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Master of Public Policy

Public Policy (MPP)

Offered by the Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public Affairs, the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree program prepares students to advance the quality of policy making in a variety of institutional settings in the U.S. and abroad by instilling a blend of analytical, contextual, ethical, and substantive skills and knowledge.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. Admission decisions are based on each applicant's academic record, two letters of recommendation, test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and an essay written by the applicant on his or her background and career interests. Applicants may substitute test scores from similar tests, such as the GMAT or LSAT, for the GRE where appropriate. Applicants who received their undergraduate degree more than five years prior to their date of application may waive the requirement for test scores by submitting a statement describing their professional experience. Admission decisions are based on each applicant's total record and not on any single strength or deficiency.

Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

Core (30 credit hours)

Required

One of the following:

One of the following:

Area of Concentration (9 credit hours)

  • 9 credit hours in an area of concentration:   
    • Areas include: social policy; health policy; science, technology, and environmental policy; crime, public law, and policy; public financial management; public management; nonprofit policy, management, and leadership; international development; applied politics, including campaign management and women and politics; comparative public policy; and advanced policy analysis. Students may create special areas of concentration by consulting their academic counselor.

Internship

Students without a significant professional work background participate in either a for-credit or non-credit internship. Students taking a for-credit internship complete PUAD-691 as part of the concentration; students taking a non-credit internship complete a survey on the experience.

Combined (BA) and Public Policy (MPP)

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for combined bachelor's/master's programs:

  • Admission requires a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00, a completed application form (available from the Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP) and submitted to the BA/MPP advisor), a written faculty recommendation, an essay on the student's interests and abilities in public policy, and an interview with an academic advisor.
  • Undergraduate students may apply up to 15 credit hours of approved graduate-level coursework to satisfy the requirements for both degrees. Students take courses in statistics, public policy, economics, and other courses approved by the Associate Chair.

Public Policy (MPP) and Juris Doctor (JD)

Admission to the Program

Applicants must satisfy the admission requirements of both the Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP)/SPA and Washington College of Law (WCL). Admission criteria are the same as those for the MPP. However, students who have been admitted to WCL will not be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students may begin their studies in SPA after completing one year or the equivalent of full-time study at WCL. Admission to either the MPP or JD program does not guarantee admission to the other.

Dual Degree Requirements

  • 107 credit hours of approved graduate coursework, including 27 credit hours of MPP coursework in SPA, and 80 credit hours of law coursework in WCL

MPP Degree Requirements

  • 39 credits hours of approved graduate coursework, including 27 credit hours of MPP coursework in SPA, and 12 credit hours from WCL. At least 24 credit hours for the MPP must be taken in approved SPA courses.
  • Capstone experience: requirement completed through assignments in PUAD-688 Policy Practicum (3)

Course Requirements

JD Degree Requirements

  • 86 credit hours of coursework required for the JD, of which at least 80 credits must be earned in WCL courses, including:   
    • LAW-601 Administrative Law (3-4)
    • LAW-550 Legal Ethics (2-3)

Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Laws (LLM)

Admission to the Program

Applicants must satisfy the admission requirements of both the Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP)/SPA and Washington College of Law (WCL). Admission criteria are the same as those for the MPP. However, students who have been admitted to WCL will not be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students may begin their studies in SPA in their first semester of the LLM program. Admission to either the MPP or LLM program does not guarantee admission to the other.

Dual Degree Requirements

  • 45 credits hours of approved graduate coursework, including 27 credit hours of MPP coursework in SPA, and 18 credit hours of law coursework in WCL

MPP Degree Requirements

  • 39 credits hours of approved graduate coursework, including 27 credit hours of MPP coursework in SPA, and 12 credit hours from WCL. At least 24 credit hours for the MPP must be taken in approved SPA courses.
  • Capstone experience: requirement completed through assignments in PUAD-688 Policy Practicum (3)

Course Requirements

LLM Degree Requirements

  • 18 credit hours of coursework required for the LLM, including:

Required

  • LAW-601 Administrative Law (3-4)or
  • Other approved course

3 credit hours from the following:

  • LAW-580 American Lawyer Seminar (3)
  • LAW-892 Washington Lawyer Seminar (3)

Note: No new students will be admitted to this program for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Math & Economics Boot Camp

New comprehensive study coauthored by American University economics professor Martha Starr also reveals increased disease cases have modest impact on spending growth.

Tailored exclusively for incoming MPP students wishing to prepare for the advanced economic and mathematical requirements of that degree, as well as for those MPA students committed to pursuing a policy analysis concentration.

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MPP Advising Worksheet

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MPP Sample Course Plan

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MPP Concentration Book

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Combined Bachelor’s and Master of Public Policy 

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