Public Policy (PPOL)

PPOL 015: Introduction to Policy: Identifying and Solving Public Problems (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to the craft of policy analysis—the use of social science methods to define and address public problems. Through a series of current policy case studies students will learn techniques for diagnosing problems, crafting policy solutions, and evaluating outcomes. They will be challenged to think creatively and critically about public issues, whether as engaged citizens, advocates for change, practicing analysts, or future members of the many professions relevant to public policy.

Meets the following Core requirements: Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PPOL 016: Comparative Politics (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to three major concepts in comparative politics: state, nation, and regime. Using comparisons between countries from all over the world, the course examines how states emerge and survive, nations are built and change, and how regimes—both democratic and authoritarian—operate. The case comparisons expose students to the comparative method and to the wide range of topics studied in the field of comparative politics.

Meets the following Core requirements: International Perspectives

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior

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PPOL 017: International Relations (4 Credits)

Basic character and structure of the international arena. How changes in these patterns determine outbreaks of war and peace among countries.

Meets the following Core requirements: International Perspectives

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PPOL 093: Law and Society (3 Credits)

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior, Written Communication

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PPOL 100: Methods of Policy Analysis (4 Credits)

This course aims to prepare citizens to help their communities make informed and effective decisions. We will explore practical applications of the principal methods of policy analysis. These include a variety of quantitative and qualitative analytical tools used by policy analysts to frame issues, generate alternative options, project outcomes, and inform decision making in a democratic society. In addition, we will develop and practice oral and written communication skills relevant to policy analysis, culminating in a policy analysis paper and presentation.

Prerequisite(s): ECON 050 and ENG 001 and ECON 081

Note(s): Graduate students register for PPOL 200.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Quantitative and Computational Reasoning, Written Communication

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PPOL 103: Written and Oral Communication for Policy and Politics (2 Credits)

Focus on developing skills in writing, digital presentation, and oral communication appropriate for the political science classroom and related careers. Develop and refine voice and sense of style, learn the rhetorical expectations and formal registers of the field, identify the most appropriate combinations of form and content for academic and professional work in political science, and practice drafting, revising, presenting and receiving feedback on oral and written communications.

Note(s): Student must be concurrently enrolled in a government course. Alternatively, enrollment in another social science course will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Meets the following Core requirements: Written and Oral Communication II

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PPOL 114: Social Policy Analysis (4 Credits)

This course applies core frameworks and tools of policy analysis to key social policy contexts, including housing, health, education, labor, criminal justice, and social safety net policies. Students learn the policy history and structures of key domestic social programs, and utilize this knowledge to conduct policy analyses of current reform proposals. This course both introduces students to major areas of policy-making and offers them the opportunity to apply their core learning to real-world policy contexts.

PPOL 115: The American Presidency (3 Credits)

An examination of the presidential selection process, the scope and powers of the office, and the major determinants of presidential behavior.

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PPOL 116: Qualitative Methods in Policy Research (4 Credits)

Introduces students to the theory and methods of qualitative research, including philosophical foundations, formulation of research questions, negotiation of entry and access, the ethics of fieldwork, sampling, data collection techniques, recording and transcription, analysis and presentation of qualitative data, and the evaluation of qualitative research. Students will be required to conduct some field research, such as a few interviews and some field observations, so the course will be particularly appropriate to those engaging in, or preparing for, a research project.

PPOL 118: Women's Leadership in Politics: Theory and Practice (4 Credits)

This course explores the challenges and opportunities in women’s political participation in the US and prepares women for effective political engagement. We begin by looking at the history of women's participation, move into understanding how the political process works, and end with practical preparation. Students hear from women who have worked in politics as candidates and elected officials, campaign consultants, and staffers. This course affords students an opportunity to develop both a theoretical understanding of gender and politics and practical skills for their own participation.

Note(s): Freshwomen should consult with the instructor before enrolling.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Women and Gender

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PPOL 125: Gender and Public Policy (4 Credits)

Students examine a series of policy issues of particular concern to women, learning to approach each from multiple perspectives (legal, historical, economic, and cultural). The course affords students an opportunity to analyze policy and to consider the ways in which public problems and policy making are gendered.

Note(s): First-year students admitted with consent of the instructor.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior, Women and Gender

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PPOL 130: Regime Change (3-4 Credits)

Examines the reasons for the emergence, persistence, and collapse of authoritarian and democratic regimes. Countries studies drawn from South America, Europe, East Asia, and the former Soviet Union.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PPOL 132: Theories of International Relations (3-4 Credits)

Theories that explain the dynamics of world politics. Topics include the quest for power and domination, imperialism and wealth, international systems and processes, and attempts to create a science of international relations.

