Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs


  • Dean

    • Cecilia E. Rouse
  • Vice Dean

    • Miguel Centeno
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies

    • Paul Lipton
  • Director of Graduate Studies

    • Denise L. Mauzerall, Ph.D. program
    • Richard Rogerson, MPA program
    • Jacob Shapiro, MPP program
  • Professor

    • Gary J. Bass
    • Roland Jean-Marc Benabou
    • Alan S. Blinder
    • Carles Boix
    • Charles M. Cameron
    • Brandice Canes-Wrone
    • Miguel A. Centeno
    • Christopher F. Chyba
    • Janet M. Currie
    • Kathryn J. Edin
    • Edward A. Felten
    • Susan T. Fiske
    • Marc Fleurbaey
    • Aaron L. Friedberg
    • Noreen Goldman
    • Bryan T. Grenfell
    • Gene M. Grossman
    • G. John Ikenberry
    • Oleg Itskhoki
    • 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
    • Benjamin Moll
    • Andrew M. Moravcsik
    • Michael Oppenheimer
    • Pietro Ortoleva
    • Elizabeth L. Paluck
    • Grigore Pop-Eleches
    • Markus Prior
    • Stephen J. Redding
    • Richard Rogerson
    • Esteban A. Rossi-Hansberg
    • Kim L. Scheppele
    • Eldar Shafir
    • Harold T. Shapiro
    • Jacob N. Shapiro
    • Patrick T. Sharkey
    • Stacey A. Sinclair
    • Paul E. Starr
    • Marta Tienda
    • Shirley M. Tilghman
    • James Raymond Vreeland
    • Keith A. Wailoo
    • Leonard Wantchekon
    • Mark W. Watson
    • Elke U. Weber
    • Jennifer A. Widner
    • David S. Wilcove
    • Deborah J. Yashar
    • Julian E. Zelizer
  • Visiting Professor

    • Ethan B. Kapstein


  • Associate Professor

    • Elizabeth M. Armstrong
    • Alin I. Coman
    • Rafaela M. Dancygier
    • Alexander Glaser
    • Emily Pronin
    • Owen M. Zidar
  • Assistant Professor

    • Adam M. Goldstein
    • Andrew M. Guess
    • Johannes A. Haushofer
    • Arun S. Hendi
    • Gregor Jarosch
    • Adam Kapor
    • Patricia A. Kirkland
    • Melissa M. Lee
    • Jonathan R. Mayer
    • C. Jessica Metcalf
    • Eduardo Morales
    • Jonathan F. Mummolo
    • Christopher A. Neilson
    • David Silver
    • Maria Micaela Sviatschi
    • Rory Truex
    • Andreas B. Wiedemann
  • Lecturer with Rank of Professor

    • Anne C. Case



  • Lecturer

    • Frederick D. Barton
    • Wendy Castillo
    • Yali Chen
    • Fernando R. Delgado
    • Mary Beth Goodman
    • Jean B. Grossman
    • Brittany L. Holom
    • Gregory B. Jaczko
    • Daniel C. Kurtzer
    • Anastasia Mann
    • Carol L. Martin
    • Ashoka Mody
    • Timothy J. Nelson
    • Thomas A. Shannon
  • Visiting Lecturer

    • Henry A. Coleman
    • Martha B. Coven
    • Richard F. Keevey
    • David N. Kinsey
    • Udi Ofer
    • Steven Strauss


  • Instructor

    • Rebecca L. Perlman

Program Information

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

Students should review the list of prerequisites for their specific class year. 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 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 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
  • 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

Students should review the list of core requirements for their specific class year.
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
  • WWS 345/PSY 384/AAS 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. Courses taken to meet core requirements cannot be used to fulfill elective requirements.

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 Cambridge University, the National University of Singapore, Bocconi University, in Milan, 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.


WWS 200 Statistics for Social Science Spring QR

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: Staff

WWS 201 Introduction to Urban Studies (See URB 201)

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

WWS 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: M. Fleurbaey

WWS 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: S. Weyerbrock

WWS 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

WWS 307 Public Economics (also
ECO 349
) Fall 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

WWS 310 American Politics (See POL 220)

WWS 311 The Politics of Development (See POL 351)

WWS 312 International Relations (See POL 240)

WWS 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

WWS 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

WWS 323 Chinese Politics (See POL 362)

WWS 325 Introduction to Comparative Politics (See POL 230)

WWS 330 Population, Society and Public Policy (also
SOC 328
) Spring 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

WWS 331 Race and Public Policy (also
SOC 312
AAS 317
) Spring 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

WWS 332 Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy Not offered this year QR

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

WWS 334 Media and Public Policy (See SOC 319)

WWS 340 The Psychology of Decision Making and Judgment (also
PSY 321
) Spring 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

WWS 350 The Environment: Science and Policy (also
ENV 350
) Spring STN

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

WWS 351 Information Technology and Public Policy (also
SOC 353
COS 351
) Spring 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

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

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: A. Glaser

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

WWS 363 Public Leadership and Public Policy in the U.S. (also
POL 463
) 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

WWS 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

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

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

WWS 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

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

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

WWS 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

WWS 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

WWS 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

WWS 420 International Institutions and Law (also
POL 444
) 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

WWS 421 Comparative Constitutional Law (also
POL 479
CHV 470
) Fall 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

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

WWS 452 Global Environmental Issues (See CEE 334)

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

WWS 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