Curriculum

The Penn State Master of Public Policy interdisciplinary program draws on the strengths of Penn State's faculty to provide an emphasis in substantive policy expertise and cutting-edge analytics. The flexibility of the program enables students to choose an existing specialization or to design a specialization that meets their career goals, making use of the expertise of faculty from across the University Park campus.

Penn State’s recognized excellence in a range of disciplines creates opportunities for students to become experts in a wide array of analytic techniques and substantive areas that can be matched by few other universities. Students will work with professors from Penn State's Political Science Department, ranked in the top five for faculty and graduate student and research publications. A concentration in children and family policy will place students with professors in the #1 Human Development and Family Studies graduate program in the world. Penn State's Statistics program is part of the Eberly College of Science, one of the top ten academic institutions in the basic sciences nationwide. Students working toward a concentration in criminal justice will study with professors from Sociology and Criminology, one of the nation's top programs. 

Current concentrations:

  • Data Science/Analytics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Children and Family Policy
  • Labor and Employment Relations
  • Health Policy
  • Information Technology
  • International Public Policy
Option to design a specialization with Penn State faculty 

Essential Skills:

The curriculum delivers the skills graduates will need as they enter the job market.

  • Policy Analysis
  • Data Analytics
  • Program Evaluation
  • Project and Research Design
  • Communication
  • Project Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork

[1]All courses, including the capstone/thesis project, are 3 credits with the exception of the summer public policy internship (1 credit).  The MPP program as a whole is 49 credit hours.

[2] Students are required to take four policy specialization courses. Generally, these will be drawn from other programs on campus. However, MPP faculty may also teach courses on substantive public policy issues or methods of policy analysis as PPOL 897: Special Topics in Public Policy.