Jump to navigation
The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs offers advanced training for careers in public and international affairs. The school seeks to meet the need for broadly trained professionals who will create, interpret, and implement public policy. The program provides generalist training in public affairs applicable to a wide range of careers in the U.S. federal government, international agencies, foreign governments, state and local governments, nonprofit agencies, and the private sector rather than specialized task-based training more appropriate for those who plan careers in private business or private law. The Woodrow Wilson School strives to attract students from the broadest possible socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is also committed to providing the highest quality of professional policy training and to nurturing dynamic careers of public service. The school believes that it is essential for students of public and international affairs to understand how issues of gender, race, class, and cultural diversity affect public policy decisions, implementation, and outcomes, and it is committed to incorporating these issues in to its curriculum, public affairs programming, research colloquiums and other activities.
The school has a diverse faculty representing a wide range of expertise and includes affiliated faculty from 19 research centers and programs across the University. With its small student enrollment and large number of faculty the program allows for informal exchange among faculty, students, and staff.
The school encourages its students to pursue careers in public and international affairs and commits substantial resources to fellowship funding to ensure that financial obligations will not be a deterrent to public service careers.
The principal graduate program of the school is a two-year curriculum leading to the degree of Master in Public Affairs (M.P.A.). Students can earn a dual degree in public affairs and law (M.P.A./J.D.) after four years of study in the Woodrow Wilson School and a collaborating law school. The school also has a graduate program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in public and international affairs, as well as a one-year Master in Public Policy (M.P.P.) for mid-career professionals and individuals who have earned a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D. in a science discipline.
Ph.D. – 25 page sample of research. Applicants are required to select a cluster when applying.
M.P.A. – Course list. 4 page policy memo. Applicants applying to certificate programs are required to submit a 1 page certificate program statement. Applicants applying to a joint degree program are required to submit a 2 page joint degree statement. Applicants are required to select a field when applying.
M.P.A. – J.D. – Course list. 4 page policy memo. 2 page joint degree statement. Applicants applying to certificate programs are required to submit a 1 page certificate program statement. Applicants are required to select a field when applying.
M.P.P. – 4 page policy memo. Applicants applying to certificate programs are required to submit a 1 page certificate program statement. Applicants are required to select a subplan and field when applying. Mid-career professionals are required to have 7 years’ experience.
The purpose of the WWS doctoral program is to train top-quality researchers in these critical areas of public policy, and it offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs in two research clusters: Security Studies; and Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP). An average of six students per year are admitted to the program, with three in each cluster. These clusters use an interdisciplinary approach to address serious policy challenges. Each cluster has a substantial group of WWS faculty whose research aligns with the focus of that cluster.
Core courses and individual requirements are determined by faculty in each cluster. Both clusters require advanced economics and econometrics training for social science research and at least ten graduate courses in total. Typically a student takes between eight and twelve courses, depending on the cluster, during the first two years. Students are also required to attend Ph.D. seminars and noncredit research ethics training. All students are required to maintain an overall grade average of 85 (B) or higher to remain in the Ph.D. program.
Students are required to complete an original research paper of publishable quality. The paper should be written in a form suitable for submission or publication and may deal with a fruitful topic from the discipline.
The examination covers two fields identified by the student in consultation with a faculty committee and includes two written components and may include an oral component, depending on the cluster. Preparation for the examination normally occurs through participation in seminars, workshops, reading courses, and individual study. Students should complete all parts of the examination by the end of the second year.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy and is earned after a student successfully completes all coursework satisfactorily and completes the general examination. It may also be awarded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program, provided that these requirements have been met.
A six-hour teaching assignment (precepting), usually following the general examination, is required.
After a candidate successfully completes the general examination and defends the written prospectus, the Ph.D. program committee approves entry into the dissertation phase of the program.
The student prepares a dissertation for review by the faculty. Departmental acceptance of the dissertation qualifies the candidate for the final public oral examination. The final public oral examination is required by University regulations, and is conducted after the dissertation has been recommended for acceptance by the Woodrow Wilson School.
The Ph.D. is awarded after the candidate’s doctoral dissertation has been accepted and the final public oral examination sustained.
