Fall 2021 Courses — Public Policy Program 

Core Courses

PUPOL 100: Introduction to Public Policy

PUPOL 100 is an interdisciplinary course designed to introduce students to basic concepts in policy studies. The course will introduce students to the study of public policy at a time when acute, critical, analysis of governance, policy processes, and the meaning of ‘the public’ are more urgent and necessary than ever. The class will bring our experiences of global pandemic and overlapping crises of capitalism, environment, and human rights into the classroom using an interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to public policy as a subject inextricably intertwined with power relations, political beliefs and values, long established institutions, structural inequalities, and the agency of individuals and groups. Students will have an opportunity to focus on a policy area of their choice as they make ‘real-life’ contributions to the policy process by writing an op-ed, conducting a policy analysis, and finally presenting a policy brief to the class. The class is designed to be accessible to all students and requires no previous study of American politics or government.

Monday/Thursday, 9:45-11:00am (In Person – Roosevelt House Room 304), with Sanford Schram, Professor, Department of Political Science

PUPOL 400: Public Policy Capstone Seminar

Roosevelt House’s Public Policy Capstone course serves as the culminating educational experience for students pursuing the 18-credit Public Policy Minor and/or 27-credit certificate. During this semester-long seminar, each student develops a substantive project that integrates the practical skills and topical knowledge learned in the Public Policy Program. The Capstone presents students the opportunity to go in-depth with real-world policy questions and ideas, with the aim of discovering, developing, and refining individual policy interests and goals.

Wednesday, 10:10-1:00pm (In Person – Roosevelt House Room 304) 

Public Policy Electives

GEOG 383.25: Energy Policy

Energy use is required for the organization, maintenance and development of societies.  At the same time, our use of fossil fuel energy sources has led to a series of challenges, including air pollution, resource depletion and climate change.  This course is designed for undergraduate and graduate students seeking an introduction to the challenges associated with energy use and potential policies for a low-carbon, clean and lasting energy future.  We focus on the connections between energy use, climate change and air pollution.  After identifying and describing energy trends, climate dynamics and general US policies, students are presented with specific sectoral policies from around the world, whose main goal is to create low carbon energy systems, but have co-benefits to other policies areas, including air quality. The class is run twice a week in lecture fashion, but requires significant student participation.

Monday/Thursday, 11:10am-12:25pm (Hybrid) with Peter Marcotullio, Professor, Department of Geography


SOC 325.1P: Criminal Justice and Public Policy

The U.S. has over 2 million people incarcerated, making it the largest prison system in the world. Therefore, this course will survey policies, specifically surrounding punishment in several ways. First, this course will delve into historical practices of punishment and the (un)intended purposes of prisons. Second, how laws create (in)equality in understanding race, gender, and class. Third, understand policies that impact specific marginalized populations (e.g. juveniles, disabilities, etc.) within the criminal justice system. Fourth, discuss policies that impact immigration and criminal justice, specifically deportation. Fifth, understand the role prisoner reentry plays for individuals exiting the criminal justice system. Sixth, examine research that focuses on the interconnections of policy of human and non-human animals in captivity. Finally, theorize a reimagined criminal justice system through prison abolition. Drawing on scholarship in these respected areas will provide students with a broad knowledge of policy to develop and articulate major issues in contemporary society.

Monday, 1:10-4:00pm (In-Person – Roosevelt House Room 204) with Calvin Smiley, Professor, Department of Sociology


ASIAN 33012/POLSC 31733 – Asian American Communities & Public Policy

This course provides a perspective of the Asian American movement through a historical and comparative lens.   Our inquiry will be situated in the interplay among colonialism, slavery, trade & western liberalism.  We will examine the Asian American movement at its most critical locations: the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City.  We will follow that thread to the present day, asking ourselves:  What was the legacy of the movement in each respective city ? How has the post 1965 Asian immigration affected the movement? What are the new issues and sites for Asian Americans & Public Policy today?   Through case studies and guest speakers, we will examine how the Asian American community has advocated for specific policy choices. Policy areas will include but not be limited to: education, public health, employment discrimination and coalition building.

Friday, 5:30-8:00pm (Online) with Chris Kwok