Public Policy & Administration

Master's in Public Policy & Administration Areas of Specialization

The Master's in Public Policy and Administration program requires the successful completion of 13 courses; nine core courses, three elective courses corresponding to a declared specialization, and a capstone (498) or thesis (590) project. Students declare a specialization as part of the application process. Students can also select the "generalist" designation, which allows them to take their electives from different specializations.

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
  • MPPA 430 Behavioral Economics

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 The Strategic Policy Environment
  • MPPA 432 Intergovernmental Relations
  • MPPA 430 Behavioral Economics
  • 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 430 Behavioral Economics
  • MPPA 440 International Institutions
  • MPPA 450 Global Economic Policy
  • MPPA 452 The Global City
  • MSGH 421 Globalization and Public Policy
  • MPPA 490 Special Topics: U.S. and Global Environmental Policy
  • MPPA 490 Special Topics: U.S. Foreign 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

Data Analytics for Public Policy Specialization

(Courses are only offered online)

The data analytics specialization is intended for students who will use data analytics and statistics to address policy issues. Policy analysts and researchers who can use sophisticated statistical and computational methods can add insight and value to public policy decision-making by using big data to improve public services in public health, transportation, and law enforcement, predict and avert famine and droughts, and improve city infrastructures.

Please note that students must take the core MPPA 405 Statistics for Research before beginning the specialization.

  • PREDICT 400 Math for Modelers

(and any two of the following)

  • PREDICT 420 Database Systems and Data Preparation
  • PREDICT 455 Data Visualization
  • PREDICT 460 Decision Analytics
  • PREDICT 490 Special Topics: any special topics course that is appropriate

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 scholarly or practical research 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