These are short course descriptions for undergraduate courses taught in the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy during 2015-2023.
- Course descriptions are ordered by number, not by prefix.
- The specific content of a course might vary depending on the instructor.
- Special Topics (48XX) courses may be offered that are not on this list.
- Instructors in future offerings of these courses may change.
(Courses other than POL 1101 are usually restricted to BSPP majors)
- POL 1101 – Government of the U.S.
- PUBP 2010 – Political Processes
- PHIL 2025 – Philosophical Analysis for Policy Choices
- PUBP 2030 – Organizations and Policy
- PUBP 3020 – Applied Political Economy
- PUBP 3030 – Policy Analysis
- PUBP 3120 – Statistical Analysis for Public Policy
- PUBP 3130 – Research Methods and Problem Solving
- PUBP 4010 / 4020 – Policy Task Force I / II
Environmental and Energy Policy Cluster Courses
- PUBP 3315 – Environmental Policy and Politics
- PUBP 3320 – Climate Policy
- PUBP 3350 – Energy Policy
- PUBP 3600 – Sustainability, Technology, and Policy
- PHIL 4176 – Environmental Ethics
- PUBP 4440 – Science, Technology, and Regulation
- PUBP 4620 – Environmental Law
- PUBP 4803 – Intergenerational Policy
Science and Technology Policy Cluster Courses
- PHIL 3127 – Science, Technology, and Human Values
- PUBP 3230 – STEM Education Policy
- PUBP 3244 – Stem Cell Science, Policy, and Ethics
- PUBP 4111 – Internet and Public Policy
- PUBP 4214 – Gender, Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- PUBP 4260 – Economic Development Policy and Planning
- PUBP 4410 – Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- PUBP 4440 – Science, Technology, and Regulation
- PUBP 4640 – Technology Law, Policy, and Management
- PUBP 4650 – Internet Law
- PUBP 4725 – Information Security Policies
- PUBP 4726 – Privacy, Technology, Policy, and Law
- PUBP 4803 – Inclusive Policy Innovation
- PUBP 4803 – Intellectual Property Transactions
- PUBP 4803 – Responsible Innovation
- PUBP 4803 – Internet Governance
- PUBP 4823 – Perspectives on Science and Technology
Social and Urban (Health) Policy Cluster Courses
- PUBP 3201 – Introduction to Social Policy
- PUBP 3210 – U.S. Health Policy
- PUBP 3214 – African-American Politics
- PUBP 3230 – STEM Education Policy
- PUBP 4200 – Social Policy Issues
- PUBP 4211 – Urban Policy
- PUBP 4212 – Women and Public Policy
- PUBP 4214 – Gender, Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- PUBP 4803 – Comparative Social Policy
- PUBP 4803 – Health Disparities
- PUBP 4803 – Inclusive Policy Innovation
- PUBP 4803 – Public Health Policy
- PUBP 4803 – STEM Diversity
- PUBP 4803 – Intergenerational Policy
- PUBP 4843 – Law, Medicine, and Ethics
Politics and (Leadership) Policy Cluster Courses
- POL 2101 – State and Local Government
- PUBP 1142 – Teams and Collaboration
- PUBP 2012 – Foundations of Public Policy (Not available to B.S. PUBP majors.)
- PUBP 3000 – U.S. Constitutional Issues
- PUBP 3016 – Judicial Process
- PUBP 3141 – Leading Change in Social Organizations
- PUBP 3214 – African-American Politics
- PUBP 3510 – Politics and Policy
- PUBP 3520 – Globalization and Policy
- PUBP 4140 – Foundations of Leadership
- PUBP 4226 – Business and Government
- PUBP 4440 – Science, Technology, and Regulation
- PUBP 4803 – Intergenerational Policy
- PUBP 4803 – Metropolitan Governance
- PUBP 4803 – Policy Implementation and Administration
- PUBP 4803 – Public Management
- PUBP 4803 – Intergenerational Policy
- PUBP 4952 & 4903 – Georgia Legislative Internship Program
Philosophy Cluster Courses
- PHIL 2010 – Introduction to Philosophy
- PHIL 3050 – Political Philosophy
- PHIL 3102 – Ancient Philosophy
- PHIL 3103 – Modern Philosophy
- PHIL 3109 – Engineering Ethics
- PHIL 3115 – Philosophy of Science
- PHIL 3127 – Science, Technology, and Human Values
- PHIL 3135 – Philosophy of Technology
- PHIL 3140 – Philosophy of Food
- PHIL 3180 – Biomedical Ethics
- PUBP 3244 – Stem Cell Science, Policy, & Ethics
- PHIL 3790 – Philosophy of Cognitive Science
- PUBP 4843 – Law, Medicine, and Ethics
- PHIL 4176 – Environmental Ethics
- PHIL 4803 – Responsible Innovation
- PHIL 4803 – Social Justice in the Digital Age
Data Analysis and Methods Courses
- PUBP 4120 – Survey Research Methods
- PUBP 4530 – Geographic Information Systems
- PUBP 4803 – Bibliometrics, Citation Analysis
- PUBP 4803 – Cost Benefit Analysis
- PUBP 4803 – Game Theory
Law, Science, and Technology Courses
- PUBP 3000 – U.S. Constitutional Issues
- PUBP 3016 – Judicial Process
- PUBP 3610 – Pre-Law Seminar
- PUBP 4609 – Legal Practice
- PUBP 4620 – Environmental Law
- PUBP 4640 – Technology Law, Policy, and Management
- PUBP 4650 – Internet Law
- PUBP 4803 – Privacy, Technology, Policy, and Law
- PUBP 4803 – Sports Law and Public Policy
- PUBP 4843 – Law, Medicine, and Ethics
1000 - Level Courses
POL 1101 - Government of the U.S. (Barke, Matisoff, Persons, Taylor) CORE
This course will explore fundamental concepts, theories, and issues of American politics and policy. We will do so by examining historical and current issues which confront the United States. American politics is a setting in which diverse interests compete over values, wealth, security, power, and ideas, with powers shared by three branches of government and spread across local, state, and federal levels. We will focus on fundamental tensions over power, interests, and the question of “who decides?” The course also provides insights into the roles and functions of the major institutions of American national government including the Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the federal bureaucracy, as well as the role of state and local governments. One goal of this class is to help you to think critically about how to judge the strengths and weaknesses of public policies.
PUBP 1142 - Teams and Collaboration (Wynens)
First, this course examines the interpersonal processes and structural characteristics that influence the effectiveness of teams, individual behavior in face-to-face interactions, and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. In short, we will examine “what does it take to be a good teammate?” Second, this course seeks to understand the theory and processes of group and team behavior to inform how you can effectively lead teams. This course will help you understand the general principles and processes of effective leadership so that you can lead in a wide variety of situations. Third, this course is intended to allow you to practice the art of engaging difficult problems in a team context. Deliberate use of effective team problem solving methods will be explored against the backdrop of effective team behavior and societal challenges.
2000 - Level Courses
PUBP 2010 - Political Processes (Barke) CORE
Politics in the policy process is about combining knowledge and analysis with individual and social beliefs, values, and preferences about a public problem into a collective decision that, ideally, promotes the public interest. We will focus on the procedures and institutions by which choices and values are created, shaped, and aggregated into public decisions, i.e., "politics." Our focus is both on the “why” (models and theories about why the process works as it does) and the “how” (knowledge about how to be more effective as policy analysts or advocates). We will examine why fundamental concepts such as equity, security, decisions, incentives, rules, efficiency, and liberty are problematic, the roles that various stakeholders play in political processes, and whether politics and policy making can be explained by assuming rational actors and institutions that are constrained by constitutional and scientific principles. Students will research a policy issue of their choice and write a professional memo that proposes a politically feasible course of action based on stakeholder and institutional analyses.
