Available from a number of California colleges and universities, graduate programs in public policy usually culminate in a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree. Students investigate aspects of public policy from economic, legal, business, and political perspectives. These programs may offer the opportunity to focus on areas including health, environmental sustainability, and policy evaluation.
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Public Policy Graduate Programs in California
University of California--Berkeley
UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy offers a two-year Master of Public Policy degree program. Students pursue this degree full time and complete an internship and a policy analysis project in addition to their coursework. During the first year of study, students enhance their understanding of policy analysis, legal and economic factors that shape policymaking, and quantitative methods of policy assessment. Students continue their coursework in the second year and undertake their policy analysis project under the guidance of a faculty supervisor.
University of California--Los Angeles
Students in UCLA's Master of Public Policy program can tailor their program of study to meet their particular interest within public policy. Requirements include 12 core classes in subjects like economics, management, and statistics. Beyond their core courses, students can take nine electives suited to their interests on topics including health, employment, development, and the environment. In addition to their coursework, students participate in an internship and complete a major policy analysis project. The program also offers joint degrees in disciplines including law, social work, and medicine.
Mills College offers a Master of Public Policy degree that can be completed full- or part-time. Seeking to equip graduates for leadership roles in nonprofits and government, the program focuses on relevant social issues like criminal justice and environmental concerns. In addition to classes in policy and analysis, students engage in a policy report project in which they serve as a consultant to a client from the community. Mills also offers a joint degree program granting MPP and Master of Business Administration degrees.
The University of Southern California
USC's Master of Public Policy program emphasizes both leadership and analysis skills that can be applied to public policy positions. Along with core courses in policy analysis, students take classes in economics and statistics. Students also have the opportunity to craft a specialization reflecting their interests by taking 12 units of electives in departments like business, education, health, and communication. The program also includes a year-long practicum offering students the chance to work on policy issues with domestic or international organizations.
University of California--San Diego
The University of California--San Diego offers a Master of Public Policy degree that takes two years of full-time study to complete. The program stresses global aspects of policymaking and blends social science and other disciplines like science and engineering. Students must complete 92 units through classes and a capstone course. In addition to classes on economics, political science, and statistics, students in UC San Diego's program take four courses in an area of specialization. These concentrations include an examination of American policy, policy evaluation, and policies related to security.
Public Policy Graduate Program Admissions
Applicants to graduate programs in public policy should submit transcripts confirming their undergraduate degree. Most programs also require a resume and a statement outlining an applicant's qualifications for the program and professional goals. Additional requirements include letters of recommendation and GRE scores. In lieu of GRE scores, some programs may accept the completion of a course demonstrating quantitative skills.
Public policy graduate programs in California grant master's degrees based on coursework in economics, management, and quantitative methods. In addition to classes, admitted students can expect to complete a major project focused on a public policy issue.