Data Science for Public Policy

You are here

Course Number: 
GAFL 531

Course Section:



  • MPA

Course Type: 

  • Elective



  • Spring 2022

Course Format:

On-Campus Day(s): 
On-Campus Time: 
1:45 - 3:15 p.m.

On-Campus Location:

Course Description: 

In the 21st century, Big Data surround us. Data are being collected about all aspects of our daily lives. To improve transparency and accountability an increasing number of public organizations are sharing their data with the public. But data are not information. You need good information to make sound decisions. To be an effective public leader, you will need to learn how to harness information from available data. This course will introduce you to key elements of data science, including data transformation, analysis, visualization, and presentation. An emphasis is placed on manipulating data to create informative and compelling analyses that provide valuable evidence in public policy debates. We will teach you how to present information using interactive apps that feature software packages. As in all courses at Fels, we will concentrate on more practical skills than theoretical concepts behind the techniques.

This course is designed to expand upon core concepts in data management and analysis that you are learning in GAFL 640: Program Evaluation and Data Analysis. This is a graduate-level course and while GAFL 640 is not a pre-requisite, students are expected to have a foundation of data management and analysis before beginning this course. Students should have taken a course with R. Fels and other graduate students receive registration preference, though undergraduate students may request registration via email:

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326