Politics, Public Policy & Law Track
The late Tip O'Neill, Boston congressman and speaker of the US House of Representatives, was fond of saying that all politics is local—and there is no more interesting mix of local, state, and national politics than in Boston. As the urban hub of the metropolitan region and as the state capital of Massachusetts, Boston plays a major role in local and state politics. It is also the center of federal government for New England, home to numerous federal agencies, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the First District of the Federal Reserve.
Through courses in areas such as international economics, public policy, political analysis and activism, international relations, and diplomacy, you'll prepare for internships at government agencies, think tanks, lobbying organizations, and PR firms, among others.
Summer 1: The Academic Phase
You'll spend your first six weeks of the Summer Study Internship Program taking two 4-credit courses chosen from offerings in politics and public policy.
CAS PH 160 Reasoning and Argumentation
A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, calculated to enhance students' actual reasoning skills, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent M, T, R 1:30 PM-4:00 PM Wu CAS B06A
CAS PO 111 Introduction to American Politics
Undergraduate core course. Study of the national political structure; emphasis on Congress, the executive, administrative agencies, and the judiciary. Relations between formal institutions, parties, and interest groups. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Sklar COM 213
CAS PO 141 Introduction to Public Policy
Undergraduate core course. Analysis of several issue areas: civil rights, school desegregation, welfare and social policy, education and urban housing, energy, and the environment. Characteristics of policy systems in each issue area are analyzed to identify factors which may affect the content and implementation of public policies. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent M, W 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Tekinirk CAS B06B
CAS SO 244 Urban Sociology
An analysis of cities and urban phenomena in preindustrial, industrial, and postindustrial societies with an emphasis on European and U.S. urbanization. A comparison of social scientific theories used to explain urban dynamics, processes, and policies. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Brown-saraci SOC 241
COM CM 311 Professional Presentations
Introduces students to theories and skills of effective public address through an intensive battery of practical public speaking assignments. Course topics include clear, reasoned organization of messages; effective use of evidence; audience analysis and adaptation; skilled verbal, nonverbal, and audio/visual delivery; group communication; principles of persuasion and argument; critical listening and evaluation of public address. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Downes COM 109
QST LA 245 Introduction to Law
Provides a broad overview of the American judicial system and fundamental legal issues. Examines dispute resolution, torts, contracts, criminal law, business organizations, employment law, intellectual property, and international law. The goal is to understand not only the basic rules of law but also the underlying social policies and ethical dilemmas. 4 cr.
Prereq: Sophomore standing.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Howell HAR 306 SA2 Independent M, W 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Chang HAR 220
QST LA 360 Real Estate Law
Real estate can generate spectacular wealth and contribute to unprecedented financial losses. Real estate is an essential component of every business that requires a physical location to operate. Real estate is where we sleep, where we attend school, where we work, where we play, where we go when we are sick - it quite literally is beneath everything we do. Every real estate transaction begins and ends with legal principles. Mastering the basics of property law puts one in a superior position. Knowledge of real estate law is imperative for those who plan to invest in or manage property on a larger scale. This course provides an overview of real estate law for tenants, present and future property owners, developers, investors, and public policy advocates. Students examine the nature of real property and property ownership, residential and commercial real estate transactions, and selected issues of real estate development. 4 cr.
Prereq: QST LA245
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Powers HAR 302
SED SE 512 Special Education: Students with Disabilities and the Law
Students develop an understanding of the core concepts of United States public policy related to the provision of special education and related services to students with disabilities. Particular attention is paid to the historical context, precedent. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent M, W 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Rossetti SHA 206
CAS PO 307 Public Opinion and Electoral Politics
Determinants and consequences of public opinion in the American political system. Social, psychological, and economic influences on opinion formation; role of mass media, parties, and interest groups. Public and private propaganda. Measurement of opinion; sampling techniques; interviewing; data analysis. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PO 111.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Piston CAS 315
Summer 2: The Internship Phase
For the second six weeks of the program, you'll be placed as an intern in a Boston-area organization or business that matches your interests and experience. You should expect to work five days a week for a minimum of 35 hours. Most internships are unpaid.
Politics, Public Policy & Law Internship Opportunities
Internship placement sites in past years have included state, local, and federal government agencies, legal centers and law organizations, international agencies and organizations, think tanks, lobbying organizations and political action groups, and political parties.
- Internship placement for 35 hours a week
- Internship matches are based on your interests, abilities, and experience
- All internship sites are accessible by public transportation
- Visit our Placement Process page for additional information
Summer Study Internship Course
The Summer Study Internship Program's 2-credit Internship Course meets on Friday mornings throughout Summer 1 and two evenings in Summer 2. The course explores links between your academic tracks and your on-site professional experience, and provides support and guidance as you prepare for your placement.
Meet a Politics, Public Policy & Law Student
Student: Marigny Nevitt
Courses: The Judiciary and Civil Liberties; International Human Rights
Internship Site: Criminal Justice Policy Coalition
On the job: The organization where I interned advocates for just and effective criminal justice policies throughout Massachusetts. Through the many tasks I was involved with, I was able to see many different parts of the city – from the State House where I lobbied legislators to various legislative planning meetings and even a women's correctional facility. My experiences in and out of the office introduced me to a variety of people and opened my eyes to the realities of the criminal justice system.
Perspectives: I'm still not sure exactly what type of law I want to practice in the future, but my internship this summer provided me with experiences that I will surely call on to be a mindful lawyer regardless of the niche I choose. Now, I also have a whole circle of connections in Boston that I will maintain and be able to call on when I, hopefully, move to New England.