Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Faculty

Dean

  • Cecilia E. Rouse

Vice Dean

  • Miguel A. Centeno

Director of Undergraduate Studies

  • Paul A. Lipton

Professor

  • Gary J. Bass
  • Roland J. Benabou
  • Alan S. Blinder
  • Carles Boix
  • Charles M. Cameron
  • Brandice Canes-Wrone
  • Miguel A. Centeno
  • Christopher F. Chyba
  • Janet M. Currie
  • Rafaela M. Dancygier
  • Kathryn J. Edin
  • Christopher L. Eisgruber
  • Edward W. Felten
  • Susan T. Fiske
  • Aaron L. Friedberg
  • Noreen Goldman
  • Bryan T. Grenfell
  • Gene M. Grossman
  • G. John Ikenberry
  • Harold James
  • Jennifer L. Jennings
  • Henrik J. Kleven
  • Atul Kohli
  • Stephen Kotkin
  • David S. Lee
  • Frances E. Lee
  • John B. Londregan
  • Alexandre Mas
  • Douglas S. Massey
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
  • Nolan M. McCarty
  • Sara McLanahan
  • Atif R. Mian
  • Helen V. Milner
  • Sanyu A. Mojola
  • Eduardo Morales
  • Andrew Moravcsik
  • Layna Mosley
  • Michael Oppenheimer
  • Pietro Ortoleva
  • Elizabeth L. Paluck
  • Grigore Pop-Eleches
  • Markus Prior
  • Stephen J. Redding
  • Richard Rogerson
  • Esteban A. Rossi-Hansberg
  • Kim Lane Scheppele
  • Eldar Shafir
  • Harold T. Shapiro
  • Jacob N. Shapiro
  • Patrick T. Sharkey
  • Stacey A. Sinclair
  • Paul E. Starr
  • Marta Tienda
  • James Raymond Vreeland
  • Keith A. Wailoo
  • Leonard Wantchekon
  • Mark W. Watson
  • Elke U. Weber
  • Ismail K. White
  • Jennifer A. Widner
  • David S. Wilcove
  • Deborah J. Yashar
  • Julian E. Zelizer
  • Owen M. Zidar

Associate Professor

  • Elizabeth M. Armstrong
  • Alin I. Coman
  • Alexander Glaser
  • C. Jessica E. Metcalf
  • Emily Pronin

Assistant Professor

  • Adam M. Goldstein
  • Andy Guess
  • Johannes A. Haushofer
  • Arun Hendi
  • Gregor Jarosch
  • Adam Kapor
  • Patricia A. Kirkland
  • Melissa M. Lee
  • Zhao Li
  • Jonathan Mayer
  • Jonathan F. Mummolo
  • Christopher A. Neilson
  • Rebecca L. Perlman
  • David Silver
  • Maria Micaela Sviatschi
  • Rory Truex
  • Guadalupe Tuñón
  • Andreas B. Wiedemann

Associated Faculty

  • Thomas Fujiwara, Economics
  • Alison E. Isenberg, History
  • Guy J.P. Nordenson, Architecture

Lecturer with Rank of Professor

  • Anne C. Case
  • Hendrik A. Hartog
  • Robert L. Hutchings
  • Stanley N. Katz

Lecturer

  • Frederick D. Barton
  • Devanne E. Brookins
  • Wendy Castillo
  • Richard W. DiSalvo
  • Lynda G. Dodd
  • Edward P. Freeland
  • Jean B. Grossman
  • Doyle K. Hodges
  • Brittany Leigh Holom-Trundy
  • Heather H. Howard
  • Gregory B. Jaczko
  • David N. Kinsey
  • Daniel C. Kurtzer
  • Anastasia Mann
  • Daniel J. Meuse
  • Ashoka Mody
  • Timothy J. Nelson
  • Nura A. Sediqe
  • Thomas A. Shannon
  • Sarah L. Staszak
  • J. Zach Vertin
  • Andrea Vilan

Visiting Professor

  • Martin S. Flaherty
  • Ethan B. Kapstein

Visiting Associate Professor

  • Julia S. Rubin

Visiting Lecturer

  • Martha B. Coven
  • Mickey Edwards
  • Salam Fayyad
  • Jeffrey W. Fischer
  • Richard F. Keevey
  • Lorenzo Moreno
  • Udi Ofer
  • Steven Strauss
For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Program Information

The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs offers a multidisciplinary liberal arts major for students who are interested in public service and becoming 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.