The Woodrow Wilson School offers a one-year Master in Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree for mid-career professionals who are rising leaders in international and domestic public policy. This rigorous residential program is designed for mid-career professionals with seven or more years of public service experience in government agencies or nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad.
The M.P.P. program provides rigorous training in economic, behavioral, and political analysis. In addition to studying for the M.P.P. degree, students may also earn a certificate in science, technology, and environmental policy; urban and regional planning; or demography. The M.P.P. program has recently been expanded to qualified physicians, Ph.D. scientists, and lawyers. Outstanding professionals in the fields of medicine, science, and law thus will have the opportunity to develop and hone their policy skills in order to bring crucial expertise to bear on specialized public policy issues.
To qualify for the degree, M.P.P. candidates must successfully complete eight courses in an approved program of study developed in consultation with a faculty adviser and maintain greater than a B- average.
A typical M.P.P. program of study will include a specialization in one of the school’s four fields of concentration:
In addition, a typical program would include a few courses in economics and/or program and policy evaluation, psychology, negotiation and/or financial management, as well as half-term policy analysis courses.
M.P.P. students may choose to specialize further with a certificate program.
All M.P.P. students begin with a six-week summer program that includes intensive courses in microeconomics and statistics, and a policy analysis and leadership seminar
The summer program is designed to enhance students’ preparation for graduate-level courses. The seminar aims to introduce them to the approaches they will encounter in WWS courses during the academic year, while also helping them get to know their peers and refine their learning objectives for the year.
The Master in Public Affairs (M.P.A.) offers rigorous preparation for international and domestic policy careers.
This two-year, full-time residential program cultivates among its students and graduates a lasting commitment to public service.
Through its core curriculum and a wide variety of elective courses, students learn analytical skills that address the political, economic, quantitative, behavioral and normative aspects of complex policy problems. The program also promotes understanding of the distinctive historical, institutional and cultural contexts of domestic and international policy making.
Each M.P.A. candidate selects a policy field in which to specialize from the school’s four fields of concentration: international relations, development studies, domestic policy, and economics and public policy. Students may also take courses leading to a joint degree in public affairs and law (M.P.A./J.D.), or with other professional degree programs, by special request. Certificate programs in fields such as demography through the Office of Population Research; health and health policy in conjunction with the Center for Health and Wellbeing; the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP); and urban policy or urban policy and planning, offer additional areas of specialization among the four fields of concentration.
A unique hallmark of the school’s curriculum is the collaborative approach to planning elective courses and graduate policy workshops by faculty field coordinators, first-year students, and administrators. This enables the school not only to draw upon the strengths of its faculty, but also to adapt to the most pressing issues of domestic or international affairs and to be highly responsive to the individual and collective interests of students. The school’s resources also enable it to offer high-profile appointments to visiting scholars and policy practitioners who complement the academic and professional expertise of the faculty.
Significant financial aid resources are dedicated to permitting the majority of WWS students the opportunity to receive graduate degrees without incurring loan indebtedness and to launch them into public service careers in the public and nonprofit sectors.
The curriculum of the M.P.A. program includes six required core courses that address skills and techniques needed for the systematic study of public policy problems. The courses cover political analysis, quantitative methods, and economic and behavioral analysis.
Graduate policy workshops are a unique part of the Woodrow Wilson School graduate curriculum.
Policy workshops provide students with an opportunity to use the analytical skills they have acquired in the first year in the program to analyze complex and challenging policy issues, usually for real clients. Typically, the formal presentation for the client or expert group is organized sometime between mid-December and late January. Each workshop consists of 8 - 10 students who work in teams to evaluate a policy challenge. Most students engage in field-based research during the eight- or nine-day fall break period.
The workshops emphasize policy implementation, and it is this emphasis that distinguishes them from regular courses. The goal of the workshops is to understand a policy issue in great depth and to make policy recommendations that are both creative and realistic, given the relevant institutional and political constraints.
In January, at the end of the first semester, first-year M.P.A. students are required to take part in a policy project called the Integrated Policy Exercise, or IPE.
The IPE requires students to apply the skills they acquired in the fall term analytic courses. They are given briefing materials to review in advance and are then required to submit a comprehensive memo in response to a set of specific policy questions. The IPE is a trial run for the qualifying examination, or QE1. It is graded but only to provide concrete feedback to each student.
