Social Policy Courses

Social Policy Courses

The social policy concentration explores how policies function as the guiding principles on which social programs are based. Students interested in public service, public policy, public health, and law typically choose to follow the requirements of the social policy concentration.


SOC POL 201-0 Introduction to Social Policy

Social policy formulation: the substance of major American social policies, the agenda-setting process, and how the political system shapes social policy in this country.

SOC POL 304-0 Social Policy and the Human Services

Development of social policy for human services in the United States. Human service policies for education, mental health, physical health, prisons, income, and aging.

SOC POL 305-0 Law and Social Policy

Use and influence of the legal system in and on social institutions and policy.

SOC POL 307-0 Educational Policy

Conflict between societal imperatives to select and prepare young people for future careers and to offer youths opportunity; how society and schools address this conflict; various approaches to policy reform.

SOC POL 310-0 Legal Aspects of Education

School governance structure and decision making; relevant state and federal legislation; role of the US Supreme Court in affecting public schooling.

SOC POL 311-0 Social Policy and the US Health Care System

Examines the health care delivery system in the United States through a review of US health policy issues.

SOC POL 312-0 Social Policymaking and Implementation

Examines the process by which social policies are made, the process and realities of their implementation, and the attendant politics.

SOC POL 330-0 Economics of Social Policy

Students learn core economic concepts and empirical tools to analyze the design and effects of social policies. Topics include the social safety net (welfare, food stamps, Social Security, earned income tax credit, unemployment insurance), health insurance, minimum wage, and taxation.
Prerequisites: ECON 202 and SESP 210 or equivalent.

SOC POL 331-0 Economics of Inequality and Discrimination

Students learn core economic concepts and empirical tools to analyze the causes and consequences of inequality and discrimination. Topics include neighborhoods and stratification, housing policy, crime, earnings inequality, and the role of education in creating and reducing disparities.
Prerequisites: ECON 202 and SESP 210 or equivalent.

SOC POL 332-0 Economics of Education Policy

Students learn core economic concepts and empirical tools to analyze the design and effects of education policies. Topics include school choice, accountability, education finance, class size policy, teacher compensation and retention, higher education policy, returns to education, and the human capital model.
Prerequisites: ECON 202 and SESP 210 or equivalent.

SOC POL 351-0 Special Topics in Social Policy

Advanced work on special topics.

Contact Us

Undergraduate Office

School of Education and Social Policy

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-3790

Email: sespinfo@sesp.northwestern.edu