MPP Curriculum

The Master of Public Policy curriculum is developed and updated to make sure it is reflective of the student body we serve, as well as the challenges they may face as policy analysts and creators. Our core courses, and electives taught within the department, are offered in the evenings in order to accommodate our many students who wish to work full time while pursuing their degree. 

The two-year course of study for the Master of Public Policy includes 42 required credit hours divided among three components-  24 core units, 15 elective units, and 3 units for a Capstone policy lab. The program does not require a minor; however faculty members will work with students to find appropriate electives to help develop expertise in the student’s policy area of choice.

Sample Plans: 2-Year Full-Time Enrollment

Please note that we have listed the semesters in which courses are typically taught to aid in planning, but that these are subject to change at departmental discretion. 


►Core Courses (24 Credits)

  • PA 500: Economics for Public Policy (typically taught in Spring semesters)
  • PA 503: Politics, Policy & Public Management (typically taught in Fall semesters)
  • PA 505: Methods for Program Evaluation (typically taught in Spring semesters)
  • PA 515: State & Local Government Finance (typically taught in Fall semesters)
  • PA 552: Statistical Decision Making (typically taught in Fall semesters)
  • PA 553: Policy Analysis I (typically taught in Fall semesters)
  • PA 554: Policy Analysis II (typically taught in Fall semesters)
  • PA 555: Statistical Methods for Policy Analysis II (typically taught in Spring semesters)

►Elective Courses (15 credits)

To help students select courses in areas that may develop career objectives, a list of elective coursework is available and categorized in specified concentrations.  Students are welcome to take all elective coursework from one concentration or take elective coursework from multiple concentration areas of interest.

Any coursework taken outside of SGPP will need approval from the Program Director and Graduate Programs Manager prior to enrollment.  Additionally, no more than 12 units of elective coursework may be taken outside of the School of Government & Public Policy and must be at the graduate level.  Students are responsible for adhering to this policy even if a course is approved by the department.  Please note that not every course will be offered every semester or academic year, and some courses may not be at 3 units each.

Concentrations and course electives of interest are provided in the link below.

►PA 594: Capstone Course/Project (3 credits)

  • Capstone Course Projects are typically supervised during the student's final Spring semester by Dr. Adam Henry.
  • Students MUST submit a Master's Plan of Study in GradPath and have it approved by all reviewers prior to enrollment in Capstone Course.  See MPP Graduation resources for additional details.
  • Students must complete PA 555 prior to taking the Capstone.
  • 6 of 8 CORE courses should be completed prior to enrolling in the Capstone Course.