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Course Section: BCPP 480-001

Meeting Time: M/W 9:05-10:20 am (FALL 2017)

Meeting Place: Baker Center 204

This course presents the major tools required to understand and conduct research in the field of public policy analysis and program evaluation. This course will teach students how to comprehensively define problems, realistically frame policy choices, design sound research to analyze potential solutions and attendant outcomes, collect necessary data, and present results in a clear and concise format.

This course aims to provide students with the skills necessary for them to succeed in public policy, public service, and related careers. These careers require critical thinking, analytic approaches, and strong communication skills.  Many specialists also need modern quantitative methodologies and technical proficiencies to critically evaluate policy choices, implementation, and outcomes. The objective of this course is to make participants more effective users of advanced techniques in analyzing public policies problems and to give diagnostics about policy proposals. The interaction between statistics, policy analysis, and decision making will be highlighted.

Students will be actively involved with computer exercises in this course using the Stata econometrics program, available in through the analysis server, as well as QGIS, available to download online free of charge. Throughout the course, students will work through a series of mini-projects designed to provide experience working with the techniques discussed in class. The instructions for these projects and the data required for their implementation are posted on the course Canvas site. In addition to these exercises, students will develop his or her own project proposal. The syllabus for the class can be found here.

POL 410 Course

Course Section: POLS 410-001

Meeting Time: T/R 11:10-12:25 pm (FALL 2017)

Meeting Place: Baker Center 207

This course will cover the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons. By the end of the semester, students should (1) understand the basic processes of fission and fusion, (2) be able to describe the efforts by the U.S. and USSR to control nuclear weapons, (3) list the current countries that possess nuclear weapons, (4) identify the strengths and weaknesses of the non-proliferation regime (5) explain why the U.S. objects to Iraq, Iran, and North Korea obtaining such weapons and how nuclear weapons have affected the India-Pakistani rivalry, and (5) be able to challenge established doctrine for why nuclear weapons are still necessary for U.S. security. Finally, students will develop an understanding of the political process and international negotiation through an in-class treaty simulation.


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