School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Matthias Ruth, PhD
Laurie Dopkins, PhD
Director of Academic Programs
Certificate Program, Nonprofit Sector, Philanthropy, and Social Change
Graduate Program Directors
Alan Clayton-Matthews, PhD
PhD Program, Law and Public Policy
Christopher Bosso, PhD
JD/MS Program, Law and Public Policy
Certificate Program, Public Policy Analysis
Amílcar Antonio Barreto, JD, PhD
MA Program, International Affairs
Thomas J. Vicino, PhD
Matthias Ruth, PhD
MS Program, Urban Informatics
Certificate Program, Urban Informatics
Gavin Shatkin, PhD
MS Program, Urban and Regional Policy
Certificate Program, Urban Studies
310 Renaissance Park
The School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs is nationally and internationally recognized for excellence and innovation in policy-oriented education, applied research, and engagement. Our mission is to educate professional master's and doctoral students who are sought after as policy analysts, program evaluators,and leaders of nonprofit, public, private sector, and academic institutions; to create and disseminate policy-relevant knowledge and analytical methods of value to policymakers and the public; and to serve the broader community through policy analysis and technical assistance.
The school is committed to excellence in research and education on pressing and emerging policy issues of the day—public health, climate change, environmental challenges, the court and justice systems, and creating sustainable and resilient cities that provide economic opportunity for their residents. We define our approach as locally informed and internationally relevant. Our hallmark is to engage students in building the world that they would like to live in through experiential learning opportunities and applied research.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Arts (MA)
Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Master of Public Policy (MPP)
Master of Science (MS)
- Public Policy Analysis
- Nonprofit Sector, Philanthropy, and Social Change
- Urban Informatics
- Urban Studies
Public Policy and Urban Affairs Courses
PPUA 5260. Ecological Economics. 3 Hours.
Introduces methods and tools of ecological economics, an interdisciplinary field that draws on theories, concepts, and tools from the physical, life, and social sciences; unites the relevant aspects of different disciplines; and generates new knowledge that can serve as a basis for investment and policymaking that is responsive to biophysical constraints on economic processes. Illustrates the use of ecological economics with empirical applications. Offers students an opportunity to apply ecological economics to a variety of environmental issues. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.
PPUA 5261. Dynamic Modeling for Environmental Decision Making. 3 Hours.
Introduces the theory, methods, and tools of dynamic modeling for policy and investment decision making, with special focus on environmental issues. Makes use of state-of-the-art computing methods to translate theory and concepts into executable models and provides extensive hands-on modeling experience. Topics include discounting, intertemporal optimization, dynamic games, and treatment of uncertainty. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.
PPUA 5262. Big Data for Cities. 3 Hours.
Investigates the city and its spatial, social, and economic dynamics through the lens of data and visual analytics. Utilizes large public datasets to develop knowledge about visual methods for analyzing data and communicating results. Offers students an opportunity to develop a critical understanding of data structures, collection methodologies, and their inherent biases. Prereq. Juniors, seniors, and graduate students only.
PPUA 5263. Geographic Information Systems for Urban and Regional Policy. 3 Hours.
Studies basic skills in spatial analytic methods. Introduces students to some of the urban social scientific and policy questions that have been answered with these methods. Covers introductory concepts and tools in geographic information systems (GIS). Offers students an opportunity to obtain the skills to develop and write an original policy-oriented spatial research project with an urban social science focus. Prereq. Juniors, seniors, and graduate students only.
PPUA 5265. Urban and Regional Policy in Developing Countries. 3 Hours.
Explores the issues facing rapidly growing cities in the developing world. By 2040, more than half of the world’s population will live in cities. Analyzes the forces driving a country’s economic development and social change. Focuses on urbanization in poorer countries by examining what causes rapid urbanization; why informal economies are so pervasive and how governments approach this issue; the implications increasing popular demands for involvement in decisions have for urban planning and policy; and how governments respond to globalization and with what distributional impacts. Addresses specific sectoral issues and approaches to urban planning and policy in such areas as housing, climate change and hazard preparedness, economic development, transportation, and urban design and public space. Prereq. Juniors, seniors, and graduate students only.
PPUA 5266. Urban Theory and Science. 3 Hours.
