• 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 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. 

    For those who matriculated effective Fall 2021, refer to the 'electives' listed in the course catalog.

    These courses are open to any student unless otherwise designated.  Most courses 300 and above are only open to students who have taken PST 101.  Courses are in-person unless otherwise noted.

    *Denotes Core Course in the PST Curriculum

    *PST 101: Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy 

    (3 credits) Offered fall and spring semesters. Taught by Professor Bill Coplin, this course is structured so that students practice the full set of skills employers want through the study of public policy.

    PST 110: Public Service Practicum 

    (1 credit) Offered fall and spring semesters.  Open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Meets five times and requires 35 hours community service.  Taught by Michelle Walker, this course provides students the opportunity to develop problem-solving and human relations skills while serving the Syracuse community.  

    PST 121: Leadership

    (1 credit) Offered fall and spring semesters. Meets in different sections and taught by the staff of Office of Student Living, this course help students develop problem-solving and human relations skills while serving Syracuse University.

    PST 270: Experience Credit

    (1-6 credits) [ONLINE]. Offered fall and spring semesters. Students can receive experience credit with Professor Coplin as their 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 300: Smart Cities and AI Policy

    (3 Credits) [HYBRID] Offered spring semester only. Taught by Professor Austin Zwick, this course is on the intersection of urban planning and artificial intelligence. Municipal policymakers are attempting to plan, regulate, and incorporate new transformative technologies, such as blockchain and autonomous vehicles, to address an assortment of societal problems including transportation, security, and environment. This course begins with an introduction to artificial intelligence and concludes with a group project that takes a deep dive into a case study city.  This course can be taken separately from, or in addition to, PST367: Smart Cities and Urban Policy, which also discusses urban policy and technology on different topics.  

    PST 300.2-.5/IST 343: Data in Society

    (3 credits). See Time Schedule for offerings. Taught by various iSchool Professors, students will critically examine how individuals, groups, and society create and are created by digital data and algorithms.  Students will explore social, political, legal, and professional issues across varying contexts including social media and the Internet of Things.

    PST 300.7: Intro to Intelligence Analysis

    (3 credits) Offered fall semester only. Taught by Professor Kristen Patel, this course explores the analytic tools and techniques used by intelligence analysts to uncover national security and foreign policy trends. Students will focus on critical thinking, cognitive biases, and structured analytic techniques, completing a series of individual and group assignments, including a final project.

    PAI 300.1: Smart Grid: Security, Privacy and Economics

    (3 Credits) See Time Schedule for offerings. Meets w/PAI 795. Taught by: Professor Peter Wilcoxen who specializes in Natural Resource and Environmental Economics and Professor Keli Perrin who specializes in Security Policy and Law. This interdisciplinary course covers the fundamentals engineering, economic, and legal principles underlying the grid. It focuses on building the skills needed to design and rest the protocols, policies, and specification for enabling technologies that will guarantee the security and integrity of the grid while preserving personal privacy and providing maximum market flexibility.

    PAI 300.2: Health Services Management

    (3 Credits) See Time Schedule for offerings. Meets w/PAI 792. Taught by: Nick Fabrizio, adjunct faculty, Public Administration and International Affairs. This course looks at a series of skills and knowledge needed for effective management in the health care system, including management of change, strategic planning, ethical issues in health service delivery, and personal management style.

    PAI 300.4: U.S. Intelligence Community

    (3 Credits) See Time Schedule for offerings. Meets w/ PSC 300. Taught by: Professor Robert Murrett who specializes in national security, international relations, and military and defense strategy. This course covers the structure and function of the U.S. intelligence community through a discussion of history, cases and methods, as well as writing and analytical skills needed for careers in intelligence community. 

    *PAI 305: Policy Implementations

    (Credit 3) Offered fall and spring semesters. Taught by: Professor Zachary Huitink, who specializes in Acquisition and government contracting, public-private partnerships, human capital management, and policy implementation. This course examines the tools governments use to implement public policy, and develops sought-after skills including implementation planning, project management, working effectively with outside organization and techniques for assessing how policies impact people and communities.

