Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
MPA

Specializations

Specializations

Mintaka Angell MPA '16 

Data-Driven Policy Track

This track 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.

Design Your Own Specialization

In the spirit of Brown’s Open Curriculum, students may work with a faculty advisor to design their own specialization. Students choose electives to pursue deeper knowledge and gain proficiency in the methods, skills, and substance of particular policy areas. MPA graduates have focused on areas as diverse as cybersecurity, health policy, environmental advocacy, national intelligence, and early-childhood education.