The core curriculum of GSPP's two-year Master in Public Policy (MPP) program emphasizes the practical and applied dimensions of policymaking. Courses provide strong foundations in political decision making and law, and equip students with analytical tools and concepts, including microeconomic theory and statistical modeling. Five electives, designed to allow students to focus on a particular policy area, can be taken either at GSPP or elsewhere on the Berkeley campus.
Because real public policy problems are often ill-defined and resistant to straightforward application of formal analytic techniques, the curriculum includes substantial field work, allowing students to apply their learning in the service of real-life policy clients. Students work at a summer policy internship between their first and second years and complete an analysis, in groups and individually, during the spring semester of each year.
Class sizes are relatively small; students enjoy a sense of camaraderie with one another and with faculty. Teamwork, rather than competition, is encouraged. This approach develops skills in negotiation, cooperation, and consensus building, all essential to effective public leadership.
GSPP also offers concurrent degrees, as well as doctorate (PhD) in public policy.