Certificate of Graduate Study in Social Policy Analysis

The Certificate of Graduate Study in Social Policy Analysis is designed for social service professionals, children's advocates, teachers, justice system personnel, union and community organizers, policy analysts, policy makers, political activists, planners, and others seeking a better understanding of the intersections between economics, social justice theory, and social policy analysis.

Social policy analysis uses the tools and analytic methods of public policy analysis to evaluate policy options for solving social problems, such as:

  • Poverty
  • Hunger and disease
  • Unemployment and under-employment
  • Delinquency and crime
  • Discrimination
  • Violence

In addition to addressing questions of economic efficiency and social justice, certificate courses also examine the impact broader social, economic, and political forces have upon various groups, particularly disadvantaged and at-risk populations.

The certificate is a stand-alone credential, or up to 12 credits may be transferred into the Master's in Policy, Planning and Management degree program.



Students must take four courses (12 credits) from among the following courses in the graduate programs at the Muskie School. If students have not previously completed an introductory-level microeconomics course (or equivalent), at the undergraduate or graduate level, they will be required to complete an undergraduate microeconomics course or PPM 611 Economics and Public Policy as part of the certificate.

Required Courses (6 credits)

  • PPM 521 Social Justice Theory Policy and Planning
  • PPM 610 Governance, Democracy, and Policymaking

Select two additional courses (6 credits) from the following:

  • CPD 552 Intro to Community Development
  • CPD 502 Sustainable Communities and Sustainable Development
  • CPD 672 Food Policy and Planning
  • MPH 525 American Health System
  • MPH 660 Public Health Policy
  • MPH 565 Social and Behavioral Health
  • PPM 611 Economics for Policy, Planning, and Management
  • PPM 620 Introduction to Policy Analysis
  • PPM 622 Applied Policy Analysis

Visit USM Graduate Admissions for information on the graduate certificate program application process.





New Publications

What's New?

Building Bridges Beyond the Quadrangle: The CAO and the External Community
(Book chapter by Mark Lapping in: Martin J, Samuels JE, eds. The Provost's Handbook: The Role of the Chief Academic Officer. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2015:200-206.)

Health Data and Financing and Delivery System Reform: Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty? (Issue Brief by Barbara Shaw, Andy Coburn, Kimberley Fox, Andrea Gerstenberger, and Barbara Leonard)

New Jersey's Manage by Data Program: Changing Culture and Capacity to Improve Outcomes(Report by David Lambert and Julie Atkins).

Rural Implications of Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act. (Issue Brief by Erika Ziller, Jennifer Lenardson, and Andy Coburn).

Safety of Rural Nursing Home-to-Emergency Department Transfers: Improving Communication and Patient Information Sharing across Settings. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 37(1), 55-65. (Authors: Judy Tupper, Carolyn Gray, Karen Pearson, and Andy Coburn).

Connect With Us