NOTE: The Graduate Certificate in Public Policy is currently on hiatus due to insufficient staffing (3/1/14).
The College of Social Sciences launched a new Public Policy Center in 2006. The mission of the Center is to enhance the quality of community life throughout Hawai'i, the United States and the Asian Pacific region. The Center educates professionals for careers in public life, conducts non-partisan policy research and promotes civic engagement on issues of local, national and international significance. The vision for the Center includes:
Graduates will be known for their expertise in public policy, research in applied policy analysis, leadership and involvement in the community. Students are expected to be well-grounded in their individual disciplines, and in addition, will receive a multidisciplinary curriculum from the Center, emphasizing public policy theory, research methods, substantive knowledge, analytic skills, and practice. For example, students will acquire a set of methodological and quantitative skills necessary for conducting applied analytic research and develop a set of professional capabilities necessary for leadership designed to enhancing the public good.
This 16-credit certificate will allow graduate students to enhance their policy and analytic skills and focus on a substantive policy issue. Each student's program may be designed and individually tailored to build upon his/her educational background and professional interests. The certificate is flexible while establishing a core of required courses from which students may build their substantive specialization. In addition, students will be required to complete a community or field based internship in policy studies, complete an integrative seminar, and a produce a policy "white paper" before graduation.
These three courses form the core for all students. However not all of these classes are taught every semester so other courses may be approved by a faculty advisor.
One elective course may be selected in the student’s area of interest. Students are advised to select an elective course that focuses in an area of specialization. Existing areas of specializations are:
Other topics may be developed if approved by a faculty advisor.
Students will be required to complete a 4-week (160 hour) internship in a policy research setting doing work related to their academic training and career interests.
In the final integration seminar, students will apply the methods, approaches, and perspectives studied throughout their curriculum and in their internship and produce a public policy issue paper. The paper must demonstrate individual competence in professional writing, including the ability to analyze a discrete public policy problem, the ability to collect, analyze, and integrate information from a variety of sources and perspectives, and the ability to link the analysis with potential action. This paper will be completed for an external client on an issue mutually agreed upon by the student, the client, and the course instructor.