In May, at the end of the first year, students are required to take a qualifying exam, the QE1, a graded exercise that closely parallels the IPE.
The QE1 requires an integrated use of analytical skills acquired in the core curriculum during the first year, and it also includes behavioral analysis of the policy issue. Recent IPE and QE1 topics have included federal-state pre-K initiatives, federal subsidies for higher education, Social Security reform, swine flu vaccinations, and the federal bailout of the domestic auto industry.
Second-year students are required to take and pass a second qualifying exam (QE2) in May in their chosen field of concentration.
Cecilia E. Rouse
Keith A. Wailoo
David S. Wilcove
Denise L. Mauzerall
An analysis of the forces that shape the behavior of public organizations and individuals in organizational settings. The emphasis is on the workings of U.S. governmental agencies. Special attention is given to writing skills as they apply to the roles of advisers and decision makers in public-sector organizations.
Statistical analysis with applications to public policy. The course begins with an introduction to probability theory followed by discussion of statistical methods for estimating the quantitative effects of changes in policy variables. Regression methods appropriate for the analysis of observational data and data from randomized controlled experiments are stressed. The basic level (507B) assumes a fluency in high school algebra and some familiarity with calculus, while the advanced level (507C) assumes a fluency in calculus.
Course develops an understanding of basic microeconomic tools. Emphasis is placed on how these tools can be used for policy analysis. Students need not have taken any other economics courses, but should have a good command of algebra and be familiar with basic calculus concepts, although proficiency in calculus is not necessary.
This course is an introduction to the use of microeconomics for the analysis of public policy on an advanced level. The emphasis is on both the intuitive and formal logic of economic principles, a deeper perspective on the impacts of typical policy measures, and an introduction to the use of professional microeconomic tools to assess and weigh these policy impacts. One goal is to move students towards the ability to read professional microeconomic literature with appreciation of both its contributions and foibles.
Course covers many key concepts from microeconomic theory, including consumer and producer theory, competitive markets, market power, information and contracts. Emphasis of the course is on developing a formal, model-based treatment of these subjects and applying them to various relevant policy issues. The course is intended for those students who are already familiar with microeconomic concepts (at the level of 511c) and have an appropriate level of mathematical proficiency, including knowledge of multivariate calculus (including constrained optimization), basic probability, and some familiarity with linear algebra.
This course introduces students to evaluation. It explores ways: to develop and implement research-based program improvement strategies and program accountability systems; to judge the effects of policies and programs; and to assess the benefits and costs of policy or program changes. Students study a wide range of evaluation tools; read and discuss both domestic and international evaluation examples and apply this knowledge by designing several different types of evaluations on programs of their choosing.
Examines the principles of negotiation in organizational settings and provides firsthand experience in simulated negotiations. Theoretical and empirical research on the variables that affect success in negotiations is discussed. Students engage in a series of bargaining exercises between individuals and teams, and results are analyzed in detail by the class.
An introduction to the political analysis of policy making in the American setting. The course includes theoretical and empirical analyses of political institutions, including executives, legislatures, and bureaucracies. It also examines the political environment in which these institutions operate, with special attention given to the role of public opinion, interest groups, and elections.
This course is about the economics and some of the politics of central banking, especially monetary policy. Special emphasis is given to central banks as unique policymaking institutions and, especially, to the Federal Reserve System, although other central banks are mentioned frequently. Since the focus is on monetary policy, the course presupposes a working knowledge of the relevant macroeconomics, but particular aspects thereof are taught in the course. Attention is paid to the causes, consequences, and central bank behavior during and since the recent financial crisis.
In this course, we analyze examples of development strategies in the United States, Europe and Asia, at the urban and regional levels, with a focus on the practical role of city government leaders and strategists, and how to make their role more effective. This course is taught primarily through case studies. Most of the classes focus on economic development, but we also spend some time discussing related issues (such as sustainability and income inequality).
