In The Classroom

Whatever degree you pursue, your work begins with a set of core courses that will radically transform the way you think. You’ll gain the tools to critically examine data, cut through biases and untested assumptions, analyze complex problems, and follow the evidence wherever it leads. The core curriculum draws on a variety of disciplines and fields, including economics, statistics, econometrics, political economics, organizational theory, and microeconomics. You’ll learn the methods and theories of all these disciplines, and be able to use each one as an analytical lens to dissect problems.

Core Courses

Provide students technical skills and conceptual understanding—in political economy, statistics, politics, organizational theory, and microeconomics.

Decisions and Organizations
Political Economy for Public Policy
Political Institutions and the Policy Process
Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I & II
Statistical Methods for Public Policy I & II
Mathematical Statistics and Public Policy I & II*
*Alternate core course


Areas of Focus

Whether you have yet to choose your career path or you’re looking for a way to take your skills to the next level, you can always benefit from digging into a specific area of interest. You’ll study its foundational research, learn the current topics of discussion and debate, and gain an in-depth knowledge of the tools most useful in the field. You can focus on any of more than 20 specialties in five major policy domains.

Institutions and the Policymaking Process encompasses motivation, goals, and functioning at all levels of government and other large institutions.

Federal, State, and Local Politics
Management and Organizations
Policymaking Process

International Policy offers tools that are applicable to issues within nations, among nations, and between nations and organizations.


Public Sector Policy addresses shared resources and how they’re used for the common good.

Cultural Economics
Environmental Policy
Public Expenditures
Science Policy

Social Policy deals with complex problems that confront individuals every day and the policies that help or hinder people as they try to make the most of their lives.

Child and Family Policy
Education Policy
Health Policy
Labor Markets
Poverty and Inequality

Tools of Policy Analysis provides in-depth theory and technical expertise that can be applied to a broad range of subject areas.

Economic Theory
Political Theory
Program Evaluation
Security, Conflict, and Conflict Resolution
Trade Policy