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Universities with a Master of Public Policy Degree Program

Schools offering master's degree programs in public policy most frequently award a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree. MPP programs prepare students for professional careers as policy analysts or leaders in public service. When choosing a university for a public policy program, students commonly consider what specializations are offered, dual degree opportunities and internship prospects.

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:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition*
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.

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