Dr. George R. LaNoue

Room 719, Administration Bldg.


Baltimore, Maryland 21228

(410) 455-3201

UMBC, School of Arts and Sciences Policy Sciences Graduate Program (POSI)

George R. LaNoue, Graduate Program Director


Associate Professors

Assistant Professors

Degrees Offered: UMBC offers the degrees of Master of Policy Sciences and Doctor of Philosophy as well as five different graduate certificates.

Program Description:

Policy sciences is a fast-growing field of study that combines interdisciplinary education in the social sciences with training in policy-making and administration. The objective is to provide students with a broad understanding of the social, economic, and political forces that affect the policy-making process, and some basic analytical and administrative skills that can be applied to a wide variety of policy problems.

The Ph.D. program serves a group of students who are carefully selected for their ability to pursue advanced studies in furtherance of careers in research or teaching, or in preparation for especially demanding positions in policy analysis, planning, and evaluation. Most students are part-time and most courses are offered in the evening or on weekends. An increasing number of students are full- time (some in co-op programs) and schedules combining day and evening courses can be planned. Brochures that describe the degree and certificate programs in detail are available from the policy sciences office.

Program Specialties: Students may concentrate in a particular discipline (economics, history, political science, or sociology) or in a particular policy (aging, education, evaluation, fiscal, health, human services, legal, managerial, mental health, regulation, or urban). The graduate certificates are offered in theory and ethics of public policy, administrative practice, American public policy, health and public policy, and American education policy. A student must master four courses in the specialized area of the certificate in addition to POSI 601, 602, or 603 for a total of 15 credits.

Programs leading to both the J.D. and the Ph.D. degrees are offered by the University of Maryland Law School or the University of Baltimore Law School, and the Policy Sciences Graduate Program. Holders of both degrees may expect to find their training useful in positions that have relation to the policy-making process in federal, state, or local government, and in business and other nongovernmental organizations. A J.D./M.P.S. program has been worked out with the University of Maryland Law School. Policy sciences also has a joint master's program with Baltimore Hebrew University and an articulated M.P.A./Ph.D. program with the University of Baltimore.

Program Admission and Degree Requirements:

Admission requirements are those of the Graduate School, including three letters from teachers or supervisors well acquainted with the applicant's academic abilities and work experience. A standardized test (GRE, GMAT, or LSAT) is usually required for admission.

The M.P.S. program requires completion of 36 credit hours, passage of a comprehensive examination, and, for pre-career students, completion of a supervised internship. Students take five interdisciplinary core courses: planning theory (POSI 603), research and quantitative methods (POSI 600 and 604), politics and bureaucracy (POLI 612), and budgeting (POLI 623). One course in each of the foundation disciplines (economics, political science, and sociology) is required. Students complete their studies by taking four other courses in a discipline or in a particular policy. The masters program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. A thesis is optional. If a thesis is written, it replaces six credits of required course work. If a thesis is not written, one analytical paper is required.

The Ph.D. degree requires passing comprehensive and field examinations and writing and defending a dissertation. Each Ph.D. student's curriculum is planned individually with his or her advisor and the amount of course work needed to complete the requirements will vary depending on previous study and professional experience. Typically students without recent and relevant master's degrees take about 48 hours of course work plus 12 hours of dissertation research. Students with appropriate previous training may complete their course work with fewer credits required.

Candidates for the joint J.D./M.P.S. or J.D./Ph.D. programs must apply for admission to each school and must meet each school's admission criteria. Students may enter the joint program after enrolling in one of the schools. Policy sciences students may enter a law school program no later than after completion of the second year in the M.P.S. or Ph.D. program but are urged to do so following the first year. For the J.D./Ph.D. degree, the law schools have agreed to accept nine credits from the policy sciences Ph.D. program; the Graduate School, through the policy sciences program, has agreed to accept up to 24 credits from the law schools. However, in order to pass existing policy sciences examination requirements, it is unlikely more than 12 to 15 credits would actually transfer. M.P.S./J.D. students not in a joint program are normally required to complete 36 and 84 credit hours for the degrees, respectively. However, requirements for graduation for students admitted to the joint program are only 30 hours in policy sciences courses and 75 hours in law school courses. Each student's schedule must be approved by the advisor for the joint program at the law school and by an advisor designated by the policy sciences graduate program.

Facilities and Special Resources:

Students may have the opportunity of assisting in policy-related research projects of the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, the Center on Drugs and Public Policy, and the Center on Health Policy, each of which has an association with the policy sciences program.

Financial Assistance:

A limited number of graduate teaching and research assistantships are available through the department. University fellowships may also be obtained.


