Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

  • Dean

    Cecilia E. Rouse

  • Vice Dean

    Brandice Canes-Wrone

  • Acting Vice Dean

    Grigore Pop-Eleches (fall/spring)

  • Departmental Representative

    David S. Wilcove (fall)

    Noreen J. Goldman (spring)

  • Director of Graduate Studies

    Denise L. Mauzerall

  • Professor

    R. Douglas Arnold, Public Affairs, Politics

    Gary J. Bass, International Affairs, Politics

    Roland Benabou, Public Affairs, Economics

    Alan S. Blinder, Economics, Public Affairs

    Carles Boix, Public Affairs, Politics

    Charles M. Cameron, Public Affairs, Politics

    Brandice Canes-Wrone, Public Affairs, Politics

    Miguel A. Centeno, Sociology, International Affairs

    Thomas J. Christensen, International Affairs, Politics

    Christopher F. Chyba, International Affairs, Astrophysical Sciences

    Janet M. Currie, Public Affairs, Economics

    Christina Davis, International Affairs, Politics

    Christopher L. Eisgruber, Public Affairs, University Center for Human Values

    Edward W. Felten, Computer Science, Public Affairs

    Susan T. Fiske, Psychology, Public Affairs

    Marc Fleurbaey, Public Affairs, University Center for Human Values

    Aaron L. Friedberg, International Affairs, Politics

    Noreen J. Goldman, Public Affairs, Demography

    Bryan Grenfell, Public Affairs, Ecology and Environmental Biology

    Gene M. Grossman, International Affairs, Economics

    G. John Ikenberry, International Affairs, Politics

    Oleg Itskhoki, International Affairs, Economics

    Harold James, History, Public Affairs

    Jennifer L. Jennings, Public Affairs, Sociology

    Henrik J. Kleven, Public Affairs, Economics

    Atul Kohli, International Affairs, Politics

    Stephen M. Kotkin, History, International Affairs

    Alan B. Krueger, Public Affairs, Economics

    David S. Lee, Public Affairs, Economics

    John B. Londregan, International Affairs, Politics

    Alexandre Mas, Public Affairs, Economics

    Douglas S. Massey, Public Affairs, Sociology

    Denise L. Mauzerall, Public and International Affairs, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Nolan M. McCarty, Public Affairs, Politics

    Sara S. McLanahan, Public Affairs, Sociology

    Atif R. Mian, Public Affairs, Economics

    Helen V. Milner, International Affairs, Politics

    Andrew M. Moravcsik, Politics, International Affairs

    Michael Oppenheimer, International Affairs, Geosciences, Princeton Environmental Institute

    Pietro Salvatore Tommaso Ortoleva, Public Affairs, Economics

    Elizabeth Levy Paluck, Psychology, Public Affairs

    Grigore Pop-Eleches, Public Affairs, Politics

    Deborah A. Prentice, Psychology, Public Affairs

    Markus Prior, Public Affairs, Politics

    Stephen J. Redding, International Affairs, Economics

    Uwe E. Reinhardt, Public Affairs, Economics

    Richard Rogerson, Public Affairs, Economics

    Thomas Romer, Public Affairs, Politics

    Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, International Affairs, Economics

    Cecilia E. Rouse, Public Affairs, Economics

    Kim Lane Scheppele, Public Affairs, University Center for Human Values, Sociology

    Eldar B. Shafir, Psychology, Public Affairs

    Harold T. Shapiro, Public Affairs, Economics

    Jacob N. Shapiro, International Affairs, Politics

    Paul E. Starr, Sociology, Public Affairs

    Marta Tienda, Public Affairs, Sociology

    Shirley M. Tilghman, Molecular Biology, Public Affairs

    Keith A. Wailoo, History, Public Affairs

    Leonard Wantchekon, Politics, International Affairs

    Mark W. Watson, Public Affairs, Economics

    Elke U. Weber, Public Affairs, Psychology, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    Jennifer Widner, International Affairs, Politics

    David S. Wilcove, Public Affairs, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton Environmental Institute

  • Visiting Professor

    Daniel C. Kurtzer, S. Daniel Abraham Visiting Professor in Middle East Policy Studies

  • Associate Professor

    Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Sociology, Public Affairs

    Rafaela M. Dancygier, International Affairs, Politics

    Alexander Glaser, International Affairs, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Benjamin Moll, International Affairs, Economics

    Emily Pronin, Psychology, Public Affairs


  • Assistant Professor

    Alin I. Coman, Public Affairs, Psychology

    Will S. Dobbie, Public Affairs, Economics

    Adam M. Goldstein, Public Affairs, Sociology

    Andrew Guess, Public Affairs, Politics

    Johannes Haushofer, Public Affairs, Psychology

    Gregor Jarosch, Public Affairs, Economics

    Adam Kapor, Public Affairs, Economics

    Michal Kolesár, Public Affairs, Economics

    Melissa M. Lee, International Affairs, Politics

    C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Public Affairs, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Benjamin Moll, International Affairs, Economics