Prerequisite(s): PPOL 017

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PPOL 139: Ethical Reasoning in Politics and Public Policy (4 Credits)

An examination of the challenges of formulating and applying ethical argument to policy making. An investigation of major normative disputes in such areas as public assistance and entitlements, the environment, civil rights, and healthcare policy making.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior

Crosslisted with: PPOL 217

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PPOL 141: Law and Public Policy (3 Credits)

This course examines the role of law and legal institutions in policy-making. Using case studies of historical and contemporary issues, we will assess the strengths, weaknesses and relative effectiveness of different institutions--courts, legislatures, and administrative agencies--in making and enforcing public policy decisions. Students will also learn to read and conduct research in primary legal materials, including court decisions, legislative acts, and administrative regulations.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior

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PPOL 142: African Politics (3-4 Credits)

Introduces students to the study of contemporary politics in sub-Saharan Africa and provides background on African political history. Focuses on governance, development, and conflict on the continent.

Meets the following Core requirements: International Perspectives

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PPOL 143: States and Nations (3 Credits)

Considers the origins, nature, and limitations of the modern state. Examines how nations and nationalism emerge and interact with states. Focus on exclusionary aspects of nation-building, state-building, and citizenship and their role in the social construction of gender and racial identities.

Meets the following Core requirements: Race, Gender & Power

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PPOL 148: Model United Nations (3 Credits)

Principles and organization of the United Nations, world trends, and international power relations as reflected in the organization. Preparation for and participation in simulations of U.N. committee sessions.

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PPOL 150: Environmental Policy Analysis (4 Credits)

This course is a reading seminar exploring policy responses to environmental problems. We will examine the social and cultural origins of attitudes toward the exploitation and conservation of natural resources, and the institutional structures that shape public policy in this field. American and international case studies will be considered in comparing the effects of ecological crises and policies on different populations and in applying alternative analytical approaches such as political ecology and environmental impact assessment.

Note(s): Graduate students should register for PPOL 235.

PPOL 151: Political Representation (3-4 Credits)

This course examines political representation in America. Topics include what it means to represent; the different means of representation; to what degree the elected behave consistently with constituents' preferences; and the accountability of elected officials.

Meets the following Core requirements: Race, Gender & Power

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior

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PPOL 152: American Constitutional Law: Fundamental Freedoms (3-4 Credits)

This courses provides a study of the legal and political context in the U.S. of freedom of expression, the press, and religion; separation of church and state; equal rights for women and minorities; voting rights; and citizenship. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding doctrinal understandings of fundamental freedoms and how understandings have changed over time.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Historical Perspectives

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PPOL 157: Minority Political Behavior (3-4 Credits)

This course is designed to survey how different minority groups participate and behave in American politics. We will begin this course with an overview of theories about why social identities influence the way certain individuals participate in politics and how their attitudes are formed. As the United States is quickly becoming a minority-majority country, especially with regard to race and ethnicity, major parties attempt to incorporate minority groups into their respective coalitions. This course covers racial and ethnic minorities, gender, LGBT people, immigrants, and former felons.

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PPOL 179: Directed Research (1-3 Credits)

PPOL 180: Special Topics (1-4 Credits)

Exploration of themes and/or topics not offered as part of the regular curriculum. Course content to be determined by the instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics differ.

PPOL 180AS: California Politics and Policy: Equity & Opportunity (1-2 Credits)

This unique weekend-only 1-2 credit seminar will cover current political topics in California and is taught by California Assemblymember Rob Bonta. The first weekend (required) will cover Healthcare for all, Affordable Housing, Immigrants' Rights, Environmental Justice, & Gun Violence and will incorporate guest speakers and a mock State Legislature or Campaign. The second (optional) weekend will cover Poverty & Income Inequality, Educational Equity, Women's Equity, Cannabis Policy, and Criminal Justice. This second weekend will be a deeper dive with a longer written legislative proposal.

PPOL 180B: Criminal Justice Law & Policy: Policing, Rights, and Reform (3 Credits)

The police play a critical role in our democracy, protecting the public and enforcing laws. But what are the limits of police authority and what rights do citizens have to be free from the government? Under what circumstances can the police use force, and what tools of enforcement are warranted? This one-weekend, one-credit course is offered as a “deep dive” into these critical criminal justice reform issues that are front and center today. The instructor, a former prosecutor & public defender, and guest speakers will prepare students to think critically about competing policy frameworks.

