Q: I became a student under the old requirements—do I have the option of fulfilling the new requirements? 
Yes. Students who started the Public Policy graduate program under the old requirements (those starting the program before May 2018) have the option of fulfilling the new requirements instead. Such students can also complete the old requirements, but take the Policy Practicum course instead of completing the one-credit final research project that served as the capstone under the old requirements. Questions about your particular situation should be directed to the Advising Coordinator or the Faculty Director.

Q: I started under the new requirements—can I follow the old ones?
No. Students who began the program in May 2018 or later must fulfill the new requirements,and do not have the option of using the old requirements.

Q: Can I take an Independent Study to fulfill one of the program requirements?
Public Policy graduate students are required to take regular courses to fulfill the program requirements. Except in very rare circumstances (approved by the graduate director), students will not be allowed to take a course as an Independent Study.

Q: The courses I need are not offered during the upcoming term—what are my options?
Students are also allowed—with permission of the graduate director and the course instructor—to take electives at institutions that are part of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education. For the purposes of this program, the most relevant institutions are UCONN Hartford and the University of Hartford. Check with the Advising Coordinator for a list of potential courses. All Consortium classes must be approved by the graduate director.

Q: What is the capstone requirement for the Public Policy Master’s program?
The capstone requirement for the Public Policy Master’s program is the Policy Practicum course (PBPL 874), offered each spring. Students who started the program under the old requirements may take the Policy Practicum course, or complete a final project with an advisor.

Q: What is the Policy Practicum?
The Policy Practicum is a new course that fulfills the capstone requirement for the degree. The Practicum meets weekly as a class, where students are broken up into groups and create a policy-relevant document by the end of the semester. Wherever possible, students are matched to a policy area that aligns with their own interests.

Q: What are the guidelines for the final project?
Students who started the program under the old requirements may complete this one-credit final research project as their capstone (they also have the option of taking the Policy Practicum in the spring instead). The first step for a final project is to contact a graduate PBPL faculty member with expertise in your area of interest to ask if they will serve as your final project advisor. From there, you will write a proposal following the Guidelines for Final Project Proposals in Public Policy. If approved, you can register for PBPL 953. Deadlines for final project proposals are August 15 (if you wish to complete your final project during the fall semester), April 1 (for summer), and November 15 (for the spring semester).

Q: Can I complete the program in one year?
Full-time students can complete the program in one year, but they must start the program during the summer in order to do so. Students who started the program in the fall will likely finish during the following summer or fall. Please speak with the faculty director or advising coordinator to discuss your particular situation.

Q: Who should I contact if I have a question about my courses (or anything else)?
You can contact the Advising Coordinator or the program director with questions about courses, capstone projects, or other curriculum related issues. Each student will also be assigned a faculty advisor who can be a resource as well. Questions related to registration or student accounts should be directed to those offices. All contact information appears below.

Contact information

Advising Coordinator: Serena Laws, serena.laws@trincoll.edu, (860) 297-2711
Faculty Director: Kevin McMahon, kevin.mcmahon.1@trincoll.edu,(860) 297-4073
Program Coordinator: Teresita Romero,:gradstudy@trincoll.edu, (860) 297-2151

Other helpful contacts

Registrar: registrar.office@trincoll.edu, (860) 297-2118
Student Accounts: student-accounts@trincoll.edu, (860) 297-5174