    Eduardo Morales, International Affairs, Economics

    Jonathan Mummolo, Public Affairs, Politics

    Christopher A. Neilson, Public Affairs, Economics

    David Silver, Public Affairs, Economics

    Rory O. Truex, International Affairs, Politics

    Tom S. Vogl, International Affairs, Economics

    Keren Yarhi-Milo, International Affairs, Politics

  • Lecturer with Rank of Professor

    Anne C. Case, Public and International Affairs

    Stanley N. Katz, Public and International Affairs

    Adel A. Mahmoud, Molecular Biology

  • Lecturer

    Amy Craft, also Economics

    Edward Freeland, Public and International Affairs

    Jean Baldwin Grossman, Public and International Affairs, Economics

    Jeffrey S. Hammer, Public and International Affairs

    Nathan Scovronick, Public and International Affairs

  • Instructor

    Maria Micaela Sviatschi, Public Affairs, Economics

  • Associated Faculty

    João Biehl, Anthropology

    Markus K. Brunnermeier, Economics

    David P. Dobkin, Computer Science

    Nick Feamster, Computer Science

    Paul Frymer, Politics

    Martin I. Gilens, Politics

    Alison E. Isenberg, History

    Ilyana Kuziemko, Economics

    Stacey A. Sinclair, Psychology

The Woodrow Wilson School (WWS) offers a multidisciplinary liberal arts major for students who desire to be engaged in public service and become leaders in the world of public and international affairs. To enable students to acquire the tools, understanding, and habits of mind necessary to pursue policy problems of their choosing, the major is largely self-designed but with the structure and guidance needed for an education that is both broad and deep.

Information and Departmental Plan of Study

The curriculum is founded upon WWS courses, cross-listed with multiple departments, that are relevant to the study of policymaking, policy analysis, and policy evaluation. Students take courses in economics, politics, and either psychology or sociology. One course in ethics and one in science policy are also required. Students enroll in policy seminars in the junior year and write a policy thesis in the senior year.

Majors are required to take statistics and must be able to use the basics of single-variable calculus in order to take economics courses and some of the courses in science policy. Students who are concerned about their preparation should consider taking a course that provides instruction in single-variable calculus. Students are also required to complete one foreign language course beyond the University requirement. In addition, WWS requires study abroad, other cross-cultural experience, or policy-relevant field experience (whether foreign or domestic).

When they designate WWS as their major in the spring of their sophomore year, students will be required to describe their primary policy interests and how their plans for coursework are related to those interests. In particular, students will be asked to select among a list of policy areas designated by WWS or, in the event their interests do not match one of the designated areas, to describe their own area of interest and the coursework that would accompany it. Students will also be asked to describe how they have or plan to meet departmental requirements for additional language study and for cross-cultural or field experience. Each student will then be assigned a faculty course advisor appropriate to their interests and program of study.

For the most updated information on the department plan of study please check the Undergraduate Program website.


There are four prerequisites for concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School:

1. A course in Statistics
2. A course in Microeconomics
3. A course in History
4. A course in Politics, Sociology or Psychology

Prerequisites must be completed prior to the beginning of the fall term of the junior year.

All courses taken to meet these prerequisites must be taken on a graded basis (no pass/D/fail). AP courses or freshman seminars may not be used to fulfill prerequisites. Students must receive a grade of C minus or higher in all courses used as prerequisites.  One course cannot be used to fulfill more than one prerequisite.

Prerequisites can be satisfied by the following courses:

One Course in Statistics
WWS 200 Statistics for Social Science
ECO 302 Econometrics
ECO 312 Econometrics: A Mathematical Approach
POL 345 Quantitative Analysis in Politics
POL 346 Applied Quantitative Analysis

One Course in Microeconomics
ECO 100 Introduction to Microeconomics
ECO 300 Microeconomic Theory
ECO 310 Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach
WWS 300 Microeconomic for Public Policy

One History course at any level (designated HIS)
A cross-listed course with a HIS designation may also be used. Courses in the HA distribution area do not qualify unless they are designated HIS.  For example, courses in NES or SOC that are in the HA distribution area do not fulfill this requirement unless they are cross-listed with HIS.

One Politics, Sociology or Psychology at any level (designated POL, SOC, or PSY)
Cross-listed courses with these designations can also be used. A course taken to meet the statistics requirement cannot be used to meet this requirement.

All courses that meet prerequisites must be taken before September of the junior year. A summer course or a course taken abroad can be used to meet a WWS prerequisite if the course is certified by the relevant department as equivalent to one of the courses offered at Princeton that would meet the prerequisite and the course is approved for Princeton credit. No more than two prerequisites may be taken over the summer. Any course taken outside of Princeton to meet the statistics prerequisite must also be approved by the WWS Undergraduate Program Office (approval is granted only for special circumstances).

A course taken at Princeton and used as a prerequisite can also be used to meet either a WWS core requirement (if it is on the list of core requirements) or as a WWS elective (if it is on the electives list).

Core Course Requirements

Prior to graduation, WWS students must complete the core course requirements listed below. All courses used to meet these requirements must be taken at Princeton on a graded basis (no pdf). Courses taken to meet elective requirements cannot be used to fulfill core requirements.