PHIL 2010 - Introduction to Philosophy (Hoffman, Biddle)
This course is an introduction to some of the main themes of philosophy. We will examine some of the most fundamental issues of human existence, including the existence and nature of God; the nature of mind and the mind-body problem; freedom of will and moral responsibility; ethics, and existential issues.
PUBP 2012 - Foundations of Public Policy (Leggon)
We will explore policy as both a product and a process. Among the issues addressed are the policy cycle, evaluation, and ethical issues and the role of public opinion in public policy. Policy principles and processes will be examined in the context of specific issues such as health care, education, employment, social security, energy and the environment. Not available to BSPP majors.
PHIL 2025 - Philosophical Analysis for Policy Choices (Hoffman, Kirkman) CORE
Kirkman: This is a practical course in that the real work of the course will be in grappling with concrete, practical problem situations, taking them as opportunities to acquire and practice skills in rigorous inquiry, including analysis, synthesis, and critical consideration. Such inquiry is philosophical in that it focuses mainly on the normative aspects of public policy – matters of value, obligation and character – which extend downward to more basic philosophical questions regarding knowledge and hope, and outward to questions of political legitimacy. The course will follow a problem-based learning (PBL) approach, which means students themselves, working together in groups, will explore an array of concrete problems that involve ethical and epistemological questions; students will also work together to acquire and hone the tools of philosophical inquiry in public policy.
Hoffman: Disagreement on matters of public policy often turns on philosophical questions regarding the validity of factual claims (epistemology), values to be pursued or obligations to be met (ethics), and (often implicit) decisions on how to frame a particular policy problem. This course introduces basic theories and concepts from the philosophical tradition as resources for a critical reflection on these issues. A variety of policy-choice problems will be used to practice the application of these theories and concepts. The course combines individual work followed by class discussions with a problem-based learning (PBL) approach, which means students themselves, working together in groups, will explore an array of concrete problems that involve ethical and epistemological questions.
PUBP 2030 - Organizations and Policy (Fox, Kingsley) CORE
Organizations and Policy focuses on what we need to understand about the organizational settings in which we live and work, and the policies that shape (and reflect) public and private organizations. We address: major perspectives on organizations and why these matter; views of what goes on inside of organizations (including culture and control, power, inequalities, conflict, and deviance); organizations and the broader environments in which they exist; ways that organizations adapt and transform over time; and futures of organizations and policy.
POL 2101 - State and Local Government (Kingsley, Polak)
Students will learn via a hands-on problem based experience of state and local government policy making in the United States. The class is divided into five parts: 1) Analytical problem solving to formulate a solution for a policy problem of the student’s choice. 2) Foundations of political institutions and policy making from an institutional and political perspective. 3) Hands on experience advocating for a policy solution by directly engaging with political and policy leaders. 4) Understanding of political campaigning at the state and local level. 5) Knowledge of current policy issues and challenges.
3000 - Level Courses
PUBP 3000 - US Constitutional Issues (Slieper)
This course will provide students with an overview of the US Constitution, including its history, methods for judicial interpretation, the commerce clause, and various cases dealing with civil rights and liberties, religious liberties, and more. We will focus a good deal on the individuals involved in the cases studied, and you will gain skills around reading and interpreting judicial opinions that will serve you well in law school should you choose to attend. Much of the course’s learning takes place in small group in-class discussions, where you will often role-play as Supreme Court Justices.
PUBP 3016 - Judicial Process (Weizenecker, Tinsley)
In this course we will cover the functions, structures, and procedures of state and federal court systems. The course will address civil and criminal procedure in addition to judicial concepts that apply to both civil and criminal cases such as jury selection, statutory interpretation, and the rules of evidence. We will study different types of law that impact judicial decisions: statutes, case law, and rules of evidence and procedure.
PUBP 3020 - Applied Political Economy (Mueller, Taylor) CORE
Political economy (PE) is the study of the relationship between the government, economy and society. Most of the ‘big ideas’ that shape public policy have their origin in theories of political economy. Hence political-economy provides the basis for policy intervention (or non- intervention) in socio-economic affairs. And these theories then get revised by our experience with public policy. Applied Political Economy has two goals: 1) to equip students with the theories, methods, and case studies of political economy, and 2) to teach students to apply those theories and methods to the analysis of societal problems and to the public policy initiatives that might be used to respond to those problems.
PUBP 3030 - Policy Analysis (Bullinger, Kingsley) CORE
Policy analysis involves the structured investigation into rationales for and practice of public policy.
“Structured” does not mean “value-free,” however, and policy analysis combines scientific methods with values. The focus of the course is on developing practical techniques for analyzing policies and, ultimately helping policymakers arrive at viable and informed policy choices with a credible expectation of what the expected outcomes of those policy choices will be. A variety of concepts underpinning policy development and implementation are developed and linked to evaluating policy impacts. Students also will learn about the assumptions that underlie those concepts and techniques, and about the professional roles and responsibilities of policy analysts. The first part of the course integrates theories and analytical approaches learned in coursework in the study of more advanced policy analysis. The second part of the course emphasizes application of these approaches to selected real-world policy problems. Students will participate in exercises that illustrate the techniques and challenges of policy analysis.
PUBP 3042 - Data Science for Public Policy (Asensio)
The amount of data in our world has been exploding in nearly every sector in the economy and analyzing large data, so-called big data, will become the basis of competition, productivity growth and innovation. Public sector organizations are using data to boost productivity and improve the speed of public statistics and services. Companies are using data-driven strategies to more precisely tailor products and services with predictive analytics. Policies will need to be developed in a big data world to deal with issues surrounding information privacy, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning and smart cities. Techniques used to mine consumer and industry data provide new platforms for controlled experimentation and large-scale data aggregation that is ideally suited for policy analysis and program evaluation. However, there is currently a shortage of trained data scientists in both the private and public sectors. This course introduces data science tools and quantitative methods for public policy and social science applications. Students will learn foundations of big data analytics, experiments and causal inference, and prediction problems in the social sciences. Lectures, hands-on case studies and discussion.
PHIL 3050 - Political Philosophy (Hoffman, Kirkman)
Kirkman: Students will work together in groups on careful and thoughtful reading of primary source materials in political philosophy, beginning with three variants of democratic theory (Locke, Rousseau, Young). The aim of this close reading will be to gain an understanding of key concepts in political philosophy, the distinctions and connections among them, and the degree to which they are organized into distinct theoretical frameworks. Students will then use these theoretical frameworks as tools for analysis, option generation, and critical consideration of complex practical problems in public life. The practical focus of the course is on grappling with complex problem situations in public life and critical consideration of possible options for responding to such situations, using theoretical frameworks to assist you in identifying issues and assumptions. The learning outcomes of the course all involve acquiring the tools of normative inquiry in political philosophy and using those tools in responding to particular, concrete and messy problem situations. A messy problem situation is one in which a decision is to be made that hinges on matters of value and obligation but in which there may not be just one correct response or even just one way of understanding the problem.
Hoffman: This class focuses on theories of democracy. Based on a reading for each class meeting, we will (1) compare democracy with other forms of governance and discuss why democracy might be worth to pursue; (2) compare various historical approaches to democracy; (3) discuss problems with how democratic institutions and processes are constituted in the United States and how they could be improved; and we will (4) discuss deliberative and more radical approaches to democracy.