Studies the evolution of urban science, looking at some seminal theories that seeded the field and the subsequent work they inspired, including the methodologies developed to examine them. For over a century, social scientists and policymakers have sought to better understand cities, asking important theoretical questions, such as: What is a neighborhood? How does a city grow? What is a city in the first place? Culminates in an examination of urban science in the digital age, exploring how modern technological trends, including “big data,” are posing new questions and offering new ways to answer them. Prereq. Juniors, seniors, and graduate students only.
PPUA 5270. Food Systems and Public Policy. 3 Hours.
Explores the public policy dimensions of the contemporary food system. Utilizes scholarly readings and case studies to assess the role of governing institutions and political actors in shaping the food supply; the effects of energy, transportation, and urban policies on food access; the ecological dimensions of food production; impacts of international trade regimes on global food trade; and the potential impacts of climate change on food security. Compares the United States and other nations and explores alternatives to the dominant food system. Seeks to engage students in applied policy analysis of specific food system issues. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.
PPUA 5275. Philanthropy and Civil Society. 3 Hours.
Examines the history of philanthropy in the United States and the contemporary role of private giving in the economy and civil society. A comparison of philanthropic theories and models provides context for examining philanthropy’s impact on individuals, communities, social movements, and policy. Emphasizes the relationship between wealth and power in a democratic society.
PPUA 5390. Special Topics in Public Policy and Urban Affairs. 3 Hours.
Covers special topics in public policy and urban affairs. Topics are selected by the instructor and vary from semester to semester.
PPUA 5976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.
Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.
PPUA 5978. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.
Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.
PPUA 5984. Research. 1-4 Hours.
Offers an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.
PPUA 6201. The Twenty-First Century City: Urban Opportunities and Challenges in a Global Context. 3 Hours.
Offers multidisciplinary examination of the wonders and challenges of urban life, focusing on current dynamics of urban location and prosperity in the context of a global economy. Examines forces that shaped the evolution of cities and metropolitan regions; assesses a range of policy issues confronting metro areas today and the respective roles played by public and private sectors in addressing those challenges; explores global forces that are transforming cities and regions throughout the world; and addresses key questions of urban well-being, civility, and civic engagement.
PPUA 6204. Urban Development and Politics. 3 Hours.
Analyzes the creation and implementation of urban development policies and programs. Explores subsidies and taxes, housing, commercial and industrial development, and job creation and training projects in terms of their historical, political, economic, and social dimensions.
PPUA 6205. Research Design and Methodology in Urban and Regional Policy. 3 Hours.
Examines and applies the methodology of social science research to urban and regional policy issues. Focuses on identifying and framing research questions; formulating hypotheses; and following through on the design, development, and implementation of policy-relevant research.
PPUA 6206. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Geographic Information Systems. 1 Hour.
Develops and applies techniques of geographic information systems (GIS), with primary emphasis on urban and regional policy issues.
PPUA 6207. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Survey Techniques. 1 Hour.
Develops and applies survey research techniques to urban and regional policy issues.
PPUA 6208. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Qualitative Techniques. 1 Hour.
Develops and applies qualitative research techniques to urban and regional policy issues.
PPUA 6209. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Working with Datasets. 1 Hour.
Develops and applies techniques of accessing and using available datasets to address urban and regional policy issues.
PPUA 6210. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Cost/Benefit Analysis. 1 Hour.
Develops and applies techniques of cost/benefit analysis and related techniques such as cost-effectiveness, economic impact, and social return on investment to urban and regional policy issues.
PPUA 6211. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Using Stata. 1 Hour.
Introduces the use of the statistical package Stata in social science research.
PPUA 6212. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Project Management. 1 Hour.
Introduces students to concepts of and tools used in project management as applied to urban and regional policy issues.
PPUA 6213. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Data Visualization. 1 Hour.
Focuses on how to interpret data visualization and assess the classic and emerging data visualization techniques and their strengths and weaknesses. Covers classic lessons learned from Edward Tufte to contemporary data visualization leaders such as Nicholas Felton and Jer Thorp. Offers students an opportunity to review and critique examples such as Hubway Data Challenge Visualizations to warm up for their own data visualization assignments.
PPUA 6214. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Excel for Policy Research Analysis. 1 Hour.
Covers the use of Excel workbooks for policy research and analysis. Emphasizes the more advanced features, including text manipulation functions, data arrays and array formulas, table and chart customization, data simulation, and using macros and select developer tools.
PPUA 6215. Geographic Information Systems for Urban and Regional Policy. 3 Hours.