POSI 600 Research Methodology Credits: 3

A course designed to advance graduate students' knowledge of the field of scientific modes of inquiry and analysis and to familiarize them with research methods and techniques. Also listed as SOCY 600. Prerequisites: Evidence of undergraduate level of understanding of research methods, permission of instructor. This required POSI and SOCY course must be completed one semester before the final semester in the program.

POSI 601 Political and Social Context of the Policy Process Credits: 3

An interdisciplinary framework of analysis for understanding the relationship among policy origins in social systems, formal decision-making models and policy formulation, implementation, and bureaucratic behavior. The primary objective is to develop a sense of system in understanding the policy process across public and private organizations in order better to grasp policy analytic perspectives. (Course is required for most M.P.S. students.)

POSI 602 Public Policy-making in the United States Credits: 3

An intensive examination of the socioeconomic and political forces that led to the contemporary democratic state and its public policy roles. The political structure, institutions, and processes that shape policy in the American state are compared with those of other industrialized democracies. Current policy issues including those caused by the "era of limits" are studied in relation to alternative theories of policy formation and administration. This course is intended for Ph.D. students or others who have strong backgrounds in the policy-making process. Students should consult with their advisors or the instructor to determine whether to take 601 or 602.

POSI 603 Planning Theory and Policy Formation Credits: 3

An overview of the basic principles and elements of policy analysis. The course focuses on the activities and elements of policy analysts. In addition, the relationship between policy analysis and policy- making along with emerging professional and ethical issues will be addressed.

POSI 604 Statistical Analysis Credits: 3

An introduction to the concepts and methods of descriptive and inferential statistics. Bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques will be discussed. Also listed as SOCY 604. Prerequisites: POSI/SOCY 600 or its equivalent and passing an algebraic competency screening test; permission of instructor. (Test is given to enrollees in POSI/SOCY 600 or in the SOCY office for those not enrolled in POSI/SOCY 600.) This required POSI and SOCY course must be completed one semester before the final semester in the program.

POSI 605 Advanced Research and Evaluation Techniques Credits: 3

Components in research design and strategy; problems in and approaches to the application of research and statistics to program evaluation; policy decision making based on research data. Also listed as SOCY 605. Prerequisites: POSI/SOCY 600 and 604 or their equivalents; permission of instructor. Required SOCY course.

POSI 606 The Politics and Administration of Program Evaluation Credits: 3

An examination of the political and organizational processes affecting the conduct of program evaluation and the impact of evaluation on decision making. Means of increasing the use of evaluation in decision making are analyzed.

POSI 607 Statistical Applications in Evaluation Research Credits: 3

Advanced course in the analysis and interpretation of evaluation data. Focuses on statistical procedures for assessing the impact of programs and policies based on a variety of experimental and quasi- experimental designs, including true experiments, non-equivalent control group designs, and interrupted time-series designs.

POSI 609 Social Science Approaches to Policy Analysis Credits: 3

A methodological examination of the contributions, complementarities, and conflicts among the economic, political science, and sociological approaches to policy analysis. Focuses on the nature of questions each discipline can and cannot answer, by looking at their methods and limitations. Fundamental assumptions, theories, perspectives, and policy recommendations will be discussed.

POSI 610 Special Topics in Policy Sciences Credits: 3

Topics selected on the basis of the background and interests of the faculty member and students.

POSI 612 Ethics and Public Policy Credits: 3

Moral issues facing people individually and collectively in their professional or public roles, such as government officials, corporate managers, scientists, doctors, and citizens. Clarification of value concepts such as freedom, equality, justice, the public interest, and community. Exposition of these values as they pertain to actual cases of decision making and policy debates. Issue areas examined include personal integrity in public and private organizations, corporate social responsibility, government regulation of technology, and the ethics of income redistribution.

POSI 614 Quantitative Methods for Management Credits: 3

An examination of the application of management science concepts and techniques such as decision analysis and linear programming to problems in the public and nonprofit sectors. Students will acquire a theoretical understanding of the use and limits of these techniques and a hands- on knowledge of their application, including the use of relevant computer software. Examples are drawn from a variety of substantive areas including health, social services, public safety, and energy.

POSI 615 Managerial Leadership and Communication Skills Credits: 3

A survey of the current and classic literature on leadership will be followed by a workshop during which the students will become actively involved in projects designed to develop their skills in management and communication.

POSI 616 Regulatory Policy Credits: 3

Surveys the problems faced by regulators and the methods to address them. Discusses the regulatory process, rate-of-return, methods, service pricing, antitrust, risk regulation, liability, law, and environmental policy. Compares private action and public regulation and examines the relationships between economics, political decision making, and rights. Examples from industries such as airlines and telecommunications illustrate regulatory principles and conflicts.

