Course of Study

The Master of Public Policy is a two-year full time or three to four-year part-time master’s program of 61 credits. Coursework consists of a first-year core curriculum in policy leadership, analysis, and process (31 credits), and a second-year curriculum composed of policy tracks (12 credits), policy specializations (12 credits), a summative project (3 credits), and a professional development plan (3 credits). Please take a look at the 2017-2018 MPP Course Planner for more information.

YEAR 1: Core Courses (31 credits)

Introduction to Public Policy (3 credits)

Provides an overview of the field of public policy and current issues in public policy. 

  • PAP 511 - Introduction to Public Policy (3 credits)

Policy Leadership Core (14 credits)

Covers the process and dimensions of public policy, including the stages of policy, the role of political interests and institutions, the role of advocacy, leadership, and strategy, and comparative perspectives on public policy for the purposes of policy learning and comparative analysis. Emphasis here will be placed on leadership, participation, advocacy, and communication competencies.

  • PAP 514 - Institutional Dynamics of Public Policy (4 Credits)
  • PAP 512 - Introduction to Policy Leadership (3 credits)
  • PS 515 - Comparative Public Policy (4 credits)
  • PA 579 - Policy Tools in Policy Design (3 credits)

Policy Analysis Core (14 credits)

Provides the foundations of positive and normative policy analysis. Includes basic methods of data analysis, policy analysis techniques, the economic dimensions of public policy, and the ethics of public policy. It is expected that through these courses, students will be provided with opportunities for interactions with practitioners on analytic questions. Emphasis here will be placed on analysis, communication, and experiential application.

  • PAP 513 - Ethics and Public Policy (4 credits)
  • PAP 653 - Policy Analysis: Theoretical Foundations (3 credits)
  • PAP 654/PA 554 - Policy Analysis Research (3 credits)
  • Varies - Data Analysis Course (4 credits)

YEAR 2: Track, Specialization, Professional, and Project Courses (30 credits)

Students choose one of the offered two tracks. Track courses, which may be in any academc unit in the College of Urban and Public Affairs as well as units elsewhere in the university, must be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor.

Policy Leadership Track (12 credits)

Policy leaders must direct policy analysis, identify policy opportunities, formulate strategies, build networks, and lead policy proposals through the policy process. Covers communication, legal reasoning, network-building, policy arguments, problem solving, political feasibility assessments, and public values.  

Policy Analysis Track (12 credits)

Policy analysts create and communicate information that is useful for the policy process. Covers the analysis of policy problems including problem structuring, forecasting, prescription,  monitoring, and evaluation. Methods and techniques relevant to these forms of analysis and to their communication. 

Policy Specializations (12 credits)

Covers issue-specific policy issues. Engages students in in-depth learning about particular issue areas. Students may specialize in one or several policy areas. Emphasis here is placed on developing policy-domain specific knowledge as well as professional networking and experiential application opportunities. Specialization courses must be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor.

Summative Policy Project (3 credits)

The project is intended as an integrative experience in which the student links their MPP work to their professional goals. The summative project could be, for instance: (1) a research-oriented report that tackles of a question of policy analysis or public policy theory; or (2) a client report prepared upon completion of a short internship. 

  • PAP 509 - Public Policy Project (3 credits)

Professional Development Plan (3 credits)

Students will work to prepare a career-oriented plan that outlines a pathway to professional development for the student based on a set of career goals and links that plan to their MPP course of study. The plan is intended to provide an opportunity for students to build individual networks, establish job search plans, and prepare a professional portfolio.

  • PAP 508 - Professional Development Plan (3 credits)