Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Graduate Certificate Program

Stpp Certificate


In the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Graduate Certificate Program, students explore the politics and policy related to science and technology. The program provides students with tools to analyze complex science and technology policy issues, and consider the following types of questions:

  • How is science and technology influenced by the policy process?
  • What is the rightful place of science in public policymaking?
  • What values and assumptions underlie our current understanding of science and technology?
  • Who should make decisions about science and technology policy? Only experts, or should lay people have a voice?
  • How should policymakers deal with the risks and uncertainties that come from new science and technology (e.g., biotechnology, nanotechnology, geoengineering)?

In 15 credit hours of course work (three core courses and two electives), students learn how science and technology are influenced by politics and policy, analyze the role of science and technology in the policymaking process, develop policy writing skills, gain methods and tools for science and technology policy analysis, and explore the political and policy landscape of specific science and technology areas, including biotechnology, information and communication technology, energy policy, and more.

The STPP Graduate Certificate Program is designed for students already enrolled in a degree program at the University of Michigan. Master’s or doctoral students from any field, both LSA and the professional schools, are welcome to apply. No background in science or in policy is required.

Please visit the STPP website for more information about the program, research, postdoctoral fellowships, seminars, and conferences.

For information about the STPP Graduate Certificate application process, please click here.


The STPP certificate requires 15 credit hours of coursework, including three core courses and two electives of the student's choice. These courses can be taken in any order.

Required STPP Core Courses

PubPol 650:

Introduction to Science and Technology Policy Analysis (Winter Term)

PubPol 754:

Research Seminar in Science, Technology, and Public Policy (Winter Term; STPP students must enroll in the 3 credit option)

PubPol 510:

The Politics of Public Policy (Fall Term)


Students can choose two electives from among a variety of courses offered across the university, and listed here.

STPP Seminar Series

Students are also expected to attend the STPP Seminar Series generally held every other Monday from 4-6 p.m.

Double-Count Credits

In some cases, students may want to "double-count" courses that they are already taking as part of their graduate coursework requirements. According to Rackham, 6 of the 15 credits required for the certificate can be double-counted with other requirements. Please note: the rules for double counting are slightly different for students enrolled in Master's programs.

Completion of Program

Once all requirements have been fulfilled, all certificate students must apply to graduate through Wolverine Access.

If a certificate student is in a Master's degree program or has received an embedded Master's along the way to their PhD, they must also complete a dual/joint degree course election form available on Rackham’s website. This form is used to verify that the double-counting rules have been followed.

Questions about program completion can be directed to Student Services at (734) 764-0453 or fspp-registrar.