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M.P.P. Curriculum and Course Requirements


The M.P.P. program requirements are designed to provide students with a solid, interdisciplinary foundation in public policy analysis. Students master a common set of concepts and analytical tools, and complete additional courses in a concentration based on their intellectual and vocational goals.

The curriculum is divided into 3 categories for a total of 37 credits.

Core courses - 7 courses (16 credits). Courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated:

Basic concepts (10 credits):
PUBL 603 Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis
PUBL 613 Managing Public Organizations
PUBL 623 Governmental Budgeting
PUBL 697 Internship Course (0 credit)
PUBL 699 Policy Analysis Paper (1 credit)

Research methods and quantitative analysis (6 credits):
PUBL 600 Research Methodology
PUBL 604 Statistical Analysis

Disciplinary foundation courses - 3 courses (9 credits):

ECON 600 Policy Consequences of Economic Analysis or ECON 601 Microeconomic Analysis
PUBL 601 Political and Social Context of the Policy Process
SOCY 606 Social Inequality and Social Policy

Study concentration courses - 4 courses (12 credits), with one course a concentration-approved statistical/methodological/analytical course:

- Economics
- Educational Policy
- Evaluation and Analytical Methods
- Health Policy
- Public Management
- Urban Policy

Learn more about study concentrations.
Specific course requirements for each area of concentration are listed in the Graduate Student Handbook.


M.P.P. students who have completed 15 credits of course work, and are without previous relevant public policy work experience, are required to complete a departmentally-approved internship as a condition of graduation.* Students serving the internship must register for PUBL 697.

Students with relevant professional work experience can submit a request for waiver from the internship requirement. Internship guidelines and forms are on the Public Policy Blackboard site.

*The internship requirement is for students entering the M.P.P. program in Fall 2010 or after.

M.P.P. Policy Analysis Paper

Master's students are required to take a 1 credit course (PUBL 699) in which each student produces a policy analysis paper.

Master’s Thesis Option

Students may write a Master’s thesis instead of the policy analysis paper. They will then substitute a 6 credit hour master’s thesis for the 1 credit hour policy analysis paper. Students choosing this option will be required to take only 3 track courses instead of the 4 required of other students. As a consequence, students choosing the master’s thesis option will engage in a 39 credit hour master’s program instead of the 37 hour program required of the other students.

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