Public Policy (PUBP)

Brinck Kerr
428 Old Main

Valerie H. Hunt
Associate Director
213 Gearhart Hall

Public Policy Website 

Degree Conferred:
Ph.D. in Public Policy (PUBP)

Program Description: This interdisciplinary policy program has a strong emphasis on public affairs and will train policy leaders to directly address the policy issues of the people of Arkansas, the region, and the nation. The program provides a vehicle for the consideration of policy issues by students, faculty, and the larger community. Therefore, students and faculty will participate in colloquia, projects, and research that contribute to successful public policy. Leadership and administrative skills are included in the course of study, along with a strong emphasis on policy analysis that recognizes the complex nature of policy problems. Such an analytical approach will prepare students for work with governmental, educational, professional, and private sector experts who must cooperate in shaping public policy.

Primary Areas of Faculty Research: Faculty research areas include agricultural policy, community development and recreation policy, education policy,  family policy, health policy, policy studies in aging, and public policy management, among others. Students interested in other areas policy should contact the program.


PUBP 60001. Pro-Seminar. 1 Hour.

An introduction to the field of public policy and to the program. The seminar will address topics such as the meaning of public policy, policy research, the dissertation process, and particular issues of public policy concern. Prerequisite: Admission to program. (Typically offered: Fall)

PUBP 60103. Theories of Public Policy. 3 Hours.

This seminar introduces doctoral students to the major concepts, frameworks, and theories of public policy. Emphasis is on the usefulness and limitations of these frameworks and theories in empirical research. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PUBP 60203. Law and Public Policy. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the legal aspects of public policy, with emphasis on the regulatory process and its legal constraints. Also considered are the process of administrative decision making, judicial review, legislative oversight, and public access to government information. (Typically offered: Spring)

PUBP 60303. Community Development Policy and Practice. 3 Hours.

This course examines multiple community development definitions, the community capitals framework as well as theories, conceptual frameworks and processes and how these are linked, both historically and currently, to broad-based US public policy and specifically, housing and workforce development policies. (Typically offered: Summer)

PUBP 6040V. Special Topics in Public Policy. 1-6 Hour.

Designed to cover specialized topics not usually presented in depth in regular courses. (Typically offered: Irregular) May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

PUBP 61003. Policy Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation. 3 Hours.

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the relationship between policy, public administration, and organizations in the community. Stakeholder groups will be considered as part of the newer approaches to practice-driven scholarship. The class will examine innovative approaches to decision making, strategic management and policy leadership in complex interorganizational and interagency settings. (Typically offered: Irregular)

PUBP 61103. Agenda Setting and Policy Formulation. 3 Hours.

Introduces agenda and policy formation focusing on the classic theoretical and empirical literature. The course is designed to introduce graduate students to a variety of theories typologies, concepts, and ideas relating to the study of public policy. (Typically offered: Fall)

PUBP 6120V. Research Problems in Policy. 1-6 Hour.

Research problems. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer) May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

PUBP 61304. Capstone Seminar in Public Policy. 4 Hours.

This course is intended to integrate various policy interests in a specific community based project. Prerequisite: Instructor permission required. (Typically offered: Fall and Spring)

PUBP 7000V. Doctoral Dissertation. 1-18 Hour.

Doctoral dissertation. Prerequisite: Candidacy. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer) May be repeated for degree credit.