Course Waivers

Student Services
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

280 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Students may request a waiver of either a core course or a concentration course if they believe they previously have studied that material at a comparable level. Waiving a course does not reduce the number of credits required for the graduate degree or certificate but allows the student to add elective or concentration credits in place of the waived credits. Students must provide evidence of comparable course content in the waiver request. Waivers typically are granted for courses taken prior to matriculation at the Humphrey School and not for comparable courses taken after a student has matriculated.

Processes and procedures to waive particular core courses:

Expand all

PA 5012 -- Politics of Public Affairs

PA 5012 -- Politics of Public Affairs -- is designed to serve as a graduate-level politics course that operates in dialogue with, and provides an alternative perspective for, the other courses taken in the major degree programs of the Humphrey School. The course is not designed to survey the field of political science or to summarize the key theories and findings that a student might encounter as an undergraduate political science major. As a course focused on critical analytic skills, PA 5012 is also not designed to convey the sorts of experiences and lessons that one might accumulate as a practitioner whose work focuses on the politics of public policy. For these reasons, waivers for PA 5012 cannot be granted on the basis of undergraduate coursework in political science or professional experiences with policy and politics.

In cases where students have completed one or more graduate-level courses focused on the politics of public policy or the politics of public affairs, please submit a waiver request to professor Larry Jacobs, [email protected]

The waiver should include:

  • Course Waiver Request form (print, fill out relevant sections)
  • Copy of your graduate transcript(s) with relevant coursework highlighted. An unofficial copy is acceptable.
  • Syllabus for the previous course(s) you took. This is the most useful information for considering your waiver request. A current syllabus for the same course (often available online) is generally acceptable if your original is no longer available.

PA 5021 -- Economics for Policy Analysis and Planning I

Step 1: Review the syllabus for PA 5021.

It is likely that you will be able to waive this course if:

  • You have taken intermediate/advanced (not intro) college economics course(s)
  • You received a B or better in the course(s)
  • The course(s) covered most if not all the subject matter in the PA 5021 syllabus referenced above
  • One of the following texts was used in the previous course(s)
    • B. Douglas Bernheim and Michael D. Whinston, Microeconomics, McGraw-Hill
    • David Besanko and Ronald Braeutigam , Microeconomics, Wiley
    • Robert Frank, Microeconomics and Behavior, McGraw-Hill
    • Michael L. Katz and Harvey Rosen, Microeconomics, Irwin McGraw-Hill
    • Walter Nicholson and Christopher Snyder, Intermediate Microeconomics, Southwestern
    • Geoffrey Perloff, Microeconomics, Pearson
    • Robert Pindyck and Daniel Rubinfeld Microeconomics, Prentice-Hall
    • Hal R. Varian, Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach, Norton

Step 2: Process for requesting a waiver

If the textbook used is listed above, contact Humphrey Student Services ([email protected]) to evaluate your waiver request. Please provide the following:

  • Copy of your undergraduate transcript(s) with relevant economics courses highlighted. An unofficial copy is acceptable.
  • Syllabus for the economics course(s) you took. This is the most useful information for considering your waiver request. A current syllabus for the same course (often available online) is generally acceptable if your original is no longer available.

Student Services will conduct an initial review and consult faculty as necessary.

If the textbook used is not listed above, request a meeting with Dr. Maria Hanratty ([email protected]) to evaluate your waiver request. Please provide the following:

  • Course Waiver Request form (print, fill out relevant sections)
  • Copy of your undergraduate transcript(s) with relevant economics courses highlighted. An unofficial copy is acceptable.
  • Syllabus for the economics course(s) you took. This is the most useful information for considering your waiver request. A current syllabus for the same course (often available online) is generally acceptable if you no longer have yours.
  • A copy of the textbook used in your previous coursework. If you no longer have your original textbook, many libraries have copies available to borrow.

PA 5031 -- Empirical Analysis

Step 1: Review the syllabus for PA 5031

It is likely that you will be able to waive this course if:

  • You have taken a college statistics or econometrics course
  • You received a B or better
  • The course covered most if not all of the subject matter in the PA 5031 syllabus referenced above, including:
    • Description of data
    • Probability theory
    • Causal inference
    • Linear regression
    • Use of statistical software (e.g., Stata, SPSS, Minitab) to analyze data
    • Exposure to multivariate regression
    • Using cross-tabulations to produce tables

Important notes about the topics above:

  • Statistical software -- If a student has background in everything except hands-on experience using a statistical package, permission may be granted for him/her to attend the same lab every week and take the Stata quiz at the end of the semester to show proficiency in hands-on analysis without actually registering in the 4-credit PA 5031 course.
  • Linear regression -- If a person has background in everything except regression, permission may be granted for him/her to sit in on lecture and lab sessions concerning regression, then take an oral/written exam to show proficiency in regression basics.

Step 2: Process for requesting a waiver

Contact Humphrey Student Services ([email protected]) to evaluate your waiver request. Please provide the following:

  • Copy of your undergraduate transcript(s) with relevant coursework highlighted. An unofficial copy is acceptable.
  • Syllabus for the previous course(s) you took. This is the most useful information for considering your waiver request. A current syllabus for the same course (often available online) is generally acceptable if your original is no longer available.

Humphrey Student Services will conduct an initial review and consult faculty as necessary.

Other Course Waivers

Very rarely, core courses other than PA 5012, 5021, or 5031 may be waived. To request a waiver for courses other than PA 5021 or PA 5031, contact the course instructor with this information:

  • Course Waiver Request form (print, fill out relevant sections)
  • Copy of your undergraduate transcript(s) with relevant course(s) highlighted. An unofficial copy is acceptable.
  • Syllabus for the course(s) you took. This is the most useful information for considering your waiver request. A current syllabus for the same course (often available online) is generally acceptable if you no longer have yours