Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Graduate Courses

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Graduate Courses

Graduate Core Courses
200. INTRODUCTION TO POLICY ANALYSIS (4) 

Four hours of discussion per week. Prerequisites: Open only to students in the Graduate School of Public Policy. This introductory course will integrate various social science disciplines and apply these perspectives to problems of public policy. Throughout the academic term, students will apply knowledge of politics, economics, sociology, and quantitative methods in the analysis of case studies of policymakers and managers making decisions. Students learn to use the techniques of social science to evaluate projects and programs. Course will include the preparation of a major paper for a client.

205. ADVANCED POLICY Analysis (6)  

Three hours of seminar per week. Prerequisites: Open only to majors who have completed the core curriculum. Each student will conduct thorough analysis on a major policy question. In this research, students will apply the interdisciplinary methods, approaches, and perspectives studied in the core curriculum.

210A-210B. THE ECONOMICS OF PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS (4;4)  

Three hours of lecture/discussion and one hour of session per week. Prerequisites: Open only to students in the Graduate School of Public Policy. Theories of microeconomic behavior of consumers, producers, and bureaucrats are developed and applied to specific policy areas. Ability to analyze the effects of alternative policy actions in terms of 1) the efficiency of resource allocation and 2) equity is stressed. Policy areas are selected to show a broad range of actual applications of theory and a variety of policy strategies.

220. LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY (4)  

Four hours of lecture/discussion per week. Prerequisites: Open only to students in the Graduate School of Public Policy. Focuses on legal aspects of public policy by exposing students to primary legal materials, including court decisions and legislative and administrative regulations. Skills of interpretation and legal draftsmanship are developed. Relationships among law-making agencies and between law and policy are explored through case-centered studies.

240A-240B. DECISION ANALYSIS, MODELING, AND QUANTITATIVE METHODS (4;4)  

Four hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: Open only to students in the Graduate School of Public Policy. An integrated course on the use of quantitative techniques in public policy analysis: computer modeling and simulation, linear programming and optimization, decision theory, and statistical and econometric analysis of policy-relevant data. The student develops a facility in distilling the policy relevance of numbers through an analysis of case studies and statistical data sets.

250. POLITICAL AND AGENCY MANAGEMENT ASPECTS OF PUBLIC POLICY (4)  

Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Prerequisites: Open only to students in the Graduate School of Public Policy. Formerly 230A. This course examines the political and organizational factors involved in developing new policies, choosing among alternatives, gaining acceptance, assuring implementation, and coping with unanticipated consequences. Materials will include case studies, theoretical, empirical, and interpretive works from several disciplines.

260. PUBLIC LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT (4) 

Four hours of lecture/discussion per week.Prerequisites: Open only to students in the Graduate School of Public Policy and a select few students at other graduate schools. Formerly Public Policy 230B. This course is designed to help students develop their skills for leading and managing groups, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and public advocacy, with the goal of achieving positive social change. Materials include case studies, analyses, and works from several disciplines. Course is open to first and second year MPP students, but recommended for first year.

Graduate Electives

The following courses are open to all graduate students on the campus, including GSPP students. A few of the courses are designed primarily to provide non-GSPP students with the various skills that make up policy analysis, but most offer advanced work of relevance to GSPP students as well as to graduate students in other professional or disciplinary units.

251. MICROECONOMIC ORGANIZATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS (3) 

Two hours of seminar and one hour of conference per week. Prerequisites: Business Administration 101B or Economics 200A or equivalent, and consent of instructor. Research seminar to develop public policy analyses based on microeconomic theories of organization, including collective demand mechanisms, behavioral theory of regulatory agencies and bureaucracies, and productivity in the public sector.

C253. INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POLICY (3)  

Three hours of lecture per week.Prerequisites: Minimum one semester of graduate-level microeconomics and statistics or consent of instructor. This course emphasizes the development and application of policy solutions to developing-world problems related to poverty, macroeconomic policy, and environmental sustainability. Methods of statistical, economic, and policy analysis are applied to a series of case studies. The course is designed to develop practical professional skills for application in the international arena. Also listed as Agricultural and Resource Economics C253.

