Designing and evaluating policy depends on social science theory and research. The program in Social Research and Public Policy offers rigorous training with courses in economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology, as well as courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, which 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 to inspire students’ critical theoretical imagination and helps them to make better sense of the world around themselves. Social Research and Public Policy 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 work with 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. Social Research and Public Policy majors will produce a piece of original research to meet the capstone requirement. Students 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 their 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 project.

Requirements

14 courses, distributed as follows:

  • 4 Foundations of Social Sciences: Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences; Introduction to the Study of Society; Global Economic, Political and Social Development since 1500; 1 course on Social, Political, and Economic Thought in Historical Perspective (currently SOCSC-UH 1310 or SOCSC-UH 1311)
  • 2 Research Methods Electives
  • 2 Social Structure and Global Processes Electives
  • 2 Public Policy and Institutions Electives
  • 2 Society and Culture Electives
  • 2 Capstone