Lantz launches online course about public policy fundamentals

September 25, 2023

A new open online course available on Michigan Online helps learners understand the fundamentals of public policy and how policy can confront societal challenges in social welfare, public health, the environment, education, criminal justice, and more. “Using Public Policy for Social Change” shares the techniques and methods used by policymakers to create, implement, and evaluate public policy to help make for a better world.

The course is designed and taught by Paula Lantz, James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. She is also the school's undergraduate program director.

“Whether you’re a community activist, a volunteer with a nonprofit organization, a government staff person, a person considering a degree in public policy, or anyone else, this course provides a basic, yet comprehensive, understanding of public policy,”  Lantz says.

Remote video URL

Through this course, learners will acquire the tools to navigate the steps of the public policy-making cycle. They will gain a basic understanding of policy analysis and how policymakers use data to support policy design and evaluation. Using real-world examples and insights from advocates and politicians, learners explore societal challenges and how policy can confront these issues on a local, national, and global scale. 

This course is flexible and designed for students with a diverse range of experiences; no policy background is required. Earning a course certificate is free for members of the U-M community through Michigan Online. Auditing the course is free for all learners. 

Lantz created the course in partnership with U-M’s Center for Academic Innovation. Learn more and enroll in “Using Public Policy for Social Change” through Michigan Online.