Program of Study

The curriculum consists of a wide range of courses offered through the, School and through our partner 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, the Undergraduate Program requires that students either study abroad, or engage in some other cross-cultural experience, or policy-relevant field experience (foreign or domestic).

When students declare the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs as their major in the spring of their sophomore year, they are required to identify a primary policy interests from a list of policy areas designated by the Undergraduate Program. The new majors are then assigned a faculty adviser who helps guide course selection and progress through the program. 

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

Prerequisites

Students must complete four prerequisites prior to the fall term of their junior year:

  One course in Statistics
  One course in Microeconomics
  One course in History
  One  course in Politics, Sociology or Psychology

All courses taken to meet these prerequisites must be taken on a graded basis (with the exception of prerequisites completed during Spring 2020, we do not accept courses taken P/D/F). AP courses or freshman seminars may not be used to fulfill prerequisites. Students must earn a grade of C or higher in all courses used as prerequisites. A course may not be used to fulfill more than one prerequisite.

The following courses may be used to satisfy the prerequisites::

One course in Statistics

  • SPI 200 Statistics for Social Science
  • ECO 302 Econometrics
  • ECO 312 Econometrics: A Mathematical Approach
  • POL 345 Introduction to Quantitative Social Science
  • 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
  • SPI 300 Microeconomics for Public Policy

One course in History (a 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 course in Politics, Sociology or Psychology (a course 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 may be used to meet a department 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 Undergraduate Program (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 department core requirement (if it is on the list of core requirements) or as a department elective (if it is on the electives list).

Core Course Requirements

Students should review the list of core requirements for their specific class year.
Prior to graduation, 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 (with the exception of core courses taken during Spring 2020, we do not accept courses taken P/D/F). Courses taken to meet elective requirements may not also be used to fulfill core requirements.

One Course in Microeconomics

  • SPI 300 Microeconomics for Public Policy
  • ECO 300 Microeconomic Theory
  • ECO 310 Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach

One Course in Politics

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

One Course in Sociology or Psychology

  • SPI 330 Population and Public Policy
  • SPI 331 Race and Public Policy
  • SPI 333/SOC 326 Law, Institutions and Public Policy
  • SPI 340 The Psychology of Decision-Making and Judgment
  • SPI 344/PSY 312 The Psychology of Social Influence
  • SPI 345/PSY 384/AAS 384 Prejudice: Its Causes, Consequences, and Cures

One Course in Science Policy

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

One Course in Ethics

  • SPI 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 (with the exception of electives completed during Spring 2020, we do not accept courses taken as P/D/F) from a list issued by the Undergraduate Program. Courses taken to meet core requirements may not also be used as electives.

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

Up to three elective courses may be taken in semester-long study abroad programs. Summer courses may not be used as electives.

Independent Work

To satisfy the Junior Independent Work requirement ("JP"), each student must complete one Policy Task Force and one Policy Research Seminar in their junior year. The Policy Research seminar will includes a methods laboratory and also counts as one of the 31 A.B. courses.

In the Policy Task Forces, small groups of juniors work together with a faculty director, one or two seniors, and, often, a graduate student to propose solutions to current problems in public and international affairs. Each junior conducts research on a topic that relates to the larger policy question that is the focus of the Task Force. 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 participate in a methods lab that introduces a range of quantitative and qualitative methods. An important aim for 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 School's 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.

