Department of Public Policy (GRAD)

Research and Faculty Expertise

UNC Public Policy faculty members have strengths in seven broad areas of policy research:

Education and Labor Markets

Public policy research in the area of education policy includes evaluation of policies, programs, and schools in K–12 education, early childhood education, and post-secondary education. In addition, faculty interests include how educational policies affect inequality in student, teacher, and school outcomes. Other topics on labor markets in the United States include policies that impact working families, tax policies, self-employment, professional/occupational licensing, and the link between higher education and the labor market. (Related faculty: Alinor, Davis, Gitterman, Handa, Hemelt, Lauen, Moulton)

Environment and Human Welfare

Public policy research in the area of environment and human welfare (including health) focuses on climate change, energy policy, and environmental and natural resource management policies in national, state, and developing country contexts. (Related faculty: Handa, Hsu)

Business and Public Policy; Entrepreneurship and Innovation

UNC Public Policy’s goals in this area is to facilitate research and teaching at the intersection of business, government, and society. The technological, political, economic, and institutional environment of business creates challenges for policymakers and society. Globalization, the rise of the digital economy, and the emergence of new industries and organizational forms, along with calls for (re)regulation and the need to alleviate inequality, require a firm grounding in economics, organization theory, and strategic management. New conceptual frameworks, theoretical advances, and rigorous empirical analysis are required to craft better strategies for integrating policy considerations into general managerial thinking. To that end, the research focus is on various topics in innovation, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, science and technology, and strategic management and their resulting implications on public policy. (Related faculty: Bao, Moulick)

Social Policy and Inequality

Public policy research focuses on the ways that social policies ameliorate or exacerbate disparities within and between groups. Specific research expertise includes social safety-net policies, innovative policy incentives (such as cash transfer incentives in developing countries), marriage, and women’s reproductive health and rights. This area also includes the study of politically relevant identity groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities groups, low-income individuals, women, members of LGBTQ* communities, and immigrants. (Related faculty: Addo, Alinor, Davis, Gitterman, Gutierrez, Handa, Hemelt, Kreitzer, Moulton, Rubalcaba)

Health Policy, Bioethics, and Human Rights

Public policy research in health policy — domestically and globally — includes a focus on mental health and substance abuse; maternal, reproductive, and infant health; AIDS and infectious disease control; environmental health; health insurance and managed care; and biomedical and behavioral research. Much of this research is focused on improving health behaviors and outcomes, reducing health inequalities, understanding the economic and institutional basis of effective policies, and exploring ethical and rights-based approaches to health. (Related faculty: Gitterman, Guttierez, Handa, Kreitzer, MacKay, Meier, Rubalcaba)

International Development Policy

Public policy research in this area explores the interplay between economics, politics, and human rights approaches in shaping development policy. Specific topics include the household and community determinants of human capital investment; the impact of social programs and policies on poverty, migration, and human development; household barriers to labor market participation; drivers of civil conflict; corruption; natural resource governance; poverty and environment trade-offs and synergies; energy poverty; aid accountability; public opinion regarding foreign direct investment; the human right to health. (Related faculty: Guttierez, Handa, Meier, Seim, Sullivan)

Global Conflict and Cooperation

Public policy research in this area includes challenges where the causes and consequences extend beyond the borders of any one country. Faculty study how effectively national governments, transnational organizations, and the institutions of global governance respond to these global issues. Specific areas of expertise include the impact of international/regional economic integration on labor standards; the effects of foreign economic and military aid; external interventions into domestic armed conflicts; how international law affects public health, international accountability, and anti-corruption efforts; international migration; and international cooperation to address critical environmental issues. (Related faculty: Gitterman, Meier, Seim, Shadmehr, Sullivan)

M.P.P. Admission

To apply to the dual bachelor's-graduate degree (M.P.P.) applicants must be currently enrolled undergraduate students at UNC–Chapel Hill. Applications for admission open in the summer/fall of students senior year and applications must be received by the posted deadline. Admitted students will begin enrolling in graduate M.P.P. courses the spring of their senior year as they complete their undergraduate degree. For information on pre-requisites, curriculum, academic check-lists, financial aid, and internships, please see UNC M.P.P.

