Master of Public Policy (MPP)
The Ford School’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) is a two-year program of study that trains students with a broad range of policy interests for a wide set of jobs--providing a toolbox of research, analytical, and management skills that are highly transferable across sectors and issue areas
Core courses of the Master of Public Policy (MPP) develop a foundation of skills, knowledge, and concepts in economics, statistics, political analysis, ethics, and public management. All students receive serious quantitative training in data analysis and program evaluation, moving as a cohort through a carefully sequenced set of courses.
Students then have tremendous flexibility in choosing from advanced classes in social policy, international trade, education, national security, human rights, politics, and more. They combine their policy courses with electives from elsewhere around the U-M, including its outstanding professional schools—law, business, education, and urban planning, to name a few—or one of the top-ranked social science departments.
Students apply what they have learned in the classroom, gaining hands-on, practical policy experience. In the summer between their first and second year of study, they complete a policy-related internship. While not required, students are encouraged to take a Strategic Public Policy Consulting course, enabling them to do real-world policy consulting with classmates under faculty supervision. Students may also choose to pursue a dual-degree, combining the MPP with simultaneous study in another graduate school program.
Course of study
Students are generally in residence at the Ford School for two years (four semesters) and are also required to complete a 10-week internship in a policy-related position. The degree requires completion of 48 credit hours (most courses are three credit hours), with a total of 36 credits required within the Ford School.
All MPP students are required to complete the following core courses (23 credits):
- Politics of Public Policy (PubPol 510)
- Statistics (PubPol 529)
- Microeconomics for Public Policy (PubPol 555) and one of the following courses: PubPol 558, 534, 556, 744
- Values, Ethics, and Public Policy (PubPol 580)
- Performance Management (PubPol 586)
- Public Management (PubPol 587)
- Integrated Policy Exercise (PubPol 638) – Must be completed twice or students are allowed to replace the second IPE with enrollment in a one-credit Project Skills Workshop (PubPol 778), which is offered both fall and winter semesters.
- Quantitative Methods of Program Evaluation (PubPol 639)
- Students with preparation in statistics and/or microeconomics may waive PubPol 529 and/or PubPol 555 respectively by passing waiver exams that are offered during orientation.
- If you are waived from a core course, you must complete an additional elective Ford School course. Waived courses are not counted toward the 48 credits required for the degree.
The core curriculum for the MPP degree requires two economics courses:
- PubPol 555: Microeconomics for Public Policy (or pass the waiver exam)
- A second course from a set of four approved Ford School Courses:
- PubPol 558: Microeconomics B
- PubPol 534: Economics of Developing Countries
- PubPol 556: Macroeconomics
- PubPol 744: Economics and the Public Sector
The Ford School is offering optional concentrations to MPP students in 5 areas:
- Public policy analysis methods
- Non-profit and public management
- Social policy
- International policy
- International economic development
Students can earn a policy concentration by taking at least 9-12 additional credits in the area of choice both within and outside of the Ford School. Click here for more information. A brief description of the 5 policy concentrations and examples are listed below:
Public Policy Analysis Methods (Faculty Lead: Brian Jacob)
Focus: Applied methods and skills for rigorous policy analysis and research
Requirements: 9 credits; PubPol 571 plus 6 additional credits
Public & Non-Profit Management (Faculty Lead: Megan Tompkins–Stange)
Focus: Knowledge and skills related to the operation, management and leadership of public and non-profit organizations
Requirements: 9 credits beyond 586/587 requirement in the core curriculum
Social Policy (Faculty Lead: Paula Lantz)
Focus: Knowledge and policy analysis skills related to key areas of social policy.
Requirements: 9 credits; no required courses
International Policy (Faculty Lead: John Ciociari)
Focus: Knowledge and policy analysis skills related to diplomacy, national security, human rights
Requirements: 12 credits
Strongly Recommended: International affairs or comparative politics section of PubPol 510-Politics of Public Policy
International Economic Development (Faculty Lead: Dean Yang)
Focus: Knowledge and policy analysis skills related to economic and social development
Requirements: 9 credits; PubPol 534 plus 6 additional credits
Students interested in concentrating in science and technology policy should consider participating in the STPP Certificate Program, a unique interdisciplinary initiative based in the Ford School.