Public Policy

Bridging Disciplines Programs allow you to earn an interdisciplinary certificate that integrates area requirements, electives, courses for your major, internships, and research experiences.

This BDP focuses on how change happens: how did a journalist’s inquiry into the effects of agricultural chemicals give rise to the environmental movement; how did a black woman’s refusal to yield her bus seat to a white man galvanize the civil rights movement; how did a diplomat’s cable about Russian history give rise to the policy of containment? Students will learn about the policy-making process, beginning with the point at which someone senses a problem or an opportunity and begins to press the matter. We will then walk through the processes by which that sense of a problem is turned into a public policy issue through research, mobilization, the engagement of political leaders, and in some instances, the passage and implementation of new policy.

The Public Policy BDP will be beneficial to students who aspire to positions in policy-relevant institutions such as government agencies, legislative offices, think tanks, and advocacy groups. The program also will help students who plan to pursue careers in business, where success often depends on understanding how government works.

Upon completion of 19 credit hours from the options listed below, you will earn a certificate in Public Policy.

Note: Course descriptions available here are from a recent offering of the course, and they may not reflect the description for the next offering of the course.

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Forum Seminar Courses   (1 credit hours)

All students in the Public Policy BDP are required to take the Forum Seminar.

PP Forum
BDP 101 Intro to Public Policy
The Constitution begins with “We, the People,” but does not say who “the people” are. As a result, we have been arguing for more than two centuries about who belongs here – who should be allowed to immigrate into the United States, who can claim citizenship, and whether different groups of people have different rights and responsibilities. This seminar will use key policy documents – the 1790 Naturalization Act, the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott and Wong Kim Ark decisions, the 14th Amendment, and the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, among others – to trace the evolution of our long-running argument about who should be considered part of “We, the people.” In the process, students will learn about the three core components of all policies: classification (creating sub-groups within a population), assignment (determining which subgroup a particular individual belongs to) and allocation (doling out rights and responsibilities according to the classification.) The seminar also will cover the institutions and processes involved in developing and implementing public policy. After taking this course, students will have the background needed to engage in informed discussion of controversial public policy issues such as immigration reform, “birthright” citizenship, and the uses of racial and ethnic classifications.

Foundation Courses   (3 credit hours)

Foundation Courses introduce key methodologies and issues related to Public Policy. Choose one Public Policy Foundation Course.

Public Policy Foundation Course
GOV 358 Introduction to Public Policy
This course will examine the politics and history of public policymaking in America. We will examine how policy is made, and whether LBJ’s dicta that “good policy is good politics” holds. We will study contemporary policy challenges, especially focusing on financial and budgetary challenges, and health care. We will also examine education, environment, and justice. Since good policies can only come about with good information, properly interpreted, the course will emphasize the roles of ideas and information in the policy process: how elected and appointed political leaders use it to formulate and implement public policies.
GOV 370P Policy Making Process

*Students must be admitted to the Archer Fellowship Program to take this course.

Focus on the role of Congress and the President in the policy-making process. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Government 370L (Topic: Policy-Making Process) and 370P may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.
P A 325 Introduction to Public Policy
The Bridging Disciplines Program in Public Policy has two goals: to introduce students to a substantive arena of policy, and to familiarize students with the policy-making process. The Fall 2014 Introduction will focus on three of the 20th century’s most transformative policies: the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1965 Immigration Reform Act. (Future introductory courses may focus on a different policy arena such as environmental policy or national security.)The policy changes of the 1960s were intended to correct problems created by earlier policies. Thus, we will begin the course with a brief journey through the nation’s history. At every point, men made choices (women tended to be excluded from politics and policy making until the 20th century) based on their personal interests, prejudices, and moral beliefs. At every point, they could have made different choices. For example, the Constitution did not have to perpetuate slavery or exclude Indians from citizenship, and there was nothing inevitable (or “Biblically ordained”) about racial classifications. We will spend the first few class sessions reviewing the choices that led to racial discrimination, the exclusion of Asians, and limits on naturalized citizenship. Then, we will move to the early 1950s. That was when a black woman’s refusal to yield her bus seat gave rise to the modern civil rights movement. It also was when Congress eliminated racial restrictions on naturalized citizenship, and when the Supreme Court struck down the Texas Democratic Party’s white primary system. This leads to the modern civil rights movement and the passage and implementation of the new policies. Toward the end of the course, we will look at the effects of the new policy regime and at current controversies over immigration reform, voting rights and equal opportunity.

Connecting Experiences   (6 credit hours)

Your BDP advisor can help you find internships and research opportunities that connect Public Policy to your major and interests. We call these opportunities “Connecting Experiences” because they play such an important role in integrating your studies. Each Connecting Experience counts for 3 credit hours. You will need to complete two Connecting Experiences.

For more information and for examples of past Connecting Experiences, visit the BDP website and consult your BDP advisor. BDP students must propose Connecting Experiences to the BDP office. Current BDP students should view the BDP Advising Canvas site for Connecting Experience resources and proposal instructions.

Strand Courses   (9 credit hours)

In addition to your Foundation Courses and Connecting Experiences, you must complete 9 credit hours of Strand Courses drawn from two or more of the following concentrations. At least 6 credit hours of Strand Courses should be drawn from courses designated as “Policy-Emphasis” courses; the remaining 3 credit hours may be designated as either a “Policy-Emphasis” or “Contexts for Public Policy” course. You should work with your BDP advisor to choose Strand Courses that will focus your BDP on your specific interests, and that will provide you with an interdisciplinary perspective on your BDP topic.

In order to create an interdisciplinary experience, you must choose courses from a variety of disciplines. Only one of your Strand Courses may come from your major department(s), or from courses cross-listed with your major department(s).

