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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.

Project Course Leads to Deeper Understanding of Human Trafficking

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Alumna's Passion for Advocacy Leads to Career in Immigration Policy and Criminal Justice

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Alumnus Remembers Important Lessons Learned

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The MPP curriculum consists of two components - a core set of courses (24 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 (24 credits total)

Governance Sequence
  • PLCY688E Normative and Political Dimensions of Public Policy (3 credits)
  • PLCY688G Governance: Leadership, Management & Accountability (3 credits)
Quantitative Skills Sequence
  • PLCY640 Microeconomic and Policy Analysis (3 credits)
  • PLCY610 Quantitative Aspects of Public Policy (3 credits)
  • PLCY688I Macroeconomics (2 credits)
  • PLCY688R Budgeting and Finance (2 credits)
Practice Sequence
  • PLCY688T Team-Based Policy Lab (3 credits)
  • PLCY699W Capstone Project, Part 1 (2 credits)
  • PLCY790 Capstone Project, Part 2 (3 credits)

Elective Courses (24 credits total)

Students may use 24 elective credits to complete one or two specializations, and/or pursue general policy interests. 

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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)
  • PLCY688T (Practice Sequence) Team-Based Policy Lab (3 credits)
  • PLCY688G (Governance Sequence) Leadership, Management & Accountability
  • PLCY688R (Quantitative Skills Sequence) Public Finance and Budgeting (2 credits)
  • PLCY688I (Quantitative Skills Sequence) Macroeconomics (2 credits)
  • General elective (3 credits)
  • PLCY699W (Practice Sequence) Capstone Project, Part 1 (2 credits)
  • General elective (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)

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Tuition & Fees

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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.

Incoming MPP:  79 students
% Maryland residents:  31
% Other US residents:  67%
% International:  12%

Completion Rate (5 year) - Of the MPP students who entered in 2013/2014, 76% graduated within two years, 92% graduated within three years, 94% graduated within four years, and 96% graduated within five years. 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. Some students take a year or two off in the middle of their studies and thus take a little longer to complete the program.