Ph.D. Admission

Students are admitted to the doctoral program in public policy from diverse backgrounds in both academic preparation and experience. In preparation for doctoral study, applicants should have some exposure to intermediate microeconomics, basic statistics, and quantitative analysis (including calculus); a master's degree and some public policy-related work experience are desirable. All entering students are also required to take a math course (PLCY 700) immediately prior to the beginning of their first semester.

Applications for admission in the fall semester must be received no later than the posted deadlines for the following fall semester. Applications must be received by the December deadline to receive full consideration for Graduate School competitive awards. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries who do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Factors considered in the application review include the academic transcripts, class rank, references, statements of interest, fit with faculty research clusters, and professional experience.

Financial Assistance

Students who apply by the December deadline and who are admitted will be considered for a range of financial support, including Graduate School fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. Many awards grant full tuition privileges and health  insurance coverage and student fees, substantially increasing their value to the student. Prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty members whose research is in areas of their potential interest and experience.

Research Centers and Institutes

A range of University of North Carolina research centers and institutes, many of which conduct nationally and internationally distinguished policy-related research, extends research opportunities.Examples include the following:

Carolina Population Center

Conducts internationally distinguished research to benefit world populations; train the next generation of population scholars; build skills, capacity, and improved methodologies; and disseminate data and findings to population professionals, policymakers, and the public.

Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research

Conducts interdisciplinary research to improve the health of individuals, families, and populations by understanding the problems, issues, and alternatives in the design and delivery of health care services.

Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Conducts research and technical assistance on projects to help businesses turn obstacles into opportunities and to help countries and communities identify their competitive strengths and develop innovative strategies and partnerships to achieve their goals.

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Pursues research to create new knowledge to enhance the lives of children and their families.

Howard W. Odum Institute for Research in Social Science (IRSS)

The oldest institute in the United States for the cooperative study of problems in the general field of social sciences maintains extensive survey and census archives and assists in design and analysis of social research.

The Institute for the Environment

Organizes and supports interdisciplinary environmental science and decision-making research across and beyond the campus on global, national, and North Carolina environmental problems.

Water Resources Research Institute

Formulates research programs responsive to state water resource problems. Provides local, state, and federal agencies with research to make better decisions in managing water resources.

For more information, visit the Public Policy website, or contact Admissions, UNC Public Policy, CB #3435, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3435. Telephone: (919) 962-1600. 

M.P.P.

Public Policy offers an accelerated dual bachelor’s-graduate (M.P.P.) degree. The M.P.P. degree requires 48 credits. It is possible to complete the requirements for the dual bachelor’s graduate degree within eight semesters and two additional semesters of study (and one summer), respectively. The M.P.P. includes a summer seminar/internship experience. New UNC Graduate School dual degree policies allow 12 credits/hours of double counting/crossover of bachelor’s credits and master’s credits. Most of the double counting of credits will take place during second semester of senior year.

Degree Requirements

*Non-PLCY majors should take ECON 101, PLCY 210/210H, PLCY 460 & PLCY 581. 

The M.P.P. requires 48 credits:

  • (8) core M.P.P. courses (26 credits, inclusive of a capstone experience)
  • (3) Track courses
    • Track A—Policy Design and Innovation (9 credits)
    • Track B—Policy Design and Impact (9 credits)
  • (1) communication (strategic or visual) course (3 credits)
  • (1) management/consulting course (3 credits)
  • (2) elective/field courses (6 credits)
  • (1) M.P.P. professional development/internship seminar (1-2 credits)
  • (1) Maymester M.P.P. Seminar (3 credits) 

The accelerated dual bachelor’s-graduate degree requires an internship and a Maymester seminar. Students should complete the required internship during the summer (preferably) or fall and spring semester (if necessary). The internship allows students to gain experience and apply their knowledge to significant problems in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. M.P.P. students also apply analytical and professional skills in a final capstone policy project.

