UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As governments, non-profits and other entities are increasingly motivated to analyze the impact of policies and programs before pursuing new regulation, they require more individuals who have the practical policy analysis and program evaluation skills, which are taught in Master of Public Policy (MPP) programs.
Penn State is accepting applications for its new Master of Public Policy program, which is being offered by the School of Public Policy in the College of the Liberal Arts. Students interested in identifying, analyzing and solving major policy issues are encouraged to apply.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Students interested in admission for fall 2019 still have time to apply.
Chris Witko, assistant director of the Penn State Public Policy program, said that there is a long list of career options in the field of public policy. While the opportunities and the work vary greatly, employees working in public policy have a common goal of helping people where they live.
“Most of us are interested in making things better in our community. Students who choose to pursue the MPP degree are passionate about making it their career. They want to understand the problems we’re facing, and they want to create concrete solutions.”
“The U.S. faces growing challenges of economic inequality, racial and ethnic conflict, areas that have been left behind by the advances of the U.S. economy, and we continue to face persistent poverty that the government has been fighting for decades,” said Witko. “Our program will train students to understand, analyze, and design policies that will improve these harmful social conditions.”
Opportunities for a graduate with a master’s degree in public policy include positions across the public and private sectors. Public policy expertise is in high demand, and a master’s degree is highly valued by employers in local, state and national government; non-profit organizations; think tanks; policy consulting organizations; foundations; and international positions, as well as private sector companies that need policy specialists to create and analyze public policies.
The 49-credit degree program provides a strong foundation in the concepts, methods and strategies of policy analysis with an emphasis in cutting-edge analytics and substantive policy issues. In addition to the core curriculum, the program is designed to provide real-world experience, which includes internships and an applied capstone experience thesis project. The curriculum will deliver the skills that students will need as they enter the job market including policy analysis, data analytics, program evaluation, research design, project management, and communication.
The MPP degree program draws on the strengths of expertise across Penn State’s University Park campus including political science, sociology, statistics, education, health policy, and economics, providing a multidisciplinary approach to the study of public policy. The curriculum will provide students the opportunity to investigate and analyze diverse issues in a collaborative environment.
Current areas of specialization include data/science analytics, health policy, children and family policy, labor and employment relations, information technology, international policy, and criminal justice. The flexibility of Penn State’s MPP program allows students to choose an existing specialization or to design a specialization that draws on the expertise of faculty from across the University Park campus.