Carnegie Mellon University

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, and the problems and pitfalls associated with a more algorithmic approach to public policy. These three units will build toward a final research project where students propose their own policy initiative.

Academic Year: 2022-2023
Semester(s): Fall
Required/Elective: Required
Units: 12
Location(s): Washington, DC

Fall 2022
5:30-8:20 PM

This course is only open to students participating in the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program.

Elective course for the following IPS degrees:
BS International Relations and Politics
Additional Major in International Relations and Politics
BS Economics and Politics
Additional Major in Economics and Politics
Minor in Politics and Public Policy