Communication Policy - Policy-Emphasis
CMS 345G Communicating to Government
CMS 345P Communication & Public Opinion
We will explore how public opinion changes and how the media affect public opinion. Further, we will examine whether we are influenced by our perceptions of public opinion. If we hold a minority viewpoint, will we behave differently than if we hold a major
CMS 356C Collective Action
Collective action is a fundamental part of our social behavior and refers to any process whereby groups of people attempt to make decisions and act towards a common good. Collective action covers a vast field and include both collaborative and contentious forms of social action. Two interrelated factors have irrevocably changed how we view collective action: globalization and digitization. In this class, students will obtain insight into how globalization and technology have impacted how we organize and communicate to achieve better collective outcomes about the public good. It will review a range of perspectives on collective action, and examine communicative elements of collective action in a variety of global contexts, focusing on India and New Zealand as global contexts in the last portion of the course.
J 321F Reporting On City/County Govmt
Learning Goals: To understand how city and county governments function , To learn how to cover the news from city hall, city departments and the county courthouse, To improve our research, reporting and writing skills, To learn how to utilize and integrate the tools of multimedia to enhance online story-telling, and To learn how to utilize effective data-graphics and mapping to illustrate news stories Overview: As University of Texas students and faculty, we are blessed (and sometimes cursed) to be living in one of our nation’s most dynamic and rapidly growing urban areas. Austin, Texas offers a unique “laboratory” in which we can report on important local issues and hone our skills as writers and multimedia producers. Many challenges face the citizens, elected officials, city department heads and staff members as Austin is forced to deal with an ever-expanding population with limited revenue and a strained infrastructure. The classic battles -- between those who wish to reside in a “livable” city, those who want to roll back the clock to re-live “the old Austin,” and those commercial interests who foresee big returns on their business and real estate investments -- are fought daily, with city hall at the focal point. This struggle extends to the unincorporated areas that surround Austin, as Travis County government faces similar challenges regarding growth and the environment while facing budgetary constraints. This drama is played-out in a number of ways: the lack of affordable housing, pollution of once-pristine streams and creeks, streets and highways choked with traffic, the struggle to assure equitable citizen representation among Austin’s Hispanic and African-American communities, law enforcement practices, gentrification, controversies over city hall incentives and tax-breaks in an effort to lure large corporations to the city, a rising crime rate, and more. Against this backdrop, we will devote the next fifteen weeks learning to navigate city hall and the county courthouse in order to bring into focus for our readers, listeners and viewers vital information about the challenges, triumphs and failures of city and county government. Upon completion of this course, you should be able to come away with a deeper insight into how to report on urban issues and how to enhance your skills as researcher, reporter, interviewer, writer, editor and multimedia content producer. Class Structure: This is a multimedia reporting class where students will research some of the issues that face local government and report on them using multimedia story-telling techniques. Multimedia “packages” created by students will be presented in class and posted online. These packages will consist of elements that may include text, photographs, maps and graphics, audio podcasts and video. For these multimedia projects, students will work in teams of three. Teams will focus their stories on a variety of topics for exploration. Among them: Environmental Issues Facing Our Rapidly Growing City and County: What are the problems and can and what are the solutions? The Inadequate Transportation Infrastructure: Can solutions be found? Growing Pains Afflicting Austin’s Neighborhoods: What are the ramifications of conflicting neighborhood agendas as Austin faces the challenges of rapid growth? How has gentrification changed the character (and culture) of established neighborhoods? Public Safety Issues (Crime, law enforcement, fire protection and emergency medical services.) Other urban issues as identified by the instructor and students.
Training and instruction in specialized reporting, research, and writing skills as applicable to covering state governments. Analysis of enduring issues and politics at the state level. Fieldwork at the Texas Capitol and state agencies.
J 349N News Media & Politics
J 350F Media Law
Examination of legal rights and restrictions for online and print journalism, including Constitutional guarantees, libel, invasion of privacy, and contempt of court.
RTF 365C Media, Comm Law, and Ethics
Communication Policy - Contexts for Public Policy
CMS 340K Communication and Social Change
Analysis of how persuasion is used in mass movements: civil rights, consumerism, feminism, pacifism, religious sects.
J 301F Fundamental Issues in Journalism
Examination of major issues facing the news media in a democratic society and the exploration of digital technology on the future of news gathering, including ethics, institutions, effects, and standards of journalistic performance.
RTF 365D Med Literacy/Civic Engagem
In this course, students take an historical look at the uses of media and popular culture by children and teens. The course analyzes media produced about children, by children and for young audiences and their families. Particular focus is placed on recent trends in the uses of digital tools, cultural products, information and media produced by children and teens. The course also examines the way that media studies research has been used as a basis for policy, regulation and social movements that seek to both expand and restrict young people’s uses of media. Throughout the course, students will be asked to analyze, evaluate and creatively design media products intended for audiences of children and teens.
Community & Urban Policy - Policy-Emphasis
Transportation systems connect us to the people and things we need to lead a fulfilling life: school, work, food, medical care, friends, and family, to name just a few. But these connections do not come without costs—transportation systems produce profound environmental and social impacts. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation activities constitute a third of the US total, urban air quality continues to be a problem in many areas of the country, and about 30,000 people die each year due in accidents involving motorized vehicles. Many of these impacts are associated with the automobile. Although automotive technology continues to improve, resulting in cleaner, safer cars, relying on them as our primary mode entails public health implications and the threat of crippling urban congestion. This course is an introduction to urban passenger transportation policy and planning in the US with a sustainability focus. The course is structured around three components on which we will spend approximately five weeks each: History, theory, and problem definition The planning process, and Solutions Throughout the semester we will come to understand how our current transportation systems came to be, what a sustainable system would look like, policies and planning approaches that will help is to achieve it, and challenges we’re likely to face. Part of the difficulty arises from the fact that planning is inherently a political as well as technical activity. Determining what the “best” solution is in any given situation is likely to involve the varied needs and desires of elected officials, members of the public, and experts. As engineers and planners (or one who will interact with engineers and planners) you will need to navigate this sometimes fraught landscape to make progress. We will examine the actual transportation planning process at all levels of government, hear from local and regional planners about their work, and learn about the (quantitative and qualitative) methods that planners use to both comply with the law and help inform decision makers. Learning objectives Upon completion of this course, students will have demonstrated mastery of the following concepts through in-class discussion and debate, detailed analysis and thoughtful reflection in assignments, and performance on examinations: The relationship between transportation and land use, including how and why the current transportation system emerged, and why transportation planning is a vitally important endeavor. The multifaceted and evolving nature of sustainability and how it is being applied to real-world transportation planning efforts across the United States. The practice of transportation planning at federal, state, regional, and local levels, including the laws and regulations that planners follow regarding transportation plans, environmental review, air quality conformity, and environmental justice, among others. The analytical methods employed by transportation planners to assess the performance of existing and future transportation systems (e.g. key concepts related to regional travel demand models, traffic impact assessments, level of service analysis, and parking demand analyses). Public participation in planning, specifically how members of the public make their views known, formally and informally, in the transportation planning process and how that (sometimes) affects outcomes. Concrete policies and planning strategies that facilitate sustainable urban transportation systems on both the infrastructure and land use sides. Legal and policy frameworks and initiatives that support the development of such systems.
P A 325 Quant Foundatn for Publ Policy
This course is designed to give you the basic mathematical tools needed to understand, work with, and eventually create the kind of models that drive public policy decisions. We’ll remind you of your (perhaps forgotten) algebra, run through the basic ideas of differential calculus, and think through the use of probabilities and statistics. You probably won’t feel comfortable going toe-to-toe with Paul Krugman (who, as the Nobel committee reminded us, was an excellent international economist before he became a rich and famous pundit). But you will have the background to take on graduate work in public policy. In a year or two, you may very well be able to take on Krugman. Certainly you won’t need to repeat yourself so often as he does.)
S W 323K Social Welfare Prog, Pol, and Issues
Study of structure and function of service delivery systems, policy analysis, and effects and influences of policy on practice and planning decisions.
SOC 325L Sociology of Criminal Justice
This course is in two parts. The first will provide an introduction to the American criminal justice system, its policies and procedures. The primary focus will be on how the criminal justice system functions. This will include some discussion of crime and its correlates, policing, the court system, and corrections. The second part – which in my mind is the whole point -- traces where criminal justice policy has been, what it has accomplished, and where it should go in order to effectively prevent crime and promote public safety, and reduce recidivism, victimization, and cost. The primary focus of where we go from here is mainly on fundamentally changing or reinventing policing, pretrial, prosecution, indigent defense, the courts, and sentencing.
Community & Urban Policy - Contexts for Public Policy
ARC 350R Global Housing Challenge
Approximately 2 billion people of the world's population live in substandard housing; 1 billion of these people reside in urban slums (UN Habitat). In the US alone about 40 million people live below the poverty line (UofM National Poverty Center) and 95 million lack adequate housing (Habitat for Humanities). Despite these astounding numbers, the issue of poverty has been absent from public discourse in the same way that substandard housing has generally been absent from conversations in architecture schools. The course will provide students with a comprehensive set of conceptual tools for understanding issues of urban poor communities in developing countries. The focus will be on informal settlement neighborhoods that are viewed by government as illegal and that often lack access to basic infrastructure and services. With 2 billion people living in urban informal settlements, those issues are not only socially relevant, they will be top priority as we move towards a more sustainable built environment. The seminar will look deeper into social sustainability vis a vis environmental sustainability as we prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead.
This course offers an introduction to environmental justice, the premise that all people have a right to an environment free from hazardous contamination as well as access to resources that sustain health and livelihood. Throughout the semester, we will examine the meaning of environmental justice as a spatial and land-based—that is, a geographical—project. We will also examine the definition and significance of its inverse: environmental racism, meaning unequal access to life-sustaining environment resources along racial lines. We will engage in an ethnic studies approach to together explore the geographies of indigeneity, race, and environmental justice. We will also highlight the relationship between environmental racism to capitalism and ongoing processes of colonialism and exploitation. Last, and importantly, this course highlights the role and importance of local and global movements for environmental justice.
GRG 337 The Modern American City
Issues facing residents of United States cities, such as transportation and housing, poverty and crime, metropolitan finance, environmental and architectural design; historical/comparative urban evolution.
SOC 369K Population and Society
The study of populations, including their growth, age structure, and patterns of fertility, mortality, and migration; the social causes and consequences of these phenomena.
URB 301 Introduction to Urban Studies
A multidisciplinary study of cities and complex urban environments; historical and contemporary issues from both national and international perspectives.
URB 355U Urban Politics
This course introduces and explores the development of the urban landscape in America. Cities did not simply spring into existence. Their geographical and physical constraints combined with social, ethnic, and political pressures shaped and continue to shape their development. This course is designed to mostly introduce you to some ideas of urban politics in America. The first part of the semester concentrates on the development of the cities. This part of the class will focus primarily on the rural to urban shift in America. The second part of the semester will explore the move from urban to suburban living. This part of the class will look at more modern issues and topics in the cities (i.e. problems created by people moving out, financial attempts to solve these problems, new urbanism, gated communities, social/racial strife).
Economic Policy - Policy-Emphasis
Both within the United States and in a number of other developed countries, wage inequality has risen dramatically over the past forty years. Everyone in society, and especially in business, should be deeply concerned with rising inequality. In particular, inequality threatens the vision most of us have of our capitalist system, which now provides less social mobility than in prior decades. Business leaders have increasingly realized that rampant inequality threatens the foundations upon which the success of their companies relies and that they can, with some creativity, (perhaps) do something to ameliorate the problem.
ECO 304L Introduction to Macroeconomics
Analysis of the economy as a whole (its organization and the basic forces influencing its growth and development); money and banking, national income, public finance, and international linkages.
ECO 326L Economics and Education
The course will introduce the concept of human capital, and consider the important question of why both individuals and governments invest in education. Using economic principals we will analyse the determinants of human capital. This will cover topics such as, the importance of out of school factors such as family background and age. We then consider in-school determinants of education including class size, peer effects and school types. Going into more detail we go on to discuss the impact of teachers, the methods by which this has been measured and improved. Finally, the course addresses the market for college education, with emphasis on the financing of higher educational systems, and the efficient matching of students to institutions. The course will combine theory with empirical evidence and touch upon current policy issues in education.
This class explores the relationship between firms and society. This includes the role of regulation and government policy in shaping economic outcomes, firm voluntary contributions to solving social issues, and the harnessing of private capital for foreign aid. The key insights will be to examine how governments can best encourage economic activity that has positive contributions for society.
P A 383C The American Welfare State

