Master of Public Policy

The UConn Masters of Public Policy (MPP) provides students with the analytic and quantitative skills necessary to design, analyze, and evaluate the success of policies.

Housed in UConn’s nationally-ranked Department of Public Policy, the MPP program is centered on the analysis of real-world problems, combining theory, quantitative methods, and practical applications. UConn MPP students hail from all undergraduate fields, including English, history, and economics. Our graduates go on to successful careers as policy analysts, research associates, program analysts, and finance/budget analysts.

MPP students are eligible for our nationally-recognized Internship in Professional Practice, which provides a paid internship and full-year tuition scholarship with a top Connecticut state agency, municipality, or nonprofit organization.

 

Apply to the MPP Program

Cost and Financial Aid

Jobs and Outcomes

US News and World Report badge for Best Grad Schools in Public Affairs, Public Finance & Budgeting, for 2021

9th
National ranking of public finance and budget programs, U.S. News & World Report

US News and World Report badge for Best Grad Schools in Public Affairs for 2021

38th
National ranking of public affairs programs, U.S. News & World Report

Program Details

The MPP curriculum is divided into four separate but related areas: (1) core courses, (2) focus areas, (3) an internship, and (4) a final experience. Learn more about our curriculum and special opportunities below.

Curriculum and Courses

Core Courses

The MPP has 24 credits of core courses (eight classes). These courses are designed to provide you with the skills and competencies necessary to understand policy problems, evaluate institutional context, devise and assess alternatives, and implement change. There are three general areas of competency covered in the core: policy and organizational environments, economic and policy analysis, and methods of analysis. The required core courses are listed below.

Policy and Organizational Environments

PP 5340: Introduction to Public Policy and Management
PP 5361: Theory and Management of Public Organizations

Economic and Policy Analysis

PP 5375: Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management
PP 5342: Policy Analysis
PP 5347: Applied Policy Topics

Methods of Analysis

PP 5331: Quantitative Methods for Public Policy
PP 5370: Applied Research Design
PP 5314: Causal Program Evaluation

Focus Areas

The focus area allows you to develop additional expertise in a specific area. The MPP program requires 12 credits (four courses) to complete a focus area. You can choose from the list of possible focus areas below, develop your own with the help of your advisor, or choose to remain a generalist and complete the focus area with three generalized courses. Examples of focus areas and possible courses include:

Leadership and Public Management

PP 5363: Administrative Functions of Local Government
PP 5349: Public Procurement and Contracting
PP 5318: Financial Management for Public Organizations
PP 5365: Human Resource Management
PP 5325: Labor Management Relations
PP 5368: Performance Management and Accountability

Nonprofit Management

PP 5319: Program Development
PP 5328: Business Functions of Nonprofit Organizations
PP 5324: Grant Writing
PP 5323: Leading and Governing Nonprofits
PP 5329: Nonprofit Advocacy, Government Relations, and Law
PP 5336: Fund Development and Nonprofit Sustainability
PP 5366: Executive Leadership

Social Policy

PP 5346: Child and Family Policy (required)
PP 5303: Race and Policy
PP 5347: Applied Policy Issues
PP 5342: Policy Analysis
Other courses as approved from POLS, PUBH, SOCI, SSW

State and Local Government Management

PP 5363: Administrative Functions of Local Government (required)
PP 5317: Capital Finance and Budgeting
PP 5349: Public Procurement and Contracting
PP 5368: Performance Management and Accountability
PP 5350: Urban and Regional Policy

Survey Research

PP 5379: Principles and Methods I (required)
Other courses as approved

Public Administration

PP 5349: Public Procurement and Contracting
PP 5365: Human Resource Management
PP 5325: Labor Management Relations
PP 5364: Public Finance and Budgeting

Public Financial Management

PP 5373: Budgeting in Public Service Organizations
PP 5318: Financial Management for Public Organizations
PP 5317: Capital Finance and Budgeting
PP 5364: Public Finance and Budgeting (MPP only)
PP 5326: Public Investment Management

