Graduate Program Public Policy

two Portland State University public policy students studying by a coffee shop

Public Policy Master's Degree Overview

The Hatfield School of Government's leading-edge Master of Public Policy degree is designed to meet the growing demand for public policy professionals. The degree is built on the disciplinary foundations public policy studies within the fields of political science and public administration.

We Offer:

  • Two degree tracks: Policy Analysis and Policy Advocacy and Leadership
  • The opportunity to develop specialized knowledge in a particular policy area
  • Hands-on experience conducting policy work with policy-focused client organizations
  • Professional development and networking opportunities
  • Access to world-class faculty
  • Full and part-time enrollment options and course planning to accommodate working schedules
  • In-state tuition for students from Western states through the Western Regional Graduate Program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Degree Details

  • M
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Public Policy Master's Degree: Why PSU?

The faculty at the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government are world leaders in public management, public policy, and domestic and international politics. Most students draw broadly from faculty within the School and often from faculty in partner units such as Economics and Urban Studies and Planning. Portland, Oregon is one of the most livable and vibrant cities in the U.S. and provides a welcoming environment for students. Those working part-time or with families and professional spouses find the city an ideal location for the successful pursuit of the degree.

What can I do with a master's degree in Public Policy?

Nationwide, demand for graduates in public policy has been growing in response to the need for analysts and leaders who can operate within complex policy environments. One survey finds that among recent MPP graduates 30% work for the federal government, 24% for non-profits, 22% for the private sector, and 17% for state and local governments. Our students generally find employment within these sectors, as well as in public management agencies, politics and political campaigns, policy advocacy organizations, and international and inter-governmental institutions. Candidates seeking to take their careers in public policy-related fields to the next level are encouraged to contact MPP Director, Shane Day at for further information or to schedule a campus visit.

Featured Courses

  • PAP 511 Introduction to Public Policy  
  • PAP 512 Introduction to Policy Advocacy
  • PAP 513 Ethics and Public Policy
  • PS 515 Comparative Public Policy
  • PA 579 Policy Tools in Policy Design
  • PAP 620/PS 520 Seminar in American Political Institutions
  • PAP 654 Policy Analysis Research

Featured Electives

Students develop individualized policy specializations by drawing from courses throughout the University, with most elective courses coming from the Departments of Political Science and Public Administration.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).