Degree Requirements


Below is an overview of the required coursework. For detailed information, view the program checksheet

total Credits required: 30

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).


Fall (September - December) at NYU Wagner in NYC (12 credits)

Global Public Policy Analysis

Learn the foundational analytical tools that facilitate your ability to understand the interactions among various interests, institutions, ideas, and individuals in the policy-making process.

You'll learn 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

In this course, you'll be exposed to contemporary thinking about institutions, governance, and the reinvention of the public sector.

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 a single "right" answer. Rather, you'll use diverse case material that challenges you to use rigorous and creative analysis to seek levers of change that matter and are feasible in particular contexts.

Spring (January - April) at UCL in London (12 credits)

Policy Implementation

You'll gain perspective on how policies are put into practice after being passed by legislative or executive bodies.

You'll 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 cover 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 you'll learn about specific frameworks, models, and perspectives on effectively managing change in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

You'll be exposed to introductory theories to organizational change and then move into the key concepts of how change occurs within an organization. In particular, you'll face practical cases to learn how to overcome resistance to change and how to lead change within different levels of an 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, you will have a broad comprehension and the necessary tools for changing organizations successfully.

Elective Courses

You will complete two elective courses at NYU Wagner from an array of choices, including but not limited to:

Sustainable Cities in a Comparative Perspective

Global Health Governance and Management

Economics of International Development

Design Thinking: A Creative Approach to Problem Solving and Creating Impact

Strategic Management and Leadership

View the full list of NYU Wagner course offerings.


While in London, you'll complete two elective courses at UCL from an array of choices, including but not limited to:

Law and Regulation

Making Policy Work

Global Business Regulation

Comparative Political Economy

International Trade Policy

Human Rights Accountability and World Politics

Public Management: Theories and Innovations

View the full list of UCL course offerings.


Each student will develop a personal academic plan in consultation with a faculty advisor. 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: Course prerequisites are discussed with your advisor to determine preparedness for specific elective courses.

Capstone (April - mid-August)

The end-event degree requirement is Capstone, which you'll commence in the spring and complete by mid-August.