Introduces students to the use of a geographic information system (GIS) and explores the practical application of GIS in urban and regional policy analysis. Topics include the geographical basis of policy issues, demographic analysis, and spatial mapping as a tool in decision support and policy making. Offers students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with a leading commercial GIS software package. Exercises explore data gathering, database manipulation techniques, spatial overlay analysis methods, cartography principals, spatial modeling tools, and heuristic problem solving.
PPUA 6216. Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Grant Writing. 1 Hour.
Seeks to prepare students to pursue grant-based funding from a variety of funding agencies and foundations. Offers students an opportunity to develop practical skills in proposal writing and budget development. Examines all aspects of the proposal-writing process, from identifying high-potential funding opportunities to writing and submitting proposals. Assignments offer students an opportunity to apply their learning to real-world interests.
PPUA 6301. Introduction to Computational Statistics. 4 Hours.
Introduces the fundamental techniques of quantitative data analysis, ranging from foundational skills—such as data description and visualization, probability, and statistics—to the workhorse of data analysis and regression, to more advanced topics—such as machine learning and networks. Emphasizes real-world data and applications using the R statistical computing language. Analyzing and understanding complex data has become an essential component of numerous fields: business and economics, health and medicine, marketing, public policy, computer science, engineering, and many more. Offers students an opportunity to finish the course ready to apply a wide variety of analytic methods to data problems, present their results to nonexperts, and progress to more advanced course work delving into the many topics introduced here.
PPUA 6302. Information Design and Visual Analytics. 4 Hours.
Introduces the systematic use of visualization techniques for supporting the discovery of new information as well as the effective presentation of known facts. Based on principles from art, graphic design, perceptual psychology, and rhetoric, offers students an opportunity to learn how to successfully choose appropriate visual languages for representing various kinds of data to support insights relevant to the user’s goals. Covers visual data mining techniques and algorithms for supporting the knowledge-discovery process; principles of visual perception and color theory for revealing patterns in data, semiotics, and the epistemology of visual representation; narrative strategies for communicating and presenting information and evidence; and the critical evaluation and critique of data visualizations. Prereq. Proficiency in R.
PPUA 6400. Planning Module in Urban Policy. 1 Hour.
Relates a professional activity to urban and regional planning.
PPUA 6407. Internship in Public Policy and Urban Affairs. 3 Hours.
Seeks to provide relevant professional experience, to include planning, research, policy development, or implementation of policy, of at least fifteen hours per week with a public, private, or nonprofit institution that focuses on urban and regional policy.
PPUA 6408. Internship Continuation. 0 Hours.
Offers a continued internship supervised by the faculty internship instructor. Prereq. PPUA 6407; restricted to students in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.
PPUA 6410. Urban Informatics Portfolio. 1 Hour.
Guides urban informatics students through the process of developing a portfolio of professional quality work. Students are required to submit a three-project portfolio developed from projects completed within courses taken as part of fulfilling the degree requirements. The projects must be presented in high quality and concise visualizations and text.
PPUA 6500. Principles of Public Administration. 3 Hours.
Introduces students to concepts and approaches to analyzing significant factors and relationships in government agencies and public-oriented nongovernmental organizations as they function in their environments. Examines the legal and constitutional foundations of public administration, bureaucratic structure and administrative power, managerial accountability and ethics, human resource management, economics of organization, decision making, budgeting, implementation and “street-level” bureaucrats, and more recent developments in public administration, such as performance management and public management networks.
PPUA 6502. Economic Institutions and Analysis. 3 Hours.
Introduces the fundamentals of macroeconomics and microeconomics as well as the role of key economic institutions, such as the Federal Reserve. Includes analysis of government’s role in a market economy and introduces methods of economic analysis.
PPUA 6503. Public Personnel Administration. 3 Hours.
Introduces students to the public personnel function from a managerial standpoint. Addresses methods of constructive leadership of government personnel, leadership that encourages a more competent, motivated, and representative public administrative work force. Employs case studies and films, along with assigned readings.
PPUA 6504. Organizational Theory and Management. 3 Hours.
Examines the general principles underlying organizational structures and processes. Topics include models and ideal types, open systems theories, organizational technologies, decision making, and organizational development and change.
PPUA 6505. Public Budgeting and Financial Management. 3 Hours.