PHIL 3102 - Ancient Philosophy (C. Johnson)
Why did modern scientific thought emerge when it did and not thousands of years earlier? What can the history of inquiry into the natural world tell us about why we think the way we do today? Does the history of science matter for scientific practice today? To answer these questions, this course will trace the history of philosophy from its earliest days in ancient Greece up to the emergence of the modern age in the Renaissance. We will begin by looking at how recognizably philosophical thinking arose with changes in the conception of what an individual is and what we can know about the natural world. We will follow trends in cosmology, astronomy, physics, epistemology, ontology, conceptions of the individual, and individual creativity. By the time we arrive at the Renaissance, we will understand why the soil was fertile for the modern worldview to emerge. By seeing the developments that led to the modern world, we can bring to light our own assumptions and better understand the philosophical assumptions implicit in scientific theories. By participating in an ongoing dialog about the worldview changes that shaped philosophical thought throughout the earliest portion of philosophy’s history, students will see how modern thought emerged, why it emerged when it did, and what implications this has for creative scientific thought today.
PHIL 3103 - Modern Philosophy (Johnson, Kirkman)
During the 16th & 17th centuries, as the Scientific Revolution took root in the West, new questions arose about the origin and nature of knowledge, the nature of existence, and best way to live when other people are around. In this course we will study how thinkers of this “Modern Era” approached these questions, while simultaneously attempting to trace connections to our current lived experience. Philosophers like Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, and Hume will be our teachers, as we seek to untangle how in the world we know anything at all. And perhaps also how we know that we know anything at all...
PHIL 3109 - Engineering Ethics (Kirkman, Rosenberger)
This course covers issues of professional ethics for engineering and other technical professions. We read from the history of philosophical thinking on ethics, consider ethical situations specific to the practice of engineering, and explore a variety of topics that relate to the engineer’s role in society. Through the lens of ethical theory, we examine a variety of concrete cases. These cases apply to both the ethical aspects of the engineering workplace, and to the nature of design. Classwork includes exams, short writing assignments, and group work. Through this course we see that engineers are not simply everyday workers who just happen to have a job that requires a lot of technical training. They are professionals upon whose judgment our society depends. And they are creative thinkers with the potential to address some of the world’s most pressing problems.
PHIL 3115 - Philosophy of Science (Biddle)
Philosophical reflection is an important part of science. Scientists such as Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein did not just do science. They also reflected upon – and in some cases effected changes in – its aims, methods, standards, and criteria for success. In the first part of this course, we will discuss a number of these issues, including the boundary between science and pseudoscience, objectivity and rationality in science, and the nature of scientific laws and explanation. In the second part of the course, we will address questions concerning the relationship between science and society, including the role of values and interests in science and the connections between science and the economy.
PUBP 3120 - Statistical Analysis for Public Policy (Massetti, Rogers) CORE
Statistical analysis is a fundamental tool in public policy and is used to analyze a wide range of problems. The goal of this course is to provide training in quantitative methods to describe how economic, political, and social relationships develop, persist, and change. The course is divided in three parts. In the first part we will introduce methods to describe data using statistics and graphical representations. We will also briefly cover methods to collect data. In the second part we will study probability, randomness, random variables and inference. The main goal of the second part is to understand how the results of empirical analysis based on a limited sample can be extended to the whole population. The third part will introduce linear regression and multiple regression as tools to characterize the relationship between one variable of interest (the "dependent" variable) and one or more "explanatory" variables. Theory will be used to provide guidance but the emphasis will be on applications and practical examples. Students will also master statistical software for data management, data representation and data analysis. All students will be required to present a final project in which they will apply methods covered during the course. The course does not require any previous training in statistics or in advanced mathematics.
PHIL 3127 – Science, Technology, & Human Values (Biddle, Hoffman, Klein)
Klein: “The Contemporary Enlightenment.” The class explores the philosophical theme of enlightenment and applies it to today’s society. The class explores enlightenment philosophy in relation to propaganda, consumer culture, religion, education, and economic development. The class teaches methods for the critique of culture and consciousness, and it reviews various cases by which philosophical concepts of “freedom” and “value” can be realized. Readings include works by Plato, Kant, and Schopenhauer as well as Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, and Adam Smith.
Biddle and Hoffman: New technologies can change how we perceive the world and how we interact with other people, and they can open up entirely new spaces for decision making. Technologies shape both us and the societies in which we are living. This means, there are several groups of people who have responsibilities that are significant from an ethical point of view: the designers of technologies; those who invest in the development of technologies; manufacturers; regulators and law makers; and the users of these technologies.
A major problem with regard to this ethical responsibility is that we—as individuals—are always cognitively limited in our ability to anticipate negative consequences of technologies that look, at first glance, interesting, exciting, or beneficial. In particular, it is difficult to imagine that there might be people out there who are driven by values that we do not share or by needs and interests we do not understand. For this reason the design, development, production, regulation, and use of technology should be treated as a “wicked problem.” A wicked problem is a problem that can be framed in a number of different ways, depending on who is looking at it. This means that the formulation of the problem becomes itself a problem. Decisions on wicked problems often lead to unethical results when people who are affected by these decisions are overlooked; to confusion when we do not understand that others look at the same problem from a completely different point of view; or to serious conflicts among people who have to deal with these problems.
The course combines individual work followed by class discussions with a problem-based learning (PBL) approach, which means students themselves, working together in groups, will explore an array of concrete problems that involve ethical and epistemological questions.
PUBP 3130 - Research Methods and Problem Solving (Levine, Marco) CORE
This course is an introduction to the techniques of social science research. It will combine discussions on the nature of social science research with hands-on experience. The course equips students with useful knowledge of different methods (e.g., experiments, surveys, field work, unobtrusive research) for doing public policy research that is reliable and applicable. Skills provided will be useful for future careers such as a data analyst in industry, consultant, policy analyst, or academic researcher.
PHIL 3135 - Philosophy of Technology (Rosenberger)
This course explores the various ways that technologies shape many of our deepest notions and institutions, from our politics, to our personal relationships, to our ethics, to our sense of selfhood. We’ll read the works of contemporary thinkers, and consider the changes to our lives brought to our lives by the technologies all around us, including mobile computing, social media, television, classroom technologies, genetic modification, and bodily implants.
PHIL 3140 - Philosophy of Food (Biddle)
Food is something that is fundamental to our lives, and for most of human history, and kinds of questions that people asked about food were correspondingly basic. Is this berry edible, or will it make me sick? Where are the animals we can eat, and how can we kill them? Which crops will grow during which seasons? How can we eat in the winter? At bottom, all of these questions about food boil down to perhaps the most basic one of all: How can we get enough of it? While contemporary societies have some of the same questions – the problem of getting enough food is still a serious one for many in our world – we also have different, and more complicated, questions. If we walk through the aisles of our local grocery store, pick out an item, and ask where it comes from, the answer will, in many cases, be far from obvious. This is especially clear when we read, or attempt to read, the list of ingredients. Contemporary methods of food production are radically different from anything that we have known in the past, which raises the question of whether these methods are justifiable – morally, politically, economically, and environmentally.
PUBP 3141- Leading Change in Social Organizations (Wynens)
Welcome to public leadership 2.0. Today's public leadership environment demands more creativity, innovation, and adaptability than ever. The pressure of leading in the public sphere is magnified by the demands of the electorate and elected officials, often pushing for immediate answers to complex and seemingly intractable problems. How can public leaders respond effectively to this situation? This course is designed to give the student a sound understanding of how to lead and manage change in public organizations, as well as the opportunity to explore new and innovative responses to public issues. Many social and public problems will no longer yield to conventional methods. In many cases, governance will replace government, networks will replace hierarchies, and partnerships will be used instead of large-scale government intervention as a way to address social, technical, economic, and environmental issues. A new source of responding to societal issues is emerging in the form of collaboration, partnership, and ad-hoc networks of interested and affected parties. Students can expect a mix of simulation, negotiation exercises, case studies, small group discussion, presentation, and seminar discussion. This course will develop skills and knowledge pertinent to designing and responding to emergent complex societal challenges through innovative and dynamic leadership methods.
