PhD Social Policy

With Areas of Specialization in

  • Gender and Social Policy

  • Poverty and Inequality

  • Race, Ethnicity and Public Policy

  • Urban Policy

The Social Policy field of study offers students the opportunity to study how the actions and decisions of government within the contexts of gender, ethnicity or urban settings influence the well-being of individuals and of society, with a particular focus on poverty and income inequality. Most public policy discussions-local, national, or international-include explicit or implicit assumptions about gender, race and location. Scholarship across various disciplines has demonstrated the importance of studying the interconnections among gender, race, class, and other forms of social inequality. Conflicts associated with these topics affect all institutions and social interactions of every type, and frequently dominate a range of policy debates.

Drawing on inter-disciplinary theories and methodologies, students in this field gain a broad understanding of: historical trends in poverty and inequality, scholarship illuminating the causes of consequences of poverty and inequality, the current landscape of social welfare programs (defined broadly) and the politics of poverty and inequality in America.  In addition, student choose an area of specialization from the following: (a) gender and social policy, (b) race, ethnicity and public policy, or (c) urban policy.  This specialization provides a theoretical lens for examining social policy.

Students in the Social Policy field must complete one common field core course, two courses required in their area of specialization (listed in bold in the lists below) and two additional courses selected from the list of suggested electives for their selected area of specialization, or other courses chosen with adviser approval.

Field Core Course

PPPA 8187  Research in Social Policy (First offered in the 2014-2015 academic year)

Field Electives

Gender and Social Policy

WSTU 6221  Research Issues in Women's Studies
WSTU 6240  Women and Public Policy

 SOC 6271  Gender and Society
WSTU 6220  Fundamentals of Feminist Theory
WSTU 6225  Contemporary Feminist Theory
WSTU 6230  Global Feminisms
WSTU 6238  Feminist Ethics and Policy Implications
WSTU 6241  Women and the Law
WSTU 6257/ANTH 6501  Gender and Sexuality
WSTU 6265/SOC 6265  Women, Welfare and Poverty
WSTU 6266  Gender and Criminal Justice
WSTU 6268/SOC 6268  Race, Gender and Class
WSTU 6270  Seminar: Selected Topics*
WSTU 6283  Practicum
WSTU 8275/PSYC 5275  Women and Health

*E.g. Global Domestic Labor Studies, Sexuality & Law, etc.

Poverty and Inequality

SOC 6265/WSTU 6265  Women, Welfare, and Poverty
PPPA 6040   Poverty and Social Policy
EDUC 8323  Policies of Education Equity
PSC 8212   Urban Problems and Policy Analysis
SOC 6250   Urban Sociology
SOC 6252  Economic History

Additional field courses can be selected through discussion with field advisors.

Race, Ethnicity and Public Policy

  SOC 6245  Race Relations
 SOC 6248  Race and Urban Redevelopment

AMST/HIST 3350  U.S. Social History
HIST 3360  African American History
 LAW 6595  Race, Racism, and American Law
 LAW 6596  Law of Race and Slavery
 PSC 8211  State and Urban Politics
 PSC 8212  State and Urban Policy Problems
PSYC 8236  Minorities and Mental Health
PSYC 8298  Current Topics, Cross-Cultural Psychology
 SOC 6250  Urban Sociology
  SOC 6252  Economic History
 SOC 6263  Race and Crime
  SOC 6265/WSTU 6265  Women, Welfare, and Poverty
 SOC 6268  Race, Gender, and Class
WSTU 6240  Women and Public Policy

Urban Policy

PPPA 6040  Poverty and Social Policy
  PSC 8212  Urban Problems and Policy Analysis

AMST 6495  Historic Preservation: Principles & Methods I
AMST 6520  Economics of Preservation
AMST 6525  Politics of Historic Preservation
ECON 6291  Methods of Demographic Analysis
ECON 8341/8342  Labor Economics
ECON 8342  Labor Economics
ECON 8357  Regional Economics
ECON 8358  Urban Economics
ECON 8363/8364  Public Finance
EDUC 8323  Policies of Education Equity
GEOG 6244  Seminar: Urban Sustainability
GEOG 6243  Urban Geography Seminar
GEOG 6290  Principles of Demography
PPPA 6042  Managing State and Local Governments
PPPA 6043  Land Use, Planning, and Community Development
PPPA 6048  Financing State and Local Government
PPPA 6051  Governmental Budgeting
PPPA 6054  Public Budget and Tax Policy
  PSC 8211  Urban Politics
 PSC 8388  Selected Topics in Comparative Politics
PSYC 8246  Personnel Evaluation Technology
  SOC 6245  Race Relations
 SOC 6248  Race and Urban Redevelopment
 SOC 6250  Urban Sociology
  SOC 6258  Deviance and Control
 SOC 6259  Criminology
 SOC 6262  Corrections
 SOC 6263  Race and Crime
WSTU 6240  Women and Public Policy