Government / Public Policy / International Relations

Are you interested in a career in public service? Jobs in the Local, State or Federal Government, or the many agencies, organizations or multilateral institutions that influence them, offer a wide range of options to apply your skills and explore your interests in all types of roles in the United States and abroad.

Welcome to the Government / Public Policy / International Relations Community

Are you interested in a career in public service? Jobs in the Local, State or Federal Government, or the many agencies, organizations or multilateral institutions that influence them, offer a wide range of options to apply your skills and explore your interests in all types of roles in the United States and abroad.

Students who are interested in how governments work and how policy decisions are made, as well as students who want to make a positive contribution to society through public service, may find their niche in Government, Politics and Public Policy, and International Relations. From elected office to the campaign work that happens behind the scenes, from lobbying for large corporations and advocating for social issues to research and strategy, there is something for everyone who wants to be involved in, very broadly, the way countries are run.

Sample Classes

Depending on your main area of interest, your academic pathway will shift. To explore this field, you can take courses that will provide you with knowledge and skills in:

  • Analytical & Critical thinking
  • Oral & Written Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Creative Problem Solving

Below are a few examples, but we urge you to talk to your major/departmental advisor and explore available courses in SPIRE. Remember not to constrain yourself to classes within your major.

Check SPIRE for full course descriptions and availability. These are abbreviated descriptions, and details may change at the discretion of the instructor.  Courses may not be offered every semester.

SBS in DC Spotlight: Farah Sabir

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Our SBS in DC cohort with Farah in the middle of the front row

As this summer in DC flies by, I’ve been reflecting on the many people who have made an impact …

By Lizette Sta. Maria
Lizette Sta. Maria
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School of Public Policy Hosts Talk on US Jails and Public Hospitals

Sociologist Armando Lara-Millán will speak about his new book, Redistributing the Poor: Jails, Hospitals, and the Crisis of Law and Fiscal Austerity, at a virtual event open to the UMass Amherst community on Wednesday, July 14, at 2 p.m.

The …

By Carol Sharick
Carol Sharick Director of Career and Professional Development for Undergraduates, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Carol Sharick
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Virtual Student Federal Services Internships – Apply Now!

The Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) is a nine-month remote internship (10 hours/week) for U.S. citizen students, college-level and above, who would like to make a real difference in the work of the U.S. government. Since 2009, thousands of eInterns …

By Odessa Burkett
Odessa Burkett Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development Odessa Burkett
Read more »

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Relevant Courses

ANTHRO 104 – Culture, Society and People

ANTHRO 104 – Culture, Society and People: The nature of culture and its role in creating forms of social, economic,…

POLISCI 228 – Weighing the Evidence

POLISCI 228 – Weighing the Evidence: What are the likely effects of proposed social policies? Should an environmental pollutant be…

191 STPEC 2 – Pioneer Valley Political Activism & Community Organizing

191 STPEC 2 – Pioneer Valley Political Activism & Community Organizing: In this seminar, you will attend four meetings with local…

SOCIOL 224 – Social Class & Inequality

SOCIOL 224 – Social Class & Inequality: The nature of social classes in society from the viewpoint of differences in economic…

SUSTCOMM 125 – Global Cities & Global Issues

SUSTCOMM 125 – Global Cities & Global Issues: Cities are dynamic organisms whose inhabitants require food, water, shelter, safety, commerce, leadership,…

COMM 387 – Media, PR, and Propaganda

COMM 387 – Media, PR, and Propaganda: The historical roots of the PR industry in government propaganda efforts; the contemporary influence of…

LEGAL 293 – Race, Citizen, and the American Constitution

LEGAL 293 – Race, Citizen, and the American Constitution: The role that law and courts have played in shaping, defining, and constructing…

POLISCI 308 – Public Opinion in Politics

POLISCI 308 – Public Opinion in Politics: Examine how people’s opinions influence their behavior, and whether or not political leaders follow…

LEGAL 465 – Globalization

LEGAL 465 – Globalization: The globalization of law, culture, and politics. Competing arguments about the meaning and effects of globalization.…

POLISCI 388 – Corporate Lobbying & the Global Economy

POLISCI 388 – Corporate Lobbying & the Global Economy: The governance of the global economy by private actors. Theoretical and empirical…

SOCIOL 347 – Corporate Crime

SOCIOL 347 – Corporate Crime: The rise of the “corporate actor” in terms of social organization and social policy, and concerning…

ANTHRO 380 – Grassroots Community Organizing

ANTHRO 380 – Grassroots Community Organizing: This course examines how marginalized communities organize to combat racial, economic, and political injustices. Student…

COMM 250 – Interpersonal Communication

COMM 250 – Interpersonal Communication: This course introduces non-majors to a variety of competing theories of interpersonal behavior and everyday social…

ECON 366 – Economic Development

ECON 366 – Economic Development: Theories of economic growth applied to Third World countries. Classical and Neoclassical economic theories and…

JOURNAL 310: Going Global; Changes in International Journalism

JOURNAL 310: Going Global; Changes in International Journalism: This course explores the challenges and issues facing journalists covering global affairs. Students…

LEGAL 375 – Human Rights and Wrongs

LEGAL 375 – Human Rights and Wrongs: Introduction to humanitarian law. Topics include theory and history of international human rights law,…

POLISCI 121: World Politics

POLISCI 121: World Politics: Introduction to the principles and practices of international relations in the political, military, economic, and environmental realms.…

POLISCI 171 – Intro to Political Theory

POLISCI 171 – Intro to Political Theory: Introduction to the Western tradition of political theory; focus on particular problems and…

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