Boston Public Policy Schools
Boston students on the hunt for public policy master's degree programs will find there's no lack of options in their area. To provide an idea of what to expect from such programs, this article focuses on the coursework required at three universities located less than 15 minutes from the central part of the city. It also includes a table of facts and figures on the profiled schools in addition to info on several other college options in the area.
- Located about five miles from the center of the city, the University of Massachusetts - Boston (UMass - Boston) offers in-state tuition for graduate degree seekers through an accelerated program designed for working professionals. Students can earn a master's degree in public administration at the institution.
- The prestigious Harvard University features a master's in public policy with six areas of concentration. The campus is roughly four miles from central Boston.
- Students can select one of four areas of focus in the law and public policy master's program at Northeastern University, located in the heart of Boston just three miles from downtown.
Comparison of Schools
Financial considerations are usually of importance to many college students - perhaps just as important as schools' academic program offerings. Two of the three featured institutions have noticeably higher tuition rates, which is not uncommon among private universities. Get specifics on the costs, as well as additional facts, in the table below.
|University of Massachusetts - Boston||Harvard University||Northeastern University|
|School Type||4-year public university||4-year private, not-for-profit university||4-year private, not-for-profit university|
|Graduate Student Enrollment (Fall 2017)*||3,755||21,155||7,664|
|Campus Setting||Large City||Midsize City||Large City|
|Graduate Tuition (2017-2018)*|| $17,375 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of Massachusetts - Boston
Upon opening in 1965, the University of Massachusetts - Boston became the second school in the UMass system. The McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies houses the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs with certificates and degree programs at the master's and doctoral level.
Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program at UMass - Boston is designed for working professionals. Program coursework in the municipal management track focuses on regional issues of policy development and governance, covering topics such as public management, policy analysis and public budgeting. Other program courses include financial management and organizational behavior, as well as research methods and design. Students will also complete a public affairs case study capstone seminar. Students pursuing the gender, leadership, and public policy track earn a graduate certificate prior to taking an additional three semesters to complete the master's requirements.
Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government offers graduate degree programs in a variety of areas of public policy and public administration. The Harvard Kennedy School also has opportunities for course assistants and teaching fellows.
Master in Public Policy
Prerequisites for entrance into the Master in Public Policy (MPP) program include undergraduate coursework in economics, statistics and calculus. Preferred prerequisite experience includes 2-3 years of related professional experience. Students pursuing the MPP will select one of five required areas of concentration, which include business and government policy; democracy, politics and institutions; international and global affairs; political and economic development; and social and urban policy. The program will include a spring exercise involving specialized topics, such as social security reform and global warming. Students will also complete a capstone policy analysis exercise.
Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is located in the heart of Boston. The School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs is home to the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy as well as other research centers and institutes, such as the Community-Based Research Initiative and the Institute on Urban Health Research.
Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Law and Public Policy
An interdisciplinary program, the Juris Doctor/Master of Science (M.S.) in Law and Public Policy is offered through the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Law. It's designed specifically for law students. Students will select two of four areas of policy focus that include health policy, sustainability, climate change and the environment, or urban policy. Program coursework includes such topics as public policy strategy, legal reasoning and statistical methods.
There are several private, not-for-profit schools located within ten miles of downtown Boston that offer graduate programs focusing on public policy. Students wishing to pursue a master's degree in public policy may choose the Master in Public Policy (MPP) at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, as well as Simmons University in Boston. Brandeis University offers a Master of Public Policy.