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Public Management, Leadership and Policy

Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

School: Public Affairs

Everyone has a cause they are passionate about. A degree in public policy analysis provides the tools to turn that passion into policy. 

The John Glenn College of Public Affairs is committed to developing students into leaders who can take on complex issues and make change a reality in civic life. The public management, leadership and policy major provides professional, managerial and analytical skills, along with specialized knowledge in a policy or management area the student is passionate about. Students also receive training in data analysis, economics and public finance. Whether students see themselves tackling homelessness in their community, taming the growing national debt or creating educational opportunities for impoverished women around the globe, a degree from the Glenn College will provide them with the knowledge and skills to get the job done.

The public management, leadership and policy major is designed to develop students’ skills in the areas of public management, leadership and policy, while providing additional training in data analysis, economics and public finance. The major provides students with professional, managerial and analytical skills, along with specialized knowledge in a policy or management area.

Students can apply to Ohio State directly as majors in public management, leadership and policy in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Current Ohio State students may declare the major at any time. 

Public management, leadership and policy also pairs nicely with many other majors on campus as part of a double major program.

Students in the major take core public affairs courses offered through the Glenn College, with additional courses offered by the political science and economics departments. An array of specialization tracks and minors are also offered in conjunction with other units throughout the university. Examples of specialization areas include nonprofit management, community organization and civic engagement, urban policy and management, and education policy. Students also complete a capstone research paper on a topic of their choosing.

Courses topics for the major:

  • introduction to public affairs
  • civic engagement
  • public management
  • leadership
  • politics and policy
  • public budgeting
  • public economics and finance
  • policy analysis
  • public affairs research paper
  • public affairs specialization courses

Students are encouraged to pursue internships that are related to their respective policy interest areas. Glenn College's career services helps students locate and secure internships in the greater Columbus area. Past interns have worked with local employers at organizations such as:

  • Ohio House of Representatives
  • Ohio Senate
  • Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Columbus City Council and Mayor’s Office

The Ohio Government Internship Program is designed to support students as they develop their careers in public service by interning in Ohio state or Columbus local government. Participants will earn 3 credit hours and will receive a $500 stipend upon successful completion of the program. Examples of recent internship sites include state legislative offices, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Columbus City Council.

The Glenn College’s Washington Academic Internship Program offers Ohio State juniors and seniors the opportunity to spend a semester in our nation’s capital interning at an organization with a public service focus that fits their unique policy interests and career goals. Through the program, students earn 12 academic credits that can be used toward the major. Students also engage in professional development activities throughout the semester. Examples of recent internship sites include Congressional offices, the Partnership for Public Service, the Federal Judicial Center, The Brookings Institution and EMILY’s List.

Glenn College Honors students have the opportunity to enhance their academic programs through Honors, upper-division and graduate-level courses along with the completion of enrichment activities such as the Washington Academic Internship Program or an Honors thesis under the guidance of a Glenn College faculty advisor.

Students can join the John Glenn Civic Leadership Council. A two-time recipient of the Outstanding Student Organization award at Ohio State, the CLC plans programs and events based on policy, academics, service and community. Examples of recent CLC programming include policy discussions with nationally-renowned speakers, community service trips and local projects, and academic/professional development seminars.

The Public Affairs Multicultural Association is a student organization that brings together students of all ages, races, gender, religions, disabilities and backgrounds to create a welcoming community that enables and encourages collaboration among peers on topics related to diversity and inclusion. It strives to support, educate and encourage students who are passionate about multiculturalism and diversity and inclusion. We aim to inspire citizenship and develop leadership among its members all while embracing diverse backgrounds and ideas.

IGNITE OSU encourages and empowers young women to develop their political ambition, civic engagement and leadership skills to create a supportive female community within The Ohio State University and to build the next generation of women leaders. IGNITE OSU supports women in their political aspirations by providing training, resources and access to a network of elected officials. We also create opportunities for Incoming first-year students also have the opportunity to participate in the John Glenn Civic Leadership Community. Students in this program live together in Baker East residence hall, enroll in a public affairs class as a group during the fall semester, participate in a number of academic, social and policy-oriented programs throughout the year, and take a group trip to Washington, D.C.

For more information about the Glenn College's co-curricular undergraduate programs, visit ( under the "Student programs" tab.

Graduates of programs in the Glenn College are prepared for entry-level opportunities in management and/or analysis with government agencies and nonprofit organizations. According to the Partnership for Public Service, the federal government will need to hire 600,000 new employees over the next four years. The International City/County Management Association estimates that one-third of state and local government employees are over the age of 50, so state governments will also need entry-level talent in upcoming years. These figures indicate a need for young talent which the John Glenn College hopes to provide.

Glenn College graduates have entered the following positions:

  • associate director for presidential personnel, the White House
  • field organizer, Ohio Republican Party
  • teaching fellow, KIPP Columbus
  • legal analyst, Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz
  • marketing and communications coordinator, Council of Development Finance Agencies
  • safety coordinator, Ohio Department of Transportation

Graduates earn an average starting salary of $42,000 per year, but salary figures can vary greatly depending on sector/occupation of choice. Career services works with students and recent alumni, especially from underrepresented backgrounds, to prepare them for salary negotiations