Public Policy, Diversity, and Inclusion

PP 5304: Public Policy, Diversity, and Inclusion (required)
PP 5346: Child and Family Policy
PP 5303: Race and Policy
Other courses as approved from POLS, SOCI, WGSS

Urban Planning

PP 5348: Urban Planning Principles and Methods (required)
PP 5363: Administrative Functions of Local Government
PP 5317: Capital Finance and Budgeting
PP 5350: Urban and Regional Policy
Other courses as approved from GEOG and LAW

Internship

The MPP requires six credits of an internship. The internship allows you to hone your professional skills while gaining experience in an area of interest to you. The internship is a very important part of the UConn MPP educational experience. You can complete the internship requirement through the Department of Public Policy’s Internship and Professional Practice Program (IPP) or a standard internship in the summer or during the school year. The IPP internships span the entire academic year and provide the opportunity for you to become fully involved with a public service organization. Learn more about our paid internships.

Final Experience

During your time in the MPP you will develop a portfolio of your written work. During your last semester you will enroll in a one-credit S/U course (PP 5372) where you will reflect and assess your portfolio in light of the specific competencies delivered by the MPP program. The portfolio has an added benefit of providing a handy set of your work products for prospective employers.

Model of Course Sequences

Full-Time Study

Below is a model course of study (courses may not always appear in this order). Students can complete the requirements in two years of full-time study. View more details about our courses on our course descriptions page.


Year 1 Fall

PP 5340: Introduction to Public Policy and Management

PP 5375 Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management

PP 5370: Applied Research Design

Focus Area/Elective OR PP 5361 Theory and Management of Public Organizations

Total Credits = 12

Year 1 Spring

PP 5331: Quantitative Methods for Public Policy

PP 5342: Policy Analysis

PP 5345: Project Management in the Public Sector OR
PP 5361 Theory and Management of Public Organizations

Focus Area/Elective

Total Credits = 12


Year 2 Fall

PP 534:7 Applied Policy Issues

Focus Area/Elective

Focus Area/Elective (or could be in Spring)

Internship (begun but enrolled for credits in spring)

Total Credits = 9

Year 2 Spring

PP 5314: Causal Program Evaluation

PP 5372: Capstone Portfolio (1 credit)

PP 5390: Internship (6 credits)

Total Credits = 10


Total credits = 43

Note: MPP students are required to take PP 5361 or PP 5345.

Part-Time Study

Below is a model of a part-time program over three calendar years for working students. Depending upon the specific circumstances, part-time students can move through the MPP program at a slower or faster pace than is outlined below.


Year 1 Fall

PP 5340: Introduction to Public Policy and Management

PP 5370: Applied Research Design

Total Credits = 6

Year 1 Spring

Elective/Focus area 1

PP 5331: Quantitative Methods for Public Policy

Total Credits = 6


Year 2 Fall

PP 5375: Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management

PP 5361: Theory and Management of Public Organizations

Total Credits = 6

Year 2 Spring

PP 5342: Policy Analysis

Elective/Focus area 2

Total Credits = 6


Year 3 Fall

PP 5347: Applied Policy Issues

Elective/Focus area 3

Total Credits = 6

Year 3 Spring

PP 5314: Causal Program Evaluation

PP 5372: Capstone Portfolio (1 credit)

Elective/Focus area 4

Total Credits = 7


Total Credits = 37

Note: The above model program assumes waiver of internship requirement. See our internship page for waiver guidelines.

Joint Degree Program Options

Students can choose to pursue a joint master’s degree program in public policy.

Joint Masters Degree Program in Public Policy and Latino & Latin American Studies

Offered in conjunction with El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, this joint degree program prepares students with the functional skills and knowledge in public policy and at the same time engage them in interdisciplinary study and research related to the Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American world.

Students in this program will have nine credits counting toward their MPA waived, with a Master of Arts in International Studies concentration in Latina/o and Latin American Studies (LLAS) providing in-depth specialization in lieu of the MPP focus area. Students can waive another three credits toward the MPP if they take PP 5370: Applied Research Design or another appropriate public policy methodology course to satisfy the methods course requirement of the MA in LLAS.