This course enhances participants' understanding of their own motivation & behavior, & that of others. Students understand what environments make them most productive & satisfied, how to create most productive work environments for employees, how to manage different types of professional & interpersonal situations. The course uses cases & readings to explore topics of individual motivation, leadership, power & influence, managing conflict, organizational culture, working in teams, communicating effectively, decision making, fostering creativity/innovation, managing change.
Introduction to the theory and practice of planning. Analysis and discussion are devoted to planning models, planning decisions, and alternative planning roles. Focused study of comprehensive and strategic planning, community participation, new urbanism concepts, equity concerns, and planning at local, regional, and state levels.
A review of the historical emergence and social evolution of cities and urban life. Course presents current theories regarding the ecological and social structure of urban areas, and how urban social organization affects the behavior and well-being of human beings who live and work in cities.
This course introduces competing theories of international relations and evaluates their explanation of foreign policy decisions and general patterns in international relations over the last century. Broadly covering security policy and international political economy, topics include the causes of war, the role of international organizations to promote cooperation, and the interaction between domestic actors and governments in negotiations on trade and the environment.
Survey course in international economics for non-specialists. The first half covers microeconomic topics such as trade theory and policy, multilateral trade negotiations and regional economic integration. The second half addresses macroeconomic topics such as current account imbalances, exchange rates, and international financial crises. The course stresses concepts and real-world applications rather than formal models. Prerequisite: 511b and 512b (concurrently).
Evaluates arguments for and against protection and adjustment assistance and considers topics chosen from the following: non-tariff barriers, dumping, embargo threats and trade warfare, and the political economy of trade policy formation. Special attention is given to trade problems of the less-developed countries, including North-South trade relations and commodity price stabilization. Prerequisite: 511c.
Examines the changing meaning of "national security" and the various policies and institutions through which states may seek to enhance it. Emphasis is on the formation and implementation of national security policy by the U.S. government.
The field of Security Studies is distinguished by its focus on a clearly delineated set of intellectual and practical problems. This course will serve as the required gateway for all students entering the Woodrow Wilson School.
Considers role of law in gov't: When is a state constrained by law & when it may legitimately change/ignore the law? Use a range of materials from fiction to court cases, legal theory to political history, etc. Proceed by negative example, considering cases from the US: Lincoln's conduct during Civil War, Roosevelt's economic emergency, the Cold War, Nixonian exceptionalism, "war on terror" after 9/11. Also consider comparative examples: Russian Revolution, the collapse of the Weimar constitution, the breaks from communism in the "revolutions" of 1989 & beyond. Also Nuremberg Trials & Kosovar War.
Analysis of political change and the operation of political institutions in the development process, with emphasis on the interaction of political and economic factors. Various definitions and theories of political development are examined and tested against different economic, ethnic, geographic, and social contexts.
Introduction to the processes of economic growth and development. The course examines various theories of development; poverty and inequality measurement; and the role of markets for credit, labor and land, as well as education and health, in development. The role of public policy will be considered within each of these topics. The course may also cover topics such as foreign aid, commodity pricing, and tax policy. (Prerequisites: 511b; 512b can be taken concurrently.)
Considers theories and evidence to explain processes of economic development; examines theories of economic growth, and the two-way links between development and poverty, inequality, social institutions, and the family. Policy debates on education, health, and social policy, and governmental and international aid are also covered.
An exploration of the biological, public health and global dimensions of infectious disease. The basic features of human-microbe interactions by examining several viral, bacterial and parasitic infections are analyzed.. Emphasis includes biology, burden of illness and domestic and global forces shaping the expanding threat. Control strategies, including chemotherapy, vaccines and environmental changes; and the role of international organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, and GAVI and the major philanthropies, are considered.
Examines the economics behind many issues related to energy use, including the investment and use of renewable and non-renewable resources, energy conservation, deregulation of energy markets, transportation, and energy independence. Current policy options will be discussed.
Economics is centrally concerned with models of human capital development, educational attainment, labor market dynamics, unemployment, labor turnover, job duration, wage setting institutions, the role of unions, human capital formation, the relationship between economic status and other aspects of well-being (including health). Economists are essential partners in the behavioral study of preferences and decision making, mobility and redistribution, and the institutions of industrial relations that govern the labor market.