*Instructor Approval Required

*Instructor Permission Required, Seniors Only.

Introduction to how public policy is developed and adopted in government systems. Covers the role of politics and institutions in implementing and managing policy.
PHL 325L Business, Ethics, and Public Policy
Issues in ethics and politics that are relevant to the organization of business and industry and the distribution of power in society; topics include the role of industry; concepts of profit, property, and moral responsibility.
Economic Policy - Contexts for Public Policy
BGS 371 Corporate Political Strategy
This course will explore the relationship between business and government in the United States and around the world, with the goal of preparing you, as future employees and managers, to develop and implement non-market strategies. The course is divided into four parts: 1) understanding the non-market environment of the firm and its relationship to the market environment; 2) learning how to develop a general non-market strategy for a firm and how to evaluate the efficacy of different non-market tactics; 3) examining the role of non-market factors across different substantive public policy areas of concern to firms; and 4) exploring how nonmarket factors vary cross-nationally and how they are shaped by international agreements.
ECO 301 Introduction to Economics
Explores how economists describe and measure the economy in the aggregate and in specific markets, such as the labor market, the housing market, financial markets, and international trade. Studies concepts for measurement and data, as well as methods, approaches, and technologies used in social and behavioral science.
ECO 304K Introduction to Microeconomics
Analysis of the economic behavior of individual consumers, firms, and workers; special attention to the role of markets.
ECO 321 Public Economics
Study of appropriate allocations of economic activity between government (federal, state, and local) and the private sector. The workings of social security, welfare, education, pollution control, deregulation, taxation; and proposals for reform.
Education Policy - Policy-Emphasis
This course will critically examine how the passage of Title IX has affected the educational and career opportunities of women in the United States, with a particular emphasis on collegiate athletics. The course will begin by discussing the evolution of Title IX, from its initial passage to its interpretation by the courts. The discussion will also include critiques of and opposition to Title IX. The course will then discuss historical issues related to women and sports, including gender stereotypes, race, and media representations of women. This will be followed by more contemporary issues related to Title IX, such as sexual discrimination and harassment, pay-for-play, and athlete activism. The course will conclude with a discussion of Title IX’s greatest successes and where there are still barriers left to break in terms of gender equality.
HDF 362 Children & Public Policy
The positive and negative effects of policy on children and the policy landscape in several major domains of child and family life in the United States and in other countries.
LAH 350 Inqlty In the Us Educ Sys

*Restricted to Liberal Arts Honors students.

