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From the Director

Director of Public Policy Studies Christopher Kitt CarpenterThis is a very exciting time for PPS at Vanderbilt!  We have just launched a new curriculum that provides students with a rigorous yet flexible structure that can accommodate a range of additional options such as double majoring, studying abroad, writing an honors thesis, and more.  And we are actively growing our PPS faculty, building on existing strengths in environmental policy and foreign policy and adding expertise in public policy methods and social policy.  Across campus both within Arts & Science and across other schools and colleges at Vanderbilt, PPS students can also take courses with thought leaders in education policy, health policy, regulation, and science and technology policy. 

What really sets Vanderbilt public policy studies apart is our commitment to PPS as part of a liberal arts education.  This is illustrated by our innovative curriculum, which draws on perspectives from political science, economics, sociology, statistics, law, history, and philosophy.  This liberal arts commitment within PPS is matched with novel and relevant practical applications that are made possible through Vanderbilt’s location in central Nashville – a vibrant urban setting that is also the home to the state’s capitol.  This puts PPS-focused internships, research opportunities, and immersion projects at your fingertips. 

Vanderbilt PPS alumni can be found in every top graduate program in the country in law, public policy, public affairs, and government.  You will also find them in every corner of the globe in the Foreign Service, the Peace Corps, and Teach for America.  And you can find them in the private sector navigating the regulatory landscape or starting new policy ventures.  What unites them is a passion for solving problems for the greater good and a broad foundation of critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills.  Their contributions are as significant as their paths are diverse. 

Thank you for taking the time to visit us.  While you’re here, I invite you to explore more about our new curriculum, our outstanding faculty, and the numerous opportunities for deep learning and engagement with public policy studies at Vanderbilt. 


Kitt Carpenter 

Director, Public Policy Studies