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POLS410 - Public Policy

Course Details

Course Code: POLS410 Course ID: 3767 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

Analyzes the formulation and execution of public policy in America. Includes study of decision-making theory, bureaucratic politics and other models that seek to explain how policy is made. Issues explored include social, environmental, economic, homeland security, defense, and foreign policy. Additional issue areas may be covered depending on contemporary significance.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/22 - 11/04/22 11/07/22 - 01/01/23 Fall 2022 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/22 - 12/02/22 12/05/22 - 01/29/23 Fall 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

CO-1 Identify the essential actors in the formation of US public policy.

CO-2 Describe the historical evolution of major US public policy programs.

CO-3 Describe the relationship of federal and state/local governments in policy formation and execution.

CO-4 Explain the impact of past policy execution experiences on current policy debates.

CO-5 Explain contemporary government responses to demands for new public policies.

CO-6 Explain select bureaucratic institutions’ effectiveness in making, reforming, and executing policies.

CO-7 Explain the contemporary debate about critical present-day public policy challenges.

Grades for this course will be based upon three grading instruments: forum assignments, two essays, and a policy memo. There are six graded discussion questions that must be responded to in the forums. Students must post their response before looking at what their classmates submit onto the Forum. The student will also reply to the posting of at least three other students to be eligible to receive full discussion participation credit for all Forum assignments. In addition, students must complete two essays on policy and a final policy memo.

The grade scale and relative weighting for each evaluation tool is provided below:

Grade Instruments: % of Final Grade

Forum Discussion Assignments (6 @ 100 pts) 40%

First Essay 20%

Second Essay 20%

Policy Memo 20%


Submission of Assignments

Unless otherwise noted, all assignments are due by Sunday at 11:55pm Eastern Time with initial forum responses being due by Friday at 11:55pm Eastern Time. Any assignments submitted late will receive a deduction of 10% off the score each day it is late, unless the student contacts the instructor ahead of time about an extenuating situation and receives permission to submit work after the established deadline.

NameGrade %
Forums 40.00 %
Week 1 - Forum 6.67 %
Week 2 - Forum 6.67 %
Week 4 - Forum 6.67 %
Week 5 - Forum 6.67 %
Week 7 - Forum 6.67 %
Week 8 - Forum 6.67 %
Essays 40.00 %
Lobbying Essay 20.00 %
Use of Force Essay 20.00 %
Policy Memo 20.00 %
Policy Memo 20.00 %

  1. Public Policy in the United States, 5th Edition by Mark E. Rushefsky. eBook available through the APUS Online Library. Please visit and search by the course number (POLS410) to access your required resources.
  2. Instructor Lesson Notes
  3. Supplemental Web Sites
Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #.
Author: No Author Specified
Book Title:Public Policy in the United States, 6th ed - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Routledge Lib
Author:Rushefsky, Mark
Unit Cost:$75.95

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.