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Advanced Academic and Professional Skills - Spring



Objective 1: The aims of this course are to improve students’ ability to develop thoughtful, interesting, and well-designed research projects, and
Objective 2: To improve students’ skills in persuasively presenting the ideas behind, as well as the findings resulting from, their research.

The course is divided into two parts, brought together by students’ work on the core course assignment—a brief policy paper.

Research Design and Writing

In this component of the course, students will work with their instructors and classmates to develop compelling research questions, devise sound schemes for conducting the research necessary to answer those questions, and, ultimately, follow through with the research itself.


In the presentation component of the course, participants will acquire the skills required to give a talk in front of a critical audience. Each participant will give a presentation, followed by a group discussion on the contents of that presentation. Participants will also receive individual feedback on their presentation.

Method of Instruction

The course applies a method of instruction known as “flipping the classroom.” Students will be expected to watch a short video lecture before attending most class sessions. Classroom time will then be dedicated to interactive activities. Attendance of all class meetings is required.

Assessment Method

Course grades will be based on several short written assignments, a final policy paper, and a final group presentation.


See preliminary info