Degree Requirements

Completion of the Social Policy Analysis major requires a minimum of 42 hours. The core curriculum includes five foundation courses that will provide students with the theoretical foundations and analytic tools they need to successfully study the complex and multifaceted nature of social problems and social policy. The core also includes six advanced courses where students apply these skills to design, conduct, and evaluate social policy research and analysis. The major culminates in the completion of a required capstone project.

Foundation Courses (18/19 hours):

  • POLI 210 – Introduction to American Government
  • SOPA 200 – Approaches to Social Policy
  • ECON 100 – Principles of Economics
  • A Quantitative Methods course. Select one of the following:
    • SOSC 302 – Social Sciences Quantitative Methods
    • STAT 315/DSCI 301 – Probability and Statistics for Data Science
    • STAT 310 – Probability and Statistics
    • STAT 305 – Intro Statistics for BioSciencs
  • SOPA 309 – Applied Econometrics for Policy Evaluation (can also take: ECON 209 – Applied Econometrics)
  • POLI 338/SOSC 301 – Policy Analysis

Areas of Specialization (15 hours)

The major includes 15 hours of coursework in three core areas of social policy: groups and identities, institutions, and policy processes and outcomes. As the substantive body of the Social Policy Analysis major, these courses provide students with an understanding of social problems, institutions, and the processes and outcomes of social policy. Students are required to take at least one course in each of the three areas of specialization, and a total of 15 hours, from the list of approved courses or with the approval of the major adviser.

Advanced Courses (Required):

  • SOPA 400 – Capstone Research Seminar I (fall)
  • SOPA 401 – Capstone Research Seminar II (spring)

Transfer Credit

In some cases, transfer credit may be awarded for courses completed at other schools after the student has matriculated at Rice. Requests for transfer credits will be considered by the director on an individual basis. However, all students should keep in mind the university’s policies on graduation requirements, and transfer credit, including the requirement that students must complete more than half of their upper-level major work at Rice