PUBP 3150 - Politics and Policy (Barke)
We flip the usual approach in policy courses: instead of starting with concepts and theories then using current events and controversies to illustrate them, we begin with a consideration of issues then use a scaffold of concepts and (when possible) theories for understanding them. Recent topics (selected in cooperation with students) included economic inequality, the student loan mess, subsidies for technological research, ACA implementation, gerrymandering, etc. We approach current issues suggested by students or the headlines as multi-attribute, multi- stakeholder problems with multiple possible solutions, looking at the substance of the issues, the politics within and outside policy institutions, and how the media and the public are perceiving and reacting to these topics. Our goal is to explore both the what and the why of current policy controversies, using what scholars and practitioners have learned about these issues and decision processes. Students will learn how to navigate and assess the online flood of information about policy and politics and how to create an appropriate personal strategy for learning about current events. Many of the class meetings are conducted as congressional hearings in which students sometimes appear as expert witnesses, having prepared an official written statement and an oral presentation, and at other times as members of Congress with opening statements and questions with which to engage the witnesses.
PHIL 3180 - Biomedical Ethics (Biddle)
This course will be a primarily case-based survey of the main issues in contemporary biomedical ethics. Biomedical ethics is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that draws (at least) upon perspectives and expertise from medicine, nursing, public health, law, anthropology, religious studies, literature, psychology, political science, and philosophy. Although we will engage with all of these disciplines to some extent, our focus will be on philosophical methods and perspectives. The topics that we will address include: reproduction, health care systems and resource allocation, doctor-patient relationships and clinical ethics, medical experiments and research ethics, the nature of disease, and death and end of life care. While one of the primary goals of the course is to develop an understanding of the field of bioethics, there are other goals that are important not only for those who wish to continue to study philosophy, but virtually any other subject as well. In particular, this course should help you to learn to understand the structure of arguments, to present arguments clearly, and to evaluate arguments. The course assignments – student presentations, midterm and final exams, etc. are meant to help you achieve these goals.
PUBP 3201 – Introduction to Social Policy (Leggon)
This course begins by distinguishing between social policy that focuses on “social welfare” (enhancing existing conditions of social wellbeing in society) and “social ill-fare” (when human needs are not met, problems are not managed, and opportunities are not maximized). Selected social policy issues in the United States are examined using the sociological perspective—that is, analyses of the economic, political, and cultural factors that provide the contexts within which social policy is framed, operationalized, implemented and evaluated.
PUBP 3210 - U.S. Health Policy (Persons)
This course examines the ways in which American society has thus far made purposive decisions about how health care services are organized, how we finance and pay for health care services, and the means by which healthcare is delivered in the U.S. The course aids reflection on the interesting and complex contradictions of how – despite the U.S. having achieved one of the world’s highest standards of living – questions of ensuring “universal health care,” or guaranteeing health care to all, as a right of citizenship remain highly contentious ideas. Issues of health policy will undoubtedly help to shape the lived experience of Americans over the life course of today’s college students.
PUBP 3214 - African-American Politics (Persons)
This course is an overview and examination of the political approaches utilized by African American citizens, and their supporters, in pursuit of the rights of African Americans for “universal freedom” and fulsome citizenship rights in the United States of America. The course covers varying conceptualizations of freedom, and examines strategic efforts to realize freedom for Blacks via social movements, interest groups, political parties, public policy, voting and elective office, and the use of legal processes and the legal system. The course uses historical summaries as the backdrop for contemporary political analyses.
PUBP 3230 - STEM Education Policy (Kingsley)
This course explores the role of public policy in shaping the conduct of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in the United States. We will be examining the policy subsystems that govern portions of the pipeline of the production of scientific and technical human capital. Particular attention will be given to STEM education in K-12 public schools. In doing so, we will compare and contrast the relevant policy subsystems and explore how they influence, and at times conflict, with one another. While conducting our review of these policy subsystems we will be drawing upon a variety of tools developed in the policy sciences for understanding the behaviors of actors within a policy subsystem. These tools include policy process models, policy analysis, and policy evaluation. We will examine the particular ways in which these tools are applied in STEM education policies.
PUBP 3244 - Stem Cell Science, Policy, & Ethics (Levine)
Stem cells and related technologies offer the potential to advance our understanding of human diseases and lead us to a new era of regenerative medicine. Yet scientific research using stem cells raises profound ethical questions, and deciding whether to support and how to regulate stem cell science has posed challenges for policymakers in the United States and around the world. This class will explore the history, current state of the art and likely future of stem cell science. To do so, we will examine different types of stem cell science (e.g. adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells) and research in related fields, such as cloning. For each topic, we will assess the current state of scientific knowledge and examine relevant ethical issues and policy considerations. At the end of the course, students will have a solid grounding in the stem cell debate, complemented by an ability to assess ethical issues and participate in and contribute to policy debates on the development of emerging technologies in the life sciences.
PUBP 3315 - Environmental Policy & Politics (Favero)
The course will focus on what constitutes effective environmental policy. It starts by analyzing the evolution of environmental policy and actors. Then, it analyzes why environmental policies are needed, using the concepts of negative externalities and public goods. After that, the course will discuss environmental policy instruments for addressing environmental issues at the local, regional, and global levels. Finally, it examines global and domestic issues addressed by environmental policies: climate change, local air pollution, energy, transportation, water pollution, and waste. This final section is dedicated to the topic of sustainable development. The goal of this course is to provide training in environmental policies to describe how economic, political, and social relationships develop, persist, and change. Students will have the ability to critically analyze environmental policies in the real world. They will be able to describe and analyze environmental policy tools and their implications.
PUBP 3320 – Climate Policy (Favero, Garcia)
Climate change is a global problem requiring unprecedented international cooperation and interdisciplinary investigation. This course aims to address the broad complexity of climate change by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, and the economic, political and engineering strategies to reduce emissions. In class we will use these different perspectives to address the fundamental question: What is climate change and how should we respond to it? This class will be taught as a seminar: students will be actively engaged in exploring the different issues underlying the threat of climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response.
PUBP 3350 - Energy Policy (Brown, Matisoff)
The course focuses on policies implemented in the U.S. and abroad to promote the development and market penetration of sustainable energy options. Reflecting the need to design policies to address the market and other barriers faced by different types of technologies, the course is divided into policy-technology bundles. These include, for example, low-carbon fuel standards to promote biofuels and plug-in electric vehicles; real-time electricity pricing to promote renewable, distributed power, and a smart grid; building standards and product labeling to encourage high performance buildings; renewable electricity standards and tax credits to promote renewable technologies (solar power, wind energy, etc.); and the role of loan guarantees for nuclear, carbon capture and sequestration, and other large-scale energy projects. The concept of a cumulative greenhouse gas budget for the U.S. and the globe will be introduced and will provide a means of framing policy and technology decision-making.
PUBP 3502 – Information Technology, Communications, & Telecommunications Policy (Mueller) Public policy for the communications infrastructure. Is Facebook a media company or a tech company? How, if at all, should it be regulated? What does network neutrality mean, and how would it affect consumers and companies? Will cable networks die because of cord-cutting? Can wireless networks provide a competitive alternative to the cable companies? Who decides how much radio spectrum is given to mobile networks, television broadcasters, or Wi-Fi networks? How much government surveillance takes place on the network? Are telecom companies competitive or monopolistic? Students will study the evolution of the information and communication industries, the impact of technological change on those industries, and the changing regulatory institutions associated with their rise and decline.
