Courses: All Posts

Research Methods for Political & Social Scientists

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

You asked for more research training, and we’ve listened!

Check out our new POLISCI 391RM: Research Methods for Political and Social Science course.

This online, 3 credit course is designed to teach upper-level social science undergraduates the basics of utilizing statistical and
quantitative methods of research to help better understand social and political questions. Quantitative methods allow for a systematic,
scientific and probabilistic way of studying how the world works. In this course, students will learn basic statistical concepts like
correlation and probability, as well as more advanced and applied techniques such as Ordinary Least Squares regression. Students will
learn how statistical inferences can help them advance their research and help better prepare themselves for the rigors of graduate school
or applied policy work.

Read more at the course website.

Sneak Peak at Spring Classes

Friday, September 27th, 2013

We’ve posted a draft version of our spring 2014 classes online. Take a look at Political Science here and Legal Studies here, and check out our online classes here.

We will be adding course descriptions soon, but we wanted to get you as much information as possible as soon as possible. We know lots of you are trying to plan your schedules already!

Course for 1st year and Sophomore SBS Students that Empowers You to Take Charge of Your College Success

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Socbehav 197S is a 1-credit class geared towards first year and sophomore students in SBS, particularly ALANA students and those who are first generation college students, that empowers you to take charge of your college career and success.

Through weekly workshops, presentations and assignments, you will develop study and writing skills, understand your own values system and identify campus mentors.

Registration Information:

SOCBEHAV 197S. 1 credit. Wednesdays, 1:25-2:15 PM.

Space is limited. Enrollment by permission only!
Contact: Jackie Brousseau-Pereira,, or Wilma Crespo,

New Course Teaches SBS Students How to Make the Most of Their Liberal Arts Education in the Work World

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

This fall, a new course is being offered that is geared towards helping students get a better grasp of how to look for employment and internships as well as how they can best present themselves in the world of work.

Alumnus Benjamin Happ ’98 (Psychology) is a member of Dean Feldman’s Alumni Advisory Board and he is also director of capital services for Credit Suisse. He has developed the course Business Communication and Networking (Socbehav 297A), which is designed to help students develop and master the skills necessary to succeed in life after college. It will also help students both recognize and talk about the value of a liberal arts degree in fostering a successful career.

The course is on Fridays from 2-4 pm and is limited to juniors and seniors with majors in SBS. Space is limited, so register today!

Research Fellowships?

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Yes, that’s right! The Department is offering several research fellowships this semester. All openings are posted on our website and carry with them academic credit through our Political Science or Legal Studies research practicum. Apply now to work with one of our faculty or ABD PhD students. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.

These research assistantships are the perfect place for you to investigate what social science research is all about. Students are expected to work on the research projects listed, but will also have the opportunity to engage with faculty and other fellows through regular research workshops and meetings.

They are also a great way to get to know your professors and TAs! Learn more about their research and methodology while building your own resume!

Keep checking our list of openings. Positions will be posted through the end of add/drop!

New LRLA Course for Legal Studies Majors

Monday, April 29th, 2013

The following online course has just been added to our list of approved Law-related Liberal Arts courses for the Legal Studies major:

Econ 397LE: Law and Economics

Law and economics addresses the economic motivation for legal practice and the economic implications of different legal regimes.  Law and economics is often taught based on the assumption that legal rules are and should be designed to maximize “efficiency,” often understood as some variant of cost-benefit analysis or welfare-maximization.  The best legal system is therefore, under this view, one that responds to impersonal factors, a society’s factor endowments and production technology. Our approach is different, because we recognize that legal systems are the product of political processes, shaped by the distribution of political and economic power, and with goals that go beyond maximizing output course to include the shaping of power within society.  The question then becomes whether the concept of “efficiency” can be as uncritically applied to legal rules as the field of law and economics often suggests.

We begin by exploring the relationship between a society and its legal system.  While some treat this as the relationship between a society’s economic substructure and its legal superstructure, we recognize that political and cultural relationships also have independent effects on the development of the economy and of the legal system.  We then focus critically on the question of efficiency, and on what sorts of limitations might be presented by the concept in its application to the law, drawing in part on the perspective offered by critical legal studies.  We then investigate different approaches to law and economics, apart from efficiency, including static theories of “original intent” and “individual rights,” as well as sociological theories where the law is a changing system to facilitate different social ends, a fair distribution of income, protection of the environment, and other ends.

Prerequisites for this class are either Econ 103, or Res-Econ 102.

This class was developed by Mark Silverman (graduate student in Economics and Attorney at Law) in consultation with Professor Gerald Friedman of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an experienced teacher, renowned economic historian, author of many articles and books, and an editor of the journal Labor History.