For centuries many have seen the United States as the land of opportunity. Free public education is often seen as one of the key pillars of opportunity in the U.S. Yet, the quality of public education varies greatly depending on the neighborhood and characteristics of the student. In this class, we will examine how inequality has developed and is maintained within the American public education system. We will pay particular attention to the role of school funding and residential segregation in maintaining disparities in educational quality. We will also learn and critique existing theories of educational inequality such as meritocracy, stereotype threat, and oppositional culture. Next, we will explore the effect of students’ traits on how they interact with and experience school in the U.S. Race/ ethnicity, gender, social class, and special educational needs are just a sample of the attributes that we will investigate. We will conclude by exploring current efforts to combat inequality within the public education system through school choice, magnet programs, accountability campaigns, community-based school reform, and other efforts.
Education Policy - Contexts for Public Policy
ALD 327 Sociocul Influences on Learn
This course provides an introduction to issues of socio-cultural influences on learning, schools, communities, and families. It includes issues of disability, culture, gender, and education/special education. Disability categories come from special education services and include learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and emotional and behavioral disorders.
This course links the study of politics and civic engagement with the actual engagement of young people living in our community. This purpose will be pursued by administering the initiative RU Ready Texas in Austin ISD schools. Through this, UT Austin students will consider connections between theory and practice of civic education, collaborate with their peers, deliver effective oral presentations, develop facilitation skills, and equip and encourage high school students in our community to be active citizens. Participation for this course will include volunteer experiences and administering workshops for K12 students (completed virtually in spring 2021).
As higher education enters into an unpredictable post-pandemic future, it is beset with a host of challenges involving access, affordability, equity, and student success. If we are to successfully meet those challenges, we would do well to look to the past. After all, history is the only guide we have to the decisions that will shape the future, and, as we shall see, the issues higher education faces today aren’t nearly as novel as many assume. Higher education remains our society’s best hope for addressing the most profound challenges of our time: stagnating incomes, worsening economic inequalities, productivity slowdowns, persistent racial disparities, and deepening political partisanship. But if our colleges and universities are to fulfill their educational, research, and social and developmental functions, and serve as an engine of economic mobility and local and regional growth, these institutions will need to adapt to a rapidly shifting reality. In this class, we shall ask how our colleges and universities can become more affordable, sustainable, resilient, how they can better serve the many Americans who have lost their jobs, and how they can bring all students to graduation and a successful post-graduation future. Our class will also explore how today’s colleges and universities can contain cost, stabilize institutional finances, enhance equity, and regain the public’s support. Over the course of the semester, we shall examine the shifting higher ed landscape, the lessons to be learned from higher ed’s history, the changes occurring in the make-up of the student body. In addition, we will also look at efforts to improve the quality of teaching and make leverage new technologies. We will discuss a series of flash points that have provoked intense public controversy: Over intercollegiate athletics, fraternities and sororities, political correctness, and admissions practices. We will conclude by analyzing higher education’s likely post-pandemic future.
This course introduces students to the sociological study of education. The overarching goal of this class is to enhance students’ understanding of how the educational system works, how schooling shapes the opportunities available to children and adolescents, and how educational attainment influences the lives and wellbeing of adults. This course will begin by introducing various sociological perspectives on education and an overview of the history of the American educational system. We will then explore the myriad factors that shape achievement and learning, beginning when children are young, considering such topics as school readiness, early childhood education, and the role of parents and caregivers in shaping educational opportunities. As we consider older children, our focus will shift toward questions involving the significance of schools, peers, and communities, and topics such as youth culture, identity issues, bullying, truancy, social media, violence in schools, and college culture. We will spend a considerable amount of time exploring differential access to educational opportunities along race, class, and gender lines, and how these social variables shape student experiences and future outcomes. We will also explore the links between educational stratification and employment, income, relationships, health, parenting behaviors, and other outcomes. Finally, throughout the course we will keep an eye on recent debates in and challenges to the educational system in the U.S. including educational reform, the evaluation of teachers and teacher tenure, the charter school movement, and differences between public and private schools at all educational levels
SOC 321L Sociology of Education
Education as a societal institution, with emphasis on the United States educational system: how the system works; the effects of the system; recent changes.
Foreign Policy and Global Development - Policy-Emphasis
P A 325 Defense Policy
The Department of Defense is a large, complex, and consequential enterprise: it employs more than three million people, spends more than $600 billion annually, and operates at more than 700 military sites abroad.  Because of the time needed to train leaders, develop new doctrines and acquire new equipment, DoD also plans far ahead.    This undergraduate seminar will help students understand (1) what the nation’s defense policy is, who makes it, and how it is implemented. The focus will be on DoD, but with some attention to other key institutions such as the White House and Congress. 
Intelligence has been called “the hidden dimension” of statecraft. This course is based on the principle that intelligence has value when it contributes to wise decisionmaking and the course aims to benefit students interested in foreign affairs and national security policy, not merely those interested in “doing” intelligence. Mr. Pope will serve as the course director and teach some parts of the course, but the course will be taught by an ensemble of distinguished scholars, former intelligence officers and policy practitioners.
Foreign Policy and Global Development - Contexts for Public Policy
GOV 360F Global Governance
This course examines the forces that shape global stability (and instability). Building on a basic framework outlining how and why actors interact in the international system, this course will explore how states design and agree to international agreements, what those agreements consist of, and how those agreements influence state behavior. The course will also expose students to studies of international law and organizations across several issues areas, including security, international trade, international finance, the environment, and human rights.
Health Policy - Policy-Emphasis
GOV 370V The Politics of Health Care
Health care is currently one of the most hotly debated topics in American politics. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the issues and controversies that surround healthcare policy and the American healthcare system. The course will facilitate this by first establishing a theoretical and substantive framework regarding various aspects of policymaking and the American healthcare system. Upon the establishment of this framework, the course will then delve into the examination of a number of specific health problems and the controversies surrounding them. Students should leave this class with a working knowledge of the American policy making process, substantial knowledge of the American healthcare system and an understanding of the roots of current debates in American healthcare policy.
H S 330 Health Care Policy in U.S.
An overview of the health care system in the United States and analysis of health policy issues primarily from the perspective of health economics.
This course critically examines the policies and programs that affect women’s health in the United States, with a focus on reproductive health. The goal of this course is to provide students with more specialized knowledge of how polices impact the lives of women. In the course, students will explore how assumptions about gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, immigrant status, and socioeconomic status influence and are incorporated into public policy. Students also will learn to evaluate how policies may address - or contribute to - disparities in women’s health.
Health Policy - Contexts for Public Policy
Explore the COVID-19 pandemic through multiple social, cultural, and economic lenses. Consider how globalization has influenced transportation networks and economic relationships that shape infectious disease transmission in the twenty-first century. Examine the effectiveness of different public health efforts to curb the spread of this virus. Discuss how the public health efforts of different nations and international governing bodies reveal different cultural values, political realities, and healthcare systems.
PBH 338 Environmental Health
ntroduction to the major areas of environmental health, including hazards in the environment, the effects of environmental contaminants, and various approaches to addressing major environmental health problems. Subjects include water and air quality, solid and liquid waste, hazardous chemicals, radiation, infectious agents, food safety, and occupational health. Contemporary case studies are used to address environmental policy and regulation and environmental justice.
PHL 325M Medicine, Ethics, and Society
This course is an introduction to the philosophy of medicine with a focus on social policy and ethical issues. Topics covered include: conceptual and normative foundations of medicine; ethical implications of recent scientific results such as genomics and human embryology; medical explications of race and their implications for health; prospects and problems with human genetic modification and the possibility of eugenics; issues of equity and justice in public health including genetic screening and testing, compulsory vaccination, diseases of poverty, and neglected tropical diseases. Throughout, the emphasis will be on social context and normative analysis. The course will cover the following seven topics in sequence: • Concepts of health and disease. • Genetics, genomics, and medicine. • Ethics and human embryology. • Race and medicine. • Problems of public health. • Vaccination policy and practice. • Gene cloning, editing, and eugenics. The scope of this course is broader than that of traditional courses in biomedical ethics. It includes discussions of topics in medical epistemology (including aspects of the philosophy of biology) and the social and political contexts of medical practice.
Political Institutions, Structures, and Processes - Policy Emphasis

Only one of your Strand Courses may come from the Political Institutions, Structures, and Processes category.

CMS 373D Advocacy and Politics-DC

*Students must be admitted to the Archer Fellowship Program to take this course.

