EPP Courses

EPP students take required and elective courses in DUSP and at many of the other units at MIT. In addition, they are welcome to enroll in classes at Harvard University. EPP courses offered during the current semester can be viewed on the DUSP webpage. Some examples of electives offered by EPP core faculty and faculty affiliates are as follows:


11.002: Making Public Policy

Examines how the struggle among competing advocates shapes the outputs of government. Considers how conditions become problems for government to solve, why some political arguments are more persuasive than others, why some policy tools are preferred over others, and whether policies achieve their goals. Investigates the interactions among elected officials, think tanks, interest groups, the media, and the public in controversies over global warming, urban sprawl, Social Security, health care, education, and other issues (Layzer).


11.168/11.379J Enabling an Energy Efficient Society

Examines innovation in public policy, technology and business models that enable massive-scale improvements in energy efficiency. Explores how they help balance energy supply and demand and prevent unmanageable, irreversible climate change. Students apply analytic methods and design tools to assess strategies to enable energy efficiency. Particular focus on opportunities in US homes and buildings created by utility funding models, carbon cap-and-trade, energy-saving building codes, appliance standards, and green community practices (Michaels).


11.255: Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in the Public Sector

Investigates social conflict and distributional disputes in the public sector. While theoretical aspects of conflict and consensus building are considered, focus is on the practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. Comparisons between unassisted and assisted negotiation are reviewed along with the techniques of facilitation and mediation (Susskind).


11.315J Disaster Resilient Design

Seminar examines the linkages between natural hazards and environmental design. Engages theoretical debates about landscapes of risk, vulnerability, and resilience. Participants generate proposals for disaster resilience through combinations of retrofit, reconstruction, resettlement, commemorative, and anticipatory design. Methods include rapid bibliographic search, risk analysis, landscape synthesis, and comparative international methods. Projects vary and may focus on current crises or involve collaboration with the Aga Khan Development Network and other humanitarian organizations (Wescoat).

11.364: International Environmental Negotiation

Seminar looks at problems of managing common resources, difficulties of achieving transboundary pollution control, and the dilemmas of regional harmonization of environmental protection standards. At the core of these problems are issues of how best to structure international treaty negotiations. Focuses especially on problems of representation, issue linkage, and enforcement (Susskind).


11.363 Civil Society and the Environment

Examines the roles civil society actors play in national and international environmental policy and politics. Considers theories pertaining to the development and import of civil society, social movement development and mobilization, and collaboration between state and non-state actors. Case studies of civil society response to specific environmental issues illustrate theoretical issues and assess the impacts that these actors have on domestic, foreign, and international policy and planning outcomes (Carmin).


11.368: Environmental Justice

Explores the foundations of the environmental justice movement, current and emerging issues, and the application of environmental justice analysis to environmental policy and planning. Examines claims made by diverse groups along with the policy and civil society responses that address perceived inequity and injustice. International issues and perspectives also considered (Carmin).


11.376: Urban Sustainability in Action

Considers the theory and practice of urban sustainability. Introduces concepts of environmental sustainability, systems dynamics, ecological footprints, and environmental indicators. Investigates cutting-edge practices of cities in the US and around the world. Drawing on those examples, students identify opportunities to make the Boston more sustainable and make a persuasive case for adopting their ideas (Layzer).


11.373: Science, Politics and Environmental Policy

Examines the role of science in the US environ- mental policymaking process. Part I examines the methods by which scientists learn about the natural world; the treatment of science by experts, advocates, the media, and the public; and the way science is used in legislative, administrative and judicial decision making. Part II takes up novel approaches to integrating science into politics, such as ecosystem-based management, stakeholder collaboration, local knowledge, adaptive management, and the precautionary principle. Case studies help students compare theory and practice (Layzer).


11.377 Food Systems and the Environment

Explores the evolution of food production, from farm to plate, in the US and globally. Considers the science, economics, and politics behind the transition from pre-industrial to an industrial food system. Debates the costs and benefits of genetically modified food, organic agriculture, and local/regional food production. Focuses on the environmental sustainability and human health consequences of different approaches, for both the developed and developing world (Layzer).


11.466J: Sustainability, Trade, and the Environment

With the establishment of the World Trade Organization implementing the GATT, NAFTA, and other trading regimes, serious questions have been raised concerning the effects of global trade on sustainability. Subject explores the many dimensions of sustainability and the use of national, multinational, and international political and legal mechanisms to further sustainable development (Ashford).


11.479J: Water and Sanitation Infrastructure in Developing Countries

Principles of infrastructure planning in developing countries, with a focus on appropriate and sustainable technologies for water and sanitation. Incorporates technical, socio-cultural, public health, and economic factors into the planning and design of water and sanitation systems. Upon completion, students are able to plan simple, yet reliable, water supply and sanitation systems for developing countries that are compatible with local customs and available human and material resources (Murcott).


11.910: Doctoral Tutorial in Public Policy

This doctoral tutorial provides an opportunity for DUSP students preparing for the Public Policy portion of their General Exams to study together. Limited to five students, the group selects 12 of the key readings from the Public Policy reading list. Students then read one book per week and share their written reactions. Weekly discussions tie the assigned book to larger themes in the public policy field (Susskind).


11.941: Urban Climate Adaptation

This course examines the challenges that cities will face and strategies they can use to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Particular attention will be paid to the needs of vulnerable populations and resource constrained cities, global and national adaptation policies and funding mechanisms, and the ways in which local government and community-based activities can promote climate-readiness (Carmin).


11.S942: Urban Energy Systems & Policy

As the home to significant ? and ever growing ? rates of energy consumption, urban areas are logical candidates for energy planning efforts. This course examines how cities use energy; the institutional, market, and regulatory environment in which urban policymakers operate; and what steps cities are taking to better manage their energy use. The course also focuses on energy-related business opportunities that exist in urban areas, examining the challenges such businesses face in dealing with multiple decision-makers or opinion leaders. Guest speakers will be invited to several classes to contribute their "real world" perspective to the issue. (Hammer)