• Policy Studies Course Descriptions

  • Policy Studies is an interdisciplinary major that requires 10 courses, including the popular, first-year course PST 101: Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy, which meets several lower division requirements and serves as an introduction to the major.

    The Policy Studies (PST) courses listed below are open to all students in any undergraduate major, unless otherwise designated. 

    The Public Administration and International Affairs (PAI) courses are taught by faculty from the department of Public Administration and International Affairs, which houses Maxwell's #1-ranked MPA program. 

    >> Download the "Fall 2020 Course Selection Guide" (pdf).


    PST 101: Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy

    3 credits  | Spring and Fall | Bill Coplin.
    This course is structured so that students practice the full set of skills employers want through the study of public policy. This course should be taken as early as possible. Learn more about PST 101.

    PST 110: Public Service Practicum

    1 credit | Spring and Fall | Michelle Walker
    Open to freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Meets five times and requires 35 hours community service. This course provides students the opportunity to develop problem-solving and human relations skills while serving the Syracuse community.

    PST 121: Leadership

    1 credit | Spring | Office of Residence Life Staff
    This course help students develop problem-solving and human relations skills while serving Syracuse University.

    PST 270: Experience Credit

    1-6 credits | Spring and Fall | Bill Coplin as faculty advisor 
    The experience is one in which the reflective work for the internship or job is related to the 10 Skill Sets rather than a specific scholarly field. Students complete a series of online assignments connected to the required 45 hours per credit.

    PST 315: Methods of Public Policy Analysis

    3 credits | Spring and Fall | Austin Zwick
    Students complete a research project for a government or non-profit agency. One of two required capstone courses required for the major. Open only to Policy Studies majors.

    PST 410.2 Non-Profits and Government

    3 credits | Spring and Fall | Frank Lazarski
    This course requires a 90-hour internship in a local agency and provides students with practice in most of the skills employers want. Students complete their internship at a non-profit or government agency and develop a strategic plan for an item or funding need of that agency. Pre-requisite: PST 101. Open to non-Policy Studies students by special permission.

    PST 410.5 Smart Cities

    3 Credits | Spring and Fall | Open by Special Permission to students who have taken PST 101 | Austin Zwick
    This course investigates how digitalization, automation, and telecommunications is changing urban planning and policy. Topics include autonomous vehicles, blockchain technology, cloud computing, public finance, and more. Final group project on the US DOT Smart City Challenge.

    PST 431: Criminal Justice

    3 credits | Spring | Renee Captor
    This course provides an exploration of the structure and function of the criminal justice system, including the way in which cases progress through the criminal justice system from investigation and arrest through sentencing and appeal. Open to non-Policy Studies students by special permission.

    PAI 300.1/PSC 300.102: Education Policy

    3 credits| Spring | Ying Shi
    Learn how schools and school districts work, learn how to develop evidence necessary for diagnosing problems, and examine education policy issues ranging from school finance to low-achieving schools, and discuss policies for addressing challenges.

    PAI 300.2/PSC 300.101: Policy Implementation

    3 credits | Spring and Fall | Zachary Huitink
    Examine the tools governments use to implement public policy, and develop sought-after skills including implementation planning, project management, working effectively with outside organizations, and how to assess policy impacts.   

    PAI 300.3: U.S. Intelligence Community

    3 credits | Spring and Fall | Robert Murrett

    Learn about the practice, structure and governance of the intelligence field, and material that has a direct bearing on its current posture. Students will study the functional elements of intelligence tradecraft (human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery analysis, etc.), and engagement with international counterparts.


    PAI 400.1: Env Law, Regulation & Governance 

    3 credits | Spring and Fall | Saba Siddiki 

    This course focuses on how governments address enduring and emerging environmental dilemmas. Students will develop understanding of how to approach and evaluate environmental challenges, fundamentals of policy design, and how agencies implement environmental policies.


    PAI 400.3: Grant Writing

    3 credits | Spring and Fall | Julia Carboni
    Learn grant writing for nonprofit organizations. Develop skills in identifying sources of grant funding, conducting research to support grant applications, and writing grant proposals for a nonprofit community partner.

    PAI 400.2: Poverty Policy

    3 credits | Spring and Fall | Colleen Heflin
    Examine the nature and extent of poverty in the U.S., its causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed government programs and policies.