Doctor of Philosophy

UNC Public Policy offers the Ph.D. degree to students who aim to contribute new knowledge and address major domestic and global policy challenges. The Ph.D. in public policy combines core foundations in theory, empirical and normative analysis, and a policy field area. The core curriculum is designed to help each doctoral student develop and use appropriate theoretical and analytical approaches to address problems in policy areas such as education and labor markets; environment and human welfare; innovation and entrepreneurship/science and technology policy; social policy and inequality; health policy, bioethics, and human rights; international development policy; and global conflict and cooperation.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses

Once enrolled, each student completes a set of doctoral-level core courses in applications of interdisciplinary social science theory to public policy issues as well as research design, appropriate research methods (including econometrics), and a specialization in a particular subject area of public policy. Doctoral students are required to complete 47 hours of coursework, including 29 hours in core courses common to all students and 18 hours in a self-defined policy specialization field. Core courses include

PLCY 700Mathematical Preparation for Public Policy and Economics3
PLCY 716Politics and Public Policy Theory3
PLCY 717Institutional Analysis for Public Policy3
PLCY 780Normative Dimensions of Policy Analysis and Research: Theories, Methods, and Ethical Foundations3
PLCY 788Advanced Economic Analysis for Public Policy I3
PLCY 789Advanced Economic Analysis for Public Policy II3
PLCY 801Design of Policy-Oriented Research3
PLCY 810Public Policy Seminar (2 semesters)2
HPM 881Linear Regression Models3
PLCY 882Advanced Panel Data Methodology for Public Policy3
Total Hours29

Students who have successfully completed graduate courses elsewhere that approximate these required courses may petition to have up to nine such hours counted toward the Ph.D. in public policy. Courses proposed for transfer must be approved as part of the student's program within the department, and material from those courses may be included as part of the comprehensive doctoral examinations. Students normally spend two years in full-time course work, and somewhat longer if they enter the program without key prerequisite courses or a master's degree in a related field. A dissertation is required.

Policy Field

Each student designs an individual course of study for a policy field. The 18-credit-hour requirement gives students rigorous training in the theory, methods, and subject matter within a substantive policy field. The field area course of study must include both doctoral-level understanding of the subject matter of the policy area and at least three hours of research methods, in addition to the econometrics sequence (HPM 881 and PLCY 882) and research design course (PLCY 801) required for the core. Students take no less than nine credit hours of courses related to the theory and subject matter of their policy field; up to six hours of credits may be taken as independent studies. The remaining six hours of the required policy field credits are normally completed as PLCY 992 and PLCY 994 during master's and dissertation research. The student's additional research methods course should provide her or him with the ability to design and carry out dissertation research and to continue making scholarly contributions in his or her chosen field. Each student is assisted by an individualized program committee in identifying courses, independent readings, and other sources of information to acquire both the substantive knowledge and the quantitative and other analytical skills appropriate for the student's policy field.

Master's Requirements

The M.A. in public policy is available as an option for students who are opting to exit the Ph.D. program prior to completing all requirements for the PhD. In such cases, the student must meet departmental and Graduate School degree requirements for a master's degree, including 30 earned credit hours, two full semesters of residence credit, passing an exam requirement, and completing a thesis or (thesis substitute) project.

For students choosing to exit with the M.A., the 30 credit hours will be earned through core and elective courses, generally completed in the student's first two years in the program. Students must take and pass the written core exam and complete a thesis to earn the M.A. credential.

Students nearing completion of their core courses and intending to exit the program without completing the Ph.D. may petition the director of graduate studies to write an approved thesis substitute with an oral exam defense.

