Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
- Cecilia E. Rouse
- 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
- 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
- Ethan B. Kapstein
- Elizabeth M. Armstrong
- Alin I. Coman
- Rafaela M. Dancygier
- Alexander Glaser
- Emily Pronin
- Owen M. Zidar
- 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
- 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
- Henry A. Coleman
- Martha B. Coven
- Richard F. Keevey
- David N. Kinsey
- Udi Ofer
- Steven Strauss
- Rebecca L. Perlman
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.