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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.

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is a two-year professional degree designed to provide you with the skills, expertise and networks to identify problems and create solutions. 

Ranked in the nation's best

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.

Brittany Ryan MPP ’15 leads sustainability efforts in commercial real estate

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Latanya Mapp Frett ’91, MPM ’95 is on a mission to create positive global impact

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Kahlil Kettering MPM ’15 leads climate adaptation and Chesapeake Bay conservation efforts

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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
Quantitative Skills Sequence
  • PLCY640 Microeconomic and Policy Analysis (3 credits)
  • PLCY610 Quantitative Aspects of Public Policy (3 credits)
  • PLCY641 Macroeconomics and Policy Analysis (3 Credits)
  • PLCY670 Public Budgeting and Financial Management (3 Credits)
Practice Sequence

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

  • PLCY630 (formerly 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)
  • PLCY631 (formerly PLCY688G) (Governance Sequence) Leadership, Management & Accountability
  • PLCY670 (Quantitative Skills Sequence) Public Budgeting and Financial Management (3 credits)
  • PLCY641(Quantitative Skills Sequence) Macroeconomics and Policy Analysis (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • PLCY790 (Practice Sequence) Project Course (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
View sample plans & course requirements for each of the specializations

Our Faculty

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Aid & Scholarships

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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

Current Number of Students: 258 (as of Summer 2023)
Faculty Teaching in the MPP Program: 60 (Summer 2022 - Spring 2023)

Delivery Method: On-Campus

Students commencing MPP studies in Fall 2017 or Spring 2018:

  • Total # of students in cohort: 81
  • Graduated within 2 years: 68 (84%)
  • Graduated within 3 years: 74 (91%)
  • Graduated within 4 years: 75 (93%)
  • Total students graduated and persisting to graduation: 75

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. 

2022 Graduates by Employment Sector (89 Graduates)

Federal Government (30%)
State/Local Governement (12%)
Nonprofit Sector (26%)
Private Sector (23%)
Further Education (5%)
Not Seeking Employment (2%)
Unknown (2%)