Department of Public Policy

Introduction

UNC Public Policy is an interdisciplinary social science major designed to provide students with the theoretical perspective, analytical skill, and substantive knowledge needed to respond to domestic and global policy challenges. Our mission is to empower students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to improve the lives of others.

Our faculty have expertise in a wide range of global and domestic policy including 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.

The undergraduate curriculum emphasizes research and experiential learning and includes exposure to multiple disciplinary fields including policy analysis, economics, history, political science, applied philosophy, research design, and statistics.

Advising

All majors and minors have a primary academic advisor in the Academic Advising Program. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. UNC Public Policy’s director of undergraduate studies and student services officer meet with current and prospective students by appointment (see contact information above). For additional information on courses and undergraduate opportunities, see UNC Public Policy's website.

Graduate School and Career Opportunities

The undergraduate major in public policy provides students with conceptual and analytical skills that prepare them for the labor market and graduate school. The integration of a liberal arts education, writing and analytical abilities, and knowledge in a domestic or global policy field prepares students for many career paths. The public policy major can be a foundation for graduate work in a range of social science and professional disciplines, including law, business, education, social work, public health, public policy, public and international affairs, and city and regional planning. Alumni pursue careers in law, education, business, public policy, and global affairs, working in public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Public Policy offers a 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 bachelor's degree and 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's dual degree policies allow 12 credit hours of double counting/crossover of bachelor’s credits and master’s credits. Most of the double counting of credits will take place during the second semester of the senior year. 

Professors

Daniel P. Gitterman, Sudhanshu (Ashu) Handa, Douglas L. Lauen, Benjamin M. Meier.

Associate Professors

Fenaba R. Addo, Steven W. Hemelt, Rebecca Kreitzer, Douglas P. Mackay, Jeremy G. Moulton, Brigitte Seim, Mehdi Shadmehr, Patricia L. Sullivan.

Assistant Professors

Malissa Alinor, Jiayi Bao, Cassandra Davis, Carmen Guttierez, Angel Hsu, Abhisekh Ghosh Moulick, Joaquin Rubalcaba.

Research Professor

Iheoma Iruka. 

Research Associate Professors

Kevin Bastian, Sarah C. Fuller, Simona Goldin.

Research Assistant Professor

Danielle Allen.

Teaching Associate Professors

Anna Krome-Lukens, Jeff Summerlin-Long.

Teaching Assistant Professor

William Goldsmith.

Professors Emeriti

Richard N.L. Andrews, David D. Dill, Michael A. Stegman.

Professor of the Practice Emeritus

W. Hodding Carter III.

PLCY–Public Policy

Undergraduate-level Courses

IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 51.  First-Year Seminar: The Global Environment in the 21st Century.  3 Credits.  

This seminar explores linkages among nations, global environmental institutions, and the environmental problems they cause and seek to rectify. The course will examine how global environmental policy is made, with specific attention to the roles of institutions, nations, commercial and nonprofit entities.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR, FC-GLOBAL.
Making Connections Gen Ed: GL.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 54.  First-Year Seminar: U.S. Immigration.  3 Credits.  

This seminar provides students with an opportunity to discuss current topics in United States immigration. Students will explore theories of migration, acculturation and assimilation, and the ways in which policies influence the well-being of immigrants.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR, FC-GLOBAL or FC-POWER.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, US.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 55.  First-Year Seminar: Higher Education, the College Experience, and Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

This first-year seminar provides an introduction to contemporary policy issues in higher education. Students will discuss challenges to current models of higher education, including accessibility, academic freedom, safety and security, and athletics.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR, FC-KNOWING.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 60.  First-Year Seminar: Understanding Poverty.  3 Credits.  

Despite major improvements in living standards across the globe, nearly a fifth of the world's population still lives in extreme poverty. This course will examine the key determinants of human material well-being from an interdisciplinary perspective, discuss interventions and policies that can affect poverty including an assessment of market mechanisms, and interpret quantitative data to understand the causes and consequences of human development failures.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, BN.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 61.  First-Year Seminar: Policy Entrepreneurship and Public/Private/Non-Profit Partnerships.  3 Credits.  

This seminar will define a policy entrepreneur and examine strategies used by policy entrepreneurs to achieve policy change or innovation in the policy making process. We will also explore models of innovative public-private-non-profit partnerships in the delivery of public goods. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR.
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 63.  First-Year Seminar: Creating Social Value.  3 Credits.  

