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Social Policy Graduate Certificate

The Department of Political Science offers a graduate certificate in Social Policy to students currently admitted to a graduate degree program at Purdue who wish to add an interdisciplinary credential policy to their degree. This certificate seeks to meet this need by giving each student some knowledge of the context, content, and methods required for meaningful policy analysis in the area of social policy.

Professionals and researchers working on social challenges often must work closely with policymakers or the policy process. Various public and private employers are often looking for scientists and researchers with some familiarity with the policy making process. In response, students working on these issues may be interested in a series of courses to give them a basic understanding of the environmental policy process as part of their graduate study.

This certificate is offered at the graduate level only, not the post-baccalaureate level.


Admission Criteria

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0/4.0 with the possibility of conditional admission for applicants who do not meet this requirement.

Minimum TOEFL score of 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 77 or higher on the Internet-based test (iBT) for applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants who take the TOEFL IBT must achieve the following minimum test scores, in addition to the overall score of at least 77: reading, 19; listening, 14; speaking, 18; and writing, 18. Applicants taking the IELTS must score at least 6.5 on the Academic Module. Applicants taking the PTE must score at least 58.


Admission Process

The admission process will parallel that for degree-seeking students at the graduate level.

All applicants to the Social Policy Graduate Certificate Program must complete and submit the on-line application through our Graduate School at:

Applicants will be required to pay the application fee at the time of application.

In addition, applicants must provide a current Purdue transcript OR indicate “YES” on the application where it says “I consent and authorize Purdue University faculty and/or staff to access my Purdue University academic record for university business.” 

The graduate certificate will be selected in the Program Details section of the application.

  • Your Selected Campus: West Lafayette (Main Campus)
  • Your Selected Graduate Major: Political Science
  • Select a Degree Objective (Based on your Program selection): Social Policy Graduate Certificate

Students from outside of Political Science must also provide a completed G.S. Form 18, Dual Graduate Program Request, signed by the applicant and the Head of the applicant’s home department.

All application materials must be received by: August 1 (for Fall admission) and December 1 (for Spring admission). Students may apply at any time prior to, during, or after completion of the course requirements, but no later than August 1 to qualify for a December certificate or December 1 to qualify for a May certificate.



Students will take four required courses in three areas for a total number of 12 required credits. Course offerings are subject to change. Specific course requirements are as follows:


ONE Required Course on the Policy Process:
POL 620 – ProSeminar in Public Policy, or approved substitute.


ONE Required Course in Policy Analysis Tools:
AGEC 60800 – Benefit-Cost Analysis
STAT 50200 – Experimental Statistics II
STAT 51200 – Applied Regression Analysis
STAT 51300 – Statistical Quality Control
POL 60500 – Research Design Methods {Spring 2018, 2019, 2020}
POL 60600 – Advanced Quantitative Methodology {Fall 2018, 2019, 2020}
POL 69300 – Dynamics of Social, Ecological, and Technological Systems
SOC 58100 – Methods of Social Research II
SOC 68000 – Advanced Social Research Methods


TWO Substantive courses: Any of the following courses or approved substitutes:
POL 622 – Research Seminars in Comparative Social Policy
POL 520 – Gender, Race, Class and Public Policy
POL 524 – Family Policy
AGEC 596C – The Economics of Health Care and Health Policy
CDFS 685F – Families and Health
COM 618C – Evaluating Health Campaigns
HK 688 – Health Policy in the United States
HSCI 590B – Public Health Law and Policy
NUR 632 – Health Policy: Local to Global
SOC 572 – Comparative Healthcare Systems
SOC 573 – The Human Side of Medicine
SOC 574 – The Social Organization of Healthcare