Surveys governmental budgeting at the federal, state, and local levels. Surveys major revenue sources and expenditure responsibilities. Discusses budgetary processes and politics, as well as resulting policies. Considers both proposed and implemented reforms. Also introduces financial management practices including cash management, fund accounting, debt financing, endowment spending and control, cost allocation procedures, and tax expenditures.
PPUA 6506. Techniques of Policy Analysis. 3 Hours.
Provides a systematic approach to understanding the origins, formulation, implementation, and impact of government outputs. Reviews key analytical concepts and competing theoretical perspectives. Considers both the political dimensions of public policymaking and the technical aspects of program design within the natural history of the policymaking process. Draws on case materials from a spectrum of policy areas.
PPUA 6507. Institutional Leadership and the Public Manager. 3 Hours.
Examines the problems and techniques relevant to effective management of a public agency in a complicated and often turbulent political environment. Topics include legislative relations, media relations, role of the courts, unions and advocacy groups, policy implementation and evaluation, and setting and working with high standards of integrity.
PPUA 6508. Capstone Seminar in Public Policy and Public Management. 3 Hours.
Offers an applied research project for students who have completed all or nearly all of their course work. Students work in teams to study a policy or public management issue currently facing a government agency. Teams conduct research and prepare an oral and written report for presentation to the agency as well as to the class. Readings focus on material needed to analyze the assigned issue as well as limited general readings on public policy and public administration. In addition, each student will complete a personal strategic plan that identifies career goals and assesses his or her current skill level and future skill needs to reach that goal.
PPUA 6509. Techniques of Program Evaluation. 3 Hours.
Reviews methodologies for assessing the impact of public policy. Includes experimental and quasi-experimental research design, the value and limits of case studies, political and organizational barriers to evaluation research, report writing, and procedures for instituting change.
PPUA 6510. Functions and Techniques of Public Management. 3 Hours.
Examines the problems and techniques relevant to management of a public agency, with an emphasis on internal issues that face public managers. Topics include planning and agenda setting; organizational design; agency budgeting; employee recruitment, selection, and development; and reporting, monitoring, and evaluation.
PPUA 6520. Managing Information Technologies. 3 Hours.
Explores the opportunities and challenges of devising, implementing, and managing information technologies in the public and nonprofit sectors. Focuses on potential benefits offered by a range of technologies, from smartphone apps to “Big Data” analytical systems, to gather more real-time information and deliver more timely, responsive, and effective services. Also covers implementation and management challenges and a range of broader societal issues, from citizen privacy to public accountability, that invariably arise with such technologies.
PPUA 6521. Administrative Law and Politics. 3 Hours.
Introduces students of American politics and policymaking with a segment of politics that concerns the relationship between administrative agencies and the courts that review them. Emphasis is on the development of important administrative law principles and the application of these principles to practical problems in public administration.
PPUA 6522. Administrative Ethics and Public Management. 3 Hours.
Analyzes ethical problems in American public administration including discussion of ethical dilemmas frequently faced by public managers.
PPUA 6523. Accountability, Performance Measurement, and Contracting in the Public Sector. 3 Hours.
Examines three important topics in public policy and administration: accountability, performance measurement, and contracting. These three topics are interrelated, and issues related to them often arise in contemporary public administration. Offers students an opportunity to explore these topics through assigned readings, cases, lectures, and class discussions.
PPUA 6524. Case Studies in Policy Analysis. 3 Hours.
Focuses on detailed analyses of selected issues and episodes in public policy development. Requires students to complete oral and written analyses of cases, applying a variety of relevant techniques.
PPUA 6525. Institutions and Public Policy. 3 Hours.
Blends theoretical literature and case studies to examine problems of policymaking and governance in contemporary political systems, emphasizing the policy impacts of political institutions. Studies systematic variations across types of political institutions and regimes in developed and developing nations and extends beyond the nation-state to address policy dynamics (e.g., harmonization, multilevel governance) in supranational and international systems. Establishes the broader political system contexts within which policy formation and implementation reside. Offers students an opportunity to learn to analyze, synthesize, and apply a range of theoretical literatures relevant to policy design and impact. Cross-listed with POLS 6525.
PPUA 6530. State and Local Public Finance. 3 Hours.
Analyzes the fiscal dimensions of state and local governments in the United States. Examines the types and ranges of tax and nontax revenues available to local and state governments and factors shaping the types of revenue sources utilized. Also assesses local and state government spending trends, use of public funds for economic development and other goals, impacts of federal mandates on local and state budgets, distinctions between operating and capital budgets, and the overall legal and political factors shaping public finance.
