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Graduate Certificate in Policy Analysis

Hoover with blossoms

The Stanford Public Policy Program offers a graduate “Certificate in Policy Analysis” for current Stanford graduate students. This highly flexible 25-unit program is designed for students who are interested in policy but may not be able to complete a formal one or two-year policy degree. The program’s coursework provides a solid background in economics and quantitative methods, political analysis, ethics, and writing for policy audiences.  These courses will equip students with a set of skills necessary to design and evaluate policies, conduct research, and advocate policy solutions.

The certificate provides formal recognition for a coherent plan of policy studies. In addition to completing coursework, students will produce a final paper reflecting on the policy lessons from their time in the program. Upon completion of the program, a certificate is provided. Note that the certificate is not included on the diploma or transcript. Grading policy: students may take two courses for a non-letter grade, in addition to the one-unit required colloquium course. The remaining courses must be taken for a letter grade. (Note: CR grades are only accepted for those enrollments taken from Spring 2020 through Summer 2021.)

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Master analytical tools for evaluating public policies and programs in terms of their absolute and comparative efficacy in achieving given social objectives.
  • Participate in policy and political discussion as citizens and as professionals in a variety of fields.
  • Appreciate the complexity of large organizations as it relates to the implementation of public programs.
  • Understand the conflicts in ethical and value commitments that pervade public policy issues.

How to Apply

The application to the Certificate in Policy Analysis is available here and can be submitted at any time. Upon submission, a member of the Public Policy program staff will contact you to confirm your course plan and answer any questions you may have. You must be a currently enrolled graduate student to pursue the certificate. 


Required Courses - 13 units

Required Courses with Selection Options - 8 units

  • PUBLPOL 306 Writing and Rhetoric for Policy Audiences (Autumn, 4 units)
    or PUBLPOL 314 Justice in Public Policy (Autumn, 4 units)

  • PUBLPOL 308 Political Analysis for Public Policymakers (Winter, 4 units)
    or PUBLPOL 353A Science and Technology Policy (Winter, 4 units)

Optional Course(s) - 4 units (total)