This online course in Law and Economics is offered by the Department of Economics through the Office of Continuing and Professional Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Questions? Email us:

Interested in workers’ rights and social justice?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

CUNY’s Murphy Institute offers two unique programs that provide students tools for leadership, scholarship, and advocacy:  New York Union Semester  and the Masters of Arts Degree in Labor Studies .

In the interdisciplinary MA in Labor Studies, students examine the history, debates and challenges affecting working people and unions. It’s an ideal degree for anyone interested in advocacy, non-profits, organizing, worker rights, or graduate studies in labor. The program offers:

  • Evening classes in midtown Manhattan;  Internships
  • Affordable tuition, academic resources, and financial aid

NY Union Semester  offers a mentored internship for graduates and undergraduates at a labor union or worker organization, in addition to 4 outstanding classes.  Interns receive:

  • A weekly stipend and unlimited Metro Card
  • In-state tuition rates and a scholarship for 4 labor studies courses
  • 12 graduate or 16 undergraduate credits

Open Houses are May 14 & June 12

For more info, contact, 212-642-2055, or go to The Murphy Institute website at

Study Abroad Program in the UK for Legal Studies Majors

Friday, March 29th, 2013

The International Programs Office has two study abroad options in London that suit Legal Studies students. The programs are offered by CIS at the University of Westminster and at the University of Roehampton in the heart of London.

Meaghan Murphy from CISwill be on campus on Thursday, April 11 to run an information session about these semester programs in the Education Abroad Advising Center (455 Hills South) at 12 pm.

Here is a description of the experience within the University of Westminster and here is a description of the experience within the University of Roehampton.

Westminster’s files on Fall 2012′s Social Sciences are here, with 2013′s here.

Roehampton’s data can be found here.

Summer Workshop in International Security

Monday, February 11th, 2013

The Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is hosting a Summer Workshop in International Security from July 7–12, 2013.

Some workshop topics include:

1) How to think about International Security?
2) Controlling Weapons of Mass Destruction: Nuclear, Biological, Chemical
3) Global Terrorism
4) Regional Conflicts and Their Management and Resolution: Middle East; Iran and Afghanistan; South and East Asia.
5) China and the U.S.: Competitors or Adversaries?

The workshop will have instructors from UIUC faculty and university and security studies centers who are experts in strategic analysis and policy-making.

The fee is $1,500 to cover cost of instruction, lodging on campus, and all meals, with travel not included. Some financial assistance is available. Applicants admitted to the workshop must pay a deposit of $250 and the remainder no later than May 25, or one may pay the entire fee of $1500 on admission.

To apply, make sure to submit your application by April 15, 2013. You can find the application here.

History of Climate Change Summer Seminar @ Columbia

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Looking for something to do this summer? Consider this seminar.Columbia is looking or 10-15 students to join them this summer. Be sure to talk to an advisor before registering to make sure the credits will transfer! And pay attention to the details about tuition and fees.


The History of Climate Change and the Future of Global Governance

Department of History, Columbia University

New York City, May-August 2013

The Hertog Global Strategy Initiative (HGSI) seeks talented undergraduate and graduate students for its 2013 seminar on the History of Climate Change and the Future of Global Governance.

HGSI is a research program that explores how the world community has responded to planetary threats to derive lessons that will help us take on the challenges of the present and the future. Each summer, a select group of students from across the nation comes to Columbia University for three months to work with leading scholars and policymakers. This year’s initiative hopes to train a new generation of researchers and leaders who understand both the development of climate science and the changing nature of world politics.

The 2013 seminar will be taught by Matthew Connelly, Professor of History at Columbia University, and Jim Fleming, Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College. They will be assisted in the classroom by Deborah Coen, Paul Edwards, Mike Hulme, Bill McKibben, Gavin Schmidtand nearly a dozen other leaders in the field.

Participants pursue original research both independently and in teams. Students will receive eight credit points for the seminar, the equivalent of two semester-long courses at Columbia.

For more information about the program, visit You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. Please direct any further questions to or 212-854-9854.

Application Deadline: March 5, 2013
Apply Here

Credits: Eight Points (seminar); Three-Four Points (per elective)
Tuition: Tuition is calculated on a per point basis, as set by the Columbia School of Continuing Education. For Summer 2013, tuition for all undergraduate and graduate students is $1,454 per point. Tuition for students not currently enrolled in an academic program is $1,488 per point. Accordingly, the cost of our 8-point seminar ranges from $11,632-$11,904 plus fees. Information on our elective courses can be found here.
Fellowships and Financial Aid: Some outstanding undergraduates and postgraduate applicants may receive Hertog Fellowships to help pay tuition and fees. Some PhD students may be eligible for tuition exemption and a research stipend.