The oral defense will occur before at least three committee members and will cover appropriate core course material from the program in lieu of sitting for the written core exam. The thesis substitute format will be determined by agreement between the student and the faculty committee and may include a literature review or discussion/research paper.

Students who decide to exit the program by completing these latter M.A. requirements may not later choose to continue for the Ph.D. without taking and passing the core written exam.

Graduate Minor

Doctoral and master's students not enrolled in the Ph.D. program in public policy may elect to minor in public policy. Requirements for the minor include 15 hours of approved coursework in public policy for doctoral students, or nine credits for master's students, approved by the director of graduate studies in public policy and the student's major department. These credits may not be double-counted as courses required for the student's major degree.

Professors

Daniel P. Gitterman, American Politics and Public Policy, Social and Health Policy, Labor Market
Sudhanshu Handa, Human Resource Economics, Poverty, Program Evaluation, International Development Policy
Douglas L. Lauen, Education Policy, Organizational Theory, Stratification
Benjamin Mason Meier, Global Health Policy, Justice and Policy

Associate Professors

Fenaba Addo, Debt and Wealth Inequality with a Focus on Family and Relationships and Higher Education, and Union Formation and Economic Strain as a Social Determinant of Health and Well-Being
Steven Hemelt, Economics of Education, Education Policy, Labor Economics, Policy Design and Evaluation
Rebecca Kreitzer, American Politics and Public Policy, Public Opinion, State Institutions, Women and Politics, Interest Groups
Douglas Mackay, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics and Public Policy, Bioethics, Philosophy of Law, Environmental Ethics
Jeremy Moulton, Public Economics 
Brigitte Seim, Comparative Politics, Development Policy, Political Methodology
Mehdi Shadmehr, Political Economy, Populism, Revolution and Repression, Censorship, Authoritarin Regimes
Patricia Sullivan, International Relations, Comparative Politics, United States Security Policy

Assistant Professors

Malissa Alinor, Racial and Gender Bias, the Effects of Organizational Policies, and Emotion
Cassandra Davis, Enviromental Disruptions to Schooling Communities, Impact of Natural Disasters on Low-Income Communities of Color
Carmen Guttierez, Social Demography, Health Disparities, Inequalities Across Race, Ethnicity, and Citizenship
Joaquin Rubalcaba, Labor and Health Economics, Applied Microeconomics, Public Economics, Environmental Economics

Teaching Associate Professors

Anna Krome-Lukens, History and Public Policy
Jeff Summerlin-Long, Immigration, Law, Social and Economic Inequality

Teaching Assistant Professor

William Goldsmith, History and Public Policy
 

PLCY

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

PLCY 425.  Risks, Shocks, and the Safety Net.  3 Credits.  

Many risks and shocks can make individuals and families vulnerable to economic hardship. This course examines America's social policy regime through a wide-ranging investigation of the origins, development, and future of critical features of our social safety net. We pay particular attention to challenges emerging in the era of globalization.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: US.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 430.  Analysis of National Security Policy.  3 Credits.  

Course explores contemporary threats to national security, approaches to national security strategy, policy instruments, the role of military force, and the policy-making process.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, GL.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PWAD 430, POLI 430.  
PLCY 435.  Designing for Impact: Social Enterprise Lab.  3 Credits.  

Focuses on the entrepreneurial process to solve social or environmental issues. Using modern methods and tools, students engage in experiments to test hypotheses around problem definition, opportunity recognition and solutions. Experience gained in this course enable students to launch their own social enterprise or join social enterprises in progress.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, EE- Field Work.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 450.  Internal and Interpersonal Conflict Management.  3 Credits.  