256. PROGRAM AND POLICY DESIGN (4)  

Three hours of seminar per week. Formerly 206.Studio/laboratory in the design of non-physical environments. Complements courses in policy analysis, public management, economics, and political science; especially intended to integrate elements of professional programs in public policy and related areas. Students will design, in groups and individually, programs and policies that create value in the public sector, including statutes, regulations, and implementation projects. Comparative reviews will feature invited guests. Graduate level of 156.

257. ARTS AND CULTURAL POLICY (4) 

Three hours of lecture per week. Formerly 208. Survey of government policy toward the arts (especially direct subsidy, copyright and regulation, and indirect assistance) and its effects on artists, audiences, and institutions. Emphasizes "highbrow" arts, U.S. policy, and the social and economic roles of participants in the arts. Readings, field trips, and case discussion. One paper in two drafts required for undergraduate credit; graduate credit awarded for an additional short paper to be arranged and attendance at four advanced colloquia throughout the term. Graduate level of 157.

259. COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS (3) 

Three hours of seminar per week. Prerequisites: Calculus and Intermediate Microeconomics or consent of instructor. This course discusses and criticizes the conceptual foundations of cost-benefit analysis, and analyzes in depth some important applied aspects such as endogenous prices of other commodities, methods to infer willingness to pay, valuation of life, uncertainty and the rate of discount.

269. PUBLIC BUDGETING (4) 

Three hours of lecture/discussion per week. Formerly 209. Public sector budgeting is an activity that incorporates many, perhaps most, of the skills of the public manager and analyst. The goal of this course is to develop and hone these skills. Using cases and readings from all levels of American government, the course will allow the student to gain an understanding of the effects and consequences of public sector budgeting, its processes and participants, and the potential impacts of various reforms. Graduate level of Public Policy 179.

270. KID-FIRST POLICY: FAMILY, SCHOOL, AND COMMUNITY (4) 

Three hours of lecture per week. This seminar appraises the critical policy choices that shape the lives of children and adolescents from birth through high school and beyond. The issues are as varied-and hotly debated by politicians and policy-makers-as banning Coke machines in schools to reduce obesity, regulating teenage abortion, providing universal preschool and helping abused children. Students from across the campus-public policy, education, social welfare, business, sociology, political science, economics-bring different perspectives. Discussions and readings draw on insights from across the policy sciences. Problem-solving is the focus in seminar meetings and research projects.

C275. HOUSING AND THE URBAN ECONOMY (3)  

Three hours of seminar per week. Prerequisites: 210A-210B or equivalent. This course considers the economics of urban housing and land markets from the viewpoints of investors, developers, public and private managers, and consumers. It considers the interactions between private action and public regulation--including land use policy, taxation, and government subsidy programs. We will also analyze the links between primary and secondary mortgage markets, securitization, and liquidity. Finally, the links between local housing and related markets--such as transportation and public finance--will be explored. Also listed as City and Regional Planning C234.

279. RESEARCH DESIGN AND DATA COLLECTION FOR PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS (3) 

Three hours of seminar per week. Prerequisites: At least one semester of statistics. Public policy analysis requires a sophisticated understanding of a variety of types of data. Empirical arguments and counterarguments play a central role in policy debates. Quantitative analysis courses teach you how to analyze data; this course will introduce you to strategies of data collection and principles for critically evaluating data collected by others. Topics include measurement reliability and validity, questionnaire design, sampling, experimental and quasi-experimental program evaluation designs, qualitative research methods, and the politics of data in public policy.