PPOL 180C: Made in China: Globalization, Policy, and the Environment (3 Credits)

Every day we use items that were made for us in China and other emerging economies. This reading and discussion seminar takes a political ecology approach to examining the chains of production and consumption in the global economic system. We will ask how our purchases affect people and the environment where they are made, how U.S. and global trade policies shape international development, how a U.S.-China rivalry could affect the world, and how actions here could improve social and environmental conditions in exporting countries.

Meets the following Core requirements: International Perspectives

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PPOL 180D: Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Local Governments (1-2 Credits)

In a local emergency or disaster, are you prepared to serve? In the wake of the fires, floods, and mudslides that have recently devastated communities across California, it has become evident that we need to better prepare to ensure the best outcomes when facing natural disasters. This class will provide a foundation for students who plan to serve as municipal staff, elected officials, or lead community-based organizations to understand the decisions that must be made and how to best equip and prepare the communities for such events.

Note(s): Undergraduates should register for 180D. Graduate students should register for 280D.

PPOL 180E: Back of the Envelope Estimating for Policy Makers (1 Credits)

For students of policy analysis the most difficult thing to learn, I think, is how to make numerical estimates when time is short or data are scarce. These estimates can be of just about anything: the magnitude of a problem, the cost of a program, the value of a particular activity, or the potential gain from adopting one policy rather than another.” –Fritzie Reisner In this hands-on skills lab, students teams navigate a series of case studies practicing four types of estimate: point, intervals/boundary, conditional and breakeven. Students will gain experience and confidence with estimating.

PPOL 180F: Organizing for Political Change (1 Credits)

COMPLETE INFO

PPOL 180G: Politics and Media (1 Credits)

TO BE COMPLETED BY INSTRUCTOR

PPOL 187: Comparative Politics of Social Policy (1-3 Credits)

This course examines the politics behind social welfare policies like national health insurance, financial assistance, and family support programs. It compares the US to countries from around the world, examining several questions. Why does social policy vary across countries? What goals do social policies serve and who benefits or does not? What political processes determine these goals and beneficiaries? When and why are social policies reformed? Can governments under fiscal stress continue to provide supportive social policies?

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PPOL 191: Senior Seminar (4 Credits)

As the capstone course for the public policy major, this course functions as an advanced policy analysis and research methods seminar, and also as a forum for students to share experiences in producing a policy thesis analyzing a current policy problem for a government agency or nonprofit organization. Classes are organized around the basic requirements of policy research, focusing on different types of projects you may encounter in your own work. It is expected that you will have identified a client and topic before the beginning of the semester, in consultation with the instructor.

Prerequisite(s): PPOL 100

Note(s): Open to non-majors by consent of instructor. Offered in spring only; fall graduates should enroll in the class the previous spring.

Meets the following Core requirements: Community Engagement

Instructor Consent Required: Y

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PPOL 200: Methods of Policy Analysis (3 Credits)

This course aims to prepare citizens to help their communities make informed and effective decisions. We will explore practical applications of the principal methods of policy analysis. These include a variety of quantitative and qualitative analytical tools used by policy analysts to frame issues, generate alternative options, project outcomes, and inform decision making in a democratic society. In addition, we will develop and practice oral and written communication skills relevant to policy analysis, culminating in a policy analysis paper and presentation.

Prerequisite(s): PPOL 210

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PPOL 201: Introduction to Statistics (3 Credits)

This course covers the following topics: descriptive statistics, probability, probability distributions, random variables, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, statistical inference, and linear regression. Examples used are drawn largely from social science.

Crosslisted with: ECON 081, MGMT 281

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PPOL 210: Public Policy and Economic Analysis (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to the professional practice of policy analysis, including the uses and limitations of economics in analyzing public problems in their institutional, political, and social contexts. Students develop an understanding the ways in which markets may not produce socially optimal outcomes. They learn how economic concepts inform the definition of social conditions as public problems, the development of policy instruments for addressing problems, and the evaluation of policy outcomes.

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PPOL 215: Public Sector Economics: The Economics of Government (3 Credits)

Public Sector Economics explores how government can protect our collective well-being when markets fail. It examines market failures and explores policies to address the problems they cause, like pollution, congestion, poverty, inequality, and the underprovision of public goods such as public safety and scientific research. It examines who really bears the burden of taxes, and analyzes government programs like welfare, food stamps, Medicare, and Social Security. It specifically addresses issues of fairness.