This course aims to provide students with the tools necessary to most effectively engage in interpersonal conflicts. Students engage with diverse conflict management practitioners--from formally incarcerated individuals to public policy negotiation to international conflict mediators and role-play cross-cultural communication, inter-governmental negotiations, human rights, and workplace negotiations. Students will learn new negotiation and mediation skills, build upon existing ones, and learn to cope with stress, discomfort, and emotions when in conflict. Previously offered as PLCY/PWAD 330.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: COMMBEYOND.
Making Connections Gen Ed: CI.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PWAD 450.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 460.  Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy.  4 Credits.  

Application of statistical techniques, including regression analysis, in public policy program evaluation, research design, and data collection and management. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-QUANT, FC-LAB.
Making Connections Gen Ed: QI.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 475.  The Political Economy of Food.  3 Credits.  

This course examines the political and economic dimensions of the food we eat, how it is produced, who eats what, and related social and environmental issues, both domestic and international, affecting the production, pricing, trade, distribution, and consumption of food. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, GL.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ENEC 475.  
PLCY 480.  Environmental Decision Making.  3 Credits.  

Introduces factors shaping environmental decision making by individuals, businesses, governments, advocacy groups, and international institutions. Explores public policy incentives and action strategies for influencing them.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, NA.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ENEC 480.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 483.  Natural Disasters, Inequality, and Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Growing research shows that socially marginalized communities are disproportionally more at risk from environmental hazards and thus unable to recover fully. This course is designed to introduce students to natural disasters, their impact on marginalized populations, and the policies that help or hurt communities from recovering. We will also address topics of systemic racism, equity, and think critically about terms such as vulnerability and resiliency to determine their applicability in the 21st century.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-POWER.
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 485.  Poverty, Health, and Human Development in Low Income Countries.  3 Credits.  

This course provides an understanding of how poverty is defined, the consequences of poverty, and policies to reduce poverty. It explores the determinants of human development outcomes from an interdisciplinary perspective (with a heavy economics focus).

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS.  
Requisites: Prerequisite, ECON 101.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: AAAD 401.  
PLCY 490.  Special Topics in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Special topics in public policy for undergraduate and graduate students.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 9 total credits. 3 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 493H.  Internship in Public Policy and Global Affairs.  1-6 Credits.  

This course offers students an opportunity to reflect upon and enhance their internship experience. The external internship must be designed to allow the student to do policy-relevant research, policy analysis, program evaluation, and/or policy advocacy under the supervision of a mentor at a nonprofit, nongovernmental, or governmental organization (students will not receive credit for any partisan or campaign-based internship, regardless of their duties).

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 496.  Independent Study/Reading in Public Policy.  1-6 Credits.  

By special arrangement and permission of the instructor. Independent reading in public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit. 6 total credits. 2 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 505.  Data Science for Public Policy and Decision Making.  4 Credits.  

To introduce advanced undergraduates and graduate students to the three basic purposes of data science: to describe the social world, to make predictions for policy planning, and to establish causal relationships. The focus of the course will be on examples and applications rather than statistical and mathematical foundations, but will require hands-on computer programming and data analysis.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-QUANT.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, QR.  
Requisites: Prerequisite, PLCY 460, or equivalent.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 520.  Environment and Development.  3 Credits.  

Reviews environmental problems in developing countries. Analyzes proposed solutions, such as legal remedies, market instruments, corporate voluntary approaches, international agreements, and development policies. Discusses the link between trade and environment, environmental cases from the World Trade Organization, and sustainable development.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, GL.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ENEC 520.  
PLCY 527.  Applied Public Finance.  3 Credits.  

This course provides a foundation in public finance theory and applications. Students learn to analyze taxation policies and expenditures on income redistribution, programs for the poor (e.g., TANF), and social insurance programs (e.g., Social Security). Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
Requisites: Prerequisite, ECON 310 or 410, or PLCY 410 or 788.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 530.  Educational Problems and Policy Solutions.  3 Credits.  

