Public Policy

This program prepares students for careers in government, politics, and public affairs within the public, private, nonprofit, or private for-profit sectors. It seeks to give students conceptual and analytical tools to build their competencies in four areas: public policy, research methods, economics, and politics, as well as training in leadership, values, and ethical behavior that guide the responsible application of these competencies in the field.

A graduate degree in public policy from the Bloustein School prepares students to work skillfully and productively in the exciting field of public policy, whether as a public servant in government, an analyst at a think tank, an advocate at a non-profit, or in a variety of other roles. Students learn to identify public problems, analyze alternatives, and make decisions using tools from many disciplines. When added to the motivation and commitment our students bring to the program, these new skills enable our graduates to make positive and lasting impacts on the world.

—Julia Rubin, Director, Program in Public Policy

Learning Goals:

  1. Intellectual and Communication Skills
    1. Critical Thinking
      Students will demonstrate an ability to think critically about policy formation, implementation, implications, and effectiveness, and the methods underpinning the policy evidence.
    2. Communication
      Students will demonstrate a proficiency in written and oral methods of communication in a variety of settings through their applied field and practicum experiences and an ability to adjust method to setting and audience.
    3. Mathematical Reasoning and Analysis
      Students will demonstrate an ability to apply economic and/or political perspectives in the analysis and understanding of public policy.
    4. Scientific Inquiry
      Students will demonstrate an ability to use the scientific method in the development and implementation of field-based policy analyses as part of the practicum and class-based research projects in the methods courses, and to critique the application of the scientific
      method in the literature.
    5. Information and Computer Literacy
      Students will demonstrate proficiency in conducting literature reviews, collecting primary data, retrieving secondary data, analyzing data using a variety of software packages, and reporting the findings in ways that facilitate dissemination.
  2. Professional Development & Ethics
    Students will demonstrate an ability to integrate and apply theory, methods, empirical evidence, and conceptual thinking in the development and implementation of policy analyses in program-directed applied field and practicum experiences in which students “work for” clients as part of their applied field experiences and practicum projects. Students are required to write briefing memos, prospectuses, and final reports for clients and to present their analyses in formal presentations. Students will demonstrate competency in professional conduct and ethics in their interactions with faculty, students, and clients, and in their use of data.

Grade Appeal Policy:

Student complaints about grades in any courses offered by the school are treated by the process outlined in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Bloustein School Catalog. It reads as follows:

Students wishing to file a complaint about a course grade, or a grade received for a particular piece of work in a course, should first attempt to resolve the matter through discussion or writing with the instructor of that course (her/his preference) no later than two weeks after notification of the grade. If the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved between student and instructor, the student may specify in writing the basis for the complaint and request a review by the appropriate program director. A written complaint about a grade for work completed while the course is in progress must be submitted to the program director no later than two weeks after final determination by the instructor. A student must submit a written complaint about a final course grade to the program director no later than four weeks after final determination by the instructor.

A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the program director should appeal once again in writing to the office of the dean, through the Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Services.  Students should be directed to address that written appeal to Stephen Weston, Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Services, Bloustein School Deans Office, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, CAC. Email is preferred at That second level appeal must be filed within two weeks of the date of the receipt of the initial Grade Appeal Outcome Statement.

Written notification of the action taken by either the program director or by the assistant dean will be sent to the student no later than four weeks of the filing of the appeal, excluding those weeks in which classes are not in regular session.  With reference to the actions above, the program director or assistant dean may consult with other faculty, directors, etc., that may be relevant to a student’s complaint.

Students who contact the Dean’s office without following the above procedure will be referred back to the instructor or program, in order to preserve the integrity of the process and an independent student appeal review.  Some things to keep in mind when appealing your grade with the instructor, director or dean include:

  • Watch grade appeal timeframes; being busy is not a legitimate excuse.
  • Raise issues when they happen, not at the end of the term.
  • Stick to the facts of the situation; discuss formally your appeal and keep it professional.
  • Avoid emotional language and personal attacks.
  • When asking for a second chance, admit where you have been culpable.
  • Mentioning your grades in your other classes is not relevant.
  • Be leery of end of semester/year grade appeals as they impact graduation deadlines.

For questions about the grade appeal process, students, faculty and/or others are encouraged to speak to their instructor, program director or the assistant dean of the school for clarification.

Degree Statistics

View Degree Statistics


Since 1957, over 500 graduates have been placed in important and varied professional positions in the field of public policy. Currently, program graduates work on the staffs of several governors, the President of the United States, members of the United States House and Senate, state legislatures, and in federal and state executive agencies. For many years, the program’s graduates have won appointments to the Presidential Management Internship program — a prestigious nationwide competition to find talented professionals for the federal government.

Public policy graduates also work in political campaigns or for lobbying organizations or trade associations. Several former public policy students have been elected to public office. Others work in the private sector, including business, banking, the law, and various nonprofit organizations.

Featured Public Policy Graduates

Scott Bruckner MPP 2013

Job Title: Analyst, United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. This organization supports congressional oversight by auditing agency operations, investigating allegations of illegal activities, and reporting on how well government programs meet objectives. As an analyst in the Professional Development Program, I will complete rotations through three of GAO’s mission teams over the course of two years. Currently, I am on a team responsible for evaluating the Department of Defense’s programs for responding to sexual assault in the initial military training environment. Over the course of my work, I have observed basic military training for each of the services, analyzed oversight documentation, and briefed staff members of the House Armed Services Committee on our findings.

Juanita Warde MPP 2013

Job Title: Education Policy Analyst at New York City Administration for Children’s Services (NYC ACS), Division of Early Care and Education

The New York City Administration for Children’s Services Division of Early Care and Education administers the largest publicly funded childcare system in the country, serving over 100,000 low-income children with an annual budget of approximately $600 million.

This division aims to improve access to high-quality early childhood education programs for our most vulnerable populations. At NYC ACS, I am responsible for analyzing how actual and potential policy changes generated from both State and Federal authorities will affect our programs. I also draft briefs regarding ACS positions on recent legislative changes that affect child welfare practice as well as prepare documents and official analysis that is widely used in both City and State budget proceedings.

Eric Baum MPP/MBA 2012

Job Title: Supervisory Development Graduate Program, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Financial Institution Supervision Group oversees banks, money management firms and other financial service providers with more than $50 billion of assets under management. This department aims to create greater overall stability through careful regulation of this sector. As a participant in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Supervisory Development program, an initiative that trains bank regulators, examiners and policy analysts, I will complete a 2-year regimen that concludes in 2014. During this period, I will gain hands-on experience in various aspects of the Bank’s oversight activities.

Daniel Kravetz MPP/MCRP 2012

Job Title: Fundraising and Media Coordinator at New Jersey Community Capital

New Jersey Community Capital provides financial investments and technical assistance to revitalize underserved neighborhoods across New Jersey, fostering the creation of hundreds of affordable housing units, educational opportunities, and quality jobs every year. At NJCC, I am responsible for securing operating grants and investment capital to expand organizational capacity. I also craft press releases, success stories, social media, and other public relations material to convey the importance of NJCC’s work to stakeholders, both within New Jersey and elsewhere in the country.