Designing and evaluating policy depends on social science theory and research. The program in Social Research and Public Policy (SRPP) offers rigorous training in both, with courses in economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology, as well as courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, which will enable students to critically evaluate research findings and produce original research. Social Research and Public Policy is attractive to students who are concerned with the major social problems of our times such as international migration, unequal economic development, poverty, racism and sexism, inequality, ethnic conflict, as well as health inequality and population dynamics.

The program aims at inspiring students’ critical theoretical imagination and will help them to make better sense of the world around themselves. SRPP majors will be regarded as excellent candidates for law school, and for graduate programs in the social sciences, in public policy, business school, public health, education, urban planning, and social work. Graduates will have a good chance to land in jobs working for NGO's, in public service, urban planning and community action.

Its breadth and its emphasis on critical thinking and hands-on empirical research, especially research linked to policy questions, distinguish the major in Social Research and Public Policy. SRPP majors will produce a piece of original research to meet the capstone requirement. Student may collect their own data, conduct simulations, or reanalyze available data to make a contribution to the research in the field of their choice. Students will work with a faculty mentor to develop and implement the research design. Students who wish to do fieldwork abroad should develop the project in the spring of junior year and obtain approval from the faculty mentor to collect data during the summer before senior year. NYUAD’s Institutional Review Board must approve all projects that involve human subjects before data collection begins. Seniors will attend a bi-weekly colloquium, which is moderated by a faculty member and serves as a forum for peer review and feedback on progress with the senior thesis.

2014: Social Science Inaugural Capstone Festival

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NYU Abu Dhabi's Social Science Capstone Festival saw projects presented by members of the Class of 2014 to the University community across the division's three majors: Economics, Political Science, and Social Research and Public Policy. Woven across four themed sections — The Behavior & Institutions, Health & Demography, Migration & Globalization, and The UAE — the students' research highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of the Social Science division through varied fields linked to one of these core themes.

The extensive student-faculty collaboration for these Capstone projects also saw a high engagement level with the community within and beyond NYUAD, creating an unmistakable sense of camaraderie for everyone present.