Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Information About MPP Students

The Goldman School of Public Policy, ranked among the top public policy programs in the nation, offers a full-time, two-year program leading to a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree.  The M.P.P. curriculum is designed to provide students with diverse skills for systematic analysis of complex policy problems, the likely consequences of alternative solutions, and effective program implementation, management and evaluation.  

The M.P.P. curriculum includes the following courses, which serve to develop a broad range of analytical skills as well as expertise in various substantive policy areas:

  • Microeconomics
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Legal analysis
  • Political and Organizational behavior
  • Individual and group assignments that emphasize both short turnaround analyses and in-depth studies of policy issues
  • Seminars which broaden a student's expertise in emerging fields of public concern
  • Courses which broaden students’ expertise with advanced public policy tools and methodologies.

The Goldman School also offers concurrent degree programs with the following UC Berkeley departments: Energy and Resources Group; Public Health; Berkeley Law; Engineering; International and Area Studies; and Social Welfare.  These degree programs offer students an opportunity to develop more in-depth expertise in these specific areas.

Field Work & Professional Preparation

GSPP emphasizes practical applications of policy analysis. At several key stages in their training, students assist policy-makers in both public and private organizations:

  • Introductory Policy Analysis (IPA) projects represent field work required of all first year students. Small groups of students, working under faculty supervision, conduct research on and propose solutions to current policy problems facing officials in government, not-for-profit and private organizations.
  • Summer internships are required of all students between their first and second year of study. Students choose positions as advisors to policymakers and leaders in all levels of government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector - both domestically and internationally.
  • Advanced Policy Analysis (APA) projects, which serve as the student's master's thesis, are conducted by each student during the spring semester of their second year of study.  These projects involve intensive research and analysis of a selected policy issue or problem sponsored by a real-world client in public, non-profit or private organizations.  Completed projects include specific policy recommendations and solutions for the client, which in many cases have been adopted and implemented into official policies.

These field work experiences, plus the opportunities for interaction with policy practitioners which are available at GSPP throughout the academic year, facilitate the students’ transitions from the academic world to public policy careers.