We shall provide you with all you need to know about online masters in Public Policy. A comprehensive list of schools offering this program will also be provided in this article. Whether you’re looking to advance your career or make a difference in the world, an online Masters in Public Policy (MPP) can put you on the right track. An MPP allows students to earn their degree while still working full-time or caring for their family; it also provides students with the skills they need to be effective and engaged leaders in public service.
A Masters in Public Policy offers many benefits, but it’s important that you choose one that meets your needs and goals. If you’re interested in a career as an educator, administrator, or other professional who works with members of society whose lives are impacted by government policy decisions, then an MPP will prepare you for this role by giving you the skills needed to make a real difference in society.
The degree provides you with the skills needed to make a real difference in society. You’ll gain the insight necessary to analyze public policy problems, and make informed choices. An MPP degree is designed to help you understand the political context of policy making and decision making processes.
Analyzing and understanding the political context of policy making is an important skill, and one that you’ll develop through studying public policy. Understanding the political context is an essential part of the decision making process. Through our program, you’ll learn how to understand the political context of policy making and decision making processes.
The MPP program is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to learn about economics, sociology, statistics as well as politics. It covers a wide range of topics such as economics, behavioral science, International relations and more.
The curriculum focuses on real-world policy challenges and solutions. Students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary for the modern work environment. Students will have the opportunity to practice their decision making skills by engaging in problem solving, team projects and research activities.
The MPA curriculum focuses on real-world policy challenges and solutions. Students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary for the modern work environment of today’s public policy professional. In addition to acquiring the technical skills you will need to succeed, students will have the opportunity to practice their decision making skills by engaging in problem solving, team projects and research activities.
Students may choose a specialization in one of six areas of concentration including:
The online Master of Public Policy degree program includes a wide range of courses in which students may choose to concentrate their studies. The six areas of concentration for the program include:
- Environmental Policy– Students who choose this area of concentration will focus on developing policy solutions to the changing environmental conditions and the resulting threat to human and ecological health. Topics covered may include climate change, energy policy, water resources management, environmental governance, environmental law and more.
- Government Management– Students who choose this area of concentration will focus on how government organizations can improve their efficiency and effectiveness through improved management practices. Topics covered include democratic institutions, governmental ethics, leadership processes and performance measurement systems within government agencies.
- Health Management and Policy– Students who choose this area of concentration will look at how to improve public health rather than focusing on individual medical treatment. The coursework stresses the improvement of healthcare systems by analyzing medical services delivery along with insurance policies that manage these services within various governments around the world. Topics covered include healthcare reform, healthcare quality standards, cost control measures for healthcare systems and more.
- International Development and Civil Society– Students who choose this specialization will study topics related to international development as well as civil society organizations that work in developing countries across the globe. Courses included focus on issues related to global poverty including inequality, gender issues within social structures around the world and more. This specialization also looks at foreign aid programs from around the world in order to identify best practices that can be used by both governments as well as non-profit organizations working internationally.
Economic development concerns the policies and strategies that a government or another organization can use to increase economic growth and reduce poverty. The study of economic development focuses on the problems of economic growth, such as high unemployment, low productivity, and low living standards.
The course covers the politics and economics of environmental issues in the U.S., including global climate change, water pollution, conservation and land use, air pollution, toxic substances regulation and more. You’ll deepen your understanding of these problems and gain a range of skills to help you develop policy solutions for them. You will learn to:
- Analyze the causes and consequences of environmental problems
- Identify policy options that could be developed to address these problems
- Evaluate the effectiveness of various environmental policies
- Communicate effectively with policymakers
In this course, you’ll learn the role of government in managing a country’s economy. You’ll explore types of government policies that can be used to manage an economy, including taxes and spending, monetary and fiscal policy, and regulation. You’ll also cover examples of these policies in action.
