Master of Public Policy

The Humphrey School’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree program is one of the best in the country, attracting students who are committed to public service at the local, state, national, and international levels. Preparing future leaders to advance the common good in a diverse world is at the core of this program, which equips students to design, manage, and advocate for better policy solutions.

The MPP degree brings together political science, economics, statistics, management, and other social science disciplines to shape policies and programs around the globe. The vast majority of our MPP students complete their graduate program in two years.

Students in the MPP degree program benefit from the Humphrey School's expertise in global policy, leadership and management, politics and governance, social policy and analysis, and urban and regional planning.

Positions Our Graduates Hold

Deputy Mission Director, USAID/West Africa, Ghana
Director of Programs, Fund for Global Human Rights, Thailand
Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Managing Director, Congressional Relations, U.S. Government Accountability Office
State Representative, Minnesota House of Representatives
President, Minnesota Council on Foundations
Executive Vice President, National MS Association, Chicago

Dual Degree Offerings

MPP/JD, Law School
MPP/MBA, Carlson School of Management
MPP/MPH, School of Public Health
MPP/MSW, School of Social Work

Click here for more on dual degrees


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:

One from:
PA 5032 — Regression Analysis (2)
PA 5044 — Regression Analysis: Accelerated (2)

And one from::
PA 5033 — Multivariate Techniques (2)
PA 5041 — Qualitative Methods for Policy Analysts (4)

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)

Professional Paper
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.

We offer dual degrees with the University of Minnesota Law School, School of Social Work, School of Public Health and Carlson School of Management.

Concentrations: Pre-Designed

In addition to the required core courses, MPP students select a set of additional concentration courses and experiences that provide an integrated portfolio of professional preparation.

Advanced Policy Analysis Methods
Economic Community Development
Gender + Public Policy
Global Public Policy
Human Rights
Politics + Governance
Public + Nonprofit Leadership + Management
Science, Technology + Environmental Policy
Social Policy

Concentrations: Self-Designed

Students can deepen their professional interests by creating an interdisciplinary concentration that combines courses from two or more existing concentrations as well as courses from various departments across the University. Students provide a cohesive rationale for the several themes that tie coursework together into a coherent primary concentration.

Students pursuing this concentration should consult with their advisors and review the self-designed concentration form to understand the rationale and approval that is required for this concentration. The form also includes tips for choosing courses in a self-designed concentration.

Students are encouraged to investigate the many research centers at the Humphrey School and throughout the University to find a match for professional interests.