PUBP 3520 - Globalization and Policy (Taylor)
This course will serve as an introduction to the fundamental concepts, theories, conflicts, and issues of globalization. It will do so by employing some basic theories and tools of analysis from both international economics and international political economy. The first part of the course will review these theories and analytical tools and explore their applicability to globalization. The second part of the course will prompt students to specialize in an empirical case or policy issue of their choice, and become as expert on it as possible. In this course, you will discover that the world economy is, and has always been, in a state of contention. It is a setting in which global, national, and sub-national interest groups are pitted against one another in a contest over wealth, security, power, and ideas. You will explore how these different interest groups affect and are affected by globalization. Finally, you will find that estimations of whether policy is “good” or “bad” in the world economy often depends on who you are as a political-economic actor: your assets, interests, beliefs, and values. This course is not a seminar, instead it uses a lecture format with some discussion.
PUBP 3600 - Sustainability, Technology, & Policy (Massetti, Reeves)
This course provides a solid introduction to the concept of sustainable growth and development. Sustainability is a broad and somehow necessarily vague concept that can be interpreted in many different ways. The goal of this class is to provide tools to professionally navigate the current debate on sustainability. Students from all backgrounds will learn how to read the specialized literature and to actively engage in the promotion of sustainability. We will start by critically reviewing the most influential definitions of sustainability, using a broad range of cultural and philosophical perspectives. We will then learn how to test if a development pathway is sustainable or not using real-world cases. Intra- and inter-generational conflicts on the use of resources will be discussed. Technology is both part of the problem – technological progress has so far increased our use of natural resources – and part of the solution – technological progress can reduce the trade-off between development and ecological degradation. We will review case studies of sustainable development strategies, from global climate change to sustainable business strategies, and we will learn about their strengths and weaknesses. Technological progress alone does not guarantee a sustainable future. The final part of the course will review policies that have potential to enhance technologies and societal transformation to ensure sustainability.
PUBP 3610 - Pre-Law Seminar (Liu, Strickland, Pernini, Carr, Swindle)
The Pre-Law Seminar is designed for students who are seriously considering law school. The class is co-taught by attorneys at Atlanta law firms. The class is divided into two segments. The first segment will introduce students to career paths in law along with skills and topics that will provide students with concentrated preparation for the first year of law school. Students will study topic such as contracts, torts, constitutional law, and more, will learn to brief cases, and will participate in various career panels and exercises to help them better envision what a career in law is like. The second segment will introduce students to some of the oral advocacy skills that are essential to a career in litigation. Students will make an oral presentation to the class simulating the work of a trial attorney and will draft outlines for direct and cross examinations and opening and closing arguments.
PHIL 3790 – Philosophy of Cognitive Science (Buskell)
The central aim of cognitive science is to understand how the mind works. This is an incredibly demanding and ambitious goal—one taken up by a diverse range of disciplines, not least artificial intelligence, cognitive anthropology, experimental and developmental psychology, neuroscience, and robotics. Yet the interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science generates further questions and problems. Key here is how the cognitive scientist should relate the different concepts, sources of evidence, and explanatory models used in different fields. This is where philosophy contributes. First, by articulating and integrating the principles and concepts at work in cognitive science. Second, by exploring just what it means to have a mind at all—what it means to be a thinking thing. This course introduces cutting-edge philosophical and empirical methods of cognitive science, asking questions such as: “Is the mind like a computer?”, “Are there such things as group minds?”, “Do people from different cultures think differently?”, “What can AI teach us about our own minds?” and, “Might we upload our minds in the future?”.
4000 - Level Courses
PUBP 4010 / 4020 - Policy Task Force I / II (Hicks, Youtie) CORE
Task Force I and II are the required two-semester client-based senior capstone design project for public policy majors. In this course you will use knowledge of policy processes, ethical issues, economics, political economy, as well as the tools of statistics and research methods to answer a question posed by an external organization involved in actual public policy making. You will work as part of a team and will deliver a professional written report to the client, present your project to the client, and show off your project to the GT community (and possibly win a cash prize) at the campus-wide capstone design expo in McCamish Pavilion in the spring.
PUBP 4111 - Internet & Public Policy (Klein)
This class provides a broad overview of Internet governance and of Internet policy. The class examines the origins and functioning of Internet institutions at different levels of governance. These include the IETF for standards, ICANN and the FCC for regulation, national governments for public policy, and the ITU and treaty bodies for international agreements. A survey of substantive policies will examine privacy, free speech, decency, security, intellectual property, and war. The class also examines practitioners’ tactics and strategies for “navigating institutions” to achieve desired policy outcomes.
PUBP 4120 - Survey Research Methods (Melkers)
Survey data are used in a range of disciplinary and professional settings. From survey research on science and the environment, to political polling and public opinion, surveys are very much a part of our lives. The purpose of this course is to provide students in public policy and other disciplines with a solid grounding in survey research methods. Students will become familiar with all aspects of survey design, development and implementation. This will include issues that are critical to designing and conducting surveys, including cognitive aspects of survey response, sampling procedures, and questionnaire design, among others. Surveys are implemented in a number of ways, including telephone, mail, internet, and social media. Students will learn the appropriate uses of each, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Important factors in the successful design and implementation will also be addressed, including interviewer effects, respondent behavior and cognition, and response issues. Undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines are welcome.
PUBP 4140 - Foundations of Leadership (Wynens)
Students will become familiar with different ways of exercising leadership, their own strengths and weaknesses, and how they can best work with others in a leadership context. They will learn and apply leadership skills in a hands-on practical way that encourages them to challenge their own beliefs and assumptions about what constitutes leadership. This course offers a comprehensive review of contemporary issues and perspectives on leadership, including multidisciplinary and systems-oriented approaches as well as classic theory, moving to the examination of evolving contemporary beliefs. The emphasis is on application of concepts in actual leadership settings and situations. Topics include development of leadership theories, personal assessment and development, values and ethics, motivation, power, followership, group dynamics, multiculturalism in leadership, conflict resolution, performance excellence, and the change process. Through a process of readings, self-discovery, group observations, and case studies, the student will identify, observe, analyze, and apply new leadership behaviors. Learning more about leadership will help every student meet their leadership challenges. The learning objectives are designed to give you insights into leadership theory and how it applies in real world contexts. Specifically, you will improve and address your skills in key areas of leadership, including change and innovation, reflection, collaboration, communication, conflict, and multi-cultural awareness.
PHIL 4176 - Environmental Ethics (Kirkman)
This course presupposes an unusually broad understanding of environment and of environmental ethics. Rather than thinking only of wild nature “out there,” or otherwise about big, abstract concerns of pollution or climate change, the scope of the course may encompass any problem situation involving a common environment, that is, a place or a situation shared with other people and living things. Environmental problems in this expanded sense come to our attention because of one of the great accomplishments of the twentieth century: systems theory, which reveals the complex intertwining and the emergent behaviors of the systems that shape our shared environments and channel human aspirations and human conduct in particular ways. Ecological and other natural systems are of central importance in understanding and responding to problem situations that arise within shared environments, but so are social systems and technological systems. This course will follow a problem-based learning (PBL) approach, which means you yourselves, working together in groups, will develop and explore difficult – perhaps even wicked – problem situations that call for decisions within and about shared environments. The aim is to cultivate a kind of systems imagination as part of moral imagination, a specific set of cognitive skills for noticing and responding to systems and to the ethical values caught up in them.
PUBP 4200 - Social Policy Issues (Leggon)
PUBP 4200 builds on PUB3201 Introduction to Social Policy. This course is designed to maximize students’ engagement and participation in discussions and debates. Additional course requirements include policy memos and a term paper. Among the topics/issues included are public opinion (which public(s) and whose opinions?), educational achievement, public understanding of science, health care (disparities, inequalities, and policy implications), and gun control.
