Degree Requirements

Students must complete 30 credits to graduate, consisting of four required courses (12 credits), four elective courses (12 credits), and a Capstone project (6 credits).

Required Courses

Fall - at NYU in New York

(September - December)

Spring - at UCL in London

(January - April)

Summer - in London, New York, or other global project location
(April - July)

Global Public Policy Analysis

This course provides students with foundational analytical tools that facilitate their ability to understand the interactions among various interests, institutions, ideas and individuals in the policy-making process.
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It prepares students to disentangle the dynamics of power and politics throughout the policy process at three distinct levels: at the national level in the U.S. and other OECD countries, in the "developing" country context, and at the transnational level. We examine the dynamics of agenda-setting, framing, the role of analysis and evidence in the policy process and the rise of "evidence-based" policy; the role of deliberation and transparency; insights from behavioral economics and social psychology on regulation and incentives; how social movements and advocacy organizations influence the policy process; the role of street-level bureaucrats; and the relationship between evaluation, learning, and policy change. The emphasis throughout is on mixing the development of conceptual and analytical tools with diverse, context-rich case studies and classroom exercises aimed at developing a real world proficiency in policy analysis.

Institutions, Governance and Public Sector Reform

This course exposes students to contemporary thinking about institutions, governance and the reinvention of the public sector.
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We focus on specific reforms intended to improve government performance and promote good governance as rapid economic, political and social changes-both global and local-- evolve in different countries at various stages of development. Major topics include establishing and enhancing rule of law, property rights, and regulatory regimes; developing more effective organizational structures, civil service systems and anti-corruption mechanisms; and creating and enhancing frameworks and policies for public sector fiscal management, decentralization, public-private partnership and citizen engagement. As we work through the topics, we consider competing theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence. An underlying theme is the need to go beyond the mainstream tendency to use pre-packaged tools and narrow frameworks in pursuit of single "right" answers. Rather, the course uses diverse case material to challenges students to use rigorous and creative analysis to seek levers of change that matter and are feasible in particular contexts.

Policy Implementation

This course provides students with perspective on how policies are put into practice after being passed by legislative or executive bodies.
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Students begin by learning about broad, basic theories of top-down and bottom-up government, as well as the role of organizational design on the implementation of public policies.  Additionally, we look at policy implementation from a comparative perspective and analyze how it is influenced by different types of presidential and parliamentary systems.  From there, we examine a number of case studies in key policy areas and investigate how policy implementation is influenced by a number of factors, such as overlapping and conflicting pieces of legislation, goal coherence in agencies, agency collaboration, the presence of performance targets, the ability to observe agency outputs and outcomes, relationships with private contractors, changes in agency managers and changes in agency organization.

Managing Organizational Change

Managing organizational change is a hands-on course where students learn about specific frameworks, models, and perspectives on effectively managing change in public, private and non-profit organizations.
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Students begin by covering introductory theories to organizational change and then move into the key concepts of how change occurs within an organization. In particular, students face practical cases to learn how to overcome resistance to change and how to lead change within the different levels of the organization's hierarchy. Furthermore, we focus on the motivation to reform public sector organizations, and the effects that such reforms can have on policy implementation. By course end, students ought to have a broad comprehension and tools for changing organizations successfully.


At the end of the program, over the summer session (April - July), students work on a consulting project with a client to address a real challenge the organization is facing. This unique Capstone  project allows students to work with an organization to address pertinent and pressing issues drawing on their knowledge of cutting-edge global thinking and practice.

Elective Courses

Students complete two elective courses at NYU Wagner from an array of choices, such as:

Students complete two elective courses at UCL from an array of choices, such as:

Each student will develop a personal academic plan in consultation with a faculty advisor. While not required, some students may choose to cluster their courses in a specific area, such as International Governance and Policy; Management and Policy; or Applied Economics.

Note: Students will discuss course prerequisites with their advisor to determine preparedness for specific elective courses.