PPUA 6551. Nonprofit Organizations and Social Change. 3 Hours.
Offers an overview of fundamental principles and practice in the nonprofit sector as they relate to social change. Topics include systems change and stakeholder identification, design thinking and human-centered design, theory of change and logic models, program design and evaluation, strategic and business planning, organizational structure and capacity building, governance, and communications and social media.
PPUA 6552. The Nonprofit Sector in Civil Society and Public Affairs. 3 Hours.
Examines the challenges facing the nonprofit sector, particularly as it relates to civil society and public policy concerns. Emphasizes current controversies in which the nonprofit sector is involved, such as the impact of changes in government spending and tax policy, the nature and legitimacy of nonprofit advocacy, the role of faith-based organizations in providing public services, accountability and oversight of nonprofit organizations, the growth of social entrepreneurship, and the work of nonprofits in fostering social capital and supporting civic engagement.
PPUA 6553. Nonprofit Financial Resource Development. 3 Hours.
Offers a comprehensive overview of resource development and financial management in nonprofit organizations. Topics include fund-raising and development planning, nonprofit budgeting and financial reporting, investments and earned income for nonprofits, and government contracting and grants.
PPUA 6554. International NGOs and Transnational Activism. 3 Hours.
Explores the theoretical, practical, and ethical elements of the nonprofit sector, which continues to play a critical role in responding to crisis, social and economic inequality, and propelling the human rights agendas forward in a rapidly evolving geopolitical landscape. Both nationally and abroad, nonprofit organizations are addressing society’s most pressing issues. These organizations are compelled to help meet basic human needs during natural and manmade disasters and fill gaps left by government and industry. However, their involvement isn’t without implications, both on the local and international level. Encourages students to consider the complex and sometimes contradictory work being performed by international nongovernmental organizations with an eye to sound program design and leadership.
PPUA 6960. Exam Preparation—Master’s. 0 Hours.
Offers the student the opportunity to prepare for the master’s qualifying exam under faculty supervision.
PPUA 6962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions.
PPUA 6966. Practicum. 1-4 Hours.
Provides eligible students with an opportunity for practical experience.
PPUA 7225. The Open Classroom: Public Debates on Public Policy. 3 Hours.
PPUA 7226. Open Classroom Recitation. 0 Hours.
PPUA 7230. Housing Policy. 3 Hours.
Examines the economic, social, and legal underpinnings of housing policy in the United States across a variety of topics, including housing finance and production, public and affordable housing, home ownership, and fair housing. Housing is both an essential human need and a critical sector of the U.S. economy. Presents the complicated and evolving roles of all of those involved in housing policy, including federal, state, and local government, and the private and profit sectors. Guest speakers provide real-world insights into current housing policy challenges.
PPUA 7231. Transportation Policy. 3 Hours.
Examines the physical, technological, economic, social, cultural, and political underpinnings of transportation policy in the United States. Topics include intra- and interstate transportation, the comparative economics of different modes of transportation, the impacts of federal and state policies on transportation options, and the long-term effects of those choices on metropolitan development, housing, land use, energy, and the environment. Also involves comparisons with transportation systems in other countries.
PPUA 7232. Immigration and Urban America. 3 Hours.
Examines the policy impacts of legal and illegal immigration in the United States, emphasizing the ways immigration shapes urban America. Discusses trends in immigration; elements of U.S. immigration policy; impacts of immigration on labor markets, economic development, housing, education, healthcare, criminal justice, race relations, and social policy (e.g., welfare); and effects on broader mass culture. Also considers the range of policy tools available in addressing these impacts.
PPUA 7233. Contemporary Community Development. 3 Hours.
Explores the political and social dynamics of community development in urban America, with particular focus on the local politics of housing, economic development, jobs, healthcare, access to services, and community safety. Uses Boston and its region as a laboratory to examine the role of grassroots community groups in shaping their neighborhoods, set within the broader institutional contexts that affect their representation and impacts.
PPUA 7234. Land Use and Urban Growth Policy. 3 Hours.
