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Welcome to my teaching page at NC State University. My teaching philosophy is fairly straightforward: good teaching is about learning, both for the instructor and for the student. Every semester I learn something new about my students, the course material, and my way of teaching it that causes me to think about what I teach, how I teach it, and how I can improve my teaching skills.

My Teaching FAQs

Before emailing me about my class policies on matters like attendance, study guides, tests, and the like, please refer to this FAQ page, which will be updated as warranted. This page is considered a part of every syllabus for my classes; as they say in legalese, it's "incorporated by reference."

Current (Fall 2010)

PA 507 Policy Process

PA 553 Disaster Policy


Starting in the Fall of 2010 I am managing all my cousres through the NCSU Moodle Server. Moodle is a Course Management System that allows faculty to design better course websites, with links to all manner of material. It also facilitates the submission of homework and class discussions. The Moodle server is available at http://moodle.wolfware.ncsu.edu/.

Students enrolled in the course should be able to directly visit the course on this server. If you would like guest access to the course, to see the syllabus and the readings, please email me at tom_birkland@ncsu.edu. The Moodle system is still evolving here, so an immediate answer to your query may not be available until I research any technical matters. Thanks for visiting!

Past Teaching

PA 810: Research Grant Writing (Spring 2010)

PA 507 Public Policy Process (Spring 2010)

PA 553: Disaster, Crisis and Emergency Policy and Management (Fall 2009)

PA 598 Public Policy Process (Spring 2009)

PA 763 Public Policy (Ph.D Seminar) (Fall 2008)

PA 598 Special Topics: Disaster, Crisis and Emergency Management and Policy (Spring 2008)

PA 598 Special Topics: Public Policy Process (Spring 2008).

PS 310--Public Policy--Syllabus (Fall 2007)


Feel free to contact me at any time about my courses. I very much enjoy hearing from past, prospective, and current students, and will seek to promptly answer your email or phone inquiries.

Teaching and Learning Resources

These are links to resources for students on writing, study habits, time management, and the like. This is not yet a complete set of links, but is an ongoing project. If you have suggestions to add to this page, please forward them to me!

Citation Guides

"Chicago" or "Turabian" citation style (the style used in most political science and public administration journals). Click Here. This is the only acceptable citation style for my Ph.D seminars and for most M.P.A. courses.

APA citation style (a variant on the author date style, with slight differences). Click here