Prerequisite(s): PPOL 202

Crosslisted with: ECON 134

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PPOL 216: Qualitative Methods in Policy Research (3 Credits)

Introduces students to the theory and methods of qualitative research, including philosophical foundations, formulation of research questions, negotiation of entry and access, the ethics of fieldwork, sampling, data collection techniques, recording and transcription, analysis and presentation of qualitative data, and the evaluation of qualitative research. Students will be required to conduct some field research, such as a few interviews and some field observations, so the course will be particularly appropriate to those engaging in, or preparing for, a research project.

PPOL 217: Ethical Reasoning in Politics and Public Policy (3 Credits)

Investigation of major normative disputes in such areas as public assistance and entitlements, the environment, civil rights, and healthcare policy making. An examination of the difficulties of applying ethical argument to policy making.

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PPOL 218: Women's Leadership in Politics: Theory and Practice (3 Credits)

This course explores the challenges and opportunities in women’s political participation in the U.S. and prepares women for effective political engagement. We begin by looking at the history of women's participation, move into understanding how the political process works, and end with practical preparation. Students hear from women who have worked in politics as candidates and electeds, campaign consultants, and staffers. This course affords students an opportunity to develop both a theoretical understanding of gender and politics and practical skills for their own participation.

PPOL 220: Organizational Efficacy (3 Credits)

Designed for those planning to work with nonprofit or public-sector organizations, this course covers key factors in organizational performance in those sectors. Through case analyses and exercises, students learn to assess strategy, structure, culture, and operations, and become familiar with various management techniques, such as performance management, group decision-making, and dispute resolution. The aim throughout is to develop capacity for reflective practice rather than mechanical application of formulaic approaches to organizational challenges.

Note(s): This is a required course for the MPP.

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PPOL 221: Political Efficacy (3 Credits)

A major challenge for any policy analyst and policy change agent is to match policy design to the requirements for enactment and implementation. This course will offer a practicum in political feasibility, first teaching the student how to do an institutional inventory of major organizations and institutions necessary for implementation of specific policies. Students will also examine the political environment of specific policy arenas and learn strategies for coalition building, negotiation, and generating public support.

Note(s): This is a required course for the MPP.

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PPOL 225: Simulation in the Social and Policy Sciences (3-4 Credits)

In this advanced hands-on class, students are introduced to computer applications used for simulation and analysis in the social and policy sciences. Topics vary, but typically include advanced applications of standard desktop software, statistical packages, relational databases, network analysis, geographic information systems, intelligent agent models, and systems dynamics simulation. Data and examples are drawn from economics, history, political science, public policy, anthropology, and sociology.

Note(s): Students expected to possess basic computer skills and an openness to things mathematical and to have undertaken previous course work in social sciences beyond the introductory level.

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PPOL 227: Local and Community Policy Making, Planning, and Management (3 Credits)

This course covers analytical techniques and management practices for policy making at the local level. Substantive learning goals include understanding the varying needs and opportunities of "localities" and "communities"; appreciating the role of local government and community-based organizations; and the application of geographic information systems (GIS) to local issues such as transportation, environment, and housing. Course material is drawn from the Bay Area and students undertake a field practicum as part of the course.

Note(s): This is a required course for the MPP.

Instructor Consent Required: Y

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PPOL 230: Integrative Core I: Application/Integration of Policy Analysis Frameworks (3 Credits)

The Integrative Core sequence, a two-semester capstone of the MPP Program, is designed to integrate and deepen skills developed in the foundation courses. Students analyze a series of policy and managerial problems, using foundation skills along with new techniques introduced in this course. Methodological tools include statistical techniques, organizational analysis, economics, political analysis, legal and ethical reasoning, and other social science frameworks.

Prerequisite(s): PPOL 200 and PPOL 201 and PPOL 215

Note(s): This is a required course for the MPP. Prerequisite courses are also crosslisted at the undergraduate level (PPOL 100, ECON 081, ECON 134).

Instructor Consent Required: Y

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PPOL 231: Integrative Core II: Application/Integration of Policy Analysis Frameworks (3 Credits)

This second semester of the MPP Integrative Core sequence serves as a research seminar for students writing their Masters Policy Reports (MPRs). By the first class meeting, each student will have identified a government agency or nonprofit organization that will serve as the client, and will have specified a policy problem facing that agency or organization to be the focus of the MPR research. Students will give presentations on the progress of their projects, provide feedback to each others’ presentations and written drafts, and discuss relevant methodological issues.

