|Graduate Program Head||David Lowery|
|Campus(es)||University Park (M.P.P.)|
|Degrees Conferred||Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.)|
The Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree program is designed to provide professional training in public policy for those seeking careers in the design, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of public policies. The professional careers students should be prepared for include the full range of careers for which public policy expertise would be valued: national, state, and local government agencies, think tanks and consulting firms, non-‐profit organizations, and lobby firms and private sector organizations engaged in public affairs representation. The core of the M.P.P. degree curriculum will provide students with a strong knowledge base relevant to public policy rooted in the social science disciplines of economics, political science, sociology, and industrial psychology housed in the College of the Liberal Arts along with training in quantitative policy analysis and evaluation. And through its specialization course requirements, it will provide students with public policy relevant training across a wide spectrum of substantive public policy areas drawing on expertise found on the University Park campus. Students will work closely with faculty to design a specialization curriculum around their core course work.
Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 General Admissions Standards.
All applicants will submit GRE scores, résumé or curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement addressing their reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in public policy and discussing their plans and goals.
The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.
English proficiency test scores must meet or exceed the minimum acceptable scores listed in GCAC-305. Applicants with a score of 19 or higher on the speaking section of the TOEFL Internet-‐based test will be considered for admission, though a score of 23 or higher is desirable. The minimum IELTS score required for admission is 7.0 (overall, and in each of the subsections).
Admissions will be based on a review of all submitted materials and spaces will be offered to the best qualified applicants, taking into account academic achievement, relevant work experience and other indices of aptitude for advanced study in public policy.
Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.)
Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Requirements.
A minimum of 49 credits at the 400, 500, or 800 level, with at least 18 credits at the 500 or 800 level and a minimum of 6 credits at the 500 level, is required. More specifically, the program requires 24 credits in 8 core courses that are designed to establish a base of knowledge in key subject areas reflecting the statistical skills and the disciplinary foundations from economics, political science, and organizational theory and management needed for successful careers in public policy. Three additional courses in the core (9 credits) of the M.P.P. curriculum focus specifically on the practice of conducting prospective and retrospective public policy analyses.
|PPOL 801||The Public Policy Process||3|
|PPOL 802||Economic Analysis for Public Policy||3|
|PPOL 503||Statistics for Public Policy I||3|
|PPOL 804||Public Sector Organization Theory||3|
|PPOL 805||Bureaucracy and the Policy Process||3|
|PPOL 506||Statistics for Public Policy II||3|
|PPOL 807||Managing Public Organizations||3|
|PPOL 808||Public Finance and Budgeting||3|
|PPOL 809||Public Policy Analysis||3|
|PPOL 810||Policy and Program Evaluation||3|
|PPOL 811||Project Design and Methods||3|
|An additional four courses (12 credits) are required in the student’s field of public policy specialization. These courses will be selected by students with approval from by M.P.P. program and may be at the 400, 500, or 800 level. Students may count up to 12 credits in the fields of specialization from 400-level courses.||12|
|PPOL 895||Public Policy Internship 1||1|
|PPOL 894||Capstone Experience (Capstone Project)||3|
In addition to completing the core curriculum and the specialization curriculum, students are required to take a summer internship (PPOL 895, 1 credit), as approved by the M.P.P. program, between their two years of on-campus study. The internship placement should be of sufficient depth and professionalism that would allow the student to experience the integration of their curricular studies in an actual public policy professional environment. Successful completion of the internship will require an evaluation by the supervisor and a reflective paper.
In addition to these degree requirements, students must complete a capstone project as their master’s culminating experience. This entails completing both the Project Design and Methods class (PPOL 811, 3 credits and one of the 11 core courses listed above) and the capstone project requirement (PPOL 894, 3 credits). The capstone project will involve integrating and showing mastery of the subject matter of the student's public policy specialization via conducting original research using prospective public policy analysis or retrospective program/policy evaluation. Successful defense of the capstone project will entail its presentation at an annual capstone conference sponsored by the M.P.P. program.
Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.
Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.
Primary Program Contact: Christopher Witko
Telephone: (814) 865-7515