Catalog 2010-2012

Master of Public Policy Program

The Master of Public Policy is a professional interdisciplinary degree program providing specialized and advanced training for students wishing to assume roles as policy analysts, principally in the governmental and nonprofit sectors of society.

Students interested in this program must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study.  Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at

The Graduate Record Examination (General Test) is not required for admission to the program.

Core courses in the program provide thorough coverage of the contributions of political science, economics, and history to the analysis of public policy. The core also includes methods courses that provide training in the rigorous methods of policy analysis required of professionals in the field.

Focus courses allow a student to develop an understanding of a particular substantive or methodological area of policy analysis. Continuing participation in seminars allows discussion of current practice and development, provides a forum for on-going discussion, and includes philosophical orientation to the ethical questions which arise in policy contexts. An internship with a public policy organization introduces the student to the professional environment and allows application of theory and methods to actual policy problems.

Admission to the M.P.P. program is competitive. Entering students are expected to have acquired introductory level knowledge, from their undergraduate training, of statistical methods, micro-economics, and American governmental process. Courses are available outside the degree program, for students who lack such background (e.g., 920:054, 942:014, and 980:080). The M.P.P. is available on the non-thesis option, and requires 41-45 semester hours. A minimum of 12 hours of 200/6000-level course work is required.


Philosophy: 650:245 .....2 hours

Economics: 920:117; 920:125 .....6 hours

Public Policy: 950:205 (3 hrs.); 950:208; 950:260; 950:275 .....12 hours

Political Science: 942:153; 942:173 .....6 hours

History: 960:225 .....3 hours

Focus area courses: as approved by advisor .....9 hours

Internship: 950:281 .....4 hours

Prerequisites: 950:275 and 942:173 or an approved substitute. This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the program director.

Electives: as approved by advisor .....3 hours

41-45 hours

M.P.P. students, in consultation with their faculty advisors, select a focus area and the course work needed to complete their study of public policy. They may choose either a substantive area of public policy (for example, urban policy, environmental policy, human services policy, criminal justice policy) or courses that provide them with additional training in public policy or methods of policy analysis.

In 950:208, with the support of the instructor and benefitting from interaction with other students, each student prepares a research paper within the focus area.

If focus courses have prerequisites which instructors choose not to waive, these courses will be in addition to the above degree requirements.

The internship may be undertaken during the summer following the first or second year of classes or during any other approved period.

Successful completion of a final written and oral comprehensive examination is required.