Masters in Public Policy Degree Programs with Career Information

Learn about master's degree programs in public policy. Get career and continuing education information while also learning about specific program prerequisites and courses.

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Essential Information

Public policy covers the creation, analysis and influence of regulations affecting people around the world. Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree programs train graduates to work in government organizations or the private sector. These programs provide students with the analytical, legal and ethical skills needed for a career in shaping and influencing policy at the local, national or international levels. Many public policy programs offer students concentration opportunities in financial management, public management, international business or environmental policy. Often requiring two years of study, an M.P.P. program typically includes extensive classroom study, independent research and an internship experience.

Educational Prerequisites

Master's degree programs in public policy require applicants to possess a bachelor's degree. Though students may apply regardless of their undergraduate field of study, overall academic performance is often a factor in admissions. Most M.P.P. programs require applicants to submit at least one essay or writing sample, demonstrating their interest in public policy. Applicants usually must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, though some schools accept Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores in their place.

Program Coursework

Courses in a Master of Public Policy degree program cover policy analysis, economic theory and management techniques. M.P.P. classes include:

  • Ethical issues in public policy
  • Research methods for public policy
  • Markets and market failures
  • Economic analysis of public policy
  • Public policy process and analysis
  • Legal frameworks for public policy
  • Microtheory and public finance

Popular Career Options

Graduates of Master of Public Policy programs find work in fields in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Careers in public policy can be found in the following types of organizations:

  • Consulting agencies
  • Public interest groups
  • Advocacy organizations
  • National, state or local government agencies
  • Media outlets
  • Public relations organizations
  • Research institutes

Continuing Education Information

A master's degree is considered adequate education for many careers in public policy. However, a Ph.D. in Public Policy is widely available for students seeking additional development. Often, students pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy are interested in becoming educators.

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