About the School of Public Policy

From climate change to health care, there are some big questions to answer and some significant challenges to address. The Master of Public Policy program in the School of Public Policy tackles them by creating professionals with skills to identify, analyze, and solve major policy issues.


The Public Policy program was created in 2018 in response to the thematic priorities in the university’s strategic plan by positioning Penn State as a leader in embracing the vital role of the arts and humanities, utilizing them—along with the sciences and other disciplines—as agents of change in addressing complex global issues. Penn State was also one of the few research-intensive universities without a unit focused primarily on public policy. The School of Public Policy contributes to the public-service mission of the university, consistent with its land grant status.

Penn State is well-positioned to be a leader in public policy due to strong social and behavioral sciences, cutting-edge programs in data analytics and a variety of policy-focused activities in research and degree programs from the professional schools to the natural sciences across campus.


The School of Public Policy prepares students to be ethical agents of change who can use evidence-based analysis and cultural competence to inform policy and to lead organizations that are tackling the world’s most challenging problems. Relying on innovative analytic techniques from across the social science disciplines, our faculty are leaders in the intellectual debate on policy formation, implementation, and analysis, advance scholarship on democratic governance and accountability, and contribute translational research that informs policy and promotes sound decisions.


We value integrity, discovery, excellence, inclusion, equity and public service.