POSI 617 The Economics of Law Credits: 3

Applies economic theory and reasoning to the classification and evaluation of legal doctrines and practices. Primary areas include property, torts, liability, and contracts. We will look at the economics of the legal process, including selection of cases for trial, rules of evidence, criminal procedure, and plea bargaining. The course will cover policy areas such as zoning, public utilities, environmental law, copyright, and the First Amendment. Critical appraisal of efficiency as a legal standard is emphasized. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in policy sciences, admission to the University of Maryland School of Law, or permission of the instructor. Prior exposure to microeconomics would be helpful but is not necessary.

POSI 620 Science, Technology, and Public Policy Credits: 3

The impact of science and technology on American public policy, with special emphasis on the changes in communication, government-sponsored research, and the role of "experts" in policy formulation.

POSI 650 Policy Sciences Internship Credits: 3

Students are placed in public sector agencies and not-for-profit organizations. The internship includes a supervised reading program and a seminar with other interns.

POSI 700 Doctoral Research Seminar Credits: 3

This seminar will provide training in policy analysis for students working collectively and individually on research problems.

POSI 701 Individual Study in Policy Sciences Credits: 1-3

Independent reading for master's students, supervised by a member of the policy sciences faculty. Intended for students who desire to study independently an aspect of policy sciences that is not covered by the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor stating number of credits sought. Note: A particular faculty member must agree to supervise the study before a student may register for this course.

POSI 799 Master's Thesis Research Credits: 1-6

Six semester hours are required of students selecting the thesis option.

POSI 801 Individual Study in Policy Sciences Credits: 1-3

Independent reading for doctoral students, supervised by a member of the policy sciences faculty. Intended for students who desire to study independently an aspect of policy sciences that is not covered by the regular course offerings. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor stating number of credits sought. Note: A particular faculty member must agree to supervise the study before a student may register for this course. May be repeated for credit.

POSI 899 Doctoral Dissertation Research Credits: 1-3

Research on doctoral dissertation under direction of faculty advisor. A minimum of twelve semester hours is required for Ph.D. degree. Course DescriptionsSocial Science Disciplines The following courses are offered for policy sciences students and may be used to fulfill disciplinary core and track requirements. See the M.P.S. and Ph.D. guides for particular rules.

A. Economics Special requirements for admission into the economics concentration are a one-year course on the principles of economics and a demonstrated knowledge of intermediate economic analysis. For the economics concentration, ECON 601, 602, 612 and one or two other courses in economics are required. Unless stated otherwise, ECON 600 is the prerequisite for all other 600-level economics courses.

ECON 600 Policy Consequences of Economic Analysis Credits: 3

A course in political economy dealing with the implications and consequences for policy outcomes of different models of economic analysis and including an introduction to microeconomic theory. May not be counted toward the economics concentration.

ECON 601 Microeconomic Analysis Credits: 3

A course in microeconomic theory. The first part presents theories of optimization, consumer choice, production and cost, and the performance of competitive markets. These are used to define and analyze market failures and public policies deriving from monopoly, externalities, and imperfect information.

ECON 602 Macroeconomic Analysis Credits: 3

A course in macroeconomic theory. Topics include aggregate demand and consumption, money and inflation, rational expectations, wage rigidity and unemployment, budget deficits, investment and economic growth, and international trade. Static and dynamic models are applied to fiscal, monetary, and tax policy.

ECON 611 Analytical Methods in Economics Credits: 3

A study of analytical methods and their application to economic problems. Topics include linear, integer, and dynamic programming, input-output analysis, and other techniques.

ECON 612 Econometric Methods Credits: 3

An introduction to statistical methods and their application to economics. Topics include simple and multiple regressions, special techniques pertaining to time-series and cross-section studies, identification, estimation, and analysis of simultaneous equations models.

ECON 615 Economic Theory of Organizations Credits: 3

An economic analysis of the organization of resources for production in the private and public sectors of the economy. Neoclassical and revisionist theories of the firm and the bureau as the basic decision making units of each sector are examined. Particular emphasis is given to the effects on the decision making processes of the existence of markets and through theories of property rights (capital valuation, ownership, managerial control) and of the political environment (appropriations funding, consumer preferences exhibited through a system of representative government).

ECON 641 Economics of Government Policy Toward Business Credits: 3

A study of government regulation of the business sector. Topics include pollution controls, regulation of public utilities, antitrust laws and regulation, and other governmental regulation of business.