One Course in Microeconomics
WWS 300 Microeconomics for Public Policy
ECO 300 Microeconomic Theory
ECO 310 Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach

One Course in Politics
POL 220/WWS 310 American Politics
POL 230/WWS 325 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POL 240/WWS 312 International Relations
POL 351/WWS 311 Politics in Developing Countries

One Course in Sociology or Psychology
WWS 330 Population and Public Policy
WWS 331 Race and Public Policy
WWS 333/SOC 326 Law, Institutions and Public Policy
WWS 340 The Psychology of Decision-Making and Judgment
WWS 344/PSY 312 The Psychology of Social Influence
AAS 384/PSY 384 Prejudice: Its Causes, Consequences, and Cures

One Course in Science Policy
WWS 350 The Environment: Science and Public Policy
WWS 351 Information Technology and Public Policy
WWS 353 Science and Global Security
WWS 354 Modern Genetics & Public Policy
CEE 334/WWS 452 Global Environmental Issues
ENV 304/WWS 455 Disease, Ecology, Economics and Policy
GEO 366/WWS 451 Climate Change: Scientific Basis, Policy Implications

One Course in Ethics
WWS 370 Ethics and Public Policy
POL 307  The Just Society
POL 313  Global Justice
CHV 310/PHI 385 Practical Ethics
PHI 307/CHV 311 Systematic Ethics
PHI 309/CHV 309 Political Philosophy
PHI 319/CHV 319 Normative Ethics
REL261/CHV 261 Christian Ethics and Modern Society

Elective Courses

Each student must complete four electives on a graded basis (no pdf) from a list issued by WWS.

No more than three electives can be courses listed or cross-listed by the same department. Methodology courses that are on the electives list and all WWS courses will be exempt, but cross-listings on WWS courses will count.

Up to three elective courses can be taken in semester-long study abroad programs. Electives taken at Princeton must be taken on a graded basis. Summer courses may not be used as electives.

Independent Work

To satisfy the junior independent work requirement, each student must complete one policy task force and one policy research seminar in the junior year. The policy research seminar will include a methods laboratory and will also count as a course.

In the task forces, a small group of juniors works together with a faculty director, one or two seniors, and, often, a graduate student toward proposing solutions to current problems in public and international affairs. Each junior conducts research on a topic carefully chosen to shed light on the larger problem that is central to the group. The principal collective product is a final report with policy recommendations, drafted after debates among the entire group.

In the policy research seminars, a faculty member supervises a small group of students similarly engaged in research on a specific topic in public and international affairs. Students also participate in a methods lab designed to teach them methods for quantitative and qualitative research. An important aim of all of the elements of the research seminar is to prepare students for their senior thesis work.

Each student must complete a senior thesis that clearly articulates a research question about a significant public policy issue and draws conclusions that contribute to the debate on that issue.

Senior Departmental Examination

The Woodrow Wilson School senior comprehensive examination is an oral defense of the senior thesis that also tests the student's ability to integrate the senior thesis with coursework.

Study Abroad

Any concentrator may study abroad in one of the WWS overseas programs in the first or second semester of the junior year. In recent years, WWS has had programs at the University of Oxford, the Institute of Political and Social Sciences in Paris, the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and several other locations around the world. At each site, students enroll in coursework at the host university and take a WWS task force in place of a task force in Princeton.

Cross-Cultural or Field Experience Requirement

Prior to the second semester of the senior year, each student must have completed a requirement for approved cross-cultural or field experience. The requirement may be satisfied in a number of ways, including but not limited to semester study abroad, summer study abroad, summer language study abroad, policy-relevant summer jobs abroad, ROTC training, senior thesis research in the field, extended service in an underserved community, or an internship involving public policy work in a nonprofit, government, or international agency such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the US Congress, or a state or federal agency.

Summer study, language study, or thesis research must be done for at least four weeks to qualify (please note that to meet the WWS language requirement, below, with a new foreign language, eight weeks of summer study is required). Internships, jobs, or community service must be for at least six consecutive weeks or 240 hours.

Cross-cultural or field experience gained during the freshman or sophomore year or as a participant in the Bridge Year Program may count toward this requirement. To meet this requirement, all past or proposed work must be approved by the WWS Undergraduate Program Office.

Language Requirement

WWS majors must complete at least one foreign language course beyond the current University requirement. This may be done by:

(1) taking an additional course (200 or 300 level) in the language used to meet the University requirement. Either a language course or a course taught in the foreign language may be used; or

(2) taking a course at least at the 102 level in a language other than the one used to fulfill the University foreign language requirement.

Courses used to meet this requirement may be taken at Princeton or elsewhere; all courses must be taken on a graded basis.

When they declare their concentration, students who are bilingual may apply to WWS to have this requirement waived.

Additional Information

The program awards several scholarships each year to students from any department for travel and living expenses related to senior thesis research in public policy. The school also awards several scholarships to Woodrow Wilson School students participating in public policy internships. For additional information please consult the WWS Undergraduate Program website.