This course is an introduction to the issues individuals face when placed in the role of being advocates for an issue, idea, or even for themselves. The goal of the course is for class participants to grasp concepts they will see and experience during their internship in Washington, D.C. Half of this class is intentionally scheduled for the beginning of the semester. Students will not only learn about advocacy, but hopefully many questions and concerns about the internship process will be answered during the course as well. Readings are The Prince by Machiavelli, Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others by Dr. John Daly, and Hardball: How Politics is Played Told by One Who Knows the Game by Chris Matthews.
GOV 312L Issues & Policies in Amer Gov
Analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution. Fulfills second half of legislative requirement for government.
GOV 357C Constitutional Interpretation
Politics is often defined as "the authoritative allocation of values." In the American political system, the Constitution is an important source of authority, and it gives preference to certain values. The Constitution is a document of law, politics, and political theory. Determining what the Constitution means, determining how to determine what it means, and determining who should determine what it means are fundamental tasks for participants in the American political process and for students of it. This course may be of interest to those thinking about attending law school, but it is equally valuable to those who have no such interest. Given the nature of our society, understanding the Constitution and constitutional law is part of a liberal arts education. The course does not focus on many of the "civil liberties" provisions in the Constitution; those important subjects are left to other courses. It does, however, focus on liberties derived from what is known as substantive due process. One objective of the course is for the student to become a constitutional interpreter who contributes intelligently to this ongoing process. Constitutional interpretation is a prerogative of the judiciary, but it is not its preserve. Judges have never been, nor should be, the only ones engaging in constitutional interpretation. Presidents, members of Congress, and many others engage in constitutional interpretation. A more complete course would examine their statements and actions in greater detail. Judges, however, play a very important role in constitutional interpretation. As such, it is important to learn what judges have said the Constitution means and to understand how they came to such conclusions. This necessitates learning how to read and analyze judicial opinions. The student should develop a sufficient comfort level with legal analysis so that she or he can evaluate intelligently important interpretations of the justices and ask the questions that a student of politics should ask. Prominent among such questions are those concerned with the proper role of courts and judges in the American political system. Though we read some scholarly commentary on interpretation and judicial behavior, we concentrate on the primary material--the Constitution and cases--so that the student can begin to develop his or her own ideas.
The goal of the course is to illuminate the effects of American politics and culture on the Supreme Court and vice versa.
GOV 357M Constitutnl Struct of Power
Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues. We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr. Some of the topics to be considered include: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to regulate firearms, the power to establish an office of independent counsel, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.
GOV 358 Introduction to Public Policy
This course will examine the politics and history of public policymaking in America. We will examine how policy is made, and whether LBJ’s dicta that “good policy is good politics” holds. We will study contemporary policy challenges, especially focusing on financial and budgetary challenges, and health care. We will also examine education, environment, and justice. Since good policies can only come about with good information, properly interpreted, the course will emphasize the roles of ideas and information in the policy process: how elected and appointed political leaders use it to formulate and implement public policies.
GOV 370C Election Campaign
Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.
GOV 370E Congressional Elections
This course takes an in-depth look at congressional elections. In addition to analyzing the congressional elections in 2016, we will develop a framework to understand the critical links among voters, candidates, campaigns, and Congress. The first half of the course discusses campaigns and elections the second half of the course deals with election outcomes and their consequences on policy-making. The readings for the class include both contemporary journalistic accounts of the election and analytic frameworks from political scientists. An energetic classroom requires student participation. If need be, I’ll compel you to participate.
GOV 370L Amer Pub Pol in Retrospect
The course will combine several approaches to the study of American politics, so that it could accurately be described as fitting into the Public Policy, Political Philosophy, or American Political Development subfields. My intention is, first, to introduce the students to the analysis and evaluation of arguments---teaching them to search for unstated assumptions, become sensitive to good and bad reasoning, and understand how to judge the appropriateness of the use of evidence. Second, I plan to have them confront, in my lectures and the assigned reading, important arguments about public policy in United States history. We will examine 19th century arguments about banking, slavery, and free trade, 20th century arguments about petroleum regulation, censorship of motion pictures, and the containment of Communism, and 21st century arguments about taxation, health care, and teaching evolution in public schools. The course will be divided into three sections, the first featuring an introductory sub-section, plus policy arguments from the 19th century, the second featuring policy arguments from the 20th century, and the third featuring policy arguments from the 21st century. The students have a choice: they may write two essays and take one test on the material in the lectures, or they may take two tests and write one essay. In each essay they must analyze and evaluate one of the public-policy arguments from one of the sections. In each test they must demonstrate that they understand how various concepts from the lectures are part of the arguments I make in the lectures. It will be up to the students to decide their semester ratio of tests and essays. Each assignment will, formally, provide a third of their final grade, although I may make some small informal adjustments in the final grade to reward class participation.
GOV 370P Policy Making Process

*Students must be admitted to the Archer Fellowship Program to take this course.

Focus on the role of Congress and the President in the policy-making process. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Government 370L (Topic: Policy-Making Process) and 370P may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.
GOV 371I The United States Congress
Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.
Political Institutions, Structures, and Processes - Contexts for Public Policy

Only one of your Strand Courses may come from the Political Institutions, Structures, and Processes category.

GOV 330K The American President
Development of the power and influence of the president; nomination, election, and responsibility; case studies of presidential problems; comparison of president and other executives.
GOV 357L Judicial Process and Behavior
This course focuses on understanding and explaining judicial behavior. In order to do this, this course examines not only what judges do, but also all aspects of the judicial process such as juries, attorneys, prosecutors, judicial selection, plea bargaining, court structures and the social and political settings in which courts operate. Most of the assignments involve reading and analyzing judicial opinions in actual cases. These opinions not only reveal what the judge is thinking and how judges think and reason, but also explain how the judicial process works. Some assignments include viewing videos. We will also study some of the quantitative analyses of judicial behavior. The cases are drawn from a variety both "public' and "private" law areas. Case topics include international law, negligence and product liability law, criminal law and procedure, the interpretation of federal statutes, and constitutional law. Some cases used in this course come from the most recent terms of the U.S. Supreme Court. Several of the cases we will cover have been the subject of major movies or discussed in movies and popular T.V. series. This course is designed for students who want a general understanding of the legal and judicial process as well as those who are thinking about attending law school or are planning to attend law school.
GOV 370G Congress and the Presidency
To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions. I am interested in facts about American politics not only for their own sake, but because they allow us to compare the actual practice of our politics to the ideal of democracy.
GOV 370L Public Opinion/Representation
This course is about Americans’ views on political issues (“public opinion’’) and the extent to which their views influence elected officials (“representation’’). The first and larger part of the course takes up public opinion. The second part takes up representation. Most people who follow politics get their information about public opinion from others—typically, journalists, pundits, and professors—who are in turn getting it from others or, in rare cases, from raw survey data. In a brief but important part of this course, I’ll show you how to download and analyze the raw data itself. My aim is to free you from dependence on information middlemen who often convey a highly selective view of public opinion. It’s good to be able to answer questions about public opinion for yourself. This is not a course about statistics or computing. That said, background in statistics or econometrics is sure to help, as many of the assigned readings contain statistical analyses of data on public opinion or representation.
Race, Immigration & Citizenship - Policy-Emphasis
In this course we will study critical case law and history pertaining to Asian American jurisprudence, how it has excluded and empowered people, and how the law affects our understanding of race and identity today. The course will also cover critical race theory, law and economics, as well as the advancement of civil rights. Other issues we will study include immigration, politics, and the criminal justice system. How does the law work with our understanding of self and with how others perceive Asian Americans? Students will come out of this course with a nuanced understanding of the important legal cases and issues in Asian American lives in history and be able to engage in an intellectual discourse concerning issues challenging us today.
This course provides an overview and analysis of contemporary U.S. migration policies and practices, focusing particularly on the most recent period of crisis defined by bans, restrictions and retrenchments. The course begins with an overview of the major epochs in US immigration history. It then explores five thematic areas: 1) Refugees and Asylees; 2) Bans and exclusions; 3) Family Separation; 4) Raids, Detention; 5) Sanctuary and Resistance. Course materials are primarily historical and sociological.
Race is a critical factor that affects the development and implementation of U.S. social policy. While its influence on public policy can be traced to the early colonization of the United States, its relevance continues to be observed in the contemporary period. The relationship between race and social policy is however multi-dimensional. On one hand, perspectives on racial difference can be used to develop policies that create or reinforce social inequality. On the other hand, public policies can be designed to have ameliorative effects that reduce racial and ethnic inequality. This course, therefore, examines how and why race influences various dimensions of U.S. social policy and how U.S social policy influences racial inequality. It begins by reviewing the origins of the development of racial minority status in the United States. Thereafter, it examines policy issues associated with specific domains of social wellbeing (e.g., housing, employment, wealth, the criminal justice system) that are critical for understanding the disadvantage of African Americans and other racial minorities. Where possible, the course draws insights from other societies to examine whether the implications of race for social policy in the United States are unique. Furthermore, it offers opportunities to students for critically thinking through the process of developing rudimentary policy solutions to everyday social problems.
GOV 314 Latino Pol:Voter ID/Health/Edu
This course is designed to introduce undergraduate students to the tools researchers use when examining key topics in Latino politics. Students will focus on contemporary issues affecting Latinos and immigrants, including, but not limited to, policies that: 1) regulate state elections (e.g. voter identification laws); 2) expand or constrict access to health care; and 3) offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. Students will also become familiar with the research designs and methods used in contemporary social science research. The course will provide students with the knowledge and tools to become capable consumers of social science literature. Students will learn basic methods that can be applied to many disciplines; however, case studies in this course will come from Latino politics. While the focus of this course is on policy issues that affect MexicanAmericans and/or Latinos, students will learn that policy often has widespread impact on many groups.
GOV 371D Race, Policing & Incarceration
In a number of American states, almost 25% of black men are not allowed to vote due to a felony conviction. Researchers have estimated that almost 70% of young black men will, at some point in their lives, spend at least one night behind bars. Decades after the height of the Civil Rights Movement, we are confronted by glaring inequalities between black Americans and white Americans that can be observed over a myriad of indicators that cover health, employment, income, education, and incarceration. We will explore racial gaps through the numbers, considering their origins and their social and political consequences. In particular, the course will focus on the criminal justice system (from everyday police patrols to the death penalty) both historically and as it operates today. A major goal is to understand how inequalities in criminal justice influence elections and alter the state of representation in Congress and other representative bodies in the United States.
GOV 371G African American Politics
This course focuses upon the evolution, nature, and role of African-American politics within the American Political System. The concern is with African Americans as actors, creators and initiators in the political process. Specifically, this course will examine various political controversies that surround the role of race in American society and how these controversies affect public opinion, political institutions, political behavior, and salient public policy debates. This course will assess and evaluate the contemporary influence of race in each of these domains while also exploring their historical antecedents.
GOV 371L Latino Politics
An examination of the role of racial and ethnic minorities in politics and of the impact of politics on these minorities.

*Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.

Intensive lecture course treating topics from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, taught by instructors from various departments. Lectures, readings, discussions, examinations.
MAS 308 Intro to Mex Amer Policy Stds
An introduction to the basics of policy analysis, employing demographic and empirical information on the Mexican American and Latino populations in the United States. Current policy issues such as bilingual education, affirmative action, the English-only movement, immigration, Latino consumers, Latino entrepreneurship, and NAFTA.
MAS 362 Mexican Amer Policy Stds Smnr
This course examines public policy and the policymaking process in the United States, specifically in relation to the Mexican-American and Latino communities. It begins by examining policymaking in the United States, including issues such as the definition of public policy, how policy choices are made, how policy reflects values, agenda setting, policy formation, policy implementation, and policy evaluation. We will then discuss policy issues important to Mexican Americans and Latinos at both the state and national levels, including such topics as immigration, education, and health care.
SOC 323D Border Control/Deaths
Since the 1940s, US control of the Southwest border has remained a major challenge in immigration policy. Border control has become one of the most debated topics in the country, including in federal and state legislative bodies. Annually thousands of unauthorized migrants cross the US-Mexico border into the United States to participate in US labor markets and in other social institutions. Thousands of other migrants also appear at the southwest border to seek asylum. One consequence of unauthorized immigration and of the implementation of border control measures for deterrence has been the deaths of hundreds of migrants annually. Over the years, the deaths have added up into the thousands. The social effects of border control and the occurrence of migrant deaths have become topics investigated by sociologists and other researchers to increase knowledge and understanding of international migration and the effects of border policies.
Access to reproductive care is the most significant indicator of social inequality. The rights to have children, or not, and parent are deeply stratified across societies. And childhood inequalities have persistent, life-long health effects. In this course we will examine reproductive outcomes for women in order to study social justice. Reproductive justice is defined “as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” Building from Loretta Ross, SisterSong, and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, our working definition of reproduction justice for this course encompasses diverse families’ rights to reproduction, processes of becoming pregnant and giving birth, the right to give birth to a child with disabilities, the right to prenatal care and child care. Taking our cue from reproductive justice activists and scholars, we will consider the complete physical and mental well-being of women (broadly defined), children, and their families which can potentially be achieved when they have the economic, social and political power, and resources to make healthy decisions about their sexuality, and reproduction. Reproductive justice is almost always out of reach because resources are unevenly distributed, based on race, gender, sexuality, abilities/ disabilities, citizenship, and social class. As a result, developing and developed nations are racked with inequalities when it comes to reproductive matters. From slavery, access to birth control, stratified reproduction, sex selective abortions, and new reproductive technologies, this course will focus on difficult topics; but, no answers will be provided. The hope is that you will find answers for yourself about what you mean by reproductive justice, and how you think it can be achieved. My aim is that we will emerge at the end of the semester with an open mind regarding health, and a more complicated, empathetic understanding of what reproductive justice means. You will, hopefully, attempt to make reproductive a part of your worldview and everyday life.
SOC 336C American Dilemmas
This course examines critical American social problems that threaten the very fabric of our collective life as a nation. These include problems of the economy and political system, social class and income inequality, racial/ethnic inequality, gender inequality and heterosexism, problems in education, and problems of illness and health care. The course has three main objectives. One involves providing students with the theoretical and methodological tools needed to critically analyze these problems from a sociological perspective. A second involves providing students with current data and other information documenting the seriousness of these problems. The final objective focuses on evaluating social policies addressing these problems (e.g., affirmative action, welfare-to-work programs, pay equity legislation), with special reference to questions of social justice, the common good, as well as public and individual responsibility. Class format will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, with a very strong emphasis on the latter.
Race, Immigration & Citizenship - Contexts for Public Policy
AFR 301 African American Culture
urvey of African American culture in the United States from the 1600s to the present. Subjects include the circumstances and responses of blacks during North American enslavement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, the civil rights movement, and contemporary contexts.
AFR 303 Intro to Black Studies
Introduction to canonical black studies literature, themes, and theories.
AFR 350 Measuring Racial Inequality
Currently, one of the most important issues in the social sciences is the problem of social inequality. The question covers several aspects like the causes of disparities, ethical and normative dimensions, public policies addressing the problem, and tools and methodologies for measuring social inequality. Nevertheless, the specific matter of racial and ethnic inequality is as important as the problem of social inequality in general. Because it does not only include all the aspects listed above, but because it incorporates new complexities related to the relations and connections between ethnic-racial groups, social classes, and gender; as well as the means for measuring this kind of inequality. The course Measuring Ethnic-Racial Inequality will cover the following topics: i) social and racial inequality - concepts and theory ii) how to measure ethnic and racial inequality - main methods and limits; iii) sources of statistical information.
AFR 372C Black Middle Class
During this term we will embark on an interdisciplinary exploration of the African American middle class in the US from 1900 to the present, with a particular emphasis on post-Civil Rights era developments. We will use literature, film, history, theatre, cultural studies, music, television, and sociology to examine how the black middle class has been imagined, defined and represented. By examining the debates within and about the black middle class, we will complicate constructions of race in America. The course is particularly interested in investigating the following: the concept of racial uplift; the construction of the “race man” and “race woman;” the idea of class privilege for a racially marginalized group; conflicts between the black middle class and the working class; the role of the black middle class in policing black sexuality; the notion of middle class rage; the rise of the black nerd (or blerd); assertions of racial authenticity; the new black aesthetic; and the politics of affirmative action.
AFR 372F No Matter What: Policing in the United States
This course will explore the history of policing in the United States by examining the beginning of American policing.  The course will also include: watch groups; professionalism through reform including community policing and analyzing mass incarceration. The course will incorporate the use of lectures, readings/articles, video, research and extensive class discussions to assist in exploring the impact of policing in the United States. Course Goals: Students enrolled will: Examine the English roots of American policing, Understand watch groups and their evolution including the professionalization of the police through reform, Examine community policing, Analyze mass incarceration
AFR 374E Racism & Inequality Lat Am
In the course “Race and Inequality in Latin America” we will study primordial issues on ethnic and race relations in modern and contemporary Latin America. As such, the course is divided in four topics: i) Nation-building, eugenics, mestizaje and racial democracy; ii) Patterns of race relation in Latin America; iii) Coloniality, racial inequality and poverty; iv) Multiculturalism and affirmative action. The objective of the course is to allow the students to understand the most relevant theoretical debates about patterns of race relations in Latin America, the similarities and difference across the region and current topics for the study of the region, for example, multicultural constitutions and affirmative actions.
AMS 370 Politics of Black Life
ANS 372 South Asian Migration to Us
Migrants are a heterogeneous group of people (the term “migrants” is used to encompass different immigrant communities). The reasons for relocating to the United States, or another country, the conditions under which they relocate, whether they are authorized to remain in a country, their cultural backgrounds, their ethnic/racial identities, their education level, their gender identity and sexual orientation, and their socio-economic status are merely a few factors that contribute to immigrants’ diverse experiences. Thus, this course will introduce us to different frameworks, research, and practices that can help us understand the important role of communication in different, U.S., migration experiences. On the one hand, communication can help mitigate some of the social and structural barriers that migrants face in the United States and elsewhere. On the other hand, communication can also exacerbate or lead to educational, economic, and health inequities among migrants. We will consider both ways in which communication can function for migrant communities. Overall, migration: (1) is a diverse area of research that can incorporate intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, organizational, institutional, cultural, and policy levels of analysis; (2) is studied using a wide range of methodologies; and (3) is affected by a variety of communication channels. The readings and content of this course primarily focus on the experiences of Latina/o/x immigrant communities in the U.S.
GOV 371M African-American Women’s Political Activism
This course explores how Black feminism, as a guiding ideology, helps to explain how Black women have navigated the U.S. political system. In particular, this course dissects the roles of race, gender, and class (and their intersection) in shaping African-American women’s orientation towards politics and political participation. In doing so, the course begins with a brief historical overview of the unique political, social, and economic position occupied by Black women in America, followed by an examination of the historical writings of early Black female activists. We will then critically examine the definition of “citizenship” as it relates to American politics and how stereotypes of Black women’s sexuality have historically prevented them from wholly benefiting from full citizenship and equal protection under the law. Next, we explore the impact of Black women’s activism in the areas of criminal justice and the fight against sexual and domestic violence. Lastly, we shift our focus to how these persistent stereotypes influence current policy debates and restrict Black women’s opportunities in electoral politics.
HIS 314K History of Mexican Amers in US
Examines the origin and growth of the Mexican American community in the United States.
HIS 317L The Black Power Movement
The Black Power movement was a distinct period in African American life from the late 1960s and early 1970s that emphasized racial pride, the creation of black political and cultural institutions, self-reliance, and group unity. The expression of black power ideology ranged from the desire to create an all-black nation-state to the promotion of black economic power. This course will look at the major organizations, key figures, and ideologies of the black power movement.
