BA or BS in Planning, Public Policy and Management

Pre-PPPM Program | PPPM Major | Core Courses | Internships | Thesis and Honors

Action-Oriented, Interdisciplinary, Focused on Solving Real-World Problems

The School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) offers an undergraduate major for students interested in public or nonprofit careers who seek to make a difference in their communities. Academic coursework and learning opportunities such as internships and applied courses create a hands-on educational climate that is both exciting and challenging.

A degree with a major in planning, public policy and management (BA or BS) provides a sound basis for graduate study in fields such as:

  • Urban planning
  • Public policy
  • Public management
  • Business
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Public health
  • Nonprofit management

In addition, you will be prepared for entry-level positions in local, state, and federal agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations and private firms that address public sector issues.

Undergraduate Program Handbook

Pre-PPPM Program

UO students interested in our major should first declare as a premajor, or as we call it, a "pre-PPPM" major. Pre-PPPM majors can access departmental advising, priority registration, and our internship program. Before you declare the premajor, we recommend that you speak with our advising staff to learn more about the PPPM program and admission requirements.

Contact the PPPM Undergraduate Advisor in the advising office at:
119B Hendricks Hall
541-346-3649 |

Preparing for the PPPM major includes:

  • Developing a broad liberal-arts background
  • Building communication skills
  • Developing analytical skills
  • Completing community volunteer and leadership experiences

To help you prepare, consider coursework or experience in:

  • Public speaking
  • Debate
  • Economics
  • Political science
  • Sociology
  • Computer science
  • Mathematics
  • International studies
  • Volunteer work

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The PPPM Major

The university requires a total of 180 credits for an undergraduate degree, and the PPPM major requires a minimum of 60 credits to satisfy major requirements. These include:

  • 28 credits of required core courses: Core courses are central to the major. Together, these courses expose you to the broad field of planning, public policy, and management, and they provide the foundation for more advanced work in a field of interest.
  • 32 elective credits (elective courses, internship, thesis): Developing sufficient background to work in the fields of planning, public policy, and public and nonprofit management requires solid academic preparation, individualized inquiry and experiential learning. The elective requirements for the major provide for flexibility and balance in achieving these learning goals.


PPPM Core Courses Requirement (28 credits total)*

Overview Courses

PPPM 201 Introduction to Public Policy (winter), 4 credits
PPPM 205 Introduction to City Planning (spring), 4 credits
PPPM 280 Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector (fall), 4 credits

Skills Courses

PPPM 413 Quantitative Methods (fall), 4 credits
PPPM 434 Urban Geographic Information Systems (winter), 4 credits

Synthesis Courses

PPPM 415 Policy and Planning Analysis (winter), 4 credits (Prerequisite: Economics 201)
PPPM 494 Practice of Leadership and Change (fall, winter, spring), 4 credits

*PPPM majors must take core courses for a letter grade and receive a C- or better to pass.

PPPM Elective Credits Requirement (32 credits total)

Students may satisfy this 32-credit requirement with any combination of the following:

  • up to 32 PPPM elective course credits (maximum of 4 credits numbered below the 300-level)
  • 1 credit Internship and Professional Development (PPPM 412) and up to 12 credits of Internship (PPPM 404; prerequisite PPPM 412)
  • up to 8 credits of Thesis (PPPM 403; requires departmental approval and GPA of 3.75)

Fields of Interest for PPPM Elective Courses

PPPM majors should work with the Undergraduate Advisor to identify elective course offerings in one or more fields of interest. These may include:

  • Urban Planning and Development:
    • Land development
    • Neighborhood redevelopment
    • Bicycle planning
  • Environment and Sustainability:
    • Environmental policy
    • Climate change policy
    • Environmental impact assessment
  • Equity and Social Justice:
    • Global leadership and change
    • Justice and urban revitalization
    • Public participation
  • Nonprofit Administration:
    • Philanthropy
    • Fundraising
    • Program evaluation
  • Public Leadership and Management:
    • Public law
    • Financial management
    • Community leadership and change

  • Social and Health Policy:
    • Health policy
    • Healthy communities
    • Inequality policy solutions


Internships are optional but highly recommended for all PPPM students as a way to:

  • Explore and clarify interests and career goals
  • Apply academic learning
  • Develop new skills
  • Network with professionals

Internships also help prepare you for fellowships, professional positions, or further academic study. Students who are interested in the PPPM Internship Program should:

  1. first enroll in PPPM 412 Internship and Professional Development (1 credit, offered fall, winter, and spring terms). PPPM 412 focuses on strategies and tools for planning a successful internship and is the prerequisite for PPPM 404 Internship.
  2. next meet with the PPPM Undergraduate Internship Director: 121B Hendricks Hall, 541-346-3604,


Thesis and PPPM Honors Program

All students interested in an undergraduate thesis must first contact the Undergraduate Advisor for advising and more information:

You may pursue an undergraduate thesis in PPPM in one of two ways if you are:

  1. Accepted in the PPPM Departmental Honors Program
  2. Enrolled in the Clark Honors College

Students who are not enrolled in the Clark Honors College must have a 3.75 GPA to be considered for the PPPM Departmental Honors Program. The undergraduate thesis process can take up to six academic terms (2 years) to complete. Plan ahead and contact the Undergraduate Advisor early in your junior year if you are interested in the PPPM Departmental Honors Program.

Michael Hibbard Award for Excellence

The Michael Hibbard award is given to the graduating student who demonstrates exceptional academic ability. All students are eligible for consideration.

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