Masters in Public Policy (MPP) Course Descriptions

Graduate Courses:  This is not a comprehensive list of all possible courses.  It includes only those courses specifically noted in the Program Definition.  For additional courses please see the course offerings in Political Economy, Political Science, Economics, Political Economy and Public Affairs.

POEC 5303 (PA 5303 and PSCI 5303) Public Policymaking and Institutions (3 semester hours) Surveys the major institutions associated with policymaking, including Congress, the Presidency, the bureaucracy, and interest groups. These institutions are studied by linking them to the decision-making theories of organizations, social choice and incrementalism. (3-0) Y
POEC 5307 (PA 5307) Economics for Public Policy (3 semester hours) Economics for Public Policy is a doctoral level course designed to introduce students to the use of economic methods of the analysis of public policy. While the primary theoretical framework for the course is microeconomics, the course also includes macroeconomics. A variety of public policy topics are covered in the course such as education and education reform, employment and the labor market, taxes and redistribution, health and health care, poverty and inequality, and public assistance programs. A central theme in the course is the role of the government.  (3-0) Y
POEC 5308 (PA 5308) Ethics, Culture and Public Responsibility (3 semester hours) This course provides a general consideration of traditions of ethical thought, the interactions between personal behavior and cultural groups/norms, and the implementation of public responsibility. Topics to be considered shall include tensions between personal and collective goals, the nature and limits of tolerance, and the role of institutions such as the family, government, business, churches and interest groups. (3-0) Y
POEC 5310 (CRIM 5310) Research Design I (3 semester hours) This course is the first in a two-course sequence devoted to the research enterprise and the study of data development strategies and techniques to facilitate effective statistical analysis. Topics generally covered include: (1) issues and techniques in social science research with emphasis on philosophy of science, theory testing, and hypothesis formulation; (2) measurement and data collection strategies, reliability and validity of measures and results, sampling, surveys; and (3) examination of qualitative versus quantitative research techniques, working with observational data, field research issues, and triangulation. (3-0) Y
POEC 5313 (CRIM 5313, PA 5313) Descriptive and Inferential Statistics for the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (3 semester hours) This course is an introduction to data analysis, statistics, and regression. The only prerequisite is a sound foundation in algebra. The heart of the course is a rigorous introduction to statistical inference: sampling theory, confidence intervals, and hypothesis tests. The final section of the course covers regression analysis, which is developed in a fairly non-technical way, with an emphasis on interpretation of regression results, using examples from recent research.  SOCS 3305 or equivalent recommended. (3-0) Y
POEC 5316 (CRIM 5316) Advanced Regression Analysis for the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (3 semester hours) This course provides a detailed examination of the bivariate and multiple regression models estimated using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), with an emphasis on using regression models to test social and economic hypotheses. Also covered are several special topics in regression analysis, including violations of OLS assumptions, the use of dummy variables, fixed effects models, and path analysis. Applications are demonstrated with examples drawn from economics, political science, public policy and sociology.  POEC 5313 or equivalent recommended. (3-0) Y
POEC 6352 (SOC 6352 and PA 6352) Evaluation Research Methods in the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (3 semester hours) A review of research methods used in program evaluation, with an emphasis on public and non-profit social programs. Issues to be addressed include research design, appropriate performance standards, measurement and selection of indicators, sampling, data collection, and data analysis. (3-0) T
POEC 7V47 (PA 7V47) Policy Research Workshop in Health Care Policy (3-9 semester hours) Students join a faculty member in a group research project. (May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 12 hours. MPA or doctoral students may not take more than 3 hours of their concentration requirement from policy research workshops and POEC 7376.)  ([3-9]-0) T
POEC 7V62 Policy Research Workshop in Social Policy (3-9 semester hours) Students join a faculty member in a group research project. (May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 6 hours.  ([3-9]-0) T