FAQs

1. Can I review the SOPA 200 course syllabus?
2. Can I use transfer credits to apply toward the major?
3. Can I use my AP Calculus courses to fulfill the SOPA calculus requirement?
4. Which courses do you recommend freshmen or others interested in the SOPA major to take first?
5. What courses fulfill the statistics requirement for the SOPA major?
6. What is the senior capstone requirement?  How do I pick a project?
7. What are potential career tracks and graduate school options for SOPA majors?

1. Can I review the SOPA 200 course syllabus?

Yes, please click here to download the SOPA 200 course syllabus.

2. Can I use transfer credits to apply toward the major?

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 faculty 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.

3. Can I use my AP Calculus courses to fulfill the SOPA calculus requirement?

Yes, AP calculus credit may be used to fulfill the SOPA calculus requirement.  Please schedule a meeting with the faculty director to discuss the major requirements.

4. Which courses do you recommend freshmen or others interested in the SOPA major to take first?

The introductory course for the major is SOPA 200. This course provides a survey of social policy and introduces students to the interdisciplinary building blocks of the major.  We recommend taking this course in the first or second semester. Other courses to take in the first year include POLI 201, ECON 100, MATH 101/102, or one of the 200- or 300-level courses under the SOPA areas of specialization.

5. What courses fulfill the statistics requirement for the SOPA major?

Currently we accept: SOSC 302, STAT 310/ECON 307, or STAT 315/DSCI 301

6. What is the senior capstone requirement?  How do I pick a project?

The capstone research seminar is a two semester course taken in the senior year. In the fall semester, students will be assigned to a capstone project based on their interests and will work on research teams under the direction of a faculty member who is responsible for the project. In the spring semester students will continue to work with their research teams or they can focus on exclusively writing their final project.

Example capstone projects: 

  • Re-entry Interventions for Veterans.
  • Evaluating Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in 11 Area School Districts
  • Evaluating the Roll-Out of an Early Childhood Language Acquisition Program

7. What are potential career tracks and graduate school options for SOPA majors?

Social Policy Analysis majors will be prepared for a variety of roles in public policy, government, political lobbying, non-profits, education, community development, and social welfare and advocacy organizations.  Graduate study in law, policy studies, education, public affairs, and political management are some areas that may appeal to a SOPA major.