The MPP degree is earned in a two-year, full-time program consisting of a core curriculum, a policy internship in the summer after completion of the first year, a second-year policy analysis project, and elective courses chosen from those available on the campus (including but not limited to those offered by the School).
The program emphasizes practical and applied dimensions of policy-making and implementation, encouraging students to develop skills in:
- Defining policy issues to make them more intelligible to officials in the public or private sector
- Providing a broader perspective for assessing policy alternatives
- Examining techniques for developing policy options and evaluating their social consequences
- Developing strategies for the successful implementation of public policies once they have been adopted
Given the relatively small class size, the School's approach to teaching emphasizes teamwork, cooperation, and interaction among students and with the faculty. Students work, either as individuals or in small groups, on real policy problems for real “clients” under close faculty supervision.
More specifically, the curriculum is designed to enable students to achieve the following:
- Skill in written communication and in verbal reporting
- An understanding of political institutions and processes, strategies, and skills associated with policy creation and adoption
- Knowledge of the organizational and bureaucratic structures involved in program development and implementation
- Skill in application of economic analysis to questions of economic trade-off and policy choice and efficiency
- Familiarity with cost-benefit analysis and other applications of quantitative analysis and modeling, as well as the use of statistical software
- An understanding of social science methodologies for dealing with problems of data collection, analysis, and program evaluation
- The ability to apply legal analysis where appropriate to the creation and implementation of public policy and to recognize the role of courts and administrative law in program development and implementation