The Master of Public Policy (MPP) provides training in policy analysis and program evaluation, with a focus on the decision-making process. This master’s degree is designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of essential leadership skills required for sound research and data analysis, judgment, communication, action, and creative and critical thinking. This online master’s program helps prepare you to solve real-world problems at local, state, and national levels. Knowledge gained is useful preparation for senior-level management positions in government agencies, corporations, research institutes, advocacy or non-profit organizations, and other associations where the ability to analyze and evaluate information is a required skill.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcomes objectives, this degree also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates:

  • Evaluate the multi-disciplinary nature of the major theories underlying the discipline of public policy.
  • Extrapolate the processes by which public policies are designed, implemented, and evaluated.
  • Implement a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to the study of public policy issues.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing (or the impact of proposed) public policies.
  • Demonstrate appropriate analytical skills to contemporary policy issues.
  • Design public policies to solve strategic or social problems.
  • Deconstruct contemporary policy case studies using an ethical framework.
  • Communicate policy recommendations to diverse audiences.

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements18
Major Requirements6
Select one of the following concentrations:9
Elective Requirements0
Final Program Requirements3
Total Semester Hours36

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (18 semester hours)

PADM500Applied Research Methods in Public Administration 13
MAPP501Foundations of Governance and Policy3
MAPP502Public Writing3
MAPP503Digital Government3
MAPP504Economics and Public Policy3
PADM611Law and Public Policy3
Total Semester Hours18

Required as the first course in this program.

Major Requirements (6 semester hours)

Select 2 courses from the following:6
Global Economics
Public Finance
Applied Statistics
Ethics in Government
Public Management
The U.S. Presidency, Congress, & Bureaucracy
Federalism: The American Governance Process
Total Semester Hours6

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from Concentrations in Environmental Policy, Health Policy, National Security Policy, or Public Policy and the Law.

Concentration in Environmental Policy (9 semester hours)

Environmental Policy represents one of the major policy realms that cross discipline, geography, and history. Students will study the interplay between economic and political factors and their impact on the environment, as well as review existing paradigms for environmental planning, analysis, and management. MPP students who choose to focus their studies on Environmental Policy will emerge prepared for careers in the public and private sectors advising governments and industries. This concentration will also prepare students for study at the doctorate level in related fields.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Distinguish the key variables and theoretical frameworks for incorporating economic interests into environmental policy.
  • Analyze the similarities and differences of specific environmental policies from culturally and geographically diverse areas of the world.
  • Analyze the economics of a specific environmental policy.
  • Critique current policies and evaluate validity of environmental policy as it relates to economic issues and drivers.
  • Analyze an environmental policy’s economic impact both spatially and temporally.
  • Examine the major legal, regulatory, and policy framework that encompasses environmental programs and projects in the United States.
  • Analyze interconnections among environmental policy, laws, and regulations, and between them and environmental management and other disciplines in management, government, science, and engineering.
  • Assess the U.S. role and level of involvement in international environmental policy.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Environmental Economics
Environmental Policy, Regulation, and Law
Energy Policy and Sustainability
Political Ecology
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Health Policy (9 semester hours)

Health Policy is a growing field, especially now, and our nation looks to policy experts to understand, translate, and explain massive healthcare legislation. Masters of Public Policy students who choose a concentration in Health Policy will inform, direct, analyze, and report on public health issues and policy responses. Graduates will learn to craft policies, but also help the nation understand and adapt to them.


Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Examine how social, behavioral, environmental, and biological factors contribute to specific individual and community health outcomes.
  • Analyze the critical factors that will influence health and health care in the first decade of the 21st century.
  • Compare and contrast the theories regarding health care systems.
  • Evaluate health care policies and their influence on the development, operation, design and effectiveness of health care delivery systems.
  • Assess the efficacy of public health programs and initiatives such as Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).
  • Deconstruct the relationship between public health and policy responses.
  • Appraise the public health issues associated with various disasters.
  • Examine health care issues that confront emergency management decision makers.
  • Analyze past and future approaches to disaster health management programs.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

PBHE501Public Health in America3
PBHE502Health Policy3
PBHE606Disaster Health Management3
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in National Security Policy (9 semester hours)

Public Policy students who choose to focus on National Security Policy will be positioned to advise officials on issues of strategic importance. Combine this degree concentration with your work experience and training to further your career in the growing public and private sector industry of policy analysis and strategic planning. This is a concentration of interest to civilian and military students who seek senior level positions in national security policy, security policy analysis, and related fields.


Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Deconstruct individual actors’ roles and contributions to national security policy.
  • Differentiate among conflicting and competing interests and their impact on national security policy development.
  • Examine the foundations of U.S. National Security Policy. 
  • Analyze U.S. national security policies from the end of WWII to the end of the Cold War.
  • Assess the effectiveness of U.S. National Security strategies available to the United States.
  • Analyze the historical practice of diplomacy by states.
  • Assess the use of diplomacy by states to implement their national security strategies.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Institutions of National Security
U.S. National Security
National Security and Globalization
National Security and Diplomacy
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Public Policy and the Law (9 semester hours)

Students of public policy must understand how an idea becomes a law, but MPP students who choose a concentration in Policy and the Law will become experts in the judicial process and the enforcement and execution of our laws. This concentration explores ethics, contractual obligations, procedural due process, and new developments in security and the law.


Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Interpret complex contract language.
  • Examine specific cases of contract law and extrapolate the laws and precedents established.
  • Extrapolate the development of Constitutional Law in the areas of judicial, legislative, and executive powers.
  • Analyze the separation of powers, federalism, national and state regulation of commerce, and property rights.
  • Interpret the role of the judiciary by examining landmark constitutional decisions.
  • Examine the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.
  • Evaluate policies related to cybersecurity.
  • Explore laws related to cybersecurity issues, including litigation, intellectual property and privacy.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Contract Law
Constitutional Law
Law, Ethics and Cybersecurity
Judicial Politics, Process, and Policy Making
Total Semester Hours9

Elective Requirements (0 semester hours)

There are no elective requirements for this program.

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

Select 1 course from the following:3
Public Policy Project Capstone 1
Public Policy Capstone 1
Total Semester Hours3

Taken once all other degree requirements have been met.