Two major areas of psychology make important contributions to the study of social policy and inequality. The first is social psychology, which focuses on inter-group relations, interpersonal perception, stereotyping, racism, aggression, justice and fairness. These are the micro-level building blocks of structural inequalities and processes that are shaped by the larger context of race, ethnic and gender relations. The second domain involves the fields of social-cognition, judgment and decision making, areas of research that study human information processing in a way that is not about individual differences, and often not social.
A course required for and limited to students in the Joint Degree program in Social Policy. Papers drafted in the year-long course WWS 590a,b,c,d must be revised and submitted to the workshop leader by August 20. Papers will be provided to an expert reader outside of the Princeton faculty, who is invited to join the seminar for sessions devoted to each student paper. Each student will present his/her own paper and simultaneously contribute written critiques of one another's papers. By the end of the term, students will be required to submit their papers for publication to a leading journal.
This workshop deals with reducing Urban Violence in the Philadelphia area. More detailed course description to follow in August.
The objectives of this workshop on Elections in Fragile States are: 1 To introduce the fundamental electoral policy elements which comprise an electoral process, their relationships, and their potential impact on electoral outcomes. 2. To examine analytical frameworks and methodologies which provide insights and skills in electoral process design and administration. 3. To discuss international standards and norms so that widely accepted methods of evaluating the democratic quality and technical efficiency of an election can be applied.
Hydraulic fracturing of shale is rapidly increasing the availability of natural gas in the United States and transforming the global energy landscape. This benefits the US economy and energy security. It may also reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and hence be beneficial for climate. However, natural gas is largely methane and methane is a potent GHG. This workshop attempts to provide cogent reasoned guidance on desirable state-level regulation of fracking to allow it to provide needed natural gas at reasonable prices while protecting local environment and global climate.
The US has faced a number of significant foreign policy challenges recently, often leading to ad hoc responses & crisis diplomacy. This workshop examines relevant academic literature & plethora of think tank reports; meet foreign policy analysts in the US & the region in order to craft a credible vision, policy & strategy for the next 10 years that can attract bipartisan support. Key issue areas include: Iran & the Gulf sub-region; relations with key allies; Israeli-Arab relations; fair, equitable, & sustainable economic growth; prospects for democratic change in the region.
The workshop focuses on the policy, operational and political challenges that continue to impact implementation of the coverage expansions, delivery system reforms and other innovations resulting from the ACA and its substantial impact on our health care system. The workshop client is a state (or states) taking a unique approach to particular elements of ACA implementation. The project is determined based on client need and student interest, with the overarching goal of creating a report that can deliver timely recommendations on a pressing implementation issue.
Behavioral Economics and Psychology are now widely seen as an insightful new tool to solve social and business problems alike. Several governments, including the UK and US, have been quick to embrace this new approach by setting up central 'nudge squads'. In this workshop, we will apply these powerful tools to a specific real-world social problem in Family Planning program uptake and usage in a developing country, most likely in Sub-Saharan Africa.
US Forces and its allies now play a significant role in development activities in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq. Not only is the military operating kinetically in these areas, but it is also seeking to win the "hearts and minds" of the local population by addressing needs/grievances. But what role has military-led assistance played in bringing stability and growth to conflict-affected nations? How do military-led efforts compare to those of civilian-run agencies? Does the military play by the same rules as these agencies? These are some of the questions this workshop seeks to address.
This course focuses on the opportunities, constraints and roles of women in an increasingly interdependent economy. Topics will include: dynamics & causes of fertility changes & household formation; maternal & infant health; gender & labor market institutions--types of contracts, informality, wage gaps & discrimination, unpaid work; intra-household allocation of resources & differential mortality rates; women's migration--selection & outcomes at destination, family reunification, remittances; differential access to education & health; credit market; & political & property rights.
Examines selected topics in reproductive health, with primary emphasis on contemporary domestic issues in the United States--such as unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infection--but within the context of the international agenda on reproductive rights established in the 1994 Cairo international Conference on Population and development.
This course will present some basics about game theory (and perhaps debunk a few myths fostered by the movie "A Beautiful Mind"). While the course will be designed around the structure of game theoretic models, building from the simple ones to the more sophisticated, at each stage the emphasis will be on applications. These include models of oligopoly, bargaining, military conflict, legislative voting, and the design of the rules under which to negotiate, vote, or hold an auction.
