Policy Studies Courses

2014-15 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

PST 225:  Introduction to Public Policy 4 sh
This course is designed as a foundational course for understanding policy development.  Students focus on the economic and political concepts that shape the development of public policies, the typical tools used to analyze and evaluate different types of public policies and proposals, and the values trade-offs that are encountered when choosing and implementing public policies.  Pre-requisites,  ECO 111. Offered spring. 

PST 231: Public Administration 4sh
This course introduces the student to the complexities of administering government activities and emphasizes the basic principles of organizations, decision making, fiscal management, personnel management and other forms of action in the public sector. 

PST 310: Philanthropy and Social Change 4sh
This course explores the development of American philanthropy from its historical and legal foundations to its contemporary role in supporting nonprofit organizations, encouraging changes in public policy and fomenting social change.  Incorporating a variety of classroom and on-site experiences and visits from several foundation officials, students will analyze current trends in philanthropy including the internal dynamics of grant-making institutions and the processes involved in awarding grants to applicants.  The course culminates in a simulation in which students establish philanthropy, assuming roles as executives and board members of a grant making entity.

PST 311:  Nonprofits 4sh
Nonprofit organizations have played an important and distinctive role in American democratic society.  This course introduces students to the different ways that these organizations impact contemporary society and to the complexities of how to operate a nonprofit organization.

PST 328: Public Policy 4sh
Building on the concepts explored in PST 225, Introduction to Public Policy, this course emphasizes policy content and focuses on the stages adn options in the process, especially the complex relationships between the branches and levels of government within teh structure of federalism. Students trace the development of selected public policy positions and focus on options available to contemporary decision makers. 

PST 332: Comparative Public Policy 4sh
Focusing primarily on various countries in Europe and Eurasia with comparisons to the United States, this course examines the differences in the formation and implementation of a variety of public policies.  It also explores differences in political culture, economic structure, political institutions and national approaches to domestic social policies, and how those differences impact the policy process and policy content.

PST 335:  Ethics in the Public Sector 4sh
The coure seeks to develop awareness of teh responsibilities associated with discretionary power, to develop an understanding of the ethical standards, values and virtues associated with civil service; and to build skills in using moral imagination and ethical reasoning to assess and deal effictively with ethical dilemmas that arise in public service. 

PST 336:  Comparative Justice Systems 4sh
This course explores the theoretical legal foundations, law enforcement practices, court systems, sentencing practices and innovative methods of punishment in variety of settings, such as Europe, Asia, the transitional legal systems of the former Soviet Union states, Islamic Systems and American legal system.  Comparison between these systems will focus on the sources of law, procedures for resolving legal disputes and the principles of civil and criminal justice in each system.

PST 431:  Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation 4sh
Two aspects of the public policy process are covered in this course.  Policy analysis focuses on the formulation stage of the policy process and attempts to isolate both the intended and many unintended effects of public policy.  Program evaluation determines the degree to which a program is meeting its objectives and considers problems and side effects.  Pre-requisite:  POL 220 or permission of instructor.

PST 461:  Senior Seminar in Policy Studies 4sh
The senior seminar in policy studies is designed as a capstone experience in which students will apply the knowledge and skills acquired through their academic course work and internships either to a research project or to a community based problem.  Prerequisites POL 220, PST 225 and senior standing.

PST 481: Internship in Policy Studies    1-8 sh
Work experience in a policy related setting.  Students, in coordination with a departmental faculty member, establish experiential learning goals and reflect on their experience.  Internships should deepen students’ understanding of their chosen concentration within the policy studies major.  Offered on an individual basis when suitable opportunities can be arranged.

PST 485:  Washington Internship in Policy Studies 1-8 sh
Work experience in a partisan, nonprofit, business, governmental or legal setting in the Washington, D.C., area requires students to establish experiential goals and reflect on the learning experience.  Offered on an individual basis when suitable opportunities can be arranged.

PST 491: Independent Study 1-4sh

PST 499:  Independent Research 1-4 sh
This course is an opportunity for student to undertake independent research in collaboration with a departmental faculty member.  Research should be designed to enhance a student’s understanding of their chosen area of concentration within the policy studies major.  Students may apply up to four hours of research credits towards the major.  Prerequisites: POL 220 and PST 225; or permission from the instructor.

This page was updated July 2, 2014.