Policy Informatics Certificate

This certificate provides knowledge and skills for students seeking careers that will use informatics tools, models, and simulations to help individuals and groups deliberate and evaluate policy decisions as well as explore new governance infrastructures. The Policy Informatics certificate emphasizes theories and research concerning decision-making, complexity theory, and visualization of quantitative and qualitative information, collective intelligence, behavioral economics, and persuasive technologies.

This certificate helps us advance evidence-driven policy design, wherein scientific models and analyses drive decision-making for resolution of complex policy challenges, dilemmas, and problems. Policy informatics is both an emerging field of research and a community of practice focusing on: 1) advancing decision-making in the public sector through information-centric analysis of evidence that leverages computational and technological advances; and 2) designing, managing, and evaluating information systems and infrastructures for policy construction, analysis, and implementation.

Policy informatics advances the multi-disciplinary nature of the public administration discipline by infusing it with the advances of information technology, management of information systems, and computational and informational science perspectives.


Certificate Requirements (15 credit hours): Fifteen credit hours are required for the certificate: four required courses and one elective chosen from a list of pre-approved courses. The electives taken toward the certificate will be selected with the faculty advisor. The faculty advisor will direct the selection of the electives to ensure that they focus on a common theme, and to see that the student's experiences in the courses align with the learning goals outlined for the certificate. Students are required to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and to have no more than one grade below a B- in courses taken to complete the certificate program.

Required Courses:

  • PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis   

  • PAF 591 Introduction to Policy Informatics

  • PAF 591 e-Public Administration

  • PAF 591 Complexity in Public Policy and Management

Elective courses (select 1 from the list):

  • PAF 571 GIS & Analysis

  • AML 591 Agent Based Modeling

  • ASB 555 Complex Societies

  • PUP 598 Modeling & Simulating Urban Systems

Primary Faculty

R.F. "Rick" Shangraw, Jr., PhD - CEO and President, ASU Foundation; Senior Sustainability Scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability; Teaching Faculty, School of Sustainability; Professor of Practice, School of Public Affairs

Erik Johnston, PhD - Associate Professor, School of Pubic Affairs; Faculty Affiliate, Decision Theater; Director and Founding Faculty Member, Center for Policy Informatics

Yushim Kim, PhD - Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs; Founding Faculty Member, Center for Policy Informatics

Spiro Maroulis, PhD - Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs; Associate Director, Decision Theater

Randy Booze - Faculty Associate, School of Public Affairs

Marco Janssen, PhD - Associate Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change; Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity