Graduate Program

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The primary objective of the MPP program is to prepare students for careers in policy analysis, politics, and public affairs within the public, nonprofit, or private sectors. The MPP is normally a two-year degree for full-time students.

Students must complete 48 credits, including 30 credits of required course work and 18 elective credits. Electives must include at least 9 credits (three courses) that comprise a concentration in a substantive policy area. There is no thesis requirement. A student must maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.0 to graduate.

Core Curriculum

Covers both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, the processes of conceptualization and measurement, “experimental design,” and how social programs are structured so they may be effectively studied. Provides a firm foundation for additional methods and substantive policy courses. The core curriculum for the MPP program consists of the following courses:

Public Policy Formation 34:833:510 (3 credits)

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)

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 understanding of one’s own motivation and behavior as well as that of others, to increase effectiveness in present and future positions and 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.
  • Nonprofit and Community Development Finance 34:833:612: The course is designed to introduce students to nonprofit and community development financing, including many finance and real estate development topics they could expect to see if managing a nonprofit organization or conducting community development activities,
  • Budgeting for Public Policy 34:833:567: Provides an overview of budgeting and related financial management issues in the public sector. Focuses primarily on federal and state levels of government.

Research Design 34:833:530 (3 credits)

Covers both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, the processes of conceptualization and measurement, “experimental design,” and how social programs are structured so they may be effectively studied. Provides a firm foundation for additional methods and substantive policy courses.

Basic Quantitative Methods 34:833:521 (3 credits) or place-out exam

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)

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 R.

Applied Field Experience 1 34:833:661 (0 credits) & Applied Field Experience 2 34:833:662 (0 credits)

Meet approximately 12 times over the course of the first year of the MPP program. Curriculum focused on life skills and career preparation.

Applied Field Experience 3 34:833:663 (3 credits) AFE 1&2 pre-requisites

Allows students to gain practical experience in a public policy setting through at least 300 hours of paid or unpaid internship experience. Additional coursework includes two brief writing assignments and a presentation.

Policy Research Practicum I&II 34:833:640 (3 credits) & 641(3 credits), taken simultaneously

Participation in a group research project for a public or nonprofit profit agency that requires applying analytical techniques of policy analysis and evaluation to public policy problems.

Elective courses

18 Credits, 9 of which must make up a concentration in a policy area. Up to 12 credits may be from elsewhere at Rutgers University or (by special arrangement) from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

By the Numbers

Average Salary

Class of 2022


Employed or Pursuing Higher Education

Six months post-graduation
Class of 2022


Participating in an Internship

for Applied Field Experiences
Class of 2022

Areas of Concentration

Master of Public Policy students are required to complete a three-course (9-credit) concentration.  The program currently offers the following concentration policy areas, each advised by members of the faculty (please see below). Students may also design their own concentration, in consultation with their academic advisor.

  • Budget and Finance (Winecoff)
  • Economics (Paul, Shapiro, Toney)
  • Education (Rubin)
  • Environment (Paul)
  • Gender (Crowley, Hetling)
  • Health (Cantor)
  • Labor and Workforce (Paul, Van Horn)
  • Management (Rubin)
  • Methods (Winecoff)
  • Nonprofit Management (Rubin)
  • Political Processes and Institutions (Crowley, Rubin)
  • Social Justice and Advocacy (Hetling, Paul, Rubin, Toney)
  • Social Policy (Crowley, Hetling)
  • Urban Policy and Community Development (Rubin)

Concentration courses may be drawn from offerings within the  Bloustein School, or (with approval of a concentration advisor) from courses offered by other Rutgers graduate programs. Students must demonstrate basic competency in their 3-course area of concentration by achieving a B+ or better average.

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

Apply to the Master of Public Policy