Health Management and Policy
With coursework emphasizing healthcare policy and administration, this specialization will teach you how to develop effective policies that address public health needs. You’ll learn about national and global healthcare systems, the factors that influence healthcare policy, and more. Coursework includes topics like:
- Health economics
- Health law
- Health policy
Upon completing this specialization, you’ll have the skills needed to advance your career in a wide range of environments including hospitals, insurance companies, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, consulting firms and more.
International Development and Civil Society
In your study of international development and civil society, you’ll learn about the efforts to improve the quality of life for those in developing countries. This work focuses on developing and implementing policies that can address global problems. Skills required for this field include:
- Project management
- Data analysis
Your academic research will take a deep dive into a specific issue within international development and civil society. A recent example of student research in this area is “How Can Aid be Better Spent? An Analysis of Foreign Aid and Economic Growth in Developing Countries.”
Social Policy Analysis
In this course, you will learn about how policies and programs are created. You will examine how the social, economic and political context influences policy development. Through the use of case studies, you will learn how to analyze and critically evaluate the effectiveness of policies and programs. You will also examine theories of social change to gain an understanding of how social policies and programs can be used to promote development in society.
A Masters in Public Policy will help prepare students for a career in public service.
A Masters in Public Policy will help prepare students for a career in public service. The curriculum includes courses on microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics and econometrics which are necessary to understand the complex issues that policy makers face. These disciplines are also useful to learn how policies are designed and evaluated by non-profits and government agencies. In addition, a course in public finance gives students the tools they need to manage budgets at the local, state or federal level.
The program also covers topics like leadership and negotiation skills so graduates can effectively work with stakeholders who represent different interests when creating new policies or reforming existing ones. Finally, it is important that policy makers have an understanding of ethics so they can make decisions based on what is right rather than what will benefit them politically or financially.
Top Schools Offering Online Masters In Public Policy
The following schools offer the best online masters in Public Policy:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has an online Master of Science in Public Policy (MSPP) that is well-regarded for the quality of its education and competency of its students. It is ranked #6 in the nation by US News and World Report, and five times has been recognized as a “Best Online Graduate Degree” program by US News and World Report. UNC is also the oldest public university in America, so it has plenty of experience to back up its strong reputation. The school’s Department of Public Policy was only established recently—in 2005—but it’s already building a reputation for excellence among students and employers alike.
UNC’s MSPP program provides a flexible way for students to earn their degrees on their own schedule while still receiving the same rigorous education they’d get on campus. Students will be expected to complete 36 credit hours over two years, with 24 credits coming from core classes like Economics for Public Policy Analysis and evaluation methods in public policy, six credits coming from elective classes, and six credits coming from an applied research project or internship—which gives you the opportunity to apply what you’re learning in class to real world situations under supervision from expert faculty members who are second-to-none in the field.
- Villanova University (Pa.): This private Catholic university located on a 260-acre campus in eastern Pennsylvania is the top choice on this list. It’s ranked #2 in the United States by U.S. News and World Report, and was named the best regional university of the North for 21 consecutive years by the same publication. Its online master of public policy degree has an annual cost of $42,000.
- Harvard University (Mass.): Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard has been providing top-quality education since its founding in 1636—it’s no surprise then that it’s ranked #1 in the United States by U.S. News and World Report for 2017 and 2018. Its online master of public policy degree costs $29,000 per year to complete and boasts a 1% acceptance rate—the lowest acceptance rate on this list!
- Princeton University (N.J.): Located just 3 miles south of Trenton, this private Ivy League university is considered one of the most prestigious schools worldwide—it’s ranked #5 nationally by U.S. News and World Report, which also ranks it as having the eighth-best graduate public policy program in the country, tied with Duke University and Georgetown University among others..
University of San Francisco
- Professionals seeking to take the next step in their career should consider the University of San Francisco’s (USF) Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. The USF MPA is designed for working professionals and focuses on preparing students for leadership roles in public service. Students also have the option to choose a specialization, such as Nonprofit Management or Public Policy and Analysis.
- The online program offers flexibility, with both synchronous and asynchronous options available. This allows students to complete assignments on their own time while still attending live lectures with peers and instructors at scheduled times. Courses include topics such as Local Government Management, Public Finance, Personnel Administration, Grant Writing, Nonprofit Management, and Budgetary Planning and Control.
