The Senior Program

Public policy majors have three options for the senior project. They may take a one-semester seminar in the Government Department; they may research and write a thesis on a public policy topic, using traditional sources; or they may write a "public contract" thesis, in which they evaluate a policy or issue chosen by a state or local government in the Hamilton area.


In recent years, students' public contract projects have helped shape policy for New York State's Division of Youth, Department of Education, Office for the Aging, Division of Management and Budget, and Department of Transportation. More locally, students have worked with Oneida County's Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health and EDGE program, as well as the towns of New Hartford and Paris and the village of Clinton's Chamber of Commerce. 

Recent projects in public policy include:

  • Assessing London 2012: Rhetoric and Reality in Selling the Olympics
  • Crisis and Public Policy Formation: The Impact of Severity and Graphic Images
  • Can Raising the Minimum Wage Help Curb Crime?
  • A Cost Benefit Analysis of President Obama’s Proposal for Free Community College
  • The Effects of Sports Participation: A Cost Benefit Analysis of Student Athletes at Hamilton College
  • Rethinking Prohibition: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Prohibition Era
  • Solar Energy: What Works and What Doesn’t Work in State Energy Policy
  • The Willis V. Carrier Recreation Center: A Cost-Benefit Analysis from the Standpoint of the Town of DeWitt, NY
  • The Human Factor: The Case for Automation in Controlling Cars, Planes, and Ships
  • Returning the Service: Is the Veterans Health Administration Providing Adequate Healthcare for Veterans?
  • A Relapse in Public Health: Antivaccinators in the United States
  • Income Segregation and City Fiscal Distress
  • Utica’s Newcomer Program: An Investigation into Educational Inequality for Refugee Students
  • The Effect of Gun Purchase Waiting Periods on Suicide Rates in the United States
  • Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: The One Guaranteed Basic Income in the United States
  • The Case for Ranking Police Departments: Evaluating Police Efficacy Using Statistical Analysis
  • The Effect of State Incentives on Plug-In Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicle Adoption
  • Segregated Schooling and Adult Criminal Activity: The Case of Minority Americans

Contact Information

Public Policy Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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