The policy block is a cornerstone of COPHP experience. For 10 weeks at the beginning of the second year of the program, students engage in public discussions across all spectrums of the social determinants of health and such non-traditional public health topics as free trade and nuclear waste disposal. During this block, students work through real-life scenarios and participate in actual policy development. They benefit from the close relationships the program maintains with non-profit organizations, and the work they have conducted under their auspices during the policy block has been well-received and influential. In the course of community-based projects, students work in concert with local stakeholders and public policy makers. By the end of the block, students have learned the basic concepts, analytical tools, and skills for policy analysis, development, and advocacy, and some have also developed the inclination to pursue public health policy careers.