PUBP 4211 - Urban Policy (Rafter, Lipscomb)
This course examines the development and effects of urban planning and policymaking. Using both historical and contemporary case studies, we will study how urban problems are identified and conceptualized, how different policies are developed to address these problems, and what the impacts of these policies are on different communities and areas within the city. Topics to be covered include housing segregation, gentrification and neighborhood change, urban economic development, public and alternative transportation, urban education, criminal justice and policing, urban sustainability and the application of new technologies to urban problems. While the focus of the course will largely be on planning and policymaking in American cities, we will also take a comparative approach and examine urban policy issues in other nations.
PUBP 4212 - Women and Public Policy (Leggon)
We will examine issues concerning women and public policy from a sociological perspective—that is, analyses of the confluence of political, economic, and social conditions that provide the context within which policy is devised, implemented, and evaluated. Specifically, the course explores the bi-directional relationship between women and public policy: the intended and unintended impacts of policy on women and of women on policy, and the ramifications and implications of having no policy. Issues include women in clinical trials, women as asylum seekers, and women in the military.
PUBP 4214 - Gender, Science, Technology, & Public Policy (Leggon, Fox)
This course will interest and inform students concerned about issues of participation and performance as key to the creativity, productivity, and innovation of science and technology. We will learn about the experience and conditions of women and men in scientific and technological fields and the ways these are explained by: (1) educational patterns and practices (from pre-school through graduate education); (2) organization and cultures of workplaces; (3) evaluation, recognition, and rewards; (4) work and family; (5) meanings of science - related to gender; (6) reasons that scientists stay in - and leave- their fields; (7) and more. Throughout, we examine policies that will enhance both women's, as well as men's, contributions to scientific and technological fields. The class provides opportunities for students to develop their critical understandings and participate in discussion on the issues.
PUBP 4226 - Business and Government (Lipscomb)
The role of business in the policy process represents an unresolvable tension at the core of policymaking. On the one hand, policymakers seeking to design and implement public policies that promote job creation and economic growth must take into account the impact of new policies on the business community. On the other, the business community represents a powerful set of interests whose goals and preferences often do not align with those of policymakers and the public. In this class, we will explore the complex interactions between business and government in the policy realm. The course will emphasize both positive and normative questions, including: What are the major channels through which business impacts the policy process? What are successful strategies for businesses that seek to have a policy impact? How can policymakers design new policies that both achieve social goals and maintain the support of key business interests? The course will rely heavily on cases and real-world examples from a variety of policy domains, including financial policy, health care policy, environmental policy, and urban policy. Students taking the class will learn how to systematically evaluate the role of competing interests in policy debates—and learn strategies to ensure that their side wins.
PUBP 4410 - Science, Technology, & Public Policy (Hicks, Leggon)
Government’s main concern with regard to science and technology used to be ensuring the research enterprise was sustainable, especially basic science. Today other goals prevail: science systems are asked to respond better to a more diverse set of stakeholders and must adapt to changes in the processes of knowledge creation and transfer. Research has moved from scientific disciplines to multidisciplinary, multi-institutional networks and the boundary between curiosity-driven and problem oriented research has become blurred. This course will examine this set of challenges, look at how the classical post-WWII contract between science and society is becoming ever more complex, and explore some of the tensions that result. Specific topics will include: national and international funding of R&D; intellectual property and its impacts; contemporary institutional roles; STEM talent; innovation, and so on.
PUBP 4440 - Regulation, Science, & Technology (Barke)
Many of the most important policy decisions are made by regulatory agencies. Perhaps you don’t plan to work for the FDA, FCC, or EPA, but your work – whether public, private, legal, or nonprofit – certainly will involve regulations. In this course you’ll learn how regulatory agencies make regulations, to whom they listen and respond, and how elected officials, experts, and interest groups shape regulatory policy. When should regulations command people and industries, when should they simply inform, and when should we be left alone? How can regulators compare the benefits and costs of policies? How are risks to humans and the environment considered and weighed against costs of avoidance? In short, how do and should agencies decide? How will you be able to participate -- and perhaps lead -- in shaping regulatory decisions with wide impact? We’ll examine regulatory/legal history, major provisions of administrative law and procedure, stakeholder analysis, the role of experts and the public, and the treatment of scientific and behavioral uncertainty. Among the possible specific topics and examples will be climate change regulation (mechanisms, values, tradeoffs), FDA drug regulations (international cooperation, precautionary approaches) in the US and EU, and the regulation of long-term policy issues (health, energy, environment). Students will do several short projects on regulatory topics of their own choosing.
PUBP 4501 - Information Policy & Management (Rogers)
The course is an introduction to the role of information and knowledge in modern private and public organizations. It covers theoretical aspects of information seeking, gathering, and use in organizations as well as knowledge creation and its role in management. The course also addresses the practical implementation of organization information strategies using information technology. The first part of the course introduces the issues of organization strategy and its relation to information. The second part focuses on the notion of organizational learning. The third part focuses on the applications of information technology in government, especially related to various aspects of e-government. The final section focuses on new approaches to knowledge management in the public sector. Case examples are used throughout the course to illustrate the concepts of each section. The purpose of the course is to enable students to think conceptually about the modern organization, both in the private and the public sector, as a knowledge-based, information processing organization and to acquire analytical skills necessary to be a successful analyst or manager of a knowledge-based organization.
PUBP 4530 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Giarrusso; City Planning)
Many disciplines require information about the location of people, places, activities, and various resources, both natural and synthetic. City and regional planning, environmental science, real estate, transportation, geography, logistics, politics and international affairs are just a few disciplines that make use of this 'spatial' or location based information. Effective management and analysis of this information requires a Geographic Information System (GIS); a system of hardware and software used for storage, retrieval, management and, most importantly, analysis of spatial data. GIS systems are used in numerous disciplines and can be helpful for a variety of applications. The readings and lectures are designed to serve this purpose. The lab sessions will provide students with hands-on experience using ArcGIS PRO and ArcGIS Online, arguably the most widely used GIS software in the world. By the end of the course, students are expected to understand the basic components of a geographic information system and to be proficient using ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online
PUBP 4620 - Environmental Law (O’Day)
Environmental law is a relatively young specialty in the practice of law. Based largely on statutes enacted by the US Congress and the States since 1970, environmental law as a subject explores the various sources of law that govern business, individuals, and governments in their conduct which affects the environment. Although the principal focus of environmental law in the past has been the laws passed by Congress that regulate how we pollute and manage the natural world, our actions are also governed by detailed environmental regulations promulgated by agencies delegated the implementation of federal legislation, by State and local laws and regulations, and by principles of common law generally applicable to our conduct which take on special meaning and significance in the environmental arena. This class will examine the various ways in which the law attempts to engage these issues, either through common law, public regulation, or judicial determination. But we will not stop there. Through study and discussion of current enviro-political issues, we will explore the philosophical, ethical, and political underpinnings of environmental law, and ways to improve how environmental law is created and implemented. Because there are so many areas of environmental law, we cannot possibly cover every topic in this class. We will focus on the principal pieces of environmental legislation, touching briefly on other relevant laws and legal principles.
PUBP 4640 - Technology Law, Policy, & Management (Huffman, McNay)
This course has several objectives. First, the course will review laws, regulations, and policies implicated in developing and/or managing technology. Specifically, the class will provide an in-depth analysis of the U.S. patent laws, including the changes implemented by the America Invents Act, and will survey the U.S. laws and policies for other forms of intellectual property protection, including trademark, copyright, and trade secrets. Second, the course will review the intellectual property laws in other countries and the process for obtaining patent protection internationally. Third, the course will introduce students to legal issues in licensing technology. Fourth, the course will cover other important areas of law that impact the development and management of technology such as product liability, antitrust, data security and privacy, and contracts. Graduate students also will conduct further research into an area of law covered by this course. After completion of this course, students should be able to understand the scope of and differences between the various forms of intellectual property protection; recognize potential legal issues relating to technology; understand the policy rationale for the various forms of intellectual property protection; understand how the various laws covered affect the development, commercialization, and management of technology; and gain insight into contract, tort, and antitrust laws as they apply to technology.