Syracuse University is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York. The school has a long history of excellence in public policy education beginning with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs established in 1924. According to U.S News, the program currently ranks #5 for Best Public Affairs Graduate Schools and #10 for Best Public Administration Programs. Syracuse offers a wide range of courses including Executive Leadership, Innovation & Change, Project Management Systems and Data Analysis. The online master’s programs are ranked #4 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
Harvard University has one of the most prestigious reputations in the world. It’s located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has over $36 billion in its endowment. Some of the people who have attended Harvard University include Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, and Ted Cruz.
The application process is highly competitive and only around 5% of applicants are accepted each year. Here are some things to consider when applying to Harvard University:
- GPA: You’ll need a GPA of at least 3.5 if you want to get into Harvard University.
- SAT score: If you take the SAT test make sure you aim for a score above 1500.
- Personal statement: Your personal statement should be no longer than two pages and include information about what your academic interests are, why you’re interested in attending college, and other relevant details about yourself that make you stand out from other applicants such as awards or achievements (e.g., swimming competitions).
A private, research university based in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Northeastern offers an online MPH program that takes two years to complete and is composed of two phases: coursework and a practicum project. In the coursework phase, students learn about public health issues and leadership skills using virtual lectures and discussions. In their practicum phase, they partner with organizations in their community to address real-life public health challenges.
Northeastern’s MPH program is designed for working professionals who want to use their degree to advance their current career or transition into a new one. This may be a good option if you’re looking for an online program offered by a well-established school with a strong record of getting its students hired after graduation—90% are employed within six months of earning their degree.
The University of Washington
Located in Seattle, Washington, the University of Washington offers two graduate degrees in public policy: a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a Master of Public Policy (MPP). The MPA is the more common degree and is designed for current or future administrators. The MPP is a newer program that focuses on policy analysis. Both programs are taught by top-tier professors.
The MPA program teaches students all about the administration side of public policy, including managing people and budgeting. There are also many classes on understanding statistics and doing research to better predict how policies will turn out in real life. The MPP program teaches students how to analyze policies to create better ones. It requires more math knowledge than the MPA since you’ll be working with data so much more often
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University is a private, Catholic university in South Orange, New Jersey.
Seton Hall was founded in 1856, and offers 80 undergraduate programs with over 100 majors and minors.
The university offers more than 50 graduate programs across six schools as well. The School of Diplomacy and International Relations offer a Master of Science degree in public policy and administration. This program is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in nonprofit, government and public agencies.
This program is offered fully online by the College of Education & Human Services at Seton Hall University. Flexible course scheduling allows you to earn your degree on your own time while gaining professional experience along the way. Classes are taught by full-time faculty who are experts in their field.
Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts
- Location: Boston, Massachusetts
- Cost: $2,376/credit hour
- Admission rate: 50%
- Graduate employment rate: 95%
- Acceptance rate: 30% (of graduate school)
- Top programs: Public Policy and Human Services, Higher Education Administration and Leadership, Public Administration – Health Care Policy & Management, Public Administration – State & Local Policymaking.
- Ranking: #144 in the U.S., #59 globally (on QS World University Rankings)
- Famous alumni include former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and top aide to President Obama Valerie Jarrett.
- Thesis required? Yes
American Public University System
APUS’s programs are designed for working adults, so all classes are taught asynchronously, and students can work at their own pace. APUS also offers graduate writing workshops to help improve students’ skills in this area. The program is cohort based: students progress through the program at the same time, but since courses are asynchronous, there is flexibility in terms of when and how often students log on to class discussions and complete assignments.
APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
These are the best schools for getting a masters in public policy online.
We chose the following schools based on quality, convenience and cost of the programs. Our ranking is based on faculty credentials, student satisfaction, peer reputation and accreditation.
The following schools have been ranked by their ability to educate students for a variety of careers in public policy. The list includes both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Public Policy.