ECON 651 Economics of Human Resources Policy Credits: 3

A study of human resources in a broad sense. Topics include human capital and rates of return, economics of education, manpower economics, labor relations, and the economics of poverty and discrimination.

ECON 652 Economics of Health Credits: 3

This course is a general survey of the field of health economics. Topics to be covered include medical care price indices, analysis of the markets for insurance, physician services, hospital care and nurses, and discussion of current policy debates involving increased regulation versus increased competition to contain cost inflation.

ECON 661 Microeconomics of Public Finance Credits: 3

A study of the microeconomics of the public sector. Topics include the theory and the policy applications of federal, state, and local public finance and expenditures.

ECON 671 Macroeconomics of Government Policy Credits: 3

A study of monetary and fiscal policy from a macroeconomic perspective. Topics include money and capital markets, central banking, monetary theory, monetary policy, and fiscal policy. Prerequisite: ECON 602 or equivalent.

ECON 681 Economics of International Commercial Policy Credits: 3

A study of the economics of international trade, commerce, and finance. Topics include international trade theory and policy, international monetary arrangements, and analysis of customs unions. Prerequisites: ECON 601 and ECON 602, or equivalents.

ECON 691 Selected Topics in Economic Policy Credits: 3

Topics selected on the basis of the background and interests of the faculty member and students.

ECON 701 Individual Study in Economics Credits: 1-3

An independent reading course for master's level students. ECON 801 Individual Study in Economics Credits: 1-3

An independent reading course for doctoral students.

B. Political Science The political science concentration requires four or five courses in political science, including at least one of POLI 610, 612, and 615.

POLI 610 American Political Institutions and Public Policy Credits: 3

An examination of the public policy roles of political institutions. Special attention will be paid to the historic evolution of these roles, the current roles played, the public policy capacities of political institutions, and policy conflicts among institutions.

POLI 611 Maryland Politics and Intergovernmental Relations Credits: 3

A review of the intergovernmental policy process and the patterns of cooperation and conflict among national, state, and local governments. Emphasis will be placed upon the origin, production, and implementation of public policies within a federal system and the fashion in which this reflects basic political values.

POLI 612 Politics and Bureaucracy Credits: 3

This course analyzes the role of modern bureaucracies in creating public policy. It examines the controversy about the size and accountability of these bureaucracies and explores their relationships to political executives, legislatures, judicial agencies, parties, and pressure groups. Among the topics discussed are representativeness, merit systems, affirmative action, collective bargaining, and bureaucratic reform.

POLI 613 Developmental Administration Credits: 3

This course will consider how policy objectives and administrative structures interact with and adapt to cross-cultural situations. Cross-cultural situations are defined both in domestic American and foreign cultural terms.

POLI 614 Selected Topics in Public Policy Credits: 3

Topics selected on the basis of the background and interest of the faculty member and students.

POLI 615 The American Political Arena Credits: 3

This course examines the ways in which individual citizens interact with each other, and with interest groups, political parties, and governmental institutions, in order to achieve their goals. Special emphasis will be placed on the nature of American electoral institutions and their consequences for political behavior and public policy.

POLI 620 Community and Politics Credits: 3

This course is designed to sensitize administrators to community effects of their actions, patterns of community participation, new trends in community organization and action, and the citizen advisory functions of recent federal law. The basic aim is training in evaluating citizen input and citizen consequences for administrative action.

POLI 621 The Legal Context of Administration Credits: 3

Concepts, constraints, opportunities, and impact of the law relevant to administrators. Legal analysis, for non-lawyers, of public law and/or private law problems of administrators. The intended and actual social and political impact of administrators' law-related actions. Evaluations of the administrative process.

POLI 622 Dynamics of Personnel Administration Credits: 3

The course will emphasize labor-management relations and techniques middle managers employ in motivating subordinates. Special attention will be given to RIFs, collective bargaining in the public sector, and obligations of public employers toward their employees.

POLI 623 Governmental Budgeting Credits: 3

The budget as a means of financial control, management, and policy- making. The politics of the budgetary process.

POLI 624 Administrative Planning Theory and Forecasting Credits: 3

An in-depth examination of methods employed in planning a variety of governmental functions including health, education, and transportation.

POLI 625 Theories of Public Administration Credits: 3

An examination of the classic and contemporary literature on public administration. Some consideration of foreign models of public administration will be included.

POLI 626 American Judiciary and Public Policy Credits: 3

This course will illuminate the role of law and the potential or actual uses of the judicial process in sharing policy outcomes. It will also examine the increasing use of social science data and analytical tools by the courts. Case studies will examine the legal strategies government agencies and interest groups employ and the characteristics of judicial policy-making and management.