PUBP 4650 - Internet Law (J. Brown)
This course emphasizes the impact of technology, here the Internet, on the development of the law and public policy. Topics covered include judicial jurisdiction over Internet disputes, intellectual property law such as copyright, trademark and patents, the constitutional and political implications of Internet taxation, First Amendment issues such as defamation and obscenity, Internet privacy, cybersecurity, and government regulation of the Internet including net neutrality. The course will consist of lecture with extensive class discussion including full-day discussions devoted to a single topic, reading of court cases, guest speakers and videos.
PUBP 4725 - Information Security Policies (Mueller, Swire)
The security of cyberspace is one of the newest and most significant public policy challenges of the 21st century. As a policy domain, cybersecurity spans domestic and global perspectives and touches on national security and inter-state relations as well as the security of commercial transactions and end users. This course situates cybersecurity in the overall Internet ecosystem, examining it from the standpoint of private sector platform and network operators, end users, national governments, international institutions, and technical standards. Although the emphasis is on U.S. policy and law, it engages in comparisons and case analysis drawn from Europe and Asia. The course welcomes students from public administration, policy studies, communications and computer science. Students will be exposed to some basic technical material regarding the nature of the internet, cyberspace, vulnerabilities, exploits and incident response techniques and methods, but the course does not require advanced computer science expertise.
PUBP 4726 - Privacy, Technology, Policy, and Law (Swire, Anton)
This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of privacy––a current topic of great international interest in for those in technology, policy, law, and/or business. The course is primarily lecture-based, with Socratic discussion of assigned readings, as well as active student participation via lively discussions and debates. Class sessions often include small-group, in-class activities to ensure hands-on experience in applying the concepts presented during lectures. There are no pre-requisites for this course, and students from varied backgrounds are welcome. Course topics include privacy engineering, big data, analytics, privacy policies, regulatory compliance, social networks, Internet of Things, behavioral advertising, ubiquitous computing, surveillance, wiretapping, and encryption. The course features group projects that engage students in real-world privacy challenges: specifically, compliance with new privacy regulations, development of an organization’s privacy and security policies, and development of new privacy-sensitive approaches and/or tools for Internet technologies. The professors draw on their extensive experience in business, government, technology, and law to address current privacy debates.
Special Topics Courses
PUBP 4803 - Game Theory (Marco)
This course is designed to introduce game theory to undergraduate students in public policy and related fields. It will also cover some elements of “public choice” or “positive political theory.” Game theory is now commonly used in economics, political science and other social sciences to model strategic interaction, (as opposed to unilateral decision-making and market interactions). Strategic interaction occurs if the best course of action depends on how others will react (and vice-versa):
- When I buy a used car from a private individual, the negotiation is strategic. When I buy a watch from an online seller, that market transaction is not strategic.
- In a crowded primary campaign, whether a second-tier candidate directly attacks the frontrunner is likely to depend on whether or not she believes another second tier- candidate will do so.
- Facebook, according to a report in the New York Times, took steps that make it harder to break up in anticipation of possible action from the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice.
- Members of OPEC often “cheat” by producing more oil than the cartel agreed upon.
Using game theory, we will investigation applications from economics, politics, public policy, and law. For the purposes of eligibility for the Law, Science, and Technology minor the course will cover the following issues:
PUBP 4803 - Public Health Policy (Silver)
“Public health policies saved your life today and you didn’t even know it.” We’ll recall 2020 as the year the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to public health’s invisibility crisis. This course is not about the pandemic, per se, but will use it as a backdrop for exploring how the development, implementation, and success of health policies are shaped by factors that extend well beyond what the science and data suggest are “evidence-based” policy approaches. In this class, we’ll focus on COVID-19 and other contemporary examples to examine how science, social norms and values, political culture and ideology, and public and private institutions interact to create effective public health policies. Students will read policy articles and studies from peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Health Affairs), left- and right- leaning news outlets, and Tom Farley’s Saving Gotham. Students also will develop written assignments designed to provide you with polished products that may serve as future writing samples (e.g., for prospective employers).
About the instructor: Ms. Silver’s background in applied public health policy research, analysis and evaluation includes an emphasis on Medicare and Medicaid policy, patient safety and health care quality, public health infrastructure, chronic disease prevention and rural health. As a Fellow at the U.S. CDC, she contributed to policy implementation activities authorized by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. She has an MPH degree from Emory University.
PUBP 4803 - Comparative Social Policy (Persons)
This course provides an introduction to social policy in comparative perspective. The course explores similarities and differences between countries in terms of how they approach major social policy issues, and examines how different countries handle specific policy areas that are universally important in terms of social well-being and social welfare. The primary focus is on examination of policy differences in the U.S. and Western European/OECD countries in regard to major social welfare problems and policies including poverty, unemployment, child and family support, health care, retirement and disability, race and immigration, and incarceration.
PUBP 4803 - Health Disparities (Persons)
This course examines the ways in which some of the most persistent manifestations of inequality in American society are captured in the presence of substantial differences in the susceptibility to disease, health outcomes, health status, and sometimes differences in medical treatment among Americans plays out with disproportionate variations along racial and ethnic lines. Hence, the course explores the social and structural determinants of health and resulting health inequalities.
PUBP 4803 - Law, Medicine, & Ethics (Slieper)
This course will examine how law and ethics inform various areas of clinical medicine and healthcare. The course will take a particular look at various ethical frameworks and models for decision making, with an emphasis on the clinical application of ethics to assist in resolving ethical dilemmas and other ethically fraught situations that often arise in healthcare. From a legal perspective, the course will examine ways in which the law has responded to and offered guidance to ethical challenges in healthcare, with a critical eye towards whether or not the law “gets it right” in these situations. The course will also utilize role-playing exercises and simulations to help illuminate the application of these concepts in the clinical setting and to develop conflict resolution skills that can be applied in healthcare and beyond.
PHIL 4803 - Ethical/Societal Impacts of AI (Borenstein)
The aim of this course is to identify and discuss ethical issues emerging in relation to different types of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The primary approach will be to examine AI ethics through a series of case studies on topics such as bias, fairness, trust, and nudging.
PHIL 4803 - Data, Ethics, & Policy (Biddle)
This course will explore the ethical dimensions of data sciences and policies. Data sciences, and related fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), are transforming the world in which we live. They have the potential to bring tremendous benefits, but they also involve risks, including risks of privacy harms; human rights violations; social injustice and inequality; alienation, and others. In this course, we will examine conceptual tools and frameworks that deepen our understanding of the ethical issues associated with data sciences; we will probe these tools and frameworks in the context of current cases and challenges (including discussions of social media, bias, misinformation, surveillance, autonomous vehicles, and others), and we will explore policies and standards that help us to move forward and work toward achieving our shared ethical commitments.
PHIL 4803 - Social Justice in the Digital Age (Hoffman)
How does the increasing digitization of almost everything affect the possibility of social justice? How can we develop the potential of digital technologies to reduce inequality and barriers to political and societal participation, and how should we react to possible threats posed by these technologies? In contrast to more theory-based courses, in this class working on social justice is driven by a concrete project on which small teams of students work throughout the semester. After brief introductions to working in teams and to several conceptualizations of social justice, student teams will work on one project—or a few shorter ones—so that additional research is determined by the problems they encounter. At the end, project results will be presented and discussed with the entire class.
