Courses in the MPP program assume a student has taken basic undergraduate courses in economics (preferably macro and micro) in statistical methods, and in the structure of U.S. government. If a student needs to take classes in these areas, it is wise to do so before beginning the program. They can be completed while enrolled in the program, but they count for undergraduate credits and are not part of the graduate hours required to complete the degree.
The purpose of the Comprehensive Examination is to assess the following:
The student's ability to retain, integrate and synthesize ideas and concepts central to the study of public policy and the various theoretical perspectives presented in the program and to relate them to her or his substantive knowledge in a focus area.
The student's methodological skills relevant to public policy analysis.
The student's ability to express himself or herself clearly and effectively, both in writing and orally.
MPP Comprehensive Examinations are administered by an Examination Committee consisting of three faculty members, appointed by the MPP Coordinating Committee, from among the faculty affiliated with the program.
Comprehensive examinations are administered toward the middle of a student's final semester in the program (part-time students may take comprehensive examinations when they have completed 35 hrs of coursework).
To accommodate part-time students, the program makes every effort to schedule required Theory and Methods courses in the evening or late afternoon at least every other year.