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Master of Public Policy

Learn the art of policy and governance, and gain the analytical skills and practical experience to launch a career solving pressing policy challenges.

Through your coursework, you'll develop the critical thinking and analytical skills that form the foundation of effective decision-making. Outside of the classroom, our location in the Washington D.C. region will provide you with expansive opportunities to engage directly in local, national and international policymaking. 

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  • Gain a strong foundation in the perspectives, tools and skills that will serve you throughout your policy career with a core set of governance, quantitative and practice-oriented courses.
  • Take a deeper dive into areas of interest with our optional specializations, or develop your own specialization to explore a particular policy area.
  • Learn from faculty who are both scholars and practitioners, bringing their real-world experiences and connections into the classroom.

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The MPP curriculum consists of two components - a core set of courses (27 credits total) that provide a foundation in governance, quantitative skills and the practice of public policy and elective courses that allow a deeper dive into a particular area of interest. Students must complete 48 credits to earn the MPP degree.

Core Courses (27 credits total)

Governance Sequence
  • PLCY688E Normative and Political Dimensions of Public Policy (3 credits)
  • PLCY688G Governance: Leadership, Management & Accountability (3 credits)
  • PLCY699D Examining Social Identity and Pluralism in Public Policy (3 credits) (For students matriculating in or after summer 2021)
Quantitative Skills Sequence
  • PLCY640 Microeconomic and Policy Analysis (3 credits)
  • PLCY610 Quantitative Aspects of Public Policy (3 credits)
  • PLCY641 Macroeconomics (3 Credits)
  • PLCY670 Public Budgeting and Finance (3 Credits)
Practice Sequence
  • PLCY699X Capstone Project (3 Credits)
  • PLCY790 Capstone Project, Part 2 (3 credits)

Elective Courses (21 credits total)

Students may use 21 elective credits to complete one or two specializations, and/or pursue general policy interests. 

Explore the specializations

Sample Plan of Study

  • PLCY688E (Governance Sequence) Normative and Political Dimensions of Public Policy (3 credits)
  • PLCY610 (Quantitative Skills Sequence) Quantitative Aspects of Public Policy (3 credits)
  • PLCY640 (Quantitative Skills Sequence) Microeconomics and Policy Analysis (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • PLCY688G (Governance Sequence) Leadership, Management & Accountability
  • PLCY670 (Quantitative Skills Sequence) Public Budgeting and Finance (3 credits)
  • PLCY641(Quantitative Skills Sequence) Macroeconomics (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • PLCY699X (Practice Sequence) Capstone Project (3 credits)
  • PLCY699D (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • PLCY790 (Practice Sequence) Capstone Project, Part 2 (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)

Note: For students who matriculated prior to summer 2020, please use the following course equivalencies:

Quantitative Skills Sequence
  • PLCY688I Macroeconomics instead of PLCY641 Macroeconomics (3 Credits)
  • PLCY688R Budgeting and Finance instead of PLCY670 Public Budgeting and Finance (3 Credits)
Practice Sequence
  • PLCY699W Capstone Project (2 Credits) instead of PLCY699X Capstone Project (3 Credits)
View sample plans & course requirements for each of the specializations

Our Faculty

Tuition & Fees

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Aid & Scholarships

See the financial aid and scholarships that are available to help fund your education.

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The MPP program recruits potential policy leaders from across the country and world into public service, and prepares them for careers fostering more effective and cross-sector global, national, and local policies and governance processes, through:

  • Careful analysis of evidence using sophisticated interdisciplinary lenses;
  • Practical experience leveraging our unique location;
  • Exposure to best practices and top policy leaders;
  • Development of professional, leadership, and innovation skills; and
  • Appreciation for democratic and inclusive ideals in a multicultural world.

We aim for all graduates to be capable generalists and, when desired, to have a grounding in specific topic areas, especially environmental and energy policy; international development policy; international security and economic policy; social policy; public/nonprofit management, leadership and finance; and science & technology policy.

Fall 2020 incoming MPP: 80
% Maryland residents: 53%
% International:  4
% Underrepresented Minorities:  25
% Female:  51
%Male: 49

AY 2015/2016: Students commencing MPP studies in fall 2015 or spring 2016

  • Total # of students in cohort: 100
  • Graduated within 2 years: 69 (69%)
  • Graduated within 3 years: 88 (88%)
  • Graduated within 4 years: 94 (94%)
  • Total students graduated and persisting to graduation: 94

The MPP program includes both full-time and part-time students. Typically, full-time students will finish within two years and part-time students will take up to four years. Dual degree students take from 3-4 years to complete the program and some students take a year or two off in the middle of their studies and thus take a little longer to complete the program. 

FY 19/20: December 2019 and May 2020 Graduates
National or central government in the same country as the program 32
State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program 21
City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program 7
Government not in the same country as the program (all levels) or international quasi-governmental 4
Nonprofit domestic-oriented 20
Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented 23
Private Sector - research/consulting 11
Private Sector but not research/consulting 22
Obtaining further education 20
Military Service 0
Unemployed (not seeking employment) 0
Unemployed (seeking employment) 1
Status Unknown 62
Total 223