Want to learn more about the worlds of public policy, civic engagement, and public affairs as an undergrad? Check out our undergraduate course offerings below! Full course information can be found at ClassInfo.
PA 1401: Public Affairs: Organizing for the Public Good (3 credits)
Schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:15–9:30 a.m.
Instructor: Dennis Donovan, National Organizer, Public Achievement
Hands-on introduction for students wanting to develop skills, confidence, and knowledge to make change as citizen professionals. It acquaints students with hopeful examples of successful citizen organizers and organizations working to tackle tough public problems, from racism to teen pregnancy, failing schools to environmental degradation. Students will gain practical skills such as thinking politically, building public relationships, understanding diverse self-interests, mapping power, and knowing about the culture, history and social networks needed to make change.
PA 3003 – Nonprofit and Public Financial Management (3 credits)
Schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:45–11:00 a.m. - REMOTE
Instructor: Camila Fonseca Sarmiento is a research associate at the Institute for Urban and Regional Infrastructure Finance, where she is engaged with research related to evaluating economic impacts of policies and public budgeting and finance.
Concepts/tools for project/budget planning. Program analysis. Interpreting financial reports. Identifying/resolving organizational performance issues. Case studies, real-world exercises.
PA 4101 – Nonprofit Management and Governance (3 credits)
Schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00–2:15 p.m.
Instructor: Ahmad Banamah is a fourth-year PhD candidate at the Humphrey School studying Nonprofit Management, Governance, and Leadership
This course explores the theories, concepts, and some real-world examples of how to manage nonprofit organizations. Students will study governance systems, strategic management practices, the effects of different funding environments, and management of multiple constituencies.
PA 4790 – Climate Policy and Energy - Policy and the Path to Carbon Neutrality (3 credits)
Schedule: Thursdays, 4:00–6:45 p.m.
Instructor: Fred Rose is an adjunct lecturer for the Humphrey School and for the Grand Challenge Curriculum. He was recently the manager for the Impact Goal strategy at the Institute on the Environment.
This course will investigate climate change policy from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, emphasizing economic logic, ethical principles, and institutional feasibility. It will focus on the energy transition, particularly in MN, as a way to provide context and action to the course. Students will have the opportunity to develop deep knowledge of climate change with respect to the energy transition to an economy with fewer carbon emissions, through a team final project. This class will be connected to a cohort of funded students called Energy transition leaders
PA 3972 – Elections and the Law (2 credits)
A thorough examination of election laws at the federal, state, and local level and how they guide the conduct of elections by officials and voters alike. Theories and basic structure of the American legal system. Experience with basic tools and skills for using the law to understand and analyze issues facing election administrators across the nation. Use of election-related and non-election related materials to prepare election administrators for interacting with counsel, legislators and the courts in carrying out their responsibilities
PA 3975 – Election Design (2 credits)
Instructor: Whitney Quesenbery, Executive Director, Center for Civic Design
An innovative course on design principles and how they are used in election administration. Through small, weekly assignments, students learn and practice new skills in plain language, design, and usability with real election materials.
PA 3976 – Voter Participation (1 credit)
Schedule: 2nd term
Instructor: Astrid Ochoa, Executive Director of Future of California Elections
This course investigates the patterns and history of voter participation and practical steps to increase voter turnout.
PA 3984 – Elections Security: How to Protect America’s Elections (2 credit)
Schedule: 1st term
This course examines tools and best practices that help protect election technology, guard against influence efforts, and assure public confidence in election outcomes. This class uses the Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election as a case study to identify the vulnerabilities of US elections (especially state voter registration databases) as well as catalogue new protections. Readings and discussion will focus on best practices and technology options available to the public (social media) and elections professionals (cybersecurity) in guarding against future influence efforts and assuring public confidence in election outcomes.