Graduate Program in Public Policy Courses


Course Descriptions

This list includes the public policy (833) courses offered at the Bloustein School as of September 1, 2014. Courses are taught by various instructors and some may not be offered every semester. Check the Electronic Course Grid or faculty pages for specific syllabi.

34:833:510 Public Policy Formation (3)
Formulation and implementation of public policy, with emphasis on federal policymaking, models for policy choice, and intergovernmental policy problems. Analysis of the formulation and implementation of a governmental program.

34:833:513 Health Disparities (3)

The overarching goal of this class is to provide a broad overview of health disparities in the United States, with a focus on the "trifecta" of inequality--race/ethnicity, socioeconomic position, and gender.
Cross-listed with 34:832:513 and 10:832:413.

34:833:520 Legislative Policymaking (3)

Exploration of legislatures as political institutions responsible for policymaking in the American states. Consideration of the role of legislators, lobbyists, governors, and the media.

34:833:521 Mass Media, Public Opinion, and Public Policy (3)
Role and impact of the mass media, the nature and expression of public opinion, and how these feed into the development and implementation of public policy in the American political system.

34:833:522 Public Policy Advocacy (3)
Role and process of organized advocacy by private interests in the formation and implementation of public policy. Strategies and methods used to influence the policy process.

34:833:524 Ethics in Public Policy (3)

Taking as it's basic premise that "every activity, artistic or scientific...has for its object the attainment of some good," this course examines the activities we identify with planning and public policy to determine what good they might be expected to achieve in the public's interest.  
Cross-listed with 34:970:524.

34:833:525 Decision Making for Public Policy (3)   
Changes in policymaking over the last several decades. Examples include the environment, welfare reform, law enforcement, and health care. The budget as a policymaking "engine" at both the federal and state levels.

34:833:530 Methods I: Research Design (3)

Scientific method of study; the processes of conceptualization and measurement; "experimental design," or how social programs are structured so they may be effectively studied; and survey research and qualitative methods including focus groups, interviews, and case studies.

34:833:540 State and Local Public Finance (3)

Theory and practice of state-local public finance; link between regional economy and subnational governments; fiscal federalism; major state-local spending programs; revenues, including property, sales, and income taxes and gambling; intergovernmental grants.

34:833:543 Economics and Public Policy (3)

Basic microeconomic analysis with applications to current policy issues. Models of consumer and firm behavior applied to issues such as assistance programs for low-income individuals, tax incentives for firms and workers, and environmental regulation. Public goods, externalities, and the role of government in economic markets.

34:833:550 Education Policy and Policymaking (3)

Development, implementation, and effects of federal and state education policy; key policy issues as cases for the exploration of political, policy design, and implementation issues.

34:833:555 Labor Market Policy (3)

Examination of labor markets and policies. Topics include wage inequality, discrimination, unions, and employment and training programs.

34:833:560 Law and Public Policy (3)
This course will critically examine the role of courts, primarily the United States Supreme Court, in the public policy process. While courts must wait for litigation to be brought in order become engaged in the process, once engaged, the Court has often taken a dynamic role in both formulating public policy and overseeing its implementation.

34:833:565 Politics and Regulation (3)
Studies the role that executives, legislators, bureaucrats, courts, and others play in policies for regulating the environment, privacy, worker safety, and other areas.

34:833:570 Nonprofit Management (3)
Applies management concepts to nonprofit organizations, emphasizing the challenges faced by managers under resource scarcity and uncertain boundaries among public, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors.
Credit not given for this course and 34:970:672.

34:833:571 Public Management (3)

Fundamental tasks and responsibilities of management in the public sector, with an emphasis on the external and internal environments in which managers implement public policy.

34:833:572 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (3)

Nonadversarial concepts and techniques of conflict resolution-negotiation, mediation, consensus-building dialogues considered in public contexts, from courts, prisons, and schools to other institutional and noninstitutional settings. Issues include controversial subjects such as siting resource recovery plants, implementing economic redevelopment plans, enacting environmental protection measures, and devising grievance mechanisms.

34:833:580 Health Care Policy (3)

Current issues in U.S. health care policy with in-depth case examples from New Jersey policy. Provides an overview of the financing, regulation, and delivery of health care in the United States, with discussion of current policy topics including health insurance coverage, quality of care, and racial/ethnic disparities in care.

34:833:585 American Social Policy (3)

Focuses on the development of social welfare politics in the United States. Places the American case within the larger international and historical context, explores the major dilemmas in contemporary social policymaking including agenda setting, institutional choice, and implementation design. Examines dilemmas in greater depth by analyzing specific policy issues, such as child support enforcement, nutrition programs, and medical care.

