Why an MPP?

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree prepares students for a wide range of careers in public, private, and non-profit sectors in international as well as domestic contexts. The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree has several advantages over alternatives such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Economics (MEC), or a degree in law (J.D.). It can also be a better fit for students than the Master of Public Administration (MPA) or Master of Political Science (MPS) degrees. In general, students who choose to pursue an MPP are interested in being public policy analysts and leaders. This means a passion for policy issues and their impacts on society. Governing Magazine on the Value of a Graduate Education in Policy.

Compared to an MBA or MEC

Master’s degrees in business and economics equip students with skills in economic analysis and private sector management and leadership. MPP is more centered on public service, the public policy dimensions of the private sector, and the applied dimensions of economic analysis.  The MPP, especially its policy analysis track, may be a better alternative than economics or business school for candidates who want to learn the specific techniques of policy evaluation.

Compared to a J.D.

Many students want to become change leaders in society and recognize that skills in argument, advocacy, and the legal and regulative aspects of policy are key to this. Degrees in law often equip students for this. However, in addition to their high cost, law degrees may not cover all necessary skills. The MPP is ideal for candidates who want to sharpen and develop the skills necessary to build and support public policy coalitions, to make arguments in regulatory and policy settings, and to defend and advocate for groups and individuals working within public policy contexts.

Compared to an MPA

MPA degree prepare students for work in government, while the MPP degree offers the technical expertise in policy analysis and evaluation necessary for work in a broad range of public, non-profit, and business organizations in domestic and international contexts. In general, MPA programs place more emphasis on management and implementation techniques in the public sector while MPP programs emphasize public policy analysis and leadership both within and outside of the public sector. MPP degrees are appropriate for candidates who plan a career centered on specific public policy agendas rather than in government organizations.

Compared to an MPS

The MPP degree draws on theoretical foundations from political science, but offers students practical skills for solving public policy problems. MPP degrees by necessity deal with the many political aspects of the public policy process, including advocacy, coalitions, institutions, and the role of policy ideas. However, the ultimate focus of an MPP is on the resulting acts of public authority and their consequences for society. MPP degrees thus offer an advantage over MPS degrees for candidates whose interest in politics and the political process centers on the question of results and consequences.