Prerequisite(s): PPOL 230

Note(s): Open to MPP candidates in their final semester only.

Instructor Consent Required: Y

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PPOL 235: Environmental Policy Analysis (3 Credits)

This course is a reading seminar exploring political responses to environmental problems. Students will examine the social and cultural origins of attitudes toward the exploitation and conservation of natural resources, and the institutional structures that shape public policy in this field. American and international case studies will be considered in comparing the effects of ecological crises and policies on different populations and in applying alternative analytical approaches such as political ecology and environmental impact assessment.

PPOL 241: Law and Public Policy (3 Credits)

This course examines the role of law and legal institutions in policy-making. Using case studies of historical and contemporary issues, we will assess the strengths, weaknesses and relative effectiveness of different institutions--courts, legislatures, and administrative agencies--in making and enforcing public policy decisions. Students will also learn to read and conduct research in primary legal materials, including court decisions, legislative acts, and administrative regulations.

View Course Goals

PPOL 280: Special Topics (1-4 Credits)

Exploration of themes and/or topics not offered as part of the regular curriculum. Course content to be determined by the instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics differ.

PPOL 280AS: California Politics and Policy: Equity & Opportunity (1-2 Credits)

This unique weekend-only 1-2 credit seminar will cover current political topics in California and is taught by California Assemblymember Rob Bonta. The first weekend (required) will cover Healthcare for all, Affordable Housing, Immigrants' Rights, Environmental Justice, & Gun Violence and will incorporate guest speakers and a mock State Legislature or Campaign. The second (optional) weekend will cover Poverty & Income Inequality, Educational Equity, Women's Equity, Cannabis Policy, and Criminal Justice. This second weekend will be a deeper dive with a longer written legislative proposal.

PPOL 280B: Criminal Justice Law & Policy: Policing, Rights, and Reform (3 Credits)

The police play a critical role in our democracy, protecting the public and enforcing laws. But what are the limits of police authority and what rights do citizens have to be free from the government? Under what circumstances can the police use force, and what tools of enforcement are warranted? This one-weekend, one-credit course is offered as a “deep dive” into these critical criminal justice reform issues that are front and center today. The instructor, a former prosecutor & public defender, and guest speakers will prepare students to think critically about competing policy frameworks.

PPOL 280C: Made in China: Globalization, Policy, and the Environment (3 Credits)

Every day we use items that were made for us in China and other emerging economies. This reading and discussion seminar takes a political ecology approach to examining the chains of production and consumption in the global economic system. We will ask how our purchases affect people and the environment where they are made, how U.S. and global trade policies shape international development, how a U.S.-China rivalry could affect the world, and how actions here could improve social and environmental conditions in exporting countries.

PPOL 280D: Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Local Governments (1-2 Credits)

In a local emergency or disaster, are you prepared to serve? In the wake of the fires, floods, and mudslides that have recently devastated communities across California, it has become evident that we need to better prepare to ensure the best outcomes when facing natural disasters. This class will provide a foundation for students who plan to serve as municipal staff, elected officials, or lead community-based organizations to understand the decisions that must be made and how to best equip and prepare the communities for such events.

Note(s): Undergraduates should register for 180D. Graduate students should register for 280D.

PPOL 280E: Back of the Envelope Estimating for Policy Makers (1 Credits)

For students of policy analysis the most difficult thing to learn, I think, is how to make numerical estimates when time is short or data are scarce. These estimates can be of just about anything: the magnitude of a problem, the cost of a program, the value of a particular activity, or the potential gain from adopting one policy rather than another.” –Fritzie Reisner In this hands-on skills lab, students teams navigate a series of case studies practicing four types of estimate: point, intervals/boundary, conditional and breakeven. Students will gain experience and confidence with estimating.

PPOL 292: Business, Policy, and Society (3 Credits)

With increasing interdependence between private, public, and non-profit sectors, it is important to understand how they act and interact–in regulation, contracting, and partnerships–and how the public interest may be affected by interactions and blurring boundaries. We will examine the predominant characteristics of the different sectors and will analyze productive versus unsuccessful interactions. This course is a capstone for 3rd-year MPP/MBA students and is available as an elective to MBA and MPP students in their last year of study (or by consent of instructor).

Note(s): The course is a capstone for 3rd-year MPP/MBA students and is available as an elective to MBA and MPP students in their last year of study (or with consent of instructor).

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