Public Policy & Administration Online

Curriculum and Specialization Details

The Master's in Public Policy and Administration requires completion of 13 courses to obtain a degree. These requirements cover nine core courses, three elective courses corresponding to a declared specialization, and a capstone project (498) or thesis (590). A specialization should be declared as part of the application process. Students who prefer a more broad-based exposure can select the generalist designation, which allows them to take their two electives from different specializations. Current students should refer to curriculum requirements in place at time of entry into the program. 

Public Administration Specialization

This specialization prepares students to serve as managers on the local, state and federal levels, and in the nongovernmental organization and nonprofit sectors. Graduates leave with an improved ability to deal with the complex challenges and concerns that face public administrators. Our graduates are prepared to lead an increasingly diverse public workforce toward innovative solutions.

  • MPPA 411 The Legislative Process
  • MPPA 413 Foundations of the Nonprofit/NGO Sector
  • MPPA 417 Public Human Resources

Public Policy Specialization

Students in this specialization will be able to understand the factors in public decision-making and policy formulation by honing their analytical skills and increasing their theoretical and practical knowledge in the field. Graduates are able to evaluate competing demands and lead toward innovative and transformative public policy solutions.

  • MPPA 411 The Legislative Process
  • MPPA 419 Strategic Policy Implementation
  • MPPA 432 Intergovernmental Relations
  • MPPA 435 Regulatory Policy
  • MPPA 490 Special Topics: US and Global Environmental Policy

Global Policy Specialization

This specialization introduces students to key issues addressed by global policy, such as development goals, the environment, financial regulation, nuclear proliferation, democratization and state-building. Graduates build the tools, training and knowledge necessary to lead policy development in an increasingly interdependent world while engaging various governments, private industries, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.

  • MPPA 440 International Institutions
  • MPPA 450 International Macroeconomic Policy
  • MPPA 452 The Global City
  • MSGH 421 Globalization and Public Policy
  • MPPA 490 Special Topics: US and Global Environmental Policy

Global Health Specialization

(Courses are only offered online)

Government agencies and major foundations are investing billions to combat largely treatable chronic diseases that claim far too many lives in low- and middle-income countries. This specialization is designed to enable students, such as nonprofit administrators, policy analysts, social entrepreneurs and others, to make a meaningful difference in healthcare access and outcomes. Students will navigate the legal and regulatory aspects of health-related industries around the world and evaluate cultural and ethical considerations inherent in global health contexts.

  • MSGH 405 Foundations of Global Health
  • MSGH 417 Global Health Systems
  • MSGH 421 Globalization and Public Policy
  • MSGH 427 Grant Writing and Fundraising
  • MSGH 450 Global Health Initiatives

Health Services Policy Specialization

(Courses are only offered on-campus)

Students take courses from the Feinberg School of Medicine program in Public Health to examine complex issues ranging from controlling infectious disease, to reducing environmental hazards, violence, substance abuse and injury.

  • PH 390 Introduction to International Public Health
  • PH 415 Health Promotion
  • PH 425 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis for Public Health
  • PH 442 Ethical Issues in Public Health
  • PH 443 Humanitarian Relief and Health
  • PH 449 Public Health Policy

About the Final Project

Students may pursue their capstone experience independently or as part of a team. As their final course, students take either the individual research project in an independent study format or the classroom final project class in which students integrate the knowledge they have gained in the core curriculum in a project presented by the instructor. In both cases students are guided by faculty in exploring the body of knowledge on public policy and administration while contributing research of practical value to the field. The capstone independent project and capstone class project count as one unit of credit.

  • MPPA 498 Capstone Project or
  • MPPA 590 Thesis Research