UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Summer: France: Comparative Policy Analysis and Practical Program Evaluation (PLCY)

Paris, France
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor: 
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To be held in Paris, France, with the assistance of the Economics Department at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), this study abroad course provides an overview of the process of policy analysis and of program evaluation in comparative perspective. It could serve as a student’s sole (or stand-alone) course on policy analysis and program evaluation, or it could also supplement other courses on policy analysis and program evaluation that students will take or may have taken. The policy areas to be considered include employment, health, families and children, social policy, pensions, migration, education, and, perhaps, the environment. The course will address these topics for developing as well as developed countries.

As a comparative course, a major theme running through the course is the conduct of policy analysis in various settings because of differences in types of governance, a country or region’s research infrastructure, politics, and culture. In addition, overarching the course is a concern for the moral dimensions of social programs and decision making in the face of substantive uncertainty and political pressures.

The main course instructors will be Douglas J. Besharov and Douglas M. Call. In addition, a number of special guest lecturers will teach various aspects of the course. They include: Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley; Jacob Klerman, Principal Associate, Social and Economic Policy, Abt Associates; Editor, Evaluation Review; David Myers, President and CEO, American Institutes for Research; Anu Rangarajan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, International Research Division, Mathematica Policy Research; and Stefano Scarpetta, Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD.

More information as well as a preliminary syllabus is available on the course web page.

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

The following types of applicants are eligible to apply for this program:
o  Undergraduates Seniors at UMD:   Seniors which are already enrolled in a degree-seeking undergraduate program at UMD.
o   Undergraduates Seniors at Non-UMD Universities: These students are admitted to UMD by EA through the mini-admit process.
o   Graduate Students at UMD:  Students who are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking graduate program.
o   Graduate Students at Non-UMD Universities: Applicants who are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking graduate program at a non-UMD university (U.S. based and non-U.S. based) are eligible to apply for this program by applying to the UMD graduate school as a Visiting Graduate Student. 
o   Recent Graduates from both UMD and Non-UMD Universities: Applicants who have completed their bachelor's degree but are not currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program may apply to this program by applying as an Advanced Special Student through the Graduate School at UMD. 
o   International Students at UMD:  International students enrolled in a degree-seeking program at UMD are eligible to apply for this program the same as other UMD Undergraduate & Graduate Students.  These applicants are referred to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for advising regarding their U.S. visa status before committing to the program.  
o   Applicants from Outside the U.S.:  Beginning Summer 2017, we will be able to admit applicants from outside the U.S. who have completed their bachelor's degree and are not currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program abroad for a select number of UMD short-term programs including the France PUAF program.  These applicants must apply as an Advanced Special Student through the Graduate School at UMD.  We are currently working with the Registrar's Office, the Bursar, and the Graduate School to draft policies and procedures for these types of applicants.  Please refer all questions regarding non-student international applicants to Jennifer Precht.

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.

In the United States, there are two main types of policy analysis courses: (1) one is more akin to political science, and aims to explain why particular policies reach the policy agenda and how one or another is selected; and (2) the other is more program-based, and seeks to identify and apply the programmatic elements of a technical planning process—using the tools of program evaluation. This course adopts the latter, program-based approach, and focuses on four main topics:

  • Planning programs, including specifying the problem, selecting a theory of change, and designing programs; 
  • Implementing programs, including designing, conducting, and assessing implementation and process evaluations; 
  • Assessing program impacts, including the full range of impact evaluation methodologies (including qualitative, pre/post, comparison group, econometric, randomized experiment, and natural experiment studies); and 
  • Monitoring the ongoing operations of programs, including the design, implementation, and evaluation of performance measures. 
  • Compared to many other courses, this course will spend relatively less time on how to perform regression and other econometric analyses. Instead, it will provide students with a broad understanding of the full range of impact evaluation methodologies (including qualitative, pre/post, comparison group, randomized experiment, and natural experiment studies) and the practical skills needed to assess and apply them.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in the following three (3) credit UMD course:

  • PLCY689E

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

More information as well as a preliminary syllabus is available on the course web page.

Students will be housed in either single or shared rooms at one of the student residences part of the Cité internationale des Universités de Paris (CIUP), which is located about two miles (three train stops) from the campus of Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne.

Each room is equipped with a bed, desk, chair, closet, and sink. There are several communal bathrooms with sinks, showers, and separate toilets on each floor. Residents have access to free unlimited wireless internet throughout the building, which also offers several communal spaces including kitchens, a library, two small study rooms, a computer room, a recreational space (billiard, TV, BBQ), and a music room, as well as a concert hall and a gallery space for cultural events. Other facilities and services (including cafeteria and restaurants, sports facilities and classes, administrative and mobility services, two banks, and a post office) are available within walking distance. 

Costs are current for summer 2017.

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Bursar's payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $40
Tuition $2,458
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $702
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $400
Visa $0
Passport $140
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) $1,500
Course Materials $50
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $65
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, a non-UMD undergraduate student or a professional you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancelation due to low enrollment.

Douglas J. Besharov is the Norman and Florence Brody Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, where he teaches courses on poverty, welfare, children and families, policy analysis, program evaluation, and performance management. He is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, where he leads a program on comparative social policy. In 2008, he was President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and, subsequently, APPAM's International Conference Coordinator. He is now director of the University's Welfare Reform Academy and its Center for International Policy Exchanges. Between 1985 and 2009, he was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Between 1975 and 1979, he was the first director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Together with Neil Gilbert of the University of California (Berkeley), Professor Besharov is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford University Press Library on International Social Policy. Among his eighteen books is Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned, a book designed to help professionals and laypersons identify and report suspected child abuse. He has written over 250 articles, and has contributed to The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Douglas M. Call, M.P.P., is the Program Director and a senior research analyst at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy's Program for International Policy Exchanges and its Welfare Reform Academy. He graduated with his Master's in Public Policy from the School of Public Policy in May 2007. He has coauthored (with Professor Besharov) articles for the Policy Studies Journal and The Wilson Quarterly. With Professor Besharov, he was the coeditor of Poverty, Welfare, and Public Policy, the third volume in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management's Classics series. He is also a lecturer at the UMD School of Public Policy, teaching courses on poverty measurement and alleviation, program evaluation, and the capstone course for students in the social policy concentration. With Professor Besharov, he is coediting the OUP volume Labor Activation in a Time of High Unemployment: Encouraging Work while Preserving the Social Safety-Net and has been involved with organizing and shaping the agenda for past policy exchanges in Paris, Rome, Shanghai, and Segovia.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Course taught by leading international experts in policy analysis
  •  Diverse class with students from all over the world
  • Meetings with local government officials, researchers, and NGO representatives--to discuss the policy making process.
  • Group tours of historic Paris locations
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2017 03/21/2017 03/11/2017 07/01/2017 07/21/2017
The in-country program runs from July 3rd through July 20th. Students are expected to arrive in France on July 2nd and will be free to depart as of the 21st of July.