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Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The MPP is a two-year, full-time professional degree program. Constructing the scaffolding for policymaking in a global context is the critical component of the MPP. It will prepare students with the skills needed to compare best practices in the U.S., Latin America, Asia and beyond.

Our faculty are go-to experts for the public, private and intergovernmental sectors, creating design and evaluation methodology of public policy around the globe. The MPP degree combines this social science policy expertise with our campus strengths in STEM and health sciences.

Program Overview

The MPP requires 92 units for completion. All students take eight required core courses in their first year and a capstone research seminar in the second. Students must choose a minimum of one area of specializations. Although proficiency in a foreign language is not required, 24 units may be counted toward the degree as long as the language matches an elective regional or country specialization.

Core Curriculum

Core Courses
All candidates must complete the following courses with a C- or better. The courses listed below are completed in the first year of study.

Policy Making Processes: This course is designed to teach students how to “read” a country’s political and economic system. The course will examine how the evolution of different institutional frameworks in the countries of the Pacific region influences the way in which political choices are made.

Managerial Economics: Survey of basic tools of economics. Included will be such topics as real trade theory, international movements of capital, the effects of trade and capital flows on domestic economies, and policies toward trade and foreign investment.

Market Failures and Policy Interventions: Applies economic reasoning to public issues, policies and programs. It considers incentives and organizations; models of economic behavior, including markets, the absence of markets and interventions; the price system; policy objectives and instruments.

Policy and Political Decision Making in the U.S.: This course studies the structure of American government and the political dimensions of policy problems. Emphasis will be on the study of institutions and the influences of constraints on decision making, interaction between branches of government, government and society, and the international context in which policymakers must work.

Public Finance: This course introduces principles of taxation and expenditure analysis, public budgeting and assessment of budget priorities.

Policy Analysis and Decision Theory: This course introduces students to the methods of policy analysis and decision-making theory—methods to assemble panel data to capture the impact of new policy on observable data, decision-making theory, uncertainty, decision criteria, expected utility and risk.

Quantitative Methods I: This course is designed to provide proficiency in quantitative methods that are used for optimization and decision-making. The use of spreadsheets is applied to data analysis and problem-solving. Statistical theory and regression analysis are introduced.

Quantitative Methods II: This course covers elements from statistics that are central to business decision-making under uncertainty. In particular, regression analysis and estimation will be applied to problems of forecasting and optimization.

Public Policy Capstone: The capstone is designed to test the hard skills of policy design and evaluation by using them in the analysis of a real-world policy problem. The course requires a highly applied team project that examines an existing public or nonprofit sector policy or managerial problem.

Areas of Specialization

Areas of specialization include(s):

  • American Policy in Global Context
  • Business, Government and Regulation
  • Energy and Environmental Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Program Design and Evaluation
  • Security Policy

Student Profile

Shadi Matar

In a Q&A complementing our Storify tour of a day in the life of Shadi Matar, the 2018 MPP candidate paints a picture of what attending GPS looks like today. Read here