HIS 317L Intro to Asian American Hist
Introduces students to the national and transnational histories of Asian Americans in the United States. Explores a wide range of themes related to the Asian American experience.
History of the Chinese in the United States from their first arrival in significant numbers during the California Gold Rush of the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
HIS 356P The United States in the Civil Rights Era
This upper-division lecture course allows students to gain deeper understandings of civil rights movements in the U.S. by placing them alongside significant historical developments from World War II to the 1970s such as postwar urbanization, economic change, new media technologies and more. We reassess well-known narratives of the Civil Rights Movement such as those in Black History Month annual commemorations and social studies textbooks. We reexamine the idea of King and Malcolm X as polar opposites and revisit the Montgomery Bus Boycott by taking a critical look at the identity of Rosa Parks as a seamstress too tired to give up her seat and Dr. King as the planner and leader of the boycott. We also explore lesser-known movements that may have involved more than desegregation and voting rights and we use original documents and oral histories to examine local struggles in Texas. That approach allows us to discern activism and perspectives of women and young people. Although the Black Freedom Movement forms the spine of the course we pay significant attention to Mexican American movements, considering the two on their own and in relation to each other. How many current UT students realize that 50 years ago Black, Mexican American, and white students demanded an end to what they considered racist practices here? By considering not only what people did, but their motivations and perspectives in specific historical contexts, we open possibilities for new understandings of today.
HIS 363K Cul Citiznshp US & Latin Am
Standard historical narratives explaining U.S.-Latin America Relations have tended to highlight state-centered imperatives. By focusing on the actions of states, we do gain one kind of understanding, but it is one that tends to emphasize the rise of US hegemony in the region: empire-building and early 19th-century territorial expansion by the US; 19th-20th century US military interventions that invoked the Monroe Doctrine; the US’s Good Neighbor Policy during the Great Depression; the “carrot” of US aid and the “stick” of covert US military interventions in the region during the Cold War; greater economic integration through free trade agreements and their concomitant illicit flows of people, arms, and drugs; and, more recently, Latin America’s “turn to the left” while the US has been busy with the “War on Terror.” A drawback from this overarching state-centered (and admittedly US-centered) narrative is that it tends to overlook and silence non-state actors who had direct experiences with crossing national boundaries during these tumultuous periods, were involved in process of boundary making, or were themselves “crossed” by shifting boundaries. This class therefore provides an overarching framework for understanding US-Latin America relations, but offers students the chance to understand them from a different perspective: the extent to which individuals and communities grappled with the implications of state actions and shifting boundaries (national, cultural, class, racial, etc.,) in the international arena of the Western hemisphere. It is in this light that the course adopts and interrogates the category of “cultural citizenship,” usually understood as the right both to be different and to belong in a participatory democracy. Through concrete historical examples, students will understand how the meanings -- and associated rights and privileges-- of “citizenship” changed over time and space in the different countries of the Americas. The cultural dimension of citizenship will emerge as we pay close attention to how changes in the definitions and limits of citizenship were in part driven by increasing interactions between people from different countries and different cultures of the Western hemisphere. These discussions will allow students to begin to think about what it means to be a “cultural citizen” of the Americas, i.e. not just a citizen of one specific nation-state implicitly bounded off from--and potentially in competition with--the interests of other citizens of other nation-states, but rather a citizen conscious of the ways place of origin, culture, language, racial perceptions, gender roles, religious beliefs, labor regimes, modes of production, migration, and the media can create, maintain –or destabilize— social, political, and economic hierarchies. Students are encouraged to use what they learn in this class as background for a potential experience in the region either through study abroad in Latin America or community engagement in Austin. The four major academic/learning goals for this course are: 1) identify some of the major ways individuals and communities reacted to (or impelled) increasing US-Latin American relations 2) challenge students to explore their own cultural experiences as citizens, and how they may compare/contrast with the 2 beliefs and practices of cultural communities in modern Latin America and/or with those of immigrant communities from the region to the US 3) fine-tune students’ analytical and communication skills through writing and public speaking 4) Begin to prepare students for a potential experience sensitive to the political and cultural implications of “cultural citizenship” through study abroad, research, and/or community engagement.
SOC 322U US Immigration
Immigration patterns have significantly affected the development of U.S. society. No country accepts more immigrants than the United States; yet, the history of US immigration is dotted with policies to restrict immigration. In the 1990s, the United States experienced a record number of new legal immigrants (9.8 million), primarily from Asia and Latin America (Mexico), breaking the 1900 – 1909 record of 8.2 million, and in 2000-2009 the number of immigrants admitted again set a new record (10.3 million), which increased in the 2010s to 10.6 million. But at the same time, the United States has been deporting record numbers of migrants. This course uses a sociological perspective to gain an understanding of the social forces that drive migration to the United States, how migrants organize their migration, and the development of US immigration policies.
SOC 336D Race, Class, and Health
This is a course that takes a close and hard look at the health and health care disparities among racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States. The health disparities in the U.S. have been well studied by academics, public health officers, and policy makers for more than three decades. However, the disparities have not narrowed or diminished. The recent Covid-19 pandemic crystalized the impact of structural inequalities in the U.S. on health, disease and death among minority group members. In this class, we will review the complex relationship between social class (socioeconomic status) and health, social class and race, the effect of race/ethnicity on health outcomes and access to healthcare, and specific health issues for major racial/ethnic minority groups in the U.S. Course topics include: conceptual issues central to understanding how low socioeconomic status leads to poor health, understanding how conscious, unconscious, and institutionalized racial bias affects not only health outcomes, but also education, employment, social and physical living conditions, access to medical care. In addition, we will engage in discussions on ways to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity for racial/ethnic minorities. Health and health disparities are analyzed from biosocial and life-course perspectives. Social determinants of health and principles of health equity provide the underlying conceptual frameworks for this class.
Science & Technology Policy - Policy-Emphasis
C S 349 Contemporary Issues in Computer Science
This class examines ethical frameworks, modern ethical concerns related to computer science and technology, and clear oral and written communication. Topics we will explore include policy vaccuums created by new technology, copyright and patent, software bugs and liability, freedom of speech, privacy, security, employment and job markets, warfare and state-building, wealth discrepency and consumerism, environmental impact, and changing cultural norms and social contracts. Students should come prepared to discuss and debate these issues, as well as provide peer- review and critique of other students' papers and presentations. Students should come out of this class with a better understanding of their impact on the world as well as better communication skills and technical writing.
This course teaches students to analyze a scientific topic, and to understand the process of negotiations to institute change. Many are interested in political experience, and this course focuses on the content and substance underpinning negotiations.
Science & Technology Policy - Contexts for Public Policy
Science has always played an essential role in the development of the human condition. Presently, however, the growth of technological and scientific innovation is increasing at what feels like an exponential rate. Emerging fields like genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology are poised to alter the very definition of what it means to be “human.” Concurrently, issues like climate change are changing the condition of our planet and how our species relates to it. Media have traditionally provided the information link between the public and the experts working on the cutting edge of science and technology. But scientists themselves are key communication sources for information about their research, and their efforts to communicate shape how non-scientists (for example, average citizens, policy makers, business leaders, etc.) think about and behave relative to science and its role in society. This course will introduce students to the complicated intersection of science, media, and society. Our exploration will be driven by three overarching questions and the interplay among them: (1) How do individuals come to understand and perceive science? (2) How do media and communication tools influence the spread of information about science? and (3) How do scientists themselves contribute to the process of communicating science? We will consider the foundations of the field of “science communication” and how communication and media influence debates and science and technology. We will also spend time grappling with the scientist communicators themselves; reflecting on how they communicate and what drives them to do so. Along the way we’ll consider some examples of science in popular culture (including television, films, podcasts, etc.) as well as some specific scientist celebrities. We’ll also explore a handful of case studies to connect our work to current scientific issues.
ADV 324 Communicating Sustainability
Despite environmentally friendly attitudes, there remains a profound attitude-behavior gap, often called the green gap, between what Americans say they value and how they actually behave. Mass communication, both informative and persuasive, can play a vital role in closing this gap. This course will look closely at the ways mass media can foster, challenge and change attitudes and behaviors as they relate to sustainability. A central premise of the course is that without effective communication campaigns, even the most promising sustainable initiatives will not succeed. In the course of the semester, students will gain the theoretical and practical foundation necessary to understand, evaluate and craft successful media messages to communicate issues of sustainability.
GEO 371T The Science of Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, in the development of environmental policies and regulations. Central to advancing EJ is understanding the physical, chemical, biological, and other environmental processes that lead to the inequitable impacts of environmental degradation. This course explores the scientific basis for understanding these inequitable impacts through lectures and case studies, including field-based investigations focused on water quality in Austin-area communities.
GRG 333K Climate Change

