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Prepare to evaluate public policies addressing complex social challenges.

Social Policy Social Policy

Use policy to promote equity and forge social change.

Gain the quantitative, political, administrative and legal skills to analyze social needs and policy impact on human lives worldwide. You'll learn to monitor, evaluate, and communicate data to convey the consequences of policy development and implementation.

Areas of Focus

  • Economics of gender and race
  • Crime and poverty
  • Health policy and healthcare access
  • Data and visualization
  • Inequality and discrimination
  • Drug control policy

Internship Experiences

You'll use the skills you gain to address real policy issues. Prior to graduation, you'll also complete a 300-hour internship at an approved site. 

Previous Internship Sites

  • Prevent Child Abuse - New Jersey
  • Global Links
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • Government Accountability Office 
View internship information

Career Paths

Whether you're championing for better education opportunities, affordable housing, or income equality, there are many ways you can impact complex social issues. 

Potential Workplaces

  • National, state, and local governments as a legislative aide or policy researcher
  • Nonprofits as a program evaluator or community outreach specialist
  • Private sector as a policy analyst, strategist, or program manager
See alumni careers

Major Courses and Plans of Study

As a public policy major, you’ll gain the technical abilities to conduct a range of research activities from the required degree courses and tailor your focus from a range of core major courses. To understand the different requirements for the MPA and MID degrees with this major, compare their plans of study.

View MPA plan of study View MID plan of study

Featured Courses

  • Focusing on the definition, protection and conflicts of identity, gender, sexuality, race and religion in law and policy in the United States, this course will engage legal analysis, case-based examples and structured student debates on emerging policy issues involving identity and its place in American society today. It considers the historical and philosophical justifications that have been used to broaden the definition and protection of identity — from desegregation of the past to race conscious admissions of today.

  • Why are there persistent gaps in labor market outcomes across groups? Why are there persistent differences across groups in educational attainment? What drives the underrepresentation of women and minority groups in government? Drawing from economic research, this course explores questions such as these around racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in the United States. For each issue, you will consider the impact of policy on reducing, or exacerbating, these disparities. 

  • In recent decades, income inequality has increased substantially in the United States. This course examines those changes, their causes, and the costs and benefits of different possible remedies. You will explore the links between political changes, financial measures, changes in social inequality and social behavior.

View all Fall 2019 courses

Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives

Gain experience in research, analysis, teaching, and service in the field of social policy.

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