Master of Public Policy programs are offered as standalone degrees, but many schools offer students the opportunity to complete a degree program that compliments their studies in public policy, like law (J.D.), Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Because of their geographic location or reputation, some schools may offer students an advantage when seeking public policy-related internships.
Top Master of Public Policy Schools
The following table provides a few essential details about schools offering a master's program in public policy:
|University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, public||2016-2017: $13,335 (in-state)|
|Harvard University||Cambridge, MA||4-year, private not-for-profit||2016-2017: $51,415|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, public||2016-2017: $12,158 (in-state)|
|University of Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, private not-for-profit||2016-2017: $50,433|
|Princeton University||Princeton, NJ||4-year, private not-for-profit||2016-2017: $47,220|
|Duke University||Durham, NC||4-year, private not-for-profit||2016-2017: $46,939|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, private not-for-profit||2016-2017: $25,049|
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4-year, private not-for-profit||2015-2016: $46,320|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||Bloomington, IN||4-year, public||2016-2017: $12,969 (in-state)|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, public||2015-2016: $11,870 (in-state)|
*Sources: School websites, National Center for Education Statistics
University Selection Criteria
While searching for a university with a public policy master's program, here are a few things you may wish to consider:
- Whether the school allows students to pursue a formal concentration in a particular area of interest
- Whether the school provides dual degree programs
- What kind of internship opportunities are available; for instance, some schools provide programs outside of the United States for students who are interested in international policy
- Whether faculty members have expertise in the student's area of interest within the field of public policy
Master of Public Policy (MPP) Programs
Master of Public Policy (MPP) programs are highly interdisciplinary, combining advanced coursework in politics, economics, management, statistics, data analysis and communications, among other topics. At some schools, students may choose a particular specialization area, such as environmental policy, transportation planning, education policy, civil infrastructure or economic development. MPP programs consist of two years of full-time study, including an internship in the field during the summer after the first year. Most programs culminate in a final capstone experience, such as an independent study project or policy exercise.
There are both public and private universities that offer MPP programs. Students may choose between them based on financial aid offerings, specialization options and internship opportunities.