PubPol 201

PubPol 201.001 Systematic Thinking

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Winter 2024
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This course provides an introduction to public policy design and analysis using "systematic thinking" from the social sciences and humanities, with the application of scientific methods and knowledge more generally. Systematic thinking about how social problems are defined/understood and how policy both creates and can address societal problems is essential to the design and evaluation of public policies.

This 4-credit course consists of three hours of lecture and one section meeting each week. The course will cover policy definitions/frameworks, the policymaking process, and how to evaluate and justify public policy through the lenses of science, ethics and social equity. In addition, the course will include a number of short modules, this year focusing on key policy issues that are being discussed in the context of an election year, such as public policies regarding the environment/climate change, public health and health care, education, social welfare, immigration, international trade, and science/technology. A number of guest faculty experts will assist with the short modules.

There are no pre-reqs for this course. PubPol 201 provides an introduction to the field of public policy.  Course requirements include two exams, 3 short papers and active class participation (including debates). Students who like 201 might want to look into the Ford School's major and minor in public policy.