Our Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree prepares students to be leaders who design, manage, and advocate for better policy solutions. An MPP degree is a professional discipline that seeks to solve public problems through policy analysis and design, program and project management, and community and public advocacy. The MPP degree brings together political science, economics, statistics, management, and other social science disciplines to shape policies and programs at the local, national, and international levels.
As analysts, managers, and leaders, Master of Public Policy graduates work with quantitative and qualitative information to develop, assess, and evaluate alternative approaches to current and emerging issues. Those with MPP degrees find work in a variety of public service fields and in all levels of government, in nonprofit organizations and NGOs, and in the private sector.
The Network of Schools in Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration collects data on average salaries of public affairs graduates, the salary differential between those with and without a master's degree, and other useful employment information. You also can learn more about where our Master of Public Policy graduates are employed.
The Master of Public Policy (MPP) requires 45 semester credits, including approximately 22–23 credits in core courses, a 3-course concentration (9 credits minimum), and a course to fulfill the professional paper requirement. The remaining credits are taken in elective courses. A 400-hour professional internship also is required, unless you are exempted based on relevant previous employment.
The program is designed to be completed in two years.The majority of courses are taught in the classroom, although a few are offered either online or in a combined online/classroom format.
Required Core Courses (22–23 credits)
PA 5011 — Management of Organizations (3)
PA 5012 — Politics of Public Affairs (3)
PA 5021 — Economics for Policy Analysis and Planning I (3)
PA 5022 — Economics for Policy Analysis and Planning II (3)
PA 5031 — Empirical Analysis I (4)
PA 5002 — Introduction to Policy Analysis (1.5)
PA 5003 — Introduction to Financial Analysis and Management (1.5)
Two of the following:
PA 5032 — Intermediate Regression Analysis (2)
PA 5033 — Multivariate Techniques (2)
PA 5035 — Survey Research and Data Collection (1.5)
PA 5036 — Regional Economic Analysis (2)
PA 5037 — Regional Demographic Analysis (2)
You may be exempted from selected core course requirements if you have relevant prior coursework. In that case, you can take additional concentration or elective credits to meet the 45-credit requirement.
Electives (to bring total degree credits to at least 45)
Your professional paper applies the methods, approaches, and perspectives studied in the curriculum to a real-world policy or management problem. The resulting professional paper includes an analysis of the issues and policy recommendations or discussions of the implications of the analysis. You may complete the professional paper through a Capstone Workshop (PA 8081), Workshop Group (PA 8082), Master's: Professional Paper (PA 8921)or . You are welcome to read some completed professional papers.
Program Planning Worksheet
The Program Planning Worksheet (PPW) helps current students plan their degrees from start to finish. Students must submit a completed and approved PPW before graduating.
Dual Degree Opportunities
By choosing a dual-degree, you can complete a Humphrey School degree and another University of Minnesota graduate or professional degree in less time (typically one year less) than it would take to complete the two degrees separately.
You can select a focus in an established area of concentration or self-design a concentration with your advisor and with the approval of the director of graduate studies. All concentrations require at least nine semester credits. You can take concentration and elective courses at the Humphrey School and from other University departments.
To apply, start the University of Minnesota graduate school online application. The Humphrey School admissions and awards committee reviews all applications and decisions regarding admissions and financial aid. Decisions are communicated through the graduate school online system.
Requirements + Prerequisites
• A four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent at time of enrollment.
• Competence in college-level algebra (including facility with functional notations; algebraic manipulation of polynomials, logs, and exponentials; and graphic representation of equations) is required.
• A grade of B or better in an introductory course in microeconomics. A macroeconomics or single-semester general economics course will not satisfy this requirement.
• At least one course in political science (that analyzes political institutions) is strongly recommended.
• Sufficient prior academic preparation. The University of Minnesota Graduate School prefers a 3.0 or better undergraduate GPA. The average Humphrey School GPA is 3.5.
• Competence in MS Excel and Word is strongly recommended.
• English language competence. If English is not your native language, you must pass the TOEFL or IELTS exam with a minimum score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), 100 (internet based, minimum 22 on each section), or 7 for the IELTS. TOEFL or IELTS scores must be less than two years old.
We consider many factors when choosing applicants for admission. We evaluate such attributes as:
• Your prior academic achievement
• Your professional experience
• Leadership and community/public service experience
• Your commitment to a career in public affairs or planning
• The fit between your interests and goals, and the programs at the Humphrey School
• Your letters of recommendation
• GRE scores
• Your potential contribution to the diversity of views and experiences represented at the Humphrey School
• TOEFL score (if required)
Capstone Workshops are designed to provide a learning opportunity for second-year students to apply their knowledge through a client-based team project.The workshop includes a written report for the client, an oral presentation to the client that summarizes the major findings of the report, and reflection paper on the workshop experience.
• Master of Public Policy (MPP) students must do a professional paper, which can either be an individual professional paper OR a team project. In this case the Capstone Workshop team report (including a reflective paper) meets the requirements for the MPP professional paper.
If you have questions about how the Capstone Workshop applies to your educational program, please consult your academic advisor.
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Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
280 Humphrey School
301 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455