Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Two years, full time, 48 credits

The primary objective of the MPP program is to prepare students for careers in policy analysis, politics, and public affairs within public, non-profit, or private sectors. The MPP is normally a two-year degree for full-time students. Applicants directly from their bachelor’s degree or with a few years of work experience are encouraged to apply to the M.P.P program.

Students must complete 48 credits, including 30 credits of required course work and 18 elective credits; As part of the elective selections, students must choose 9 credits, or three courses, toward an approved concentration in a substantive policy area, and 9 additional elective credits. There is no thesis requirement. A student must maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.0 in order to graduate. If a student’s grade-point average is below a 3.0 at the end of a semester, the student will have one semester to improve the average to 3.0 or greater. During the semester, the student will be on probation. Additionally, a student cannot graduate with more than three courses (9 credits) with grades of C+ or below.

The core curriculum for the MPP program consists of the following courses:

Public Policy Formation 34:833:510 (3 credits; first semester, first year)

Formulation and implementation of public policy, with emphasis on federal policymaking, models for policy choice, and intergovernmental policy problems. Analysis of the formulation and implementation of a governmental program.

Economics for Public Policy 34:833:543 (3 credits; second semester, first year)

Basic microeconomic analysis with applications to current policy issues. Models of consumer and firm behavior applied to issues such as assistance programs for low-income individuals, tax incentives for firms and workers, and environmental regulation. Public goods, externalities, and the role of government in economic markets.

Management/Organizational Behavior requirement, fulfilled by one of the following (3 credits)

  • Managing People and Organizations : Designed to enhance the understanding of one’s own motivation and behavior, as well as that of others, in order to increase effectiveness in present and future positions as well as career satisfaction.
  • Non-profit Management 34:833:570 : Applies management concepts to nonprofit organizations, emphasizing the challenges faced by managers under resource scarcity and uncertain boundaries among public, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors.
  • Public Management 34:833:571 : Fundamental tasks and responsibilities of management in the public sector, with an emphasis on the external and internal environments in which managers implement public policy.

Finance/Budgeting requirement, fulfilled by one of the following (3 credits)

  • State and Local Public Finance 34:833:540 : Theory and practice of state-local public finance; link between regional economy and subnational governments; fiscal federalism; major state-local spending programs; revenues, including property, sales, and income taxes and gambling; intergovernmental grants
  • Finance : Introduces students to corporate and real estate finance, including topics such as financial statements, the time value of money, annuities, business organizations, investment classes, and real estate.
  • Budgeting and Public Policy

Research Design 34:833:530 (3 credits; first semester, first year)

Scientific method of study; the processes of conceptualization and measurement; “experimental design,” or how social programs are structured so they may be effectively studied; and survey research and qualitative methods including focus groups, interviewing, and case studies.

Basic Quantitative Methods 34:833:521 (3 credits; first semester, first year) or place-out exam

This course covers descriptive and inferential statistics with a strong focus on bivariate hypothesis tests including t-test, Chi-square, and ANOVA, and ends with an introduction to the basics of linear regression.

Applied Multivariate Methods 34:833:630 (3 credits; second semester, first year)

This course covers applied skills in data cleaning, data management, and advanced multivariate analysis, with a focus on multiple linear regression, factor analysis, and logistic regression. Culminates in a secondary data analysis paper using Stata.

Students who place out of Basic Quantitative Methods must complete one other advanced methodology course from the following:

  • Advanced Qualitative Methods 34:833:628 : Students apply techniques of qualitative research, including interviewing, ethnography, and phenomenology to help them gain an understanding of which techniques are appropriate for what specific research needs.
  • Survey Research 34:833:635 : How to conduct, analyze, and evaluate surveys. Topics covered include problem formation, sample design and selection, questionnaire wording and layout, modes of survey administration, field procedures, data reduction, and data analysis.
  • Data Analytics 34:833:684 : This course provides students with data analytics tools, including the programming language R and the application advanced statistical techniques to big data. Conceptual and communication capabilities are also developed.
  • Discrete Choice Methods 34:970:630 : This course begins with a review of linear regression and focuses on categorical dependent variables. Methods will include linear probability, logit, probit, multinomial and conditional logit models.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis 34:833:632 : Students are taught to conceptualize the costs and benefits of public policy decisions and to effectively critique professional cost-benefit analyses. Emphasis is on: cost and benefit identification, discounting, dealing with uncertainty, valuing health and human life and comparisons with cost-effectiveness analysis. The course is applied and uses didactic and case studies to evaluate cost benefit analysis and show how these analyses inform policy decisions.

Applied Field Experience 34:833:673 (3 credits)

Allows students to gain practical experience in a public policy setting and relate it to an academic perspective as well. Students work in a professional setting for approximately 275 hours and complete writing assignments synthesizing their experience within an academic framework under the regular supervision of the faculty member in charge. Students register for credits during fall or spring academic semesters, in any combination, not exceeding 12 credits in any semester.

Policy Research Practicum I, II 34:833:640, 641(3, 3 credits; second semester, second year)

Participation in a group research project for a public or non-profit agency that applies analytical techniques of policy analysis and evaluation or survey research to public policy problems.

Elective courses

18 Credits, 9 of which must make up a concentration in a policy area.


Master of Public Policy students are required to present a three-course (9-credit) concentration to complete their degree requirements. The program currently offers the following policy areas, each advised by a member of the faculty. Students may also design their own concentration, and do so frequently in consultation with their faculty adviser.

  • Budget and Finance %
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Labor and Workforce
  • Management
  • Methods
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Political Processes and Institutions
  • Public Informatics
  • Social Justice and Advocacy
  • Social Policy and Women’s Issues
  • Urban Policy and Community Development

% Concentration includes coursework at the Bloustein School and at the School of Public Affairs and Administration

Students must demonstrate basic competency in their 3-course area of concentration by achieving a B+ or better on average. Students are welcome to design their own concentration of cross-cutting substantive concerns, subject to the approval of the program director.

Courses offered toward the policy area may be drawn from offerings within the public policy program, the Bloustein School, or Rutgers generally, with the permission of the adviser or the program director. Note that students may, because of course scheduling, need to take courses in their policy area during their first year of enrollment.

No courses from the core requirements for the program may be counted toward requirements for the concentration. Some courses may have pre- or corequisites that students are responsible for identifying and fulfilling.

Public Policy Certificates

Degree Data and Information (Statistics)

View Degree Statistics