    *PST 315: Methods of Public Policy Analysis

    (3 credits) [ONLINE] Offered fall and spring semesters. Open only to Majors and by permission of Department Chair.  Taught by Professor Austin Zwick, this applied research methods course teaches how data is collected and analyzed through completing a research report for a community client.  The motto of this course is “professionalism in practice” with the intent of preparing students for the workforce. 

    PST 365: Housing Policy

    (3 credits) Offered fall semester only. Open by permission to students who have taken PST 101. Taught by Paul Driscoll, this course introduces housing policy at the federal, state and local level by looking at efforts in Syracuse to provide homeownership to the working poor and to improve the City’s housing stock.

    PST 367: Smart Cities and Urban Policy

    (3 Credits) [HYBRID] Offered fall semester only.  Taught by Professor Austin Zwick, this course looks at the intersection of technology and urban planning; how digitalization, automation, and telecommunications are changing cities. Modules focus on Economic Development, Transportation, Privacy & Security, and Governance. Students work on a group project on a case study city.

    PAI 400.1: Natural Resources, Sustainability, and Global Supply Chains

    (3 credits) See Time Schedule for offerings. Cross-listed w/ ESP 300; Meets w/PAI 600. Taught by: Professor Jay Golden, who specializes in Dynamics of sustainability transition, corporate ESG, natural resources and supply chains, sustainability finance, technology adoption. This course will focus on the rapidly changing dynamics of the global supply chain and the sustainability transition. It will focus on energy transformation, exposing students to the theoretical underpinning of sustainable supply chains.

    PAI 400.2 | Applied Dynamic Sustainability

    (3 credits) See Time Schedule for offerings.  Cross-listed w/ESP 300; meets w/PAI 600. Taught by: Professor Jay Golden, who specializes in Dynamics of sustainability transition, corporate ESG, natural resources and supply chains, sustainability finance, technology adoption. This class provides students the opportunity to fain professional experience in the realm of sustainability. The student group will partner with corporations, governments, and non-governmental organization on pressing sustainability issues and opportunities.

    PST 400.1/IST 414: Data Driven Inquiry

    (3 credits). See Time Schedule for offerings. Taught by Jeffrey Stanton, this course introduces students to a variety of approaches to answer questions in a variety of contexts (e.g. business, society, friendships, politics).  Students will learn how to ask good questions and answer those questions ethically using a variety of data-driven approaches, including quantitative, qualitative, and computational.

    PST 400.2/IST 456: Info Policy & Decision Making

    (3 credits). See Time Schedule for offerings.  Taught Professor Lee McKnight, current and emerging policy issues, policy formulation and conflict, roles and perspectives of major actors in the policy-making process. Privacy, freedom of information, intellectual property rights, information dissemination and access, security classification and restriction, computer crime.

    PST 409: Intermediate Analysis of Public Policy

    (3 credits) Offered fall and spring semesters. Open by Special Permission who have taken PST 101. Taught by Professor Bill Coplin, this course introduces students to current public policy problems through a variety of research techniques.

    *PST 410: Non-Profits and Government Practicum

    (3 credits) Offered fall and spring semesters.  Open only to Majors or Minors or by Special Permission who have taken PST 101. Taught by 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. 

    *PST 410:  Advanced Policy Research

    (3 credits) [ONLINE] Offered fall and spring semesters. Open by Special Permission to students who have taken PST 315 Taught by Professor Austin Zwick, this course assists students in completing a policy-related honors’ thesis or a directed study research project. This class emphasizes a deep dive into a single, focuses topic to further develop students’ research, information literacy, writing, and presentation skills.

    PAI 415: Poverty Policy

    (3 credits) See Time Schedule for offerings. Cross-listed w/PSC400 and SOC400. Taught by: Professor Colleen Heflin, who specializes in social policy, poverty policy, child and family policy. This small seminar examines 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.  

    PST 431: Criminal Justice

    (3 credits) Offered spring semester only. Open by Special Permission. Taught by a former defense lawyer, 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.

    PST 476: National Security Forces

    (3 credits) Offered fall and spring semesters. Taught by Professor Travis Sheets, this course is structured so that students explore the full spectrum of government strategy, structures, organizations, and agencies associated with National Security Policy.