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Advanced Policy Analysis

The concentration in Advanced Policy Analysis enables students to develop their research skills in policy analysis. It focuses primarily, although not exclusively, on the application of quantitative techniques to policy issues that arise in various subject matter areas. Because policy analysis interacts with the technical elements of particular disciplines, all schools and many departments in the University offer courses that meet these requirements. For the most part, the common denominator is the extensive use of tabular analysis, decision theory, statistics, simulation and optimization as research tools. Such courses differ from theoretical quantitative methods courses taught in the Statistics or Operations Research Departments by their strong commitment to application. Students choosing such courses, therefore, need to consider their interest in the field in which the course is being given in addition to the methodology being presented. It is also advisable in the majority of the recommended courses that concentrators have an above average background in mathematics, statistics and computation.
Advisors: David Brady, John Cogan*, James Fearon, Daniel Kessler, Jonathan Levin, John Shoven
Below is a list of suggested courses. The list includes classes that students have taken in the past to complete this particular concentration, as well as additional classes that may be considered toward this topic. Students may choose to take other courses, though all concentration courses must be discussed with and approved by the faculty adviser whether or not they are on the suggested list. Students may also propose directed reading, Overseas Studies (BOSP), and Bing Stanford in Washington (BSIW) courses.



  • EDUC 200B. Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods 
  • EDUC 221A. Policy Analysis in Education 
  • EDUC 252. Introduction to Test Theory 
  • EDUC 316. Social Network Methods

Management Science and Engineering

Political Science

Public Policy

Urban Studies

  • URBANST 132. Concepts and Analytic Skills for the Social Sector