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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences


FOCUS courses allow a student to develop understanding of a particular area of policy or additional skills relevant to public policy.  All students take Applied Research and Bibliography in Public Policy (PUBPOL 6208, 3 hrs) in which they work on a major research paper relevant to their focus area. Students choose an additional nine hours of instruction (usually three courses) in areas of interest to them.  Students may define their focus areas freely with the guidance of the faculty.  Focus areas which have been of interest to students are listed below.  Lists of courses are illustrative and not exhaustive; some courses may have prerequisites or require the consent of the instructor.  Each semester departments that contribute to the Program may offer Topical Research Seminars on topics of interest to students and faculty.  These may be chosen as part of a student's focus.


a.  GERONTOLOGY examines social, psychological and policy aspects of aging.                                            

Families and Aging (FAM SERV 5150)

Psychology of Aging (PSYCH 5204)

Aging & Health (HPE 5125)

Human Diseases (HPE 5663)

Social Services for the Aged (SW 5173)

Long Term Care Administration (GERO 5170)


b.   ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY includes a wide range of approaches to studying the interaction of society and environment.  Among the courses which may be selected are the following.

Topical Research Seminars


Ecology (BIOL 5168)

Environmental Geology (EARTH SCI 5345)

Environmental Economics (ECON 5225)                                              

Aerial Photo Interpretation and Photogrammetry (GEOG 5330)

Regional Analysis & Planning (GEOG 5170)

Environmental and Occupational (ENV SCI 5666)

Environmental Health Science (ENV SCI 5665)

Remote Sensing of the Environment (GEOG 5370)


c.   HEALTH POLICY includes interdisciplinary approaches to health problems and policies. 

Public Heath/Health Promotion Evaluation (HPE 5485, 3 hrs.)

Minority Health (HPE 5247, 2 hrs.)

Introduction to Women’s Health (HPE 5162, 3 hrs.)

Human Diseases (HPE 5663, 3 hrs.)

Heath Advocacy, Social Action and Policy Development (HPE 5378, 3 hrs.)

Epidemiology (HPE 6393, 3 hrs.)

Social Services for the Aged  (SW 5173, 3 hrs.)

Child Welfare Policy and Practice (SW 5175, 3 hrs.)

Community & Organizational Practice (SW 5196, 3 hrs.)

Mental Deviance and Mental Health Institutions (SW 5121, 3 hrs.)

Addictions Treatment (SW 5171, 3 hrs.)


d.   ORGANIZATIONAL POLICY is an area concerned with analyzing the management and operations of public institutions.  Among the relevant courses are the following:

Topical Research Seminars


Managerial Economics (ECON 6520)

Lower Economics (ECON 5231)

Personnel Psychology (PSYCH 5305)

Organizational Psychology (PSYCH 5304)

Seminar in Public Administration (POL AMER 5188)                      


e.   A Focus on LOCAL GOVERNMENT surveys the activities typically provided at the local level in the U.S.  Relevant courses include the following:

Topical Research Seminars


Geographical Information Systems II (GEOG 5320)

Urban & Regional Economics (ECON 5253)

Regional Analysis & Planning (GEOG 5170)

Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector (ED LEAD 7354)

Restoration Ecology (BIOL 5180)

Human Services Administration (SW 5172)                         

Social Gerontology (SOC 5035)

The City in U.S. History (HISUS 5255)


f.    HUMAN SERVICES focuses on the range of public activities designed principally to aid individuals and families.  Relevant courses include the following:

Topical Research Seminars


Social Policies & Issues (SW 5144)

Problems in Juvenile & Family Law (POL AMER 5142)

Social Gerontology (SOC 5035)

Child Welfare Policy & Practice (SW 5175)

Social Services for the Aged (SW 5173)

Human Behavior and the Social Environment (SW 5164)

Addictions Treatment (SW 5171)


g.    Focusing on CRIMINAL JUSTICE draws heavily on the offerings of the Criminology Program.

Topical Research Seminars


Problems in Juvenile & Family Law (POL AMER 5142)

Topics in Criminology (CRIM 5381)

Drugs, Crime and Society (CRIM 5369)

Crime, Law and Justice:  A Global Perspective (CRIM 5262)

Crime and Public Policy (CRIM 5253)

Homicide (CRIM 5137)

Women, Crime and Society (CRIM 5331)

Crime and Punishment (CRIM 5226)

Law and Society  (CRIM 5228)

Victimology (CRIM 5319)

Youth Gangs (CRIM 5122)

Correctional Treatment:  Theory and Practice (CRIM 5216)

Social Deviance and Control (CRIM 5323)

State Crime (CRIM 5110)

Sociology of an International Community (CRIM 5344)

Police and Society (CRIM 5224)


h.   INTERNATIONAL POLICY is an area concerned with analyzing public policies in a global context, looking at the process and effects of international policy making.

Politics of the Global Economy (POL INTL 5119)

North-South Relations (POL INTL 5125)

International Economics (ECON 5245)

International Financial Economics (ECON 5261)


i.  WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES.  Students completing this focus area will also receive a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies.


Required Core (3 hours):

Graduate Seminar in Women’s & Gender Studies:  Comparative Feminist Theories (WGS 6289, 3 hrs)  OR

Feminist Theories in the Social Sciences (SOC 5071, 3hrs)   OR

Feminist Literary Theories and Practices (ENGLISH 6120, 3hrs)   OR

Critical Perspectives on Gender (PHIL 6010, 3 hrs)


Electives (9 hours):

You must choose one course from the social science category, one course from the humanities category and one course from Social Sciences, Humanities or the experiential category.


Social Sciences:

Current Approaches to Multicultural Education  (EDPSYCH 5188, 3 hrs)

Dress and Human Behavior (TEXDSGN 5015, 3hrs)

Selected Topics in Women’s Health (HPE 5328, 3 hrs)

Introduction to Women’s Health (HPE 5162, 3 hrs)

Problems in Juvenile and Family Law (POL AMER 5142, 3 hrs)

United States Women’s History (HISUS 5260, 3 hrs)

Modern European Women’s History (HISEUB 5690, 3 hrs)

Social Inequality (SOC 5045, 3hrs)

Violence in Intimate Relationships (FAM SERV 5145, 3 hrs)

Feminist Theories in the Social Sciences (SOC 5071, 3hrs)

Women, Crime and Society (CRIM 5331, 3 hrs)



Performance and Social Change (COMM 5447)

Social Protest:  Performance and Rhetoric (COMM 5446, 3 hrs)

Gender Issues in Communication (COMM 5346, 3 hrs)

Images of Women in Literature (ENGLISH 5120, 3 hrs)

Feminist Literary Theories and Practices (ENGLISH 6120, 3 rs)

Women and Christianity (RELS 5150, 3 hrs)

Religion and Sexuality (RELS 5170, 3 hrs)

Black Women in America: Challenge, Spirit, Survival (HUM 5160, 3 hrs)

Graduate Seminar in Women's & Gender Studies:  Comparative Feminist Theories (WGS 6289, 3 hrs)

Critical Perspectives on Gender  (PHIL 6010, 3 hrs)



Internship in Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS 5195, 3 hrs)

Experiential application of theory and scholarship.  Responsibilities determined by faculty advisor, on-site supervisor and student, according to organizational needs and career goals.