PUBP 4803 - Intellectual Property Transactions (Walsh)
We will explore Intellectual Property through a variety of business and technological scenarios. We will follow the life cycle of Intellectual Property from creation and development to licensing and sale, exploring the many commercial agreements and policy contexts that protect the associated Intellectual Property and govern the relationships of the companies and individuals engaging in these transactions. This course is ideal for future inventors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, policy analysts and business operators who need to understand the legal ramifications and pitfalls that one encounters in the creation and monetization of technology. The course also counts as one of the elective courses for the new GT Certificate in Intellectual Property.
PUBP 4803 - Public Management (Kingsley)
In this course we explore the world of public management. The course involves considerable "hands on" experience with exploration of case studies and applied problem solving. Our objectives are threefold: understanding how public management systems are organized; examining modern practices of leadership and teamwork for public purposes; and exploring current proposals for reforming the public sector. In asking these questions we explore the management behaviors of public, non-profit, and for-profit organizations. Much of the class will focus on current case studies of issues in public management.
PUBP 4803 - Cost Benefit Analysis (Massetti, Reeves)
Massetti: This course provides an introduction to methods for Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). How much should governments spend in public health? How can NGOs prioritize investment in development projects? Should a city invest in better schools or in improving road conditions? What is the optimal balance of investments between climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation? These are policy questions that can be addressed using CBA. At the end of the semester students will be able to correctly frame a large variety of public policy and private investment problems using CBA. Students will be able to perform simple cost-benefit assessments of projects. Students will also be exposed to a critical assessment of CBA, using case studies, so that they can critically contribute to the public policy debate. The course is divided in three parts. The first part will introduce conceptual foundations of CBA. The second part will present the fundamentals of CBA (microeconomic foundation, discounting future costs and benefits, uncertainty, distributional issues, option price and existence value). The third part will cover methods to value impacts (observation, contingent valuation, shadow prices).
Reeves: Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) provides a decision-making framework that is an important component of the policy analyst’s toolkit. The basic principle –implement policy with the greatest net benefits –is straightforward, yet some aspects of the application of CBA are the topic of ongoing discussion. Over the duration of this course, students will conduct a cost-benefit analysis while becoming familiar with and engaging in the discussion of key elements of CBA including standing, valuation, monetization, distributional impacts, and uncertainty & risk. In this course we approach CBA from the perspective of a policy analyst, framing CBA as a tool with roots in economics–but since economic principles undergird CBA, familiarity with microeconomics will be helpful.
PUBP 4803 - Intergenerational Policy (Barke)
Political institutions and legal and regulatory frameworks are designed largely to maintain the status quo or make short-term incremental changes, falling short of the reach of many of today's real-world problems: years, decades, or longer. Policy models usually assume time horizons of an electoral term or a budget cycle. In this course we will look at the constitutional, legal, and ethical justifications and obstacles to long-term policy making. As we will examine, cognitive scientists have learned that people are not well-equipped for imagining future states beyond a decade or so, and economic tools such as CBA and discount rates have similar weaknesses. We will use case studies from regulatory and legislative decisions to understand whether our institutions can make policies for the long term. Student teams will take advantage of current resources and opportunities, and anticipate setbacks and pushback to do what Tech students are best at doing: find pragmatic solutions to significant problems. You will acquire perspectives and skills that are important for problem formulation, analysis for the long term, and strategic planning – all useful for work in business, law, and government.
PUBP 4803 - Privacy, Technology, Policy, and Law (Anton, Swire)
This will course will enable students to understand how privacy is defined, protected, and managed in the areas of technology, policy, and law. Specific objectives include: Understanding the legal and policy issues surrounding technologies that operate on sensitive personal information; examining the state-of-the-art for research and practice in information privacy, including methods used in information systems; developing the multidisciplinary skills needed to analyze, manage, and resolve the challenges associated with privacy, technology, law, and policy; and gaining experience handling real-world privacy challenges through analysis of current problems using written and oral communication.
PUBP 4803 - Mock Trial (McNeil, Warihay)
This course is open only to students on the GT Mock Trial Team. It seeks to increase your proficiency in trial advocacy—both in your knowledge of the Rules of Evidence and knowledge of how legal precedent operates in a trial court setting, as well as your ability to make strategic legal decisions and effectively present a case to a jury. All assignments for this course either directly overlap with the work that you, as a member of Georgia Tech Mock Trial, will already be doing, or are designed to benefit the team. However, we will be holding you to a higher standard of workmanship and knowledge since this is an upper division for-credit class.
PUBP 4803 - Sports Law and Public Policy (Siegal)
Intercollegiate and professional sports play a substantial role in shaping the American social, cultural, political and economic environment. Sports Law and Public Policy will provide students with an in-depth understanding of how the legal system, and public policy decision makers, address sports-related issues that often have significance well beyond the sports world. Topics include, among others, concussive injuries, sports-related criminal behavior, student-athlete compensation, application of antitrust and labor laws to intercollegiate and professional sports, Title IX and gender related issues, intellectual property in sports including offensive trademarks and team mascots, NCAA governance and injuries to sports spectators. The course will consist of lecture with extensive class discussion including full-day discussions devoted to a single topic, reading of court cases, guest speakers and videos.
PUBP 4813 - Policy Innovation for Inclusion (Baker, Moon)
"Policy Innovation for Inclusive Technologies” is a 3-credit graduate (undergraduates admitted by permission only) special topics seminar addressing the development of inclusive policy approaches, regulatory filings, and innovative (e.g. social media) outreach activities. We will address the difference between innovation in policy design, and policy design to encourage technological innovation, both of which differently address enhanced accessibility and usability, and mitigation of barriers to the information technology use by people with disabilities and the aging in work, home, and daily living contexts.
PUBP 4813 - Policy Implementation and Administration (Kingsley)
This course examines the implementation of public policy. It is a world inhabited by “principals” i.e., actors engaged in policy-making, “agents”, i.e., actors charged with turning a policy into functioning programs, and “target populations”, i.e., those that the policy is trying to affect. We take a practical managerial approach. First, there is a strong emphasis on understanding the types of organizations and institutions involved in the implementation of public policy. We examine a variety of governance models that link organizations together in an implementation process. Second, we will be exploring different tools used in the implementation of public policy. Students will study the practical challenges that arise from managing programs implemented using different policy tools, e.g., direct government, grants, loans, vouchers, regulation, insurance, to name but a few.
PUBP 4843 – Intellectual Property Analytics (Marco)
Intellectual property is an important part of the innovation system. The creation, processing, registration, and strategic use of IP have generated rich datasets. Academics have used these data to understand entrepreneurship, research and development, knowledge spillovers, and strategic behavior. Practitioners have developed methods to estimate brand value, returns to innovation, and emerging technological trends. Policy makers are interested in measuring patent quality and the impact of IP on the economy. In this course, we will learn traditional econometric uses of patent data and we will delve into more computationally intensive methods, such as natural language processing to analyze patent and trademark text. The course will combine reading and discussion of academic articles with labs and assignments where we will put to use the techniques employed in the readings. We will also explore some tools used in the field by practitioners for patent examination and technology landscaping. Required: At least one course in statistics. Recommended: Some programming experience.
PUBP 4952 & 4903 Georgia Legislative Internship Program (Hicks)
For over 40 years, interns have worked in the Georgia General Assembly during the session which runs January through March or April. Interns receive firsthand experience of the legislative process. Students selected for the internship are assigned to offices in the Georgia House of Representatives or the Georgia Senate. Each intern will serve a unique purpose in the process and have a multitude of different tasks to perform each day that may include legislative tracking, constituent services, media assistance, attendance at committee meetings, writing bill summaries and so much more. During their time at the State Capitol, interns will gain knowledge of the how state government and the legislative process work, along with making lifelong career contacts and friendships. Juniors or seniors who are Georgia residents are eligible. You enroll in PUBP 4952 and 4903 for credit and are also paid a stipend of $300 per week. The internship is full time. Applications are due at the beginning of October.