Public Policy Degree’s & MPP’s
Are you interested in analyzing, debating, even changing policies within the realms of government, business and the community? Then a public policy degree may be just the form of post-secondary education that meets your personal and professional needs. In such a program, you will delve into existing policies of corporations, non-profit agencies and municipal, state and federal governments. You and your fellow colleagues will debate the merits of current laws, guidelines and rules; you will also form a deeper understanding of how policy is controlled and enforced, as well as how conflicting views prevent adoption or change.
During your time as a public policy student, you will be able to connect whatever your passion is to this field of study. Maybe you are not satisfied with existing healthcare legislation or how your city’s planning department is currently functioning; perhaps you would like to focus your attention on criminal justice, the environment or social inequities. Completing a public policy degree will guide you to a career, such as a lobbyist, a non-profit leader, a manager in government, a strategic planner or a policy analyst, where you can focus your efforts on what truly matters.
Undergraduate Programs in Public Policy
At the undergraduate level, you can either pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy. Generally a four year program, students complete preparatory courses during their first one to two years at university, and must be in good academic standing, before declaring their Public Policy major. Coursework includes studying public sector economics, statistical analysis, public ethics, government and business practices, healthcare, urban planning, homeland security, political issues, human rights, advocacy, global policy and land use regulations. Most institutions offer experience-based internships and honors work during senior year. Those who complete a Bachelor public policy degree either commence an entry-level position in the public, private or non-profit sector or move onto graduate studies in areas such as public policy, law, urban planning, political science or social work.
Graduate Degrees in Public Policy & MPP Programs
A Masters Degree in Public Policy (MPP) is generally a two-year program and requires previous completion of a Bachelors degree. Often institutions prefer prospective graduate students to have previous coursework in economics and statistics, as well as related professional experience. As a Masters student in Public Policy you will have the chance to further develop critical thinking skills, using both qualitative and quantitative tools, in order to analyze existing policy. Coursework will also equip you to weigh all options and demands of stakeholders in order to develop or improve policy. In other words, you will learn how to make some very difficult decisions and also how to facilitate consensus. As you complete courses, internships and seminars, the MPP degree will mold you into a successful leader who will make changes that will benefit society. Several institutions also offer an online public policy degree at the Masters level.
PhD in Public Policy
If you are interested in research and wish to gain a career as a university professor or work for a top organization, such as the World Bank or United Nations, then you can complete a PhD in Public Policy. Generally four or five years in length, these postgraduate programs are usually interdisciplinary and include mentorship from a faculty member, seminars, coursework and an independent research dissertation. While completion of a Masters is always required for a PhD program, some Schools of Public Policy prefer prospective postgraduate students to specifically have a Masters in Public Policy and/or previous coursework in Mathematics, Calculus and Economics.
Public Policy Degree Specializations
For most Masters and PhD public policy degrees, students select a specialization that is compatible with their near-future career goals. Examples of specializations include:
- International Affairs
- State and Municipal Policy
- American Politics
- Political Science
- Healthcare and Disease Control
- Criminal Justice
- Homeland Security
- Emergency Management
- Non-profit Leadership
- Public Safety and Security
- Urban Policy and Administration