Reviews current debates and policy solutions in education. Topics analyzed through three of the most commonly used evaluative criteria: equity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Topics: equality of educational opportunity, racial segregation, the black-white test score gap, school choice, and the use of incentives to promote increased performance. Lecture, case studies, discussion. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-KNOWING.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, US.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 540.  Racial Wealth Inequality and Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

This course critically examines the causes, consequences of racial wealth inequality and social policies to address these disparities. More specifically, we will examine the merits and limitation of various paradigms aimed at explaining these persistent disparities, explore how economic inequality is affected by race, systemic racism, and sociodemographic factors (education, gender, marriage) and identify evidence-based policy options and proposals for reducing wealth inequality.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, US.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 565.  Global Health Policy.  3 Credits.  

Coursework will focus on public policy approaches to global health, employing interdisciplinary methodologies to understand selected public health policies, programs, and interventions. For students who have a basic understanding of public health.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: GL.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: HPM 565.  
PLCY 570.  Health and Human Rights.  3 Credits.  

Course focuses on rights-based approaches to health, applying a human rights perspective to selected public health policies, programs, and interventions. Students will apply a formalistic human rights framework to critical public health issues, exploring human rights as both a safeguard against harm and a catalyst for health promotion.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: PH, GL.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: HPM 571.  
PLCY 575.  Innovation, Science, and Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Introduction to analysis of science policy. Course explores how events transformed science's role in American life and how science relates to industry and economic development. Topics include the mechanisms of allocating scientific resources, the commercialization of academic discoveries, regulating emerging technology, and achieving consensus on controversial scientific issues.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 581.  Research Design for Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Students will explore the scientific method as applied to policy research. They will formulate testable policy research questions, become familiar with methods for conducting policy research, and learn to think critically about causal inference. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-KNOWING, RESEARCH.
Requisites: Pre- or corequisite, PLCY 460.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 585.  American Environmental Policy.  3 Credits.  

Intensive introduction to environmental management and policy, including environmental and health risks; policy institutions, processes, and instruments; policy analysis; and major elements of American environmental policy. Lectures and case studies. Three lecture hours per week.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: HS, NA.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ENVR 585, ENEC 585, PLAN 585.  
PLCY 590.  Special Topics in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Special topics for undergraduate and graduate students.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 9 total credits. 3 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 596.  Independent Study/Reading in Public Policy.  1-6 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. Independent reading in public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit. 6 total credits. 2 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 686.  Policy Instruments for Environmental Management.  3 Credits.  

Design of public policy instruments as incentives for sustainable management of environmental resources and ecosystems, and comparison of the effects and effectiveness of alternative policies.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS.  
Requisites: Prerequisite, ECON 410 or PLAN 710.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ENEC 686, ENVR 686, PLAN 686.  
PLCY 690.  Special Topics in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Special topics for graduate or undergraduate students.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 9 total credits. 3 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 691H.  Honors in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. In preparing their honors theses, students will formulate a testable policy research question, design a study to answer this research question, and learn to think critically about causal inference.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: RESEARCH.
Making Connections Gen Ed: CI, EE- Mentored Research.  
Requisites: Prerequisites, PLCY 460 and 581.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 692H.  Honors in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. For senior public policy majors. Directed research for the honors thesis. Students may only receive credit for one semester of this course. An application for enrollment must be completed by the student and approved by the director of the public policy honors program.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: RESEARCH.
Making Connections Gen Ed: CI, EE- Mentored Research.  
Requisites: Prerequisite, PLCY 691H.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 696.  Independent Study/Reading in Public Policy.  1-6 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. Independent reading in public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 698.  Senior Capstone in Public Policy.  4 Credits.  

Pre- or corequisite, PLCY 581. Students apply knowledge and skills gained in the major to a real-world policy problem. In small teams, students produce actionable, client-centered, public policy analysis for a government agency or nonprofit organization. Students also develop skills in team work, leadership, communication, professional etiquette, and time management.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: HI-SERVICE, COMMBEYOND.
Making Connections Gen Ed: CI, EE- Mentored Research, NA.  
Requisites: Prerequisite, PLCY 460.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  

Graduate-level Courses

PLCY 700.  Mathematical Preparation for Public Policy and Economics.  3 Credits.  

