Higher Education and Public Policy (MA/MPP)

The Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE) and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy offer a dual degree program, leading to the Master of Arts in Education (MA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees.

Program Overview

Qualified candidates pursue concurrent work in higher education and public policy. The program is designed for students interested in broad policy issues that affect higher and postsecondary education, such as state governance and coordination, financial aid funding, and affirmative action in admissions and hiring.

Course of Study

The program is arranged so that requirements for both degrees can be completed in two and one half years (5 terms); however, some students may require more than 5 terms to complete the program. The typical sequence of study is to spend the first year in either the Ford School or the School of Education and the second year in the other program. Students can begin this dual degree program at either school.

Degree Requirements

Students must satisfy the degree requirements of each school and should consult with their advisor about graduation requirements for each degree.

  Number of Credits* Credits must include
Minimum credit hours required for MPP program 32 Core Coursework + 6 PubPol credit hours
Minimum credit hours required for MA program 27 Required Curriculum
Additional credit hours in consultation with advisor(s)** 6  
Total credit hours required for dual degree: 65  

*Credit hours listed reflect reduction of minimum hours from each program.

** Once the 59 required minimum credit hours have been completed, the student must complete 6 credit hours of electives that are selected in consultation with the studentís advisor. Coursework in introductory research methodology, advance-level policy courses beyond the core, and cognates may satisfy requirements for both schools.

MPP non-credit requirement:
Students must complete a 10 week summer internship in a policy-related position.

Please note:

  • No credit is awarded for core courses successfully waived by passing waiver exams; credit must be earned with PubPol electives.
  • Dual degree students will be required to complete at least one PubPol 638: Integrated Policy Exercise (IPE) in their first or second year. All MPP students, including dual degrees, have the option of completing a second IPE or enrolling in PubPol 778: Project Skills Workshop to complete the requirement. Learn more about the Integrated Policy exercise and this requirement.

Please contact the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education for additional information about program requirements beyond the required curriculum.

Please see the Rackham Graduate School Academic Policies for additional dual/joint degree information requirements.

Admission Requirements

Students must file separate applications to and be admitted by both schools. An application fee must accompany each application. Students must indicate specific dual degree program on both applications. Students must take the GMAT for admission to the Ross School. The Ford School will accept the GMAT for applicants to joint degree program.


For more information or an application, please contact:

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Office of Student and Academic Services
2236 Weill Hall
Phone: (734) 764-0453
Click here to e-mail us.
Website: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu

The School of Education
Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education
Office of Student Services
Phone: (734) 764-9472
Email: cshpe.info@umich.edu
Website: http://www.soe.umich.edu