Where do social entrepreneurs come from? How do they develop their passion for changing the world? Where do they get their motivation? Can anyone become a social entrepreneur? This seminar will look at the history and theory of social change, review the skills, strategies, and ideas of effective change agents and give students the tools to create a blueprint for their ideas for social transformation.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, EE- Service Learning, EE- Field Work.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 68.  First Year Seminar: Health & Inequality.  3 Credits.  

This course introduces students to the study of health and inequality in the United States. The overarching themes of this course cover topics about population health, the US health care system, and US health and health care policies. In learning these aspects of health, the course also presents a comparative perspective of how health, health care, and health policies in the US differs from those in other countries around the world.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR.
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 71.  First-Year Seminar: Justice and Inequality.  3 Credits.  

This seminar investigates the value of equality, and asks which forms of inequality are unjust and ought to be addressed by governments. Topics include income inequality, political inequality, marriage inequality, racial inequality, and global inequality. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR, FC-POWER or FC-VALUES.
Making Connections Gen Ed: PH.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 75.  First-Year Seminar: Debates in Public Policy and Racial Inequality.  3 Credits.  

Is inequality a policy choice? Students in this course will examine and participate in debates around whether and which policies have the capacity to create, sustain, exacerbate, and/or ameliorate inequalities in the United States.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, CI.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 76.  First-Year Seminar: Global Health Policy.  3 Credits.  

This course provides students with a variety of opportunities to understand the epidemiologic trends in world health, the institutions of global health governance, and the effects of globalization on global and national health policy. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR, FC-POWER.
Making Connections Gen Ed: GL.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 80.  First-Year Seminar: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Growth.  3 Credits.  

This seminar provides an introduction to entrepreneurship and innovation and considers their relationship to economic growth. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR, FC-PAST.
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 81.  First Year Seminar: America's Labor Market.  3 Credits.  

The course will familiarize students with the major public policies and movements affecting the American labor market. Students will learn how each of the following impacts the labor market: education, the minimum wage, Social Security, pensions, unions, unemployment insurance, welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF), income taxes (including the Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC), self-employment, immigration, automation, and the gig economy.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR, FC-KNOWING.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 85.  First-Year Seminar: Reforming America's Schools.  3 Credits.  

Examines the role of schools and other institutions play in determining life chances, which educational interventions work well for economically and academically disadvantaged students, and what to do when institutions cease to work well. Students will learn how to analyze complex educational public policy problems. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR, FC-KNOWING.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, NA.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 89.  First-Year Seminar: Special Topics.  3 Credits.  

Special topics course. Content will vary each semester.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FY-SEMINAR.
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 101.  Making Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Overview of the policymaking process and of major public policy issues. Study of policy and political challenges in areas such as economic and tax policy, the social safety net, income support and the minimum wage, health care, education, environment and energy, foreign policy and national security, and homeland security. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-KNOWING.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, NA.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PWAD 101.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 110.  Global Policy Issues.  3 Credits.  

Global issues are challenges whose sources, impacts, and solutions extend beyond the borders of any one country. This course introduces students to some of the most pressing issues facing populations around the globe and to possible policy responses. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-GLOBAL or FC-KNOWING.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, GL.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PWAD 110, GLBL 110.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 130.  Getting It Done: Social Innovation.  1 Credits.  

Workshop open only to students who have received the APPLES Bryan Fellowship. Each fellowship team develops a project's underlying theory of change and the skills necessary for successful implementation. Students study the theories and implementation of one another's projects and external case studies.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: HI-SERVICE.
Making Connections Gen Ed: EE- Service Learning.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 190.  Selected Topics in Public Policy.  1-3 Credits.  

Selected topics in public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 195.  Research in Public Policy.  1-6 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. Undergraduate research in public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit. 6 total credits. 2 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 196.  Independent Study/Reading in Public Policy.  1-6 Credits.  

Supervised study for students interested in public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit. 6 total credits. 2 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 210.  Policy Innovation and Analysis.  3 Credits.  

