Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology

CMU's Home for Political Science and International Relations

CMIST logo

Seminar in Public Policy Research

Course Number: 84-339

Public policy has high stakes. The taxes we pay, our access to medical care, the quality and composition of the military- all of these are the direct result of US public policy. Furthermore, public policy often touches on highly contested issues such as private gun ownership or single payer health care. Public policy research then is important, helping inform critical political decisions with evidence-based analysis. This seminar will give students an overview of public policy research concepts, terms, and actors. This will be followed by a case study unit on exemplars of public policy research: the opening of all military occupations to women, and the passage the Affordable Care Act. A third unit will focus on the increasing role of scalable analytics and large datasets. In this unit students will gain an overview of scalable methods (including machine learning applications), the potential of "big data" to transform policy research, but the problems and pitfalls associated with a more algorithmic approach to public policy. These three units will build towards a final research project where students propose their own policy initiative. 

Academic Year: 2024-2025
Semester(s): Fall
Units: 12
Location(s): Washington, DC

Fall 2024
5:30-8:20 PM

This course is only available as part of the CMU/WSP.