Course aims to improve students' abilities to understand and critically evaluate public opinion polls and surveys, particularly as they are used to influence public policy. Course begins with an overview of contrasting perspectives on the role of public opinion in politics, then examines the evolution of public opinion polling in the US and other countries. Class visits a major polling operation to get a firsthand look at procedures used for designing representative samples and conducting surveys by telephone, mail and Internet.
This course analyzes key aspects of recent economic performance and economic policy. Topics include: job growth and unemployment; state of the housing market recovery; income growth and inequality; fiscal drag; and monetary policy. The course emphasizes the connection between the pace of the economic recovery and the nature of the 2008-09 economic crisis, as well as the impact of key economic policies on recovery. The course also discusses the construction and interpretation of key economic indicators, such as the unemployment rate, home prices and the national income accounts.
The course presents the economic concepts involved in the evaluation of the socio-economic effects of public policies. It shows how concrete measures and indicators are grounded on ethical principles. It is organized around central ethical debates: Is there an efficiency-equity trade-off? Are there legitimate inequalities? How much priority should be given to the worse-off? Are interpersonal comparisons of well-being impossible? Why not maximize happiness? Should we discount future generations?
What can we learn from the analysis of inequality, and poverty and from research on social exclusion in the OECD countries? We analyze the role differences in institutions (i.e. labor market regulations,) and policies (i.e. child benefits, minimum wage, migration policies) across these countries play in observed outcomes. We first focus on poverty and deprivation among children, then on problems of youth and adolescents; family formation and household structure, labor market participation and wage structure, migration and other dimensions of adulthood.
The course studies the relationship between Islam and politics from two points of view - keeping the Pakistani situation in mind. First, we examine the 'muslim strategies' of political parties, including the Congress and state parties, as well as 'Muslim parties' like the Muslim League in Kerala. Second, we pay attention to forms of Muslim (de)radicalisation outside party politics by focusing on the bifurcation of the Jama'at-e-Islami (which has been prepared to play the democratic game) and SIMI (a Muslim student union).
Examines budgeting and finance at the state and local level of government. Topics include: budget structure and process; decision makers within the political and economic environment; debt, capital planning and bond financing; revenue structures supporting expenditures. Tax policy and associated tradeoffs between tax equity and efficiency and spending and program needs are also examined. Two case studies are utilized---one related to state and local tax policy and one related to budgetary decision-making.
This course presents tools for designing, implementing, and analyzing impact evaluations from a practitioner's perspective. It explores real-world problems and practical limitations frequently encountered in conducting evaluations and methodological tools to address them. Topics include program operation rules and their implications for design choice, process and standards for assessing evidence, challenges to randomization, sample size determination, complex sample design, and construction of analytic and non response weights. Students practice addressing these issues through a series of case studies and analytic exercises.
In the second half of 2011, the crisis in the eurozone threatened to run out of control. This course discusses four themes: 1) the critiques of the concept of the eurozone prior to January 1999; 2) why the eurozone appeared a major success at its 10th anniversary, which coincided with the beginning of the global economic crisis; 3) the interconnected nature of the crisis, weak sovereigns, weak banks, and weak growth prospects; and 4) the domestic and multilateral measures to deal with the crisis. The course also considers the future of the eurozone.
This course is designed as a practical introduction to the use of computer mapping (Geographic Information systems) for policy analysis and decision-making. Students learn ArcGIS through examples of map applications. Students are expected to complete exercises and a final project applying GIS to a policy issue.
This course examines the principles of negotiation and provide firsthand experience in simulated negotiations. Sample topics include distributive negotiation, integrative negotiation ("expanding the pie"), conflict management, and coalitions. Research on the variables that affect success in negotiations is discussed. Students engage in a series of bargaining exercises between individuals and teams, and results are analyzed by the class.
This course explores the professed and unspoken goals nations pursue with their health systems and the alternative economic and administrative structures different nations use to pursue those goals. The emphasis in the course will be on the industrialized world, although some time can be allocated later in the course to approaches used in the developing countries, if students in the course desire it.