So Many Topics, So Little Time: Why You Should Take Public Affairs 200

If you’re like me, when you look at the Course Guide everything sounds interesting. I want to learn about healthcare, politics, economics; the list goes on and on. PA 200: Contemporary Public Policy Issues with Professor Smeeding covers all of that and more, making it the perfect class for students with many interests.

Here are three reasons why:

Explore Different Topics

Before the class starts, you’ll be asked what areas of policy you’re already interested in and this input from students helps dictate the topics covered. Previous units include energy, gun control, education and more. This provides a broad overview of public policy and an opportunity to explore what interests you most. All of the topics are supplemented by current events and guest lectures, providing in-depth and interesting content.

Learn Practical Skills

The assignments in this class aren’t busywork, they’re opportunities for you to practice skills like writing an op-ed or testimonial. By the end of the semester, you will back up your arguments with facts, skim through dense texts, and understand research topics. These assignments apply to any field.

Easy to Schedule

Offered in both the fall and spring with no prerequisites, PA 200 fits into your schedule at any point. Each lecture has under 100 students, so you’ll get to engage with your fellow students and instructors throughout the course. As a bonus, the class counts as a requirement for the new Undergraduate Certificate in Public Policy, and gives you the resources to apply and continue learning about public affairs.


If you want to learn about issues in the US and practice concrete skills, this is the class for you. Sign up today!

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