Explores the evolution of land use and urban form in the United States and surveys different types of land-use and urban-growth management tools used by local, regional, and state governments. Examines the environmental, economic, spatial, and social impacts of different patterns of urban growth, including “sprawl” and “smart growth,” and the different philosophies and legal and policy approaches employed to manage those impacts. Also explores how land-use and urban-growth policy interacts with related priorities, including housing, infrastructure, and fiscal policy. Focuses on current and emerging issues and debates in land-use and urban-growth management, such as New Urbanism, livable communities, and transit-oriented development.
PPUA 7235. Urban and Regional Policy and Planning in Developing Countries. 3 Hours.
Explores the issues facing rapidly growing cities in the developing world. By 2040, more than half of the world’s population will live in cities. Analyzes the forces driving a country’s economic development and social change. Focuses on urbanization in poorer countries by examining what causes rapid urbanization; why informal economies are so pervasive and how governments approach this issue; the implications increasing popular demands for involvement in decisions have for urban planning and policy; and how governments respond to globalization and with what distributional impacts. Addresses specific sectoral issues and approaches to urban planning and policy in such areas as housing, climate change and hazard preparedness, economic development, transportation, and urban design and public space.
PPUA 7236. Introduction to Real Estate Development for Urban Policy Makers. 3 Hours.
Introduces the basic skills and knowledge of real estate development used within public-private partnerships to address policy and planning issues. Through a series of problem sets, offers students an opportunity to learn basic real estate finance and computation, including the fundamentals of pro forma modeling. Covers the entire real estate development process, from preliminary market and financial analysis through to construction management and property management using case studies and guest lecturers. Explores how public-private partnerships shape the outcomes of urban redevelopment within specific topics that may include affordable housing provision, brownfield redevelopment, transit-oriented development, sustainable urban development, and others.
PPUA 7237. Advanced Spatial Analysis of Urban Systems. 3 Hours.
Builds on skills covered in PPUA 5263. Offers students an opportunity to obtain greater depth in the analysis of urban spatial data focused on several urban systems (including social, built, and natural systems). Focuses on understanding the spatial relationships between various new and large urban datasets relevant to current policy challenges within cities. This is a project-based class. Prereq. PPUA 5263.
PPUA 7238. Climate Change and Urbanization in Developing Countries. 3 Hours.
Focuses on the climate-change-related challenges that confront rapidly urbanizing countries, particularly the low- and middle-income countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Many of the largest and most rapidly growing cities in these regions are in low-lying coastal cities in river deltas and, consequently, face significant dangers of flooding and eventual inundation. Climate change also has implications for access to freshwater and for the incidence of heat waves. The impacts of climate-change-related hazards tend to fall most heavily on the poorest, raising new issues of social inequality. This course examines concepts of urban vulnerability and resilience and climate change adaptation, as well as case studies of policy approaches for addressing the impacts of climate change on cities.
PPUA 7239. Problems in Metropolitan Policymaking. 3 Hours.
Examines the broad challenges that confront metropolitan areas-defined as including the center city, its immediate suburbs, and the broader periphery-including economic development, land use, transportation, housing, and the provision of basic services. Considers the array of tools available to policymakers, including planning, tax policy, pooling of services, and zoning.
PPUA 7240. Health Policy and Politics. 3 Hours.
Examines contemporary healthcare policies, programs, and politics. Discusses the structure of the healthcare system and its costs, efforts to develop universal health coverage, the spread of managed care, and related topics.
PPUA 7241. Issues in Health Policy and Administration. 3 Hours.
Discusses selected ethical and legal issues and the topics relevant to heath policy and administration, such as healthcare rationing, confidentiality of patient data, informed consent, end-of-life issues, physician-assisted suicide, and medical malpractice.
PPUA 7242. Mental Health Policy Analysis and Administration. 3 Hours.
Examines key issues in the development of mental health policy from both U.S. and comparative perspectives. Also includes discussion of implementation processes and barriers in the establishment of comprehensive systems of community care.
PPUA 7243. International Development Administration and Planning. 3 Hours.
Takes a “manager’s eye view” of the formulation, implementation, evaluation, and improvement of development projects in less developed countries. Also focuses on the planning dynamics of host-government, bilateral, and multilateral organizations as they analyze and tackle such problem areas as agriculture, education, health, population, and land reform. Employs simulations and case studies.
PPUA 7244. Comparative Public Policy and Administration. 3 Hours.
Considers explanations of variation between states and solutions to administrative problems by examining such issues as culture, organization, budgeting, recruitment, accountability, reform, and the politics of bureaucracy and public policy, among others, in a cross-national, cross-cultural, and international context. Uses examples from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as from the United States and Europe.
