The Specialization requirement consists of three upper-division courses within a subfield or policy domain. These courses must be policy-relevant and fit comfortably within the specified Specialization.

Public Policy majors enrolled in the BA Thesis Seminar are strongly encouraged to link their Specialization with their BA thesis, though such a link is not formally required.

On this page:

Specialization Requirements

Note: Specialization courses cannot "double count" with other PBPL major requirements (e.g., Core classes, Windows, Methods). 

Recommended Specializations 

The courses under each of these Specializations have been pre-approved. Students can consider appropriate courses not listed below. As not all courses are offered every academic year or every quarter, careful planning is highly recommended. You can refer to the list of courses we share at the beginning of each quarter and to my.uchicago class search for current offerings.

Urban Policy
  • PBPL 28925 Health Impacts of Transportation Policies
  • CHDV 20305 Inequality in Urban Spaces
  • ENST 21220 Cities Through Space and Time
  • ENST 23550/PBPL 23500 Urban Ecology and the Nature of Cities 
  • ENST 24600/PBPL 24605 Introduction to Urban Sciences 
  • ENST 24756/PBPL 24756 Exploring the Resilient City 
  • ENST 27155/PBPL 27156 Urban Design with Nature 
  • SOCI 20120 Urban Policy Analysis
  • SSAD 21100 How Things Get Done in Cities and Why
Criminal Justice
  • PBPL 25860 Crime, Justice, and Inequality in the American City
  • SSAD 25004/PBPL 25004 Punishment and Social Theory
  • ECON 28700 The Economics of Crime
  • LLSO 25902 Contemporary African American Politics 
  • SOCI 28081 The Social Life of the Law 
  • SOCI 20269 Policing the City 
Energy and Environment
  • PBPL 24701 US Environmental Policy
  • PBPL 28728 Climate Change and Society: Human Impacts, Adaptation, and Policy Solutions
  • PBPL 24776 International Environmental Policy
  • PBPL 28525 Missing Markets: The Economics of the Environment
  • ENST 21800 Economics and Environmental Policy
  • ENST 23100 Environmental Law
  • ENSC 21100 Energy: Science, Technology, and Human Usage 
  • PBPL 29000 Energy and Energy Policy 
  • PBPL 29200 Global Energy & Climate Challenge: Economics, Science & Policy
  • ENST 24400 Is Development Sustainable? 
  • PBPL 24102 Environmental Politics 
  • PBPL 21501 Environmental Justice. 
  • ENST 21310 Water: Economics, Policy, and Society  
Health Policy
  • PBPL 28925 Health Impacts of Transportation Policies
  • PBPL 26690 The Politics of Health Care
  • PBPL 28335 Health Care Markets and Regulation
  • CCTS 43000 Introduction to Global Health
  • PBHS 31900 Global Health Metrics
  • LLSO 29507 The Politics of Healthcare Policy in the United States, 1900 - 2020
  • PBPL 21425 Health in a Changing America: Social Context and Human Rights 
  • PBPL 28300 Health Economics and Public Policy 
  • ECON 27720 Economics and Regulation of Health Care Markets: Theory and Empirics 
  • ENST 27400 Epidemiology and Population Health 
  • HMRT 21400 Health and Human Rights 
  • HMRT 25213 Cognitive Disability and Human Rights 
Economic and Social Policy
  • PBPL 28681 Applied Investments for Public Policy
  • PBPL 28805 Behavioral Economics and Policy
  • PBPL 28683 Introduction to Corporate Finance
  • PBPL 23420 Introduction to Intergenerational Mobility
  • PBPL 25695 Workplace and Family Policy
  • PBPL 28528 Household Finance: Theory and Applications
  • PBPL 28685 Fiscal and Monetary Policy in the 21st Century
  • PBPL 28791 Behavioral Science and Public Policy
  • PBPL 29404 Inequality, Household Finance, and Tax Policy
  • PBPL 28425 Strategic Behavior and Regulation of Firms
  • PBPL 28420 Industrial Organization and Regulation 
  • PBPL 28957 The Social Psychology of Behavior in Organizations 
  • PLSC 23501 International Political Economy 
  • ECON 23950 Economic Policy Analysis 
  • ECON 24450 Inequality and the Social Safety Net: Theory, Empirics, and Policies 
  • ECON 26010 Public Finance 
  • ECON 26700 Economics of Education 
  • ECON 26920 Behavioral Economics and Policy 
  • ECON 28700 The Economics of Crime 
  • ECON 24720 Inequality: Origins, Dimensions, and Policy 
The Policy Making Process
  • PBPL 27818 Philosophical Foundations of Public Policy
  • PBPL 28498 Women, Development and Politics
  • PBPL 28501 Process and Policy in State and City Government
  • PBPL 28488 Politics and Public Policy in Latin America
  • PBPL 28760 The Art of Political Persuasion
  • SOCI 20106 Political Sociology
  • PLSC 25215 The American Presidency
  • PBPL 28871 Constitutional Law 
  • PBPL 28891 The Supreme Court and Public Policy 
  • PBPL 29050 Youth Law and Policy: Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice in the U.S. 
  • PBPL 29120 Poverty Law & Policy Reform 
  • HMRT 28000 Women, Children, Gender, and Human Rights 
  • LLSO 22403 Free Speech and the First Amendment 
  • LLSO 24102 Environmental Politics 
  • LLSO 29122 Comparative Law and the Welfare State 
  • PLSC 22515 The Political Nature of the American Judicial System  
  • PLSC 27600 War and the Nation State 
  • PLSC 29200 Civil Rights/Civil Liberties 
International Development
  • PBPL 28498 Women, Development and Politics
  • PBPL 24901 Trade, Development and Poverty in Mexico
  • PBPL 25550 Economic Development and Policy
  • PBPL 28776 Political Development and Policy
  • PBPL 20810 Political Economy of Natural Resources
  • PBPL 24776. International Environmental Policy
  • PBPL 28488. Politics and Public Policy in Latin America
  • ECON 23410. Economic Growth
  • PLSC 21801. Global Governance
  • GLST 21310. Water: Economics, Policy and Society
  • PBPL 28728 Climate Change and Society: Human Impacts, Adaptation, and Policy Solutions
  • PBPL 27000. International Economics
  • PBPL 29294 Introduction to Global Health
  • PBPL 29070. Nuclear Policy 
  • PBPL 28750 Conflict: Root Causes, Consequences, and Solutions for the Future
  • INRE 36002 Security, Counter Terrorism and Resilience, The Israeli Case
  • ANTH 21353 Anthropology of Revolution: Orientalism, Islam, and the Middle East in Global Perspective
  • PLSC 29000 Intro To International Relations
Education Policy
  • PBPL 25120 Child Development and Public Policy
  • PBPL 23420 Introduction to Intergenerational Mobility
  • PBPL 28029 Education Policy
  • ECON 26700 Economics of Education
  • EDSO 27919 Research in School Improvement
  • EDSO 21000 Race & American Public Schools
  • EDSO 22006 Schooling and Social Inequality

How to Declare Your Specialization

Complete the Specialization and Practicum declaration form to declare your specialization.

Once approved, your information will be sent to your college advisor for posting to your degree audit. If you decide to change any specialization/practicum course after approval, please resubmit the form with the updated information so we can inform your college advisor of any changes to your plan.

For questions about the selection of specialization courses, contact the Public Policy program administrator by email or sign up for office hours.

Study Abroad & Specializations

Students who participate in the Winter quarter Paris Program or Spring quarter Barcelona Program can complete a specialization in Comparative Political Economy using courses offered in study abroad programs.

Explore UChicago's study abroad programs.

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