There is a need to define innovative solutions to public policy problems, to provide analysis of different alternatives, and to create a plan that would benefit the largest number of stakeholders. This course focuses on the process of constructing, evaluating, and deciding among alternatives based on their ability to satisfy society's goals. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, CI.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 220.  The Politics of Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Examines approaches to American politics and public policy and analyzes why government responds to problems in predictable ways. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-POWER.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, NA.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PWAD 220.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 231.  Why History Matters to Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

This course explores the uses of history and historical perspectives for public policy. Students will learn how historical processes have shaped today's public policies and examine how the origins and development of a policy can inform current policy decisions.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-PAST.
Making Connections Gen Ed: HS.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: HIST 230.  
PLCY 290.  Special Topics in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Special topics in public policy for undergraduates.

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 291.  Undergraduate Learning Assistant Practicum.  1-3 Credits.  

This course is for students selected as Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs) for public policy courses. During the semester they serve as ULAs. This course will provide support and structure to make them effective in their role, including training in pedagogy and University policies; ongoing mentorship and supervision; opportunities to reflect; and assessment and evaluation. May not count toward the major or minor in public policy. Permission of the instructor.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit. 9 total credits. 9 total completions.  
Grading Status: Pass/Fail.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 293.  Internship in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. For public policy majors and minors. Offers students the opportunity to integrate and apply academic knowledge and skills by assuming active roles in nonprofit, nongovernmental, or government organizations. Under supervision of a mentor, students gain valuable knowledge that prepares them for the labor market after graduation.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: HI-INTERN.
Making Connections Gen Ed: EE- Academic Internship.  
Requisites: Prerequisite, at least one PLCY course.  
Grading Status: Pass/Fail.  
PLCY 296.  Independent Study/Reading in Public Policy.  1-6 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. Independent reading/study in public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit. 6 total credits. 2 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 305.  Communicating Under Pressure: Tools for Effective Communication.  3 Credits.  

Whether raising awareness of issues, building stakeholder coalitions, or advocating policy change, addressing public policy problems requires effective communication. Students will learn and practice cognitive, vocal, and physical skills to enhance communication under stressful conditions like high stakes meetings, negotiations and mediations, or public presentations. Emphasis on exercises that give "soft" skills harder edges so they can be developed and reliably utilized.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: CI.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 310.  Microeconomic Foundations of Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

This course allows students to enhance their working knowledge of microeconomic theory, explore microeconomic theory as a methodology to solve policy problems, understand market failures and the role of collective action in markets, apply economic models to a variety of policy situations, and evaluate and critique economic analyses. Previously offered as PLCY 410.

Rules & Requirements  
Requisites: Prerequisite, ECON 101.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 326.  Social Entrepreneurship.  3 Credits.  

Examines students' knowledge and understanding of social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach to addressing complex social needs. Affords students the opportunity to engage in a business planning exercise designed to assist them in establishing and launching a social purpose entrepreneurial venture. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ECON 326, PLAN 326.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 340.  Justice in Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

This seminar explores arguments about moral issues in public policy. Students examine both the means used to implement policies and policy ends through discussions of case studies of policy choice. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-VALUES.
Making Connections Gen Ed: PH.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 345.  Buying Influence: Interest Groups and Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Students will gain an understanding of the role interest groups play in American public policy and how that role has shifted over time. The course emphasizes the role of interest groups in four policy areas: civil rights, the environment, social policy, and campaign finance.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, NA.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: POLI 345.  
PLCY 349.  Immigration Policy in the 21st Century.  3 Credits.  

The objective of this course is to enhance students' understanding of the causes and consequences of United States immigration within a social, historical, political, and economic context.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, US.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 352H.  Honors Seminar on Public Policy and Global Affairs.  3 Credits.  

This is a graded seminar course that focuses on a study of domestic and international affairs within the United States policy-making process. This seminar is taught in Washington, DC. Students must apply for this program with UNC Study Abroad.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 353H.  The Role of Experts and Advocates in Solving Public Policy and Global Challenges.  3 Credits.  

This is a graded seminar course that focuses on the role of policy experts (and advocates) in addressing domestic and global challenges. This seminar is taught in Washington, DC. Students must apply for this program with UNC Study Abroad.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 354.  The Lived Experience of Inequality and Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

The course will explore the gap between public policy and the lived experiences of and reactions from constituents. Students will explore this gap by studying the development of twentieth-century public policy, examining the differing outcomes across groups, and the contemporary impact on housing, voting, education, and policing.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, US.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: AAAD 354.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 360.  State and Local Politics.  3 Credits.  

