strong labor market, sound fiscal and monetary policy, and economic opportunity and social mobility. The research aims to increase understanding of how the economy works and what can be done to make it work better.
Foreign Policy
Program at Brookings is a leading center of policy-relevant scholarship exploring the rapidly re-ordering geopolitics of the great and major powers, and the disordering relations among states and transnational actors in the greater Middle East. Scholars provide concrete policy recommendations for how U.S. strategy, the international security architecture, and key allies should adapt to changing threats and opportunities.
Global Economy and Development
Aims to shape the policy debate on how to improve global economic cooperation and fight global poverty and sources of social stress. With a long-term vision of strong, sustainable, and balanced growth for a prosperous world, the program undertakes high-quality research, identifies target audiences and policy opportunities, and shares its findings to inform new policy solutions.
Metropolitan Policy
Strives to deliver research and solutions that help metropolitan leaders build an advanced economy that works for all.

Faculty and Engagement

Brookings scholars currently engage with UNLV faculty both in the classroom and in related research efforts.

For example, Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies and Co-Director of Center on Children and Families speaks to undergraduate classes during his visits, and partnered with Vicky Albert, UNLV professor of social work, on a Pew Charitable trust-funded examination of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

Adele Morris, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies and Policy Director for Climate and Energy Economics, and UNLV professor of economics, Brad Wimmer, created an economic policy course that serves as a model for courses in the minor.

Similarly, Steven Landis, an assistant professor of political science, offers a foreign policy course that engages with a number of Brookings scholars. As future Brookings scholars collaborate with UNLV faculty across campus, we hope to develop additional courses.

Each Brookings Public Policy Minor course is taught by a UNLV faculty member in collaboration with one or more Brookings colleagues. This partnership includes one or more Brookings scholars’ in-person teaching of selected class lectures for the courses in the program. It also may involve participating in review of assignments and grading, and additional teaching through the use of electronic classrooms.