Public Policy Summer Seminar Sessions | Summer School Seminars | Pepperdine University School of Public Policy

2017 Public Policy Summer Seminar Sessions

Washington, D.C. Summer Seminars wordmark - Pepperdine University


For Summer 2017, we are now offering two summer seminar sessions at our centrally located Washington, D.C. campus. Each session is a four-week, 3-credit* seminar. 

  • The application deadline for Session 1 is May 1, 2017.
  • The application deadline for Session 2 is June 8, 2017.
  • Students may apply for one or both sessions.


American Grand Strategies in International Relations: From the American Revolution to President Trump
May 23-June 17, 2017 (T/Thu/Sa)

T/Th: 6:30 PM to 10 PM
Sat: 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Apply by May 1, 2017

Dr. Robert Kaufman

While so much seems new American foreign policy, over more than two centuries, it has been governed by four major doctrines: the Monroe Doctrine, Truman Doctrine, Bush Doctrine, and the Obama Doctrine. Each was developed in response to significant and unique events, but also to the courses chosen by previous administrations.
As the creation of something called a "Trump Doctrine" is underway, students will consider how these earlier policy prescriptions were formed, and the lessons learned by international relations experts. The goal of this fast-moving, four-week class, is not only to understand particular policy formulations but to also "think historically" in the development of foreign policy in confronting today's global challenges.

Concepts Covered:

  • When, how and for what purposes the United States has and should force.
  • Reconciling ideals and self interest in American foreign policy.
  • Geopolitics
  • The evolving relationship between domestic politics and national security.
  • The importance of regime type and ideology for identifying friends, foes, threats, and opportunities.



Roots of American Order: Thinking Historically About Public Policy
June 20-July 15, 2017 (T/Th/Sa)

T/Th: 6:30 PM to 10 PM
Sat: 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Apply by June 8, 2017

Dr. Ted McAllister
Dr. Bill McClay

Driven by events, public policy makers both inside and outside formal government institutions are increasingly aware of the many factors—beyond the quantitative—that shape effective solutions to today's toughest public problems. It is "public" policy, after all, and both the humans and the publics they form are historical creatures. To understand the "public" part of policy requires a deep understanding of the many factors that help constitute human communities. This is particularly true for the policy maker in the United States.

In this four-week/3-credit seminar, based on one of Pepperdine's "James Q. Wilson Core" courses, students will engage in a fast-moving conversation about a series of crisis points in American history – each of which re-shaped the relationship between citizens and their government as they re-examined America's Founding Principles. The process of discovery will help students develop the skills to "think historically" not only about past events, but about current public policy debates. The seminar is a terrific introduction to the School of Public Policy's distinctive approach to preparing public leaders who consider the variety of factors that determine the success or failure of a public policy.

Concepts Covered:

  • The unique philosophical factors leading to the American founding.
  • Early American history as the "First Great American Conversation."
  • The Industrial Revolution and the challenge to conceptions of self-rule.
  • The Great Society and the changing nature of the regulatory state.
  • The challenge of bureaucratic expertise to a classical definition of citizenship.
  • Contemporary policy problems and their cultural dimensions.
  • Today, more than ever, those who currently serve or endeavor to serve in the public square must be able to consider all the factors that determine whether public policies will succeed or fail.


Pepperdine University's Washington, D.C. Campus
2011 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
(three blocks from Foggy Bottom Metro)

Who can attend:

With only 20 spaces available in each course, these seminars are open to incoming college juniors and seniors; current enrolled graduate students, and early-/mid-career individuals with a college degree. Students may apply for one or both sessions.

Tuition for each 3-credit seminar:

Partial and full-tuition awards available for qualifying applicants. Please inquire for more information.

Non-degree seeking students accepted to the 2017 Washington, D.C. Summer Seminar are eligible for award consideration. Please follow the relevant instructions on the application to be considered for awards. Awards will be offered at the time of admittance.

**Average award based on 2015-2016 data.

* Possible transfer credit available. The graduate credit hours may be applied to undergraduate degree program. Students should contact their home institution for transfer credit eligibility.

Students who complete the program may apply the credit-hours towards enrollment at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy.

The below video highlights the Summer 2016 "Roots of American Order" seminar.  Filming  and production by Seaver College student Whitney Young.

Watch More: "Roots of American Order" - Summer Seminar 2016