Learning Objectives

  1. Master basic principles of economics and political science and be able to integrate them in the analysis of questions about public policy and societal institutions.
  2. Understand the intellectual roots of economic liberalism and critiques thereof.
  3. Understand the ethical and philosophical dimensions of questions about public policy and how they interact with economic and political considerations.
  4. Be able to understand, interpret, and critically evaluate empirical evidence on economic, political, and public policy questions, including qualitative, quantitative, and formal statistical and econometric evidence.
  5. Gain some exposure to and expertise in some U.S. domestic public policy and political issues, the comparative study of policies, politics, and institutions across countries, and questions of international political economy and globalization.
  6. Gain an understanding of the history and institutions of American politics, how these and other factors (such as interest groups, coalitions, and framing of issues) influence which policies get adopted through the political system, and be able to formulate a persuasive argument about what an effective political strategy would be based on that knowledge.
  7. Gain a real-world perspective on the making of or effects of public policy through an experiential learning exercise, such as a course with a significant community service or field work component, or a policy-related internship.
  8. Be able to convincingly define a public policy problem, investigate a range of possible alternative solutions to that problem, and construct a persuasive argument about the best approach to addressing that problem, drawing on all of the elements noted above, and the best and most relevant scholarly literature on the topic. Develop the skills to do this effectively working together in a team of other students, to produce a well-written report on it, and to successfully communicate this work to an audience of students and faculty in an oral presentation.