Curriculum and Courses

Introduction to Public Policy — PUPOL 100

An interdisciplinary course designed to introduce students to basic concepts in policy studies. It is taught by faculty from different disciplines. It will acquaint students with public policy as a field of study, the basic elements of the policy-making process, and a variety of approaches for applying distinct modes of analysis (eg., political, economic, demographic, statistical, qualitative, normative). In addition to a textbook and select articles that have defined the field, the course uses practical case studies devoted to a range of policy problems. This course is open only to students who declare the public policy minor.


One Course in Political Analysis

Options include but are not limited to:

  • Historical Introduction to American Government and Politics — POLSC 110
    Historical perspective, with emphasis on the Constitution and its enduring influence, development of party systems and citizen participation and evolving role of Congress, presidency and courts
  • Introduction to American Government — POLSC 111
    President, Congress, Supreme Court, Constitution, politics, parties, pressure groups

One Course in Economic Analysis

Options include but are not limited to:

  • Principles of Economics: Microeconomics — ECO 200
    Price theory and resource allocation; market structures; income distribution

One Course in Quantitative Analysis

Options include but are not limited to:

  • Economic Statistics — ECO 221
    Statistical theory applied to business and economic problems; correlation, regression, time series analysis
  • Research Design in Political Science — POLSC 206
    Public opinion surveys, content analysis, legislative roll-call analysis, census data, election returns; Introduction to statistics; Uses Social Science Data Lab
  • Introduction to Research Methods — SOC 240
    Discussion of various research techniques and strategies including the survey method, field research, experiments, and content analysis; firsthand involvement in the collection of quantitative data
  • Social Statistics — SOC 241
    Application of elementary statistical techniques; Introduction to statistical inference and sampling theory
  • Introduction to Applied Statistics — STAT 213
    Sampling, estimation, tests of hypotheses including one-and two-sample tests, two-and three-way tables for nominal and ordinal data, linear regression, analysis of variance through two-way with interaction, using appropriate statistical software.

One Course in Normative, Ethical, and Value Analysis

Options include but are not limited to:

  • Philosophy, Politics and Society — PHILO 106
    Introduction to social and political philosophy
  • Moral Philosophy — PHILO 244
    Study of selected problems in philosophical ethics and moral psychology
  • Introduction to Ethics — PHILO 104
    Examination of standards of right conduct and the good life through study of selected philosophical classics
  • Social Inequality — SOC 218
    Examination of social inequality in contemporary society from various empirical and theoretical perspectives focusing on class, ethnic, gender, and other determinants of stratification
  • Democratic Theory — POLSC 305
    A critical survey of different conceptions of democracy: issues include democracy as a political order, democracy and forms of life (e.g., business, family, religion), toleration, political representation, democracy and justice.
  • Utopian Theory — POLSC 311
    Political theorists often imagine ideal worlds, both to explore ideals and to criticize political realities. This course will explore utopias and dystopias as theories that explore political possibilities and challenge existing realities.

Capstone Seminar

Public Policy Capstone Seminar — PUPOL 400

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.

The Capstone Project:

The Capstone policy project is an interdisciplinary problem-solving experience by which students gain experience working on unstructured, real-world problems. A well-designed policy project has the potential to translate into positive change on the ground.

The Spitzer Capstone Prize for Best Policy Project:

Each academic year, the Spitzer Capstone Prize for Best Policy Project is awarded, with the winner earning a $100 gift card and her/his Public Policy Project report published on the Roosevelt House website.

The 2012-2013 Spitzer Capstone Prize Winning Project is Emily Apple’s “Food to the People: Evaluating New York City’s Food Access Policies.”

Learn more and read the winning report.

The 2011-2012 Spitzer Capstone Prize Winning Project is David Weinberger’s “For the People, by the People: Environmental Justice, Community Engagement, and the Need for a Form Based Code in New York City.”

Download and read the winning report (PDF).

Additional Certificate Requirement: Substantive Policy Concentration

For the Public Policy Certificate each student will take the 6 core courses (18 credits) and will be required to declare a substantive area of concentration comprised of 3 courses (9 credits) of additional course work.

Students pursuing the 27-credit certificate will develop their course of study in consultation with Roosevelt House‘s Director of Public Policy. Examples of concentrations include, but are not limited to the following:

  • immigration policy
  • environmental policy
  • monetary policy
  • economic development
  • LGBT policy
  • health policy
  • education policy
  • trade policy
  • energy policy
  • security studies
  • women’s rights
  • global development
  • housing policy
  • transport policy
  • social welfare policy
  • law and public policy

For a complete list of  Public Policy Related Courses please visit the Hunter College Catalog.