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Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

School of Public Policy

School ofPublic Policy




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 Masters of Public Policy prepares students academically and professionally to be ethical agents of change who can use evidence-based analysis and cultural understanding to inform policy and lead organizations to address the world’s most challenging problems. Our faculty strive to be leaders in research on policy and democratic governance and produce transformational research that improves the practice of public policy and governance.”   



We train students and expect faculty and staff to have integrity and high ethical standards and consider the ethical implications of their actions.  


We teach students to be open to new ideas, experiences and values and in our research prioritize examining questions that can lead to breakthroughs in our academic research and practice  


We strive to create an inclusive environment for students and faculty and train students for increasingly diverse organizations and policy contexts.  


The desire for a more equitable society along gender, race, ethnicity, class and other lines informs our research, teaching and service.