An intensive preparation course in mathematical and statistical analysis for public policy and economics. Reviews and introduces topics in linear algebra, calculus, optimization and mathematical statistics, and prepares students for PLCY 788 and PLCY 789. Also serves as a prerequisite for HPM 881, which satisfies one methods requirement in the Ph.D. program.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 710.  The Discipline and Practice of Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

This course introduces students to the theoretical foundations and the analytical techniques to examine policy problems and design policy solutions. The course provides opportunities to put these foundations and techniques into practice by examining cases and by completing a set of memo writing assignments. It also conveys an appreciation for the ethical issues, values, and political context of government policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 715.  Data Science and Public Policy.  4 Credits.  

This course introduces data science coding, software, analysis, visualization and communication for public policy. It provides practical and applied skills for understanding the entire data analysis pipeline - from data mining to wrangling, visualization and statistical analysis. Implementation of statistical modeling and inference will be covered.

Rules & Requirements  
Requisites: Prerequisite, PLCY 460.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 716.  Politics and Public Policy Theory.  3 Credits.  

Students build a theoretical foundation about the politics of policymaking. We examine the governmental institutions and actors that make policy decisions, incentive structures, and influences that shape these decisions as well as the macro-environment within which policy demands arise and policy decisions are made.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 717.  Institutional Analysis for Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Course examines the role of institutions in the analysis of public policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Consider how institutions are used to address market failures, how formal and informal institutions form, persist, and change, and theoretical and empirical approaches for studying the role of institutions.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 720.  Economic Analysis and Public Policy.  4 Credits.  

This course explores the application of economic analysis in public policy, with an emphasis on public finance. The first part of the course develops the concepts, techniques, and framework of analysis, including externalities, public goods, and social welfare analysis. The second part applies the framework and techniques to public policy and public finance questions. Examples include social insurance, social security, health insurance, unemployment insurance, and taxation.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 745.  Mixed Methods and Program Evaluation.  3 Credits.  

Students will be introduced to the mixed-methods program evaluation design; learn how to collaborate with diverse partners and funders in developing and implementing a rigorous evaluation using mixed methods; study the fundamentals of designing exploratory, process, implementation, and impact evaluations; and learn how to select an evaluation design that best addresses the evaluation questions.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 748.  Design Thinking for the Public Good.  3 Credits.  

This course will train an interdisciplinary group of graduate students to apply the mindsets, methods, and process associated with design thinking (i.e. human-centered design) to solve real world problems. Design thinking is a creative problem solving process that prioritizes ethnographic market research, convergent and divergent thinking, as well as rapid prototyping. Students will collaborate with community members to design solutions (products, services, etc.) that are desirable, feasible, and viable.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: HBEH 748.  
PLCY 750.  Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Social Sciences and Policy Research.  3 Credits.  

This course presents an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods. It addresses the theoretical, ethical, and practical aspects of conducting research in local and global contexts. Students will learn how to collect and analyze empirical information from multiple sources such as interviews, focus groups, written records, and surveys. Students will develop the skills necessary to understand and critique the methods of evaluation in others' work.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: GLBL 750.  
PLCY 760.  Migration and Health.  3 Credits.  

With a focus on Latin American migration to the U.S., this course introduces students to the inter-relationships between migration and health. Students will gain an understanding of the theories of migration and the ways in which immigration and settlement policies influence the health and well-being of immigrant populations.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 780.  Normative Dimensions of Policy Analysis and Research: Theories, Methods, and Ethical Foundations.  3 Credits.  

Covers theories of distributive justice and how ethical arguments can be used as a basis for public policy decision-making.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 788.  Advanced Economic Analysis for Public Policy I.  3 Credits.  