34:833:591 Gender, the Family, and Public Policy (3)

Gender is one of the most important ways through which American life, both private and public, is defined. This course will primarily explore the historical evolution of women's role in both the family and the labor market, following a life course approach.

34:833:595 Economics of Poverty (3)

Use of economic tools and analysis to examine the causes and consequences of poverty, how poverty is defined, and the impact/effectiveness of government policy.

34:833:610 Macroeconomics for Public Policy (3)
How the macro economy operates, and how public policies affect it and are affected by it. The theory and the measurement of the macro economy in the United States and the world.

34:833:611 Community Economic Development (3)
This course is designed to familiarize master's and doctoral students with community economic development (CED). The course will review how the CED field evolved as one response to poverty and inequality and will examine the field's present-day composition.
Credit not given for this course and 34:970:672.

34:833:612 Nonprofit and Community Development Finance (3)
The course is designed to provide the student with enough information about financial statements, the time value of money, annuities, business organizations, investment classes, real estate, and real-world topics such that the student can read Fortune and have an idea of what is being discussed and that he or she has a grasp of the fundamentals of finance.

34:833:616 Mental Health Policy (3)

The overarching goal of this course is to provide a broad overview of mental health policy in the United States with a historical perspective. It is designed both for students who have a general interest in the field of mental health and those with an interest in public policy issues that are likely to be faced by the mentally ill.

34:833:619 Environmental Economics and Policy (3)
Scarcity and choice are basic economic conditions that are inevitably present when determining environmental goals and implementing environmental policies. The role of economics in environmental issues and, especially, in the formation of environmental policy including environmental problems in air, water, land use, and natural environments.
Credit not given for this course and 34:970:619.

34:833:624 Planning, Public Policy, and Social Theory (3)
This seminar works backward to deconstruct some of the theoretical building-blocks underlying the idea and practice of planning and policy formation. How does theory affect our understanding of reality and our vision of what reality ought to be? Is there a universally recognizable reality or does reality depend on our individually unique vantage points?
Credit not given for this course and 34:970:625.

34:833:625 Theoretical Perspectives (3)

This course examines the intersection of planning and public policy through the theories and practices of the two fields. Focus on the policy-analytic roles played by the actors particularly as they relate knowledge to action.
Credit not given for this course and 34:970:625.

34:833:626 Advanced Scholarly Research (3)
The seminar will encompass both the general and specific dimensions of proposal writing through collaborative reading, discussion, and critique.
Credit not given for this course and 16:762:626 or 34:970:626.

34:833:628 Advanced Qualitative Methods (3)
Students apply techniques of qualitative research, including interviewing, ethnography, and phenomenology to help them gain an understanding of which techniques are appropriate for what specific research needs.

34:833:630 Methods II: Data Analysis (3)
Mastery of statistical techniques employed to analyze public policy programs and problems, including univariate and bivariate analysis, simple and general linear regression modeling, use of intercept-dummy variables and interaction variables, linear probability model and the probit model of discrete choice, and simultaneous equation models.

34:833:632 Cost-Benefit Analysis (3)

Introduction to and issues in using cost-benefit analysis. Identify costs and benefits, and understand discounting, dealing with uncertainty, and valuing health and human life. 

34:833:635 Survey Research (3)
How to conduct, analyze, and evaluate surveys. Topics covered include problem formation, sample design and selection, questionnaire wording and layout, modes of survey administration, field procedures, data reduction, and data analysis.

34:833:640, 641 Policy Research Practicum I, II (3,3)
Participate in a directed research project that applies analytical techniques of policy analysis and evaluation or survey research to public policy problems.

34:833:670 Independent Study in Public Policy (3)

34:833:671 Internship in Public Policy (3)

34:833:673 Applied Field Experience (BA)
Students complete 275 hours in a public policy setting and synthesize their experience under the regular supervision of the faculty member. Students may not exceed 12 credits in any semester. Required for students enrolled in the M.P.P. degree program.

34:833:679 Advanced Quantitative Methods (3)
The purpose of the course is to understand a variety of advanced econometric theories and apply them to estimate the impact of policies and laws. The course's capstone experience will be the completion of a '"peer review"-style research paper on a question of interest to the student.

34:833:680 Energy, Sustainability, and Policy (3)
Examine energy policy and planning through a timely, critical, and practical approach. Students gain insight into the factors that shape energy policy.
Credit not given for this course and 34:970:620.

34:833:681 Managing People and Organizations (3)
Introduction to organizational theory and concepts of management. Explore approaches that promote and hinder effective management in public and nonprofit organizations.

34:833:684-687 Seminars in Public Policy (3 each)

Selected problems in American public policy. Topics include globalization; special topics in education, law, and public policy; and science and technology policy.


updated September 1, 2014