Data Science and Public Policy
The study of public policy at UNC offers students the opportunity to examine data through both empirical and ethical lenses. First, several core courses in the major equip students with the skills necessary to use data to (a) characterize social, economic, and political phenomena in policy-relevant ways; and (b) design research studies focused on testing hypotheses about the relationship between policies and programs and measures of well-being, such as health, inequality, and educational attainment. Second, public policy majors interrogate the ethical use of data and evidence in policy debates.
PLCY 340 – Justice in Public Policy
PLCY 210 – Policy Analysis and Innovation
Honors thesesVisit Department Site
These courses have been identified as relevant to Data Science and will allow you to practice skills learned in the minor for your course of study. These courses cannot be used as electives for the Data Science minor.
Application of statistical techniques, including regression analysis, in public policy program evaluation, research design, and data collection and management. Honors version available
To introduce advanced undergraduates and graduate students to the three basic purposes of data science: to describe the social world, to make predictions for policy planning, and to establish causal relationships. The focus of the course will be on examples and applications rather than statistical and mathematical foundations, but will require hands-on computer programming and data analysis.
Requisites: Prerequisite, PLCY 460, or equivalent.
Students will explore the scientific method as applied to policy research. They will formulate testable policy research questions, become familiar with methods for conducting policy research, and learn to think critically about causal inference. Honors version available
Requisites: Pre- or corequisite, PLCY 460.