PPUA 7245. Education Policy in the United States. 3 Hours.
Examines the major policies and political dynamics that shape the delivery of educational services in the United States. Reviews the historical role of public education in American society and examines the legal context and intergovernmental relationships that provide the political framework for public education. Explores school finance, accountability and assessment strategies, issues of race and poverty, as well as major reform initiatives. Focuses on elementary and secondary education.
PPUA 7247. Doctoral Seminar in U.S. Health Policy and Management. 3 Hours.
Offers a high-level introduction to issues surrounding U.S. health policy and management. Focuses on aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including quality, innovation, patient engagement, workforce supply, and access. Emphasizes learning about the organization and delivery aspects of the system that inform these issues. To facilitate this, the course introduces students to organizational and sociological theories for studying the healthcare system. Covers best practices for designing publishable research to pursue health policy and management questions. Offers students an opportunity to apply course learning in practical ways. Designed to be of particular interest to doctoral students interested in healthcare and in developing a health-related dissertation proposal, pilot study, or conceptual paper. Prereq. Doctoral students only.
PPUA 7248. Urban Revitalization. 3 Hours.
Examines how and why cities grow and decline from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Analyzes economic, spatial, and social aspects of growth and decline, mostly from the perspective of North American and European cities and mostly in the postwar period. Explores the conditions under which municipal governments and the private sector can revitalize declining neighborhoods and cities. Covers how cities revitalize in response to natural (e.g., hurricanes, floods) and technical (e.g., nuclear accidents, terrorist events, oil spills) disasters. Offers students an opportunity to understand how and why urban disinvestment happens; to become familiar with historical efforts to revive cities; and to be able to describe several urban revitalization strategies, critically analyze their objectives, and understand factors that are conducive to and barriers to their success.
PPUA 7249. Urban Coastal Sustainability. 3 Hours.
Focuses on the challenges facing coastal cities and the ecosystems on which they depend by exploring both threats such as climate change as well as adaptation measures that promote resilience. Aimed at students interested in the interface of science and public policy and those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of how coupled human-natural ecosystems operate.
PPUA 7336. Social Capital and Resilience. 3 Hours.
Examines the role of social capital as in trust, governance, and economics. Focuses on networks and connections in disasters and resilience around the world. Cross-listed with POLS 7336.
PPUA 7346. Resilient Cities. 3 Hours.
Examines the characteristics of resilient cities, especially those located in coastal regions. Investigates the capacity of cities to respond to major disruptions to their social and ecological systems. Includes extensive use of case studies, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as readings on cities and social systems. Offers students an opportunity to analyze an urban area and provide recommendations for improving its resilience. Cross-listed with POLS 7346.
PPUA 7380. Behavior and Public Policy. 3 Hours.
Examines how people behave in response to public policy incentives, how such behavior can be predicted, and how to evaluate the extent to which policies affect well-being. Predicting the impacts of policies requires that one anticipate how individuals will behave in response to change. Will income support reduce work effort or savings? Will longer sentences for convicted criminals lead to lower crime rates? Will managers maximize long-run corporate profits for shareholders? Starts with the explicit behavioral model used by economists (expected utility maximization) and its normative implications. Then seeks to understand why people do not behave as that model would predict. Finally, examines concepts about human happiness and its relation to life circumstances and assesses the guidance such concepts offer for policy design.
PPUA 7390. Special Topics in the Social Sciences. 3 Hours.
Examines selected topics in the social sciences and public policy.
PPUA 7673. Capstone in Public Policy and Urban Affairs. 3 Hours.
Offers an opportunity for student teams, in partnership with a local, state, or federal agency or nonprofit institution, to assess an urban or regional problem, produce a thorough policy analysis, and present it and recommended solutions to the agency or institution. Course readings focus on materials needed to assess the problem and provide solutions. This is a faculty-guided team project for students completing course work in urban and regional policy studies.
PPUA 7962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions.
PPUA 7976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.
Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor.
PPUA 7978. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.
Offers a reading course for the student who wants guidance in the archival exploration and in-depth study of a topic of interest. Conducts study through a series of individual tutorials or discussions with a faculty member that typically involve an extensive, analytical review of the literature. Interested students should consult directly with the relevant faculty member or with a department advisor for guidance in locating the most appropriate faculty person at least one semester before the study is undertaken.