This course introduces microeconomic theory using multivariate calculus and constrained optimization. Topics covered include consumer theory, producer theory, market equilibrium, taxes, and market power. Applied public policy examples are incorporated.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PLAN 788.  
PLCY 789.  Advanced Economic Analysis for Public Policy II.  3 Credits.  

This course provides further applications of economic theory to public policy including risk and uncertainty, information economics, general equilibrium and welfare policy, externalities, public goods and taxation, and game theory.

Rules & Requirements  
Requisites: Prerequisite, PLCY 788.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PLAN 789.  
PLCY 790.  Social Entrepreneurship.  3 Credits.  

This graduate-level course aims to offer a broad overview of the emerging field of social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship is about creating novel, scalable, and sustainable solutions for critical social problems, using tools and techniques commonly associated with business entrepreneurship. Students will explore concepts, theories, and applications associated with social entrepreneurship. The course will involve reading, discussions, presentations, teamwork, and written assignments.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 799.  Selected Topics in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  
Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit.   
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 801.  Design of Policy-Oriented Research.  3 Credits.  

Logic of designing research for the analysis of planning problems and the formulation of public policies. Elements of research design, case study, survey research, quasi-experimental designs, and the social experiment are covered.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PLAN 801.  
PLCY 802.  Advanced Seminar in Research Design: Data, Methods, and Evaluation.  3 Credits.  

Three main objectives: to deepen students' understanding of important issues and topics in the design of empirical research, to further develop students' ability to critically evaluate research designs and policy-related products, and to aid in developing a research paper, dissertation, or other product.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PLAN 802.  
PLCY 805.  Public Policy Workshop.  1-3 Credits.  

For graduate students in Public Policy Analysis who are undertaking team projects under faculty supervision. Projects vary from year to year. All will relate to public policy and will involve interaction with real clients. The intent is to provide students with an opportunity to apply theory and techniques of policy analysis in actual problem situations.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit.   
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 810.  Public Policy Seminar.  1 Credits.  

Weekly forum for public policy scholars and officials to discuss the relationships between policy research and policy outcomes. Presentations by invited speakers and doctoral students. .

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit.   
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 830.  Seminar in Education Policy I.  3 Credits.  

Covers economic and sociological theories on the determinants of learning and the demand for schooling. Topics include stratification, school effects, schooling process and socialization, family, peer and contextual effects, and the education production function.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 831.  Seminar in Education Policy II.  3 Credits.  

Explores educational policy problems and the evidence and methods used to assess such problems. Topics include racial social gap, school choice, educational accountability, assessment, standard setting, teacher effects, resource allocation, and early childhood education.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 882.  Advanced Panel Data Methodology for Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Students will apply models and statistical techniques to original PLCY research; understand major techniques used to estimate causal relationships in quasi-experimental designs, including panel data and simultaneous equations models; and gain intuition and skills about the art of econometrics, including techniques for using complex survey data and handling missing data.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 885.  Topics in Advanced Quantitative Methods for Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

This course introduces PhD students to selected topics in advanced quantitative analysis. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the interests of the instructor. Topics include limited dependent variables and issues of truncation and censoring, survival and event study methods, estimation of time-series panel data models with low T and large N, and machine learning approaches for prediction problems in public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Requisites: Prerequisite, PLCY 882.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 895.  Topics in Poverty and Human Resources.  3 Credits.  

Topics covered include poverty, welfare, and human resources from an economic perspective. For students wanting to specialize in social and behavioral approaches to the study of population and demographic phenomena.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 901.  Independent Study.  1-15 Credits.  

This course allows graduate students in public policy analysis to receive credit for work on individual projects, designed in conjunction with a faculty supervisor. It is intended for students who are interested in pursuing academic topics not covered in scheduled courses.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit.   
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 992.  Master's (Non-Thesis).  3 Credits.  
Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit.   
PLCY 994.  Doctoral Research and Dissertation.  3 Credits.  
Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit.   

Department of Public Policy

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Chair

Daniel P. Gitterman