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For-Credit Summer Graduate Course


Program Evaluation and Applied Policy Analysis


Summer 2020

Paris, France




The University of Maryland School of Public Policy will offer a for-credit international graduate course where students will learn the tools of program evaluation and policy analysis. Classroom instruction will be provided by course instructors and guest faculty---complemented by meetings with senior officials of international organizations (including the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Classes will be held in Paris, France from June 15-26, 2020 at Cite Universitaire de Paris and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The class will also make trips to the European Commission in Brussels and the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

This course is designed for doctoral, masters level, and advanced undergraduate students studying economics, education, public policy, public administration, and other social policy-related subjects such as international development, political science/governance, public health, social welfare, sociology, and urban planning.



The core faculty will be:

The faculty will be augmented by a number of guest faculty who are luminaries in the field of program evaluation:

  • Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley;
  • David Myers, President and CEO, American Institutes for Research;
  • Anu Rangarajan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, International Research Division, Mathematica Policy Research;
  • Gary Ritter, Dean, School of Education, St. Louis University;
  • Alvaro Pereira, director of country studies, Economics Department, OECD;
  • Stefano Scarpetta, Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD; and
  • David Seidenfeld, Vice President, International Research and Evaluation, American Institutes for Research


Course Summary

This course is designed to help students learn the concepts of program evaluation and policy analysis in a comparative context. Course topics include the methods used by different organizations to prepare policy briefs/analyses, evaluation methodologies for identifying the counterfactual, assessment of causal validity in research publications, and methods for synthesizing research.

The final assignment for the course will be the preparation of a policy brief/analysis. Students will select topics of interest to the OECD, the European Commission, or, with the instructors’ permission, themselves. Likely topic areas for the policy analysis include: aging and pensions, education, employment and the labor market, the environment, families and children, health, housing, migration, and social welfare generally. Final policy briefs/analyses will be due at the end of August.

In addition to course instruction, the class will also visit international organizations and meet with senior officials to discuss different approaches to policy analysis, program evaluation, and policymaking. Organizations include the European Commission (in Brussels), the European Parliament (in Strasbourg), and the OECD (in Paris).

Interested students will also have the opportunity to apply for post-course internships with two offices at the OECD: (1) the Directorate for Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs and (2) the Economics Department. If there is a suitable project in which the student can be effectively involved, the internship can be offered. The internships generally last for two-to-three months (to be worked out between the student and the OECD and the student would be paid (about 700 Euros per month). Students who are interested in this opportunity should inform the course instructors at the time they apply for the program. The course instructors will then provide them the necessary information to apply.

A preliminary syllabus is available on the course web page.

(Classes will be in English.)


Course Schedule and Facilities

Prior to the class meetings in Paris, there will be a preliminary online meeting to discuss the course syllabus. In Paris, the course will meet daily (tentatively 9:30-13:00) Monday–Friday for two weeks from June 15 through June 26, 2020 at Cite Universitaire de Paris. As of now, the plan is for the course to meet in Brussels on Friday, June 19, and in Strasbourg on Monday, June 22. As mentioned above, final policy briefs/analyses will be due at the end of August, after students leave Paris.



The course is open to all doctoral, master’s level, and advanced undergraduate students studying economics, education, public policy, public administration, and other social policy-related subjects such as international development, political science/governance, public health, social welfare, sociology, and urban planning.

Students must be in good academic and judicial standing and must not have any registration blocks. The minimum GPA for this program is 3.0 (unless otherwise approved by the program director).


Course Credit 

Students will receive three credits from the University of Maryland upon successful completion of the course. Non-UMD students should confirm the transferability of credits with their home academic departments. 

A non-credit version of the course will be offered. More information can be found on the course web page.


Course Cost 

Application Fee: 50 USD

Standard program fee: 3,800 USD

Enrollment Fee: 75 USD (for non-UMD students only)

The program fee includes registration and administration, tuition, housing, course related activities, and teaching services. Students are responsible for transportation (including to and from Paris, and also travel to and from Brussels and Strasbourg), meals, and other incidental expenses.


Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2020.  Because space is limited, early application is encouraged. Students will be accepted on a rolling basis.



Students can register for the course at the University of Maryland’s Education Abroad website beginning on December 1.



In previous summers, students stayed at the United States dorm on the campus of Cité International Universitaire de Paris and we expect that this will continue to be the housing accommodation.


Additional Information

Further information regarding the course format, travel, and other course logistics will soon be available on the course web page.



For any specific questions regarding the course, please contact: Rye McKenzie ( of the University of Maryland.


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