International Programs

Any concentrator may study abroad in one of the departments overseas programs in the first or second semester of the junior year. Recent international programs include Pembroke College at Cambridge University, the National University of Singapore, Bocconi University, in Milan, and 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 an Undergraduate Program 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 an 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 (note that to meet the department language requirement, described below, with a new 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 Undergraduate Program.

Language Requirement

Department majors must complete at least one 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 language may be used; or

(2) taking a course at least at the 102 level or above in a language other than the one used to fulfill the University 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 the Undergraduate Program 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 students in the department who participate in public policy internships. For additional information consult the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs  Undergraduate Program website.

Courses

SPI 200 Statistics for Social Science Spring QCR

An introduction to probability theory and statistical methods especially as they relate to public policy. The course will consist of a brief introduction to probability theory as well as various topics in statistics and how they can be used in the public policy realm. Subject areas will include random variables, sampling, descriptive statistics, distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, and introduction to the regression model. The data sources will be actual examples taken from the public policy realm. Stata, a general purpose statistical programming package will be used to perform the statistical analysis. Instructed by: R. DiSalvo

SPI 201 Introduction to Urban Studies (See URB 201)

SPI 211 Introduction to Quantitative Social Science (See POL 345)

SPI 300 Microeconomics for Public Policy Spring SA

Microeconomics is the study of how people and societies confront scarcity. This course, taught at the intermediate level, focuses on markets as a mechanism for dealing with scarcity, and uses examples that cast light on public policy issues. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: ECO 100. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 301 International Trade (also
ECO 352
) Spring SA

Examination of the causes and economic consequences of international trade in goods and services, investment and migration. Stress on the possibility of aggregate national gains from trade, and the distributional conflicts generated by trade. Analysis of policies regarding these issues from the perspective of economics and political economy. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: WWS 100 or ECO 300 or ECO 310. Instructed by: G. Grossman

SPI 306 Environmental Economics (also
ECO 329
/
ENV 319
) Fall SA

An introduction to the use of economics in thinking about and dealing with environmental issues. Stress on economic externalities and the problem of dealing with them as instances of organizing gains from trade. Applications to a wide variety of problems, among them air pollution (including, importantly, global climate change), water pollution, solid waste and hazardous substances management, species preservation, and population policy. Instructed by: S. Brunnermeier

SPI 307 Public Economics (also
ECO 349
) Not offered this year SA

Evaluation of public policies in terms of economic efficiency and equity. The course will examine the conditions that lead to efficient markets and those that lead to market failure, as well as the implications for government policy. It will discuss both existing and proposed public policies in a number of areas, including education, health care, poverty, financial markets, the environment, and industrial development. Prerequisites: Economics 100 and 101, or instructor's permission. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Instructed by: E. Bogan

SPI 310 American Politics (See POL 220)

SPI 311 The Politics of Development (See POL 351)

SPI 312 International Relations (See POL 240)

SPI 315 Grand Strategy (also
POL 393
) Spring SA

Military strategy was defined by Clauswitz as the use of battle to achieve the objectives of war. Grand strategy is broader, encompassing the attempted use by political leaders of financial economic, and diplomatic, as well as military, power to achieve their objectives in peacetime and in war. This seminar will examine the theory and practice of grand strategy both to illuminate how relations among city-states, empires, kingdoms and nation states have evolved over the centuries and also to identify some common challenges that have confronted all who seek to make and execute grand strategy, from Pericles to Barack Obama. Instructed by: A. Friedberg, G. Ikenberry

SPI 317 International Relations of East Asia (also
POL 389
/
EAS 462
) Not offered this year SA

This course will concentrate on the Cold War and post Cold War international relations of East Asia. In the first two weeks we will cover general theoretical approaches to international relations and a brief historical backdrop of Western and Japanese imperialism in the region. In the following weeks, we will discuss the interaction between changes in the broader international system and changes in international relations in the East Asian region. The course will finish with discussion of implications of events and trends since the end of the Cold War. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 323 Chinese Politics (See POL 362)