A range of public policy topics at the state and local level.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-POWER or FC-VALUES.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, NA.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 361.  Health Policy in the United States.  3 Credits.  

An analysis of the evolution of American health policy with special emphasis on current health care finance and delivery challenges.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, NA.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 362.  Ethics and Food Policy.  3 Credits.  

If you eat, you are impacted by federal, state, and local food policies. These policies are, in turn, shaped by values. This course examines the ethical perspectives that underpin different approaches to food policy, including food labeling, nutrition assistance, agricultural subsidies, and responses to food deserts.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-VALUES.
Making Connections Gen Ed: PH.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 364.  Ethics and Economics.  3 Credits.  

Recommended preparation, at least one course in ethics (PHIL 160, 163, or 170) or one course in economics. Issues at the intersection of ethics and economics, including value; the relation between values and preferences; rationality; the relevance to economics of rights, justice, and the value of human life.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-VALUES.
Making Connections Gen Ed: PH.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: PHIL 364.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 365.  Sexuality, Gender, and Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Public policies affect men and women differently, and they participate differently in the policy-making process. This course examines several key areas of public policy, some expressly related to gender or sexuality and others that have significantly gendered impacts, organized around four themes: family, labor, body, and the world.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-POWER.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS, US.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: WGST 365.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 371.  Energy Policy.  3 Credits.  

This course will provide an overview of some of the most challenging energy issues of the 21st century and will cover the tools and perspectives necessary to analyze those problems.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-GLOBAL.
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ENEC 371.  
PLCY 372.  Global Environment: Policy Analysis and Solutions.  3 Credits.  

Explores linkages among nations, global environmental institutions, and the environmental problems they cause and seek to rectify. Introduces pressing challenges of the global environment such as China and India's energy and climate policies, the environmental impacts of coal, nuclear energy, shale gas and fracking, and marine pollution. Discusses perspectives of nations, the role of financial markets and NGOs, and the international community involved in crafting policy solutions.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ENEC 372.  
PLCY 373.  Confronting Climate Change in the Anthropocene.  3 Credits.  

Climate change-perhaps the defining issue of the 21st century-is a highly complex problem that requires interdisciplinary collaboration to develop policy responses. This course explores the science of climate change and uses theories from multiple disciplines, including law, political science, economics, and earth and atmospheric sciences, to frame solutions to this global challenge. Students will apply quantitative and qualitative tools to understand causes and impacts of climate change, as well as policy responses.

Rules & Requirements  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
Same as: ENEC 373.  
PLCY 375.  Law and Public Policy.  3 Credits.  

Law is one of the main technologies of action of individuals and of the American state. This seminar offers useful ways of thinking about the relationship between law and public policy.

Rules & Requirements  
Making Connections Gen Ed: SS.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 390.  Special Topics in Public Policy.  1-3 Credits.  

Special topics in public policy for undergraduate students.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 6 total credits. 6 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 393.  Public Policy Clinic.  3 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. The clinic offers students the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge by collaborating with local nonprofits and governmental agencies. Under faculty guidance, students identify, explore, and recommend solutions for real-world public policy problems while developing skills in team building and professional leadership.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: HI-SERVICE.
Making Connections Gen Ed: EE- Service Learning.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
IDEAs in Action General Education logoPLCY 394.  The Intersector.  3 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. This course aims to empower undergraduates to explore ways that local public, private, and non-profit sectors collaborate to address problems that cannot be solved by one sector alone. Students will utilize the Intersector toolkit to gain an understanding of how to diagnose, design, implement, and assess successful cross sector collaborations.

Rules & Requirements  
IDEAs in Action General Education logo IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: HI-SERVICE.
Making Connections Gen Ed: EE- Service Learning.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 395.  Research in Public Policy.  1-6 Credits.  

Permission of the instructor. Research in public policy for undergraduates. Honors version available.

Rules & Requirements  
Repeat Rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 6 total credits. 2 total completions.  
Grading Status: Letter grade.  
PLCY 396.  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.  

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.  

Department of Public Policy

Visit Program Website

114 Abernethy Hall, CB# 3435

(919) 962-1600

Chair

Daniel Gitterman

danielg@email.unc.edu

Student Services Officer

Meredith Albright

merealb@unc.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Doug Mackay

dmackay@email.unc.edu