Introduction to Social Policy – PLCY 850

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

This course requires students to research the basic contours of their chosen policy cognate. Students will work with their faculty member to understand the scope, history, controversial issues, and key policy outcomes associated with this cognate. This research will serve as a stepping stone to conducing a comprehensive literature review for their dissertation, and provide the needed context to ensure that the student's chosen dissertation topic is focused and appropriate.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course is a necessary first step in the research required for the dissertation process.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze classic and current literature dealing with social policy.
  2. Identify the classic and current literature dealing with the student’s chosen policy concentration.
  3. Synthesize the literature on the chosen topic.
  4. Recommend new research questions based on the current state of the literature on the student’s chosen topic.
  5. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the basics of scientific inquiry.

Course Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be 450-500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200-250 words. Each thread and reply must utilize at least 3 scholarly sources (7–8 for the threads for Discussion: Rights and Social Welfare and Discussion: What is Poverty?).

The student will choose at least 8 peer-reviewed articles regarding a specific policy in the module’s readings. The student will then summarize each article in 150-300 words (for a total of 1200-3000 words). All citations must conform to current Turabian formatting. These assignments will comprise a synthesis of current topics in social policy.