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Admissions Blog

Posts from October 2014

Follow GSPP!

Goldman School Faculty, Staff, and Students are doing incredible things every day. Follow us on social media to get an inside peek into our annual alumni dinner, learn about campus spotlights on faculty research, and see how students unwind between core courses in our courtyard!

Student Profile

Leah Koestner, MPP '15













Name:  Leah Koestner

Year: Second

Policy Area of Concentration:  Social, education, budgeting and economic, and arts policy

GSPP Graduation Year: 2015

Undergraduate School:  Arizona State University

Personal History: After graduating with a degree in Economics, I worked in the Arizona Governor’s Office as a Education Research Analyst in the Office of Economic Recovery, as an Assistant Policy Advisor, and as a Budget Analyst in the Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. 

What attracted you to GSPP? The faculty, the administration, the affordability, the bay area. 

How did you prepare for the GSPP application and admissions process? I researched why I would be a good fit at GSPP and why GSPP was a good fit for me. 

What did you enjoy most during your time at GSPP?  Working with the amazing faculty. 

What was your professional background before GSPP and what do you look to do with your degree upon graduation? I worked in a state budget office. I hope to be a consultant or work in federal policy. 

What is your favorite thing about being a student in the Bay Area? Access to a big city, beautiful camping and hiking, and the beach.  

What has been your favorite class? Criminal Justice Policy with Steven Raphael – for subject area class, Risk and Optimization for skills class. 

Who is your favorite faculty member? Steve Raphael

What is your best memory from GSPP? During the Fall Feast, a group of students put on an Indian dance. It was so moving and awesome to see so many people with different backgrounds come together and have so much fun.

GSPP is packing its bags!

Idealist Grad Fairs: CHI, DC, BALTIMORE

The Goldman School of Public Policy is packing its bags again for Idealist Grad Fairs in ChicagoWashington, DC, and Baltimore! This is an opportunity to speak with GSPP Admissions and alumni to learn about admissions requirements, the MPP curriculum, and life at GSPP.

Chicago • RSVP
Thursday, October 23, 2014 • 5:00pm–8:00pm 
University of Illinois, Chicago, UIC Forum
725 W Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608

Washington, DC • RSVP
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 • 5:00pm–8:00pm 
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington Convention Center, Hall C
Washington, DC 20001

Baltimore • RSVP
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 • 5:00pm–8:00pm
Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Campus, Glass Pavilion
3101 Wyman Park Drive, Baltimore, MD 21211

San Francisco, we're coming for you next!

What Courses are GSPP Students Taking?

Course Selection

At such a large university, the course choices for the MPP degree are endless. Want to see what Goldman School students have to choose from in Spring 2015? See our GSPP course listings going all the way back to Fall 2012.  

In the MPP curriculum, students are allowed anywhere from 5 to 8 electives. What's great about the electives is that they can be taken anywhere campus. The University course catalogue is open to you, which means you can take classes at Berkeley Law, Haas School of Business, College of Engineering, Social Welfare, School of Public Health, College of Natural Resources, School of Education, School of Journalism, School of Information, and on, and on, and on.

With an average entering class size of 85, students get the benefits of learning in a community environment with the resources of a major university.

PolicyMatters Journal

A Student-Run Journal of the Goldman School of Public Policy

GSPP is unique in that students and faculty understand the necessary relationship between rigorous scholarly work and translating policy to practice. A great example of this is the student-run PolicyMatters Journal. Covering topics from Food Stamp Enrollment to Pension Reform to Fossil Fuels, PMJ describes itself as “ a conduit for the insights of Goldman students on pertinent policy topics.” 

Each semester, PMJ publishes a journal online and in print that contains between seven and ten articles, typically authored by graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley. PMJ also maintains a blog, PMJ Wire, which serves as a voice for GSPP students to share their policy expertise and opinions with a wide audience.

PMJ currently has a staff of thirty editors, who are all GSPP students. These individuals complete all of the work related to producing the journal, including editing, design, and distribution. PMJ is also led by a small group of about seven students who serve as the executive board. These students have the opportunity to lead the development and vision of the journal.

PMJ provides a unique platform for UC Berkeley graduate students to publish their research and learn about the editing and publishing process, particularly for writing related to public policy analysis.