SPI 325 Introduction to Comparative Politics (See POL 230)

SPI 330 Population, Society and Public Policy (also
SOC 328
) Not offered this year SA

This course focuses on the causes and consequences of population change and the policy levers used to regulate demographic behavior and outcomes. In addition to basic demographic concepts, measures and data, we will address questions such as: What is the carrying capacity of the planet? Why has fertility declined in some countries but not others? How does population growth influence the environment? What does population aging portend for social security solvency? Can countries regulate international migration? Why does China have so many male births? Is marriage obsolete? Is urban life good or bad for your health? Instructed by: A. Hendi

SPI 331 Race and Public Policy (also
SOC 312
/
AAS 317
) Fall SA

Analyzes the historical construction of race as a concept in American society, how and why this concept was institutionalized publicly and privately in various arenas of U.S. public life at different historical junctures, and the progress that has been made in dismantling racialized institutions since the civil rights era. One three-hour seminar. Instructed by: D. Massey

SPI 332 Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy Not offered this year QCR

The course will review the principal methods of data analysis and applied statistics used in political, economic, psychological, and policy research, including multiple regression, analysis of variance, and nonparametric methods. These methods will be introduced in the context of case studies that will incorporate research design, data collection, data management, exploratory and inferential analyses, and the presentation of results. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 334 Media and Public Policy (See SOC 319)

SPI 340 The Psychology of Decision Making and Judgment (also
PSY 321
) Fall EC

An introduction to the logic of decision making and reasoning under uncertainty. Focus on psychological mechanisms that govern choice and judgment and on characteristic errors found in intuitive judgment and choice. Discussion of divergence from the model of rational agent often assumed in social science theory and economics. Rules governing pleasure, pain, and well-being provide background for analysis of the rationality of some individual choices and for the evaluation of general policies that affect human welfare. Prerequisite: introductory statistics for social science or instructor's permission. Instructed by: E. Shafir

SPI 350 The Environment: Science and Policy (also
ENV 350
) Not offered this year SEN

This course examines a set of critical environmental issues including population growth, ozone layer depletion, climate change, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and depletion of global fisheries. It provides an overview of the scientific basis for these problems and examines past, present and possible future policy responses. Instructed by: D. Wilcove, M. Oppenheimer

SPI 351 Information Technology and Public Policy (also
SOC 353
/
COS 351
) SA

New technologies have changed the way we communicate with each other and learn about our world. They have also raised public policy dilemmas in every area they touch: communications, regulation, privacy, national security, intellectual property and many others. This course is predicated on the belief that we can only productively address the social and policy dimensions of the Internet if we understand the technology behind the Internet; the social-science concepts and research that illuminate the likely effects of policy options; and tradeoffs among fundamental values that different policy options imply. Two ninety-minute seminars. Instructed by: E. Felten

SPI 353 Science and Global Security: From Nuclear Weapons to Cyberwarfare and Artificial Intelligence (also
MAE 353
) Spring SEN

This course will provide students with a basic technical understanding of some of the critical technologies that are relevant to national and global security and will equip students with the skills to better assess the challenge of developing effective policies to manage such technologies. Case studies will inter alia include nuclear weapons and their proliferation, nuclear and radiological terrorism, space weapons, biosecurity and cyberware. Two lectures. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 355 Infection: Biology, Burden, Policy (See MOL 425)

SPI 363 Public Leadership and Public Policy in the U.S. Not offered this year SA

Considers the intellectual (ethical and legal) frameworks for making leadership decisions on major public issues in the United States, as well as the operational frameworks for effective and responsible public leadership. Students review historical cases from federal and state government, discuss the policy decisions made in each case, and examine the decision-making processes in view of these frameworks. Two 90-minute seminars. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 367 Latin American Politics (See POL 367)

