Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
MPA
Specializations

Mintaka Angell MPA '16 

Policy Specializations

The program’s specializations enable students to pursue deeper knowledge and gain proficiency in the methods and substance of particular policy areas.

Comparative and Global Policy

Focuses on the policy settings where international rules and cross-national differences take a central place in decision making. 

Data-Driven Policy

This specialization prepares MPA students to do data analytic work in government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. Students are introduced to a variety of programming languages used to manipulate and analyze data including Stata, SQL, and Python, and gain the tools to turn large data sets and behavioral science into improved policy. Students also acquire hands-on, practical experience with data cleaning, analysis, visualization, and designing and implementing policy evaluations. For the Policy-in-Action Consultancy, students work in a policy lab at Brown or elsewhere to integrate data-driven research with experiential learning. Students also write a term paper that demonstrates their ability to use programming, data visualization, and empirical tools to provide systematic evidence of a public policy problem or rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of various policy solutions.

Policy Analysis

Deepens skills in the application of economic analysis to questions of policy design, efficiency, and distribution. Cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and other applications of quantitative modeling and political economy models are studied.

Social Change and Advocacy Policy

Prioritizes social justice, diversity, and ethics by using the distance between the way things are and the way things ought to be to shape learning and to analyze policy and public interventions. 

Design Your Own

In the spirit of Brown’s Open Curriculum, students may work with a faculty advisor to design their own specialization. Students have focused on areas from cybersecurity, voter rights, and environmental advocacy to national intelligence and early childhood education.