*GRG 333K OR ANT 324L may be counted, not both.

This course will survey the causes of changes in climatic systems over both short and long time periods and their consequences for landscape dynamics, biogeography, land use, sustainability, and vulnerability. The first part of the course will introduce t
GRG 404E Envir Sci: A Changing World
Surveys the major global environmental concerns affecting the Earth and its residents from the perspectives of the environmental sciences. This course will survey the major global environmental concerns affecting the Earth and its residents from the perspectives of the environmental sciences. As such, it also provides an introduction to how scientists monitor, evaluate, and predict changes in ecosystems and ecosystem services, in the availability and sustainability of water and energy sources, in environmental contamination, and in the equity issues that divide and unite the planet.
HIS 350R Envir History of North America
The history of humanity's influence on the plants, animals, microlife, soils, water, and air of North America, and vice versa, from the arrival of the proto-Indians to the contemporary environmental crisis. American Studies 329 and History 350L (Topic 4: Environmental History of North America) may not both be counted. Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.
M E 363M Energy, Technology & Policy
Technology and policy related to energy supply and demand, oil and gas production, coal utilization, hydrogen production, fuel cells, transportation, nuclear power, solar and wind energy, biomass utilization, energy conservation, and climate change. Only one of the following may be counted: Chemical Engineering 359, 379 (Topic: Energy Technology and Policy), 384 (Topic: Energy Technology and Policy). Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, and admission to an appropriate major sequence in engineering or consent of the department.
MIS 302F Intro to Info Tech Mgmt - Nonmaj
Explores how information technology helps to achieve competitive advantage and improve decision making, business processes, operations, and organizational design. Uses a cross-functional perspective to recognize the role of technology across business activities of management, finance, marketing, human resources, and operations.
MNS 308 Humans and a Changing Ocean
The MNS308: Humans and a Changing Ocean is a followup course for MNS307 Introduction to Oceanography and it's designed primarily for the non-science major students so they can fulfill their science and technology course requirement within the same discipl
PBH 338 Environmental Health
ntroduction to the major areas of environmental health, including hazards in the environment, the effects of environmental contaminants, and various approaches to addressing major environmental health problems. Subjects include water and air quality, solid and liquid waste, hazardous chemicals, radiation, infectious agents, food safety, and occupational health. Contemporary case studies are used to address environmental policy and regulation and environmental justice.

Integration Essay

A 3-4 page essay in which you reflect on what you learned and accomplished through your BDP experience.

Important Notes on Fulfilling Your BDP Requirements

For more information on courses, please consult your BDP advisor ( or the course schedule.