POLI 631 Constitutional Foundations Credits: 3

Examination of the critical constitutional doctrines of separation of powers, federalism, fiscal and commerce power and judicial review as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

POLI 632 Civil Rights Credits: 3

The civil rights of United States citizens. Problems of federalism and the applicability of the Bill of Rights to the states. Analysis of the meaning of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause in relation to discrimination.

POLI 633 First Amendment Freedoms Credits: 3

The freedoms of speech, press, religion, and assembly, as defined in important Supreme Court decisions. The problem of liberty vs. authority in a democratic regime. The competing theories of proper First Amendment interpretation by courts.

POLI 634 Judicial Process Credits: 3

Courts, judges, and politics. Attention will be focused on the elements of the judicial system: access to, and demands upon, the courts; processes of judicial decision making; judicial output; feedback; and the problem of judicial review in a democracy.

POLI 640 Health Law Credits: 3

An overview of the major legal issues confronting health professionals and policymakers. Subjects include liability, business associations, Medicare/Medicaid fraud and abuse, payment systems, antitrust, joint ventures, hospital privileges, and certificate of need.

POLI 643 Management of Health Institutions Credits: 3

An analysis of the special management problems of health institutions including political and regulatory contexts, financing, personnel, and ethical issues.

POLI 645 American Politics and Education Credits: 3

Examination of the way in which the political process creates and implements educational policy. Topics include school integration, students' rights and academic freedom, religion and education, federal legislation and regulation, politics of higher education, school finance, collective bargaining, urban school governance, and school decentralization.

POLI 646 The Politics of Poverty Credits: 3

Study of liberal, conservative, and radical views of the welfare state. How politics in Congress, the bureaucracy, interest groups, and federal-state relations affect the formulation and implementation of social welfare policies. Comparisons of American policies and politics with those of other nations.

POLI 648 Urban Politics Credits: 3

This is a survey course about urban and metropolitan politics. It will address such issues as urbanization and suburbanization, power and bias in urban America, structural issues of urban government, urban policies and policy-making, the management of urban areas, financing urban governments, and various contemporary urban political, social, economic, and environmental topics. The course is designed to provide students with a broad theoretical and practical understanding of urban politics, policy-making, and issues.

POLI 652 Politics of Health Credits: 3

An introduction to the context and processes of health policy in the United States, as well as to the dominant policy issues. Special attention will be devoted to the issues of health care financing and cost containment. Students will analyze the policy alternatives and decision making context of specific health issues of their own choice.

POLI 701 Individual Study in Political Science Credits: 1-3

Independent reading for doctoral students, supervised by a member of the political science faculty. Intended for students who desire to study independently an aspect of political science that is not covered by the regular course offerings.

POLI 801 Individual Study in Political Science Credits: 1-3

Independent reading for doctoral students, supervised by a member of the political science faculty. Intended for students who desire to study independently an aspect of political science not covered by the regular course offerings.

C. Sociology For the sociology concentration, SOCY 601 or 602 or 606 and two or three other courses in sociology are required.

SOCY 601 Formal Organization Theory Credits: 3

Theory and methods in the study of formal organizations, models of internal structure, decision making and the policy process, organizational interrelations and the larger society.

SOCY 602 Power and Policy Formation Credits: 3

This course examines the relationship between power and policy formation. It analyzes how power is manifested in dimensions of the social structure including social classes, class segments, and organizations; and how political coalitions emerge to exercise power and influence policy formation.

SOCY 603 The Management of Formal Organizations Credits: 3

This course is an examination of the internal structure of large private, public, and nonprofit organizations. Variations in structure are analyzed for their causes and consequences for organizational functioning. The role of management in designing organizational structures to achieve organizational goals is stressed.

SOCY 606 Social Inequality and Social Policy Credits: 3

This course will examine poverty and inequality in modern society. The focus will be on describing the extent of poverty and inequality, examining the theories that attempt to explain these phenomena, and discussing the policies that have been employed to mitigate them. In addition to class inequality the course will consider racial and sexual inequality.

SOCY 613 Community Organizational Systems Credits: 3

Community as an organizational network, role of public and private organizations in the community and its policy system, role of organizations in urban community action and urban redevelopment, organizational networks and changing community structure in the metropolitan environment, evaluation of policies and programs for community improvement and development.

SOCY 616 Selected Topics in Organizational Systems Credits: 3

Topics selected on the basis of the background and interests of the faculty member and students. See SOCIOLOGY, APPLIED program for more graduate courses in sociology.

Coded by Anthony Williams