Social Policy

Aging, Education, Social Welfare, and Health Services Management and Policy

Social Policy is the overarching program that includes aging, education, health and social welfare policy. Each area represents a major and enduring aspect of public policy concern, in which the need for leadership in public management and policy analysis is critical and can be expected to grow.

The Social Policy area of study examines the roles and responsibilities of the public sector in designing, managing, and evaluating human resource programs for at-risk populations in the areas of health, education, and welfare. It is concerned with issues related to distributional equity and equality of opportunity and access, particularly for those least able to help themselves in a market society—the elderly, children, the disabled, the sick and the unemployed. Social policy involves elements of policy analysis, policy design, program evaluation, public management, and program implementation.

Aging policy involves social, economic and health problems of the aged, including income security, access to health care, and public policy needs of an aging society. Social welfare policy particularly involves evaluation and alleviation of poverty, material deprivation and discrimination in American society. Education Policy involves the finance and delivery of education services in the American education system (particularly elementary and secondary education); quality of education; equity of resources; and various other issues such as education finance alternatives and school choice.

The Health Services Management and Policy is a unique effort aimed at a multi-professional approach to managing the health care industry and developing appropriate public policies to meet the needs of a rapidly changing health care marketplace. Interested parties will enroll in a yearlong seminar, which brings together public administration students with business, law, medical and social work students. Public health issues such as legal and illegal drugs, child health, health care finance, and related topics are addressed both here and in the general social policy curriculum.


PAIA Courses

  • Education Policy
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Child and Family Policy
  • Urban Policy
  • The US Federal Budget, Health Care and Social Security Reform
  • Managing the Policy Process
  • Implementation of Social Policy
  • Social Policy: Financing the Poor
  • Health Economics & Policy
  • Public Health Administration
  • Public Health Policy
  • Demography, Aging and Public Policy
  • Tax Policy & Politics
  • Economics
  • Urban Economics

Syracuse University College of Law

  • Disability Law

Certificates of Advanced Study provided in Health Services and Management and Public Health.

Alumni Careers

Visit the Palmer Center for Career Development's Career Field Guides for more information about Careers in Social Policy and related fields.    

Research Associate, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, The Brookings Institute
Economist, US Department of the Treasury
Policy Researcher, Center for Children and Youth Justice, Durham, NC
Director, Bureau of Disease Control, Onondaga County Health Department
VP of Long Term Care, Samaritan Medical Center
Director, School Partnerships, iMentor
Assistant Commissioner, NY State Department of Housing and Community Renewal
Senior Research Associate, The National Health Policy Forum
Chief Re-Design Officer, Lawrence (MA) Public Schools
Policy Manager, Minnesota Services for the Blind
Director, Office of Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development
Director, Portfolio Affairs, Health Canada
Senior Analyst, US Government Accountability Office
Family and Children Services Specialist, State of New York
Management Analyst, National Labor Relations Board
Public Health Consultant, Berney Public Health Consulting
Senior Director of Policy and Research, Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition
Social Sciences Analyst, US Department of Health and Human Services