280. ETHICS, POLICY, AND THE POWER OF IDEAS (4)  

Three hours of seminar per week. This seminar brings together two related frames for policy thinking: the ethics of policy, that is, what does it mean to do the right thing? and the intervention of policy, that is, how do new policy paradigms emerge? Ethics:Those who seek to govern well inescapably confront questions of value in their political, professional, and personal choices. the discussion of ethical dilemmas, which will take up the first half of the semester, is designed to provoke analytic reflection on the moral challenges and responsibilities of public policymaking in a democracy. The focus is on the many and often competing obligations, commitments and values that should guide public actors, as well as on the public principles that guide the design of good public policy. Big Ideas: Politics and conventional analytics dominate policy in the short run. But over the longer term, conceptualizations as varied as exit/voice/loyalty, satisficing, the tipping point, memes, winner-take-all, strong democracy, broken windows, and the prisoners dilemma profoundly influence the policy conservation.

282. ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY FROM THE POLICY AND BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE (4)  

Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Most environmental issues involve technology, either in the role of "villain" or "hero." This course uses the lens of specific technologies to survey environmental policy and management, with an emphasis on the complexities of policy-making with diverse interest groups. The class includes case studies, guest practitioners, and a group project in which students employ a range of analytic tools and frameworks in order to develop creative, effective, and actionable environmental solutions.

C284. ENERGY AND SOCIETY (4)  

Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Energy sources, uses, and impacts; an introduction to the technology, politics, economics, and environmental effects of energy in contemporary society. Energy and well-being; energy international perspective, origins, and character of energy crisis. Also listed as Energy and Resources Group C200.

286. US NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY (4) 

Three hours of lecture per week. An intensive examination of the concepts, organizations, issues that shape U.S. national security policy. First half of the course deals with deterrence and containment, alliance cohesion and power projection, crisis management, nuclear weapons, and criteria for military intervention. Second half focuses on global war on terrorism, homeland security, nuclear weapons proliferation, and U.S.-China strategic relations. Course requires extensive student participation, policy memos, and an examination.

288. RISK AND OPTIMIZATION MODELS FOR POLICY (4)  

Four hours of workshop/discussion per week.Prerequisites: One course in statistics/probability. Optimization and simulation models in stochastic and deterministic contexts. Monte Carlo simulation, Bayesian models and decisions, linear and nonlinear programming, queing models, and a review of heuristics and biases in individual risk assessment. Hands-on exploration of tools oriented to management and policy decisions in public and nonprofit organizations. Objective for students: tools you can use right away, plus lifelong habit of learning and using new analytic methods.

290. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC POLICY (1-4) 

Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. One to four hours of lecture per week for 14 weeks depending on topic. Two to eight hours of lecture per week for seven weeks depending on topic. Course examines current problems and issues in the field of public policy. Topics may vary from year to year and will be announced at the beginning of the semester. Open to students from other departments.

292. DIRECTED ADVANCED STUDY (1-12)  

Course may be repeated for credit. Open to qualified graduate students wishing to pursue special study and research under direction of a member of the staff.

295. SUPERVISED RESEARCH COLLOQUIUM (1-9) 

Course may be repeated for credit. Must be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Open to qualified graduate students wishing to pursue special research under direction of a member of the staff. Discussion and analysis of dissertation research projects, including conceptual and methodological problems of designing and conducting policy research.

296.  PH.D. SEMINAR (3)  

Course may be repeated for credit. Two hours of seminar and one hour of consultation per week. Prerequisites: Must be a Ph.D. student in public policy in third year or beyond.Discussion and analysis of dissertation research projects, including conceptual and methodological problems of designing and conducting public policy research.

297.  GRADUATE STUDENT LED COURSE IN PUBLIC POLICY (1) 

Course may be repeated for credit as topic varies. One and one-half hours of lecture per week. Must be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisites: Open to graduate students only. Course examines current problems and issues in the field of public policy. Topics vary from year to year.

298.  DIRECTED ADVANCED STUDY (1-12)  

Course may be repeated for credit. Must be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Open to qualified graduate students wishing to pursue special study and research under direction of a member of the staff.