SPI 370 Ethics and Public Policy (also
POL 308
/
CHV 301
) Fall EM

This course examines basic ethical controversies in public life. What rights do persons have at the beginning and end of life? Do people have moral claims to unequal economic rewards or is economic distribution properly subject to political design for the sake of social justice? Do we have significant moral obligations to distant others? Other possible topics include toleration (including the rights of religious and cultural minorities), racial and gender equity, and just war. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Instructed by: S. Macedo, R. Bolinger

SPI 380 Critical Perspectives in Global Health (See GHP 350)

SPI 381 Epidemiology: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective (See GHP 351)

SPI 385 Civil Society and Public Policy (also
AMS 350
) Not offered this year SA

Civil society is the arena of voluntary organizations (churches, social welfare organizations, sporting clubs) and communal activity. Scholars now tell us that such voluntary and cooperative activities create "social capital"--a stock of mutual trust that forms the glue that holds society together. The course will be devoted to the study of the history of these concepts, and to the analysis of their application to the United States and other societies. This will be an interdisciplinary effort, embracing history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and other disciplines. One three-hour seminar. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 386 Race and the American Legal Process: Emancipation to the Voting Rights Act (See AAS 362)

SPI 389 Race, Drugs, and Drug Policy in America (See HIS 393)

SPI 401 Policy Seminars Fall

Open only to students enrolled in the school. (See description above.) Juniors who are concentrators in the school must register for the policy task force as "Junior Independent Work.'' Certificate students and seniors should register for WWS 401 or 402 as a course rather than junior independent work. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 402 Policy Seminars Spring

Open only to students enrolled in the school. Juniors who are concentrators in the school must register for the policy task force as "Junior Independent Work.'' Certificate students and seniors should register for 401 or 402 as a course rather than junior independent work. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 406 Issues in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (also
ECO 429
) Not offered this year SA

Course introduces use of economics in understanding both the sources of and the remedies to environmental and resource allocation problems. It emphasizes the reoccurrence of economic phenomenon like public goods, externalities, market failure and imperfect information. Students learn about the design and evaluation of environmental policy instruments, the political economy of environmental policy, and the valuation of environmental and natural resource services. These concepts are illustrated in a variety of applications from domestic pollution of air, water and land to international issues such as global warming and sustainable development. Instructed by: S. Brunnermeier

SPI 420 International Institutions and Law Not offered this year SA

This course will focus on the continual tension between international law and international politics. It will examine the impact of this tension on issues of intervention and also on other issues of substantive importance, including environmental protection, trade, human rights, laws of war applicable to the "war on terror," and crimes of state. The course will also discuss recent developments affecting international institutions and recent changes in international law, such as the changing conception of "sovereignty." One three-hour seminar. Instructed by: Staff

SPI 421 Comparative Constitutional Law (also
POL 479
/
CHV 470
) Not offered this year SA

This course will introduce students to the variety of forms of constitutional government and the way that human rights are understood and enforced by courts around the world. We will trace the emergence of a global constitutional culture and focus more directly on the constitutions of South Africa, India, Germany, France, Hungary, Israel and Canada. We will give primary emphasis to the rights provisions in national constitutions, but will also take transnational constitutional regimes through examining decisions of the European Courts of Human Rights. Two ninety-minute seminars. Instructed by: K. Scheppele

SPI 451 Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, Policy (See GEO 366)

SPI 452 Global Environmental Issues (See CEE 334)

SPI 455 Disease Ecology, Economics, and Policy (See ENV 304)

SPI 466 Financial History (also
HIS 467
) Fall HA

The course examines the history of financial innovation and its consequences. It examines the evolution of trading practices, bills of exchange, government bonds, equities, banking activity, derivatives markets, and securitization. How do these evolve in particular state or national settings, how are the practices regulated, how do they relate to broader development? What happens as financial instruments are traded across state boundaries, and how does an international financial order evolve? What are the effects of international capital mobility? How is resulting conflict and instability managed, on both a national and international level? Instructed by: H. James