Visit our “Guide to the Policy Studies Major” to learn more about the thematic concentrations

Visit the Course Catalog for the official course description and listing

PSTD 215: Environmental Policy

This course examines the ways policy seeks to promote environmental value in our complex and changing world. Students will be introduced to the contemporary environmental policy landscape, as well as the politics of environmental decision-making. We will examine and critique policy-making processes, policy actors and influence, dominant policy strategies for environmental change, and environmental policy analysis frameworks. We will draw upon case studies from multiple environmental and political contexts to explore class concepts

PSTD 251: Introduction to Policy Studies

This course introduces students to the governance of science and engineering. Course topics include the overall context for science and engineering policy, the public policy process and institutions involved in that process, and several current science and engineering public policy issues. The course includes a combination of role-playing exercises, debates, and field trips, as well as traditional lectures.

PSTD 255: Multinational Business and Corporate Social Responsibility

Strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about how a company resolves the dilemmas around its core product or service, how that product is produced, and how and to whom it is marketed. In effect, multi-national corporations which have a business model that uses profit to fuel constant innovation in new products, now have to include, for example, programs to reduce emissions, carbon trading, fair trade practices, and differential pricing of generic drugs in poor developing countries that demonstrate the potential for CSR; others illustrate the continuing limitations. The object of this course is to make students aware of international business situations that require moral reflection, judgment, and decision while revealing the complexities that often surround business choices and the formation of public policies. Learning through cases of irresponsible actions as well as responsible behavior, the course focuses attention on the study of international business circumstances in which hard choices must be made under complex conditions of uncertainty and disagreement. Students who receive credit for 255 may not receive credit for Economics 352. Similarly, students who receive credit for Economics 352 may not receive credit for 255.
Prerequisite: Econ 101, Econ 218, or permission of instructor

PSTD 300: Industry, Strategy, and Policy

This course serially examines specific industries using the tools of industrial organization, macro and microeconomics, and public policy to focus on critical aspects of the industrial sector. During the semester, students evaluate the current composition, organization, and status of selected industries; understand the complex issues involved within an industrial group; and analyze the American and international environment within which the selected industries operate. These goals are accomplished through team reports and presentations and guest commentators.

PSTD 310: Leadership

This course considers leadership through case studies, discussions, and seminars from high-impact leaders. Topics include leadership styles, whether leadership is innate or can be learned, characteristics leaders share, and transformational leadership. Intelligence and leadership is analyzed with a particular focus on the relationship between leadership and emotional, social, and global intelligence. Finally, case studies are used to examine crisis leadership and the characteristics that enable individuals to deliver extraordinary performance under unimaginable challenges.

PSTD 339: The Foundations of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

This seminar explores business entrepreneurship as foundational in an economy’s transformation, growth, and development. Its analytical underlay is that entrepreneurship, whether redistributive or productive, converts ideas into economic opportunities, “assetizing” and commoditizing their intellectual properties and property rights into economic prices and tradable values through market exchange, which in turn drives and guides innovation and change and flexibility and dynamism in an economy. The focus will be on the institutional framework, environment, and analytical processes that enable business entrepreneurship.
Prerequisite: Econ 251

 PSTD 390: Independent Study

Individual investigation of a particular policy-related topic under the supervision of an adviser.
Prerequisite: Permission from instructor.

PSTD 400: Policy Internship and Seminar

The internship in policy studies is tailored to a student’s theme of concentration and typically will take place at the sponsor’s site. Under particular circumstances, the internship might be completed on campus or at another location relevant to the project, such as a national capital. Following the internship, students participate in a seminar to build on the lessons of the internship experience and to prepare a report. This seminar and written report must be completed by the end of the semester after the internship to receive credit.
Prerequisite: One of Government 101, 102, or 103; History 105; Policy Studies 251 or 300

PSTD 495/496: Honors Thesis

Students desiring to take honors should inform the program chair by the beginning of the first semester of the senior year. Honors work involves a guided program of independent reading and research culminating in a thesis on a topic to be selected by the student in consultation with his or her adviser and approved by the program chair. All honors projects must be conducted in accordance with the established written guidelines. Honors candidates enroll in 496 only upon successfully completing Policy Studies 400.
Prerequisite: Policy Studies 400 and approval of Policy Studies Program Chair