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPP and the MA in International Studies programs. Funding opportunities may be available through El Instituto or the Department of Public Policy. To be considered for a graduate assistantship (GA), please submit your applications by February 15 and select “YES” in the online application to the question: “Applying for a GA/Fellowship?”

Joint Masters Degree Program in Public Policy and Survey Research

The Department of Public Policy offers joint degree programs in public administration and survey research, which prepares students with the functional skills and knowledge in public administration and at the same time engage them in interdisciplinary study and research related to survey design, data collection, and data analysis techniques.

Students in this program will have three credits counting toward their MPP waived upon successful completion of PP 5376: Applied Quantitative Methods. An additional nine credits of public policy coursework toward the MPP will be waived, with courses within the MA in survey research providing in-depth specialization in lieu of the MPP “focus area.”

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPP and MA in survey research programs. Support through the Department of Public Policy is competitively available through a limited number of graduate assistantships (GAs). To be considered for a GA, please submit your application by February 15 and select “YES” in the online application to the question: “Applying for a GA/Fellowship?”

Joint Masters Degree Program in Public Policy and Juris Doctor

Offered in conjunction with the School of Law, the joint MPP and Juris Doctor (JD) degree program prepares students with the functional skills and knowledge in public policy and at the same time engages them in interdisciplinary study and research related to law.

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPP and the UConn JD programs.

Joint Masters Degree Program in Public Policy and Quantitative Economics

Offered in conjunction with the Department of Economics, the joint MPP and MA in quantitative economics (MSQE) provides students with an in-depth understanding of quantitative methods, economic principles, and analytic skills necessary to solve complicated economic problems.

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPP and the UConn MSQE programs.

Joint Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Social Work

Offered in conjunction with the School of Social Work, the joint MPP and Master's of Social Work (MSW) prepares students with the functional skills and knowledge in public policy and at the same time engages them in interdisciplinary study and research related to social work.

The MSW degree has three concentrations: Policy Practice, Community Organizing, and Individuals, Groups, and Families. In applying to the MSW program, a student selects one of them to pursue. All MSW concentrations give students a holistic understanding of the systems of oppression that stifle the ability of some members of society to thrive, which pairs well with either the MPA or MPP.

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPP and UConn MSW programs.


Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is a Master of Public Policy degree?
The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program is centered on analysis of real-world problems and the policies and programs that address them. The MPP program will provide you with high quality instruction in quantitative methods, policy analysis, policy development, and program evaluation. A hallmark of our program is its focus on combining theory and practice so that you can thrive in a professional workplace.

What can I do with a MPP degree?
The MPP is appropriate for you if you seek an analytical career that requires you to be able to judge policies and programs, plan and evaluate alternatives, and implement changes. MPP graduates go on to pursue a wide variety of careers in all three employment sectors (public, private and nonprofit) and work in positions such as policy analysts, research associates, program analysts and finance/budget analysts.

How long does it take to complete the MPP program?
The MPP curriculum can be completed in two years on a full-time basis; or in three years on a part-time basis, if the student is able to waive the internship requirement.

When are classes held?
Courses are held in the late afternoon or early evening on the Hartford Campus and meet once a week for 2.5 hours. Courses on the Hartford campus typically run from 4:00PM to 6:30PM or from 6:30PM to 9:00PM. Some courses are also held in the late afternoon or early evening on the UConn Storrs campus.

Where are classes held?
The Department of Public Policy office is on UConn’s Hartford campus. Classes are held on the University of Connecticut’s Hartford and Storrs campuses.

Can I work full time while completing my MPP degree?
Yes. The program does not encourage students to work full-time and take a full-time course load. The number of MPA courses you take will depend on your individual needs to balance courses, work and life.

Academics

What is the MPP curriculum?
The program is built around core courses, electives, an internship and a Capstone portfolio. Detailed curriculum information can be found above.

Is there an internship requirement?
Yes. The MPA and MPP program requires six internship credits. Internships can be completed at any time during enrollment, however students are encouraged to apply for the Internship Professional Practice (IPP) Program, which normally takes place in the second year of full-time study. These credits can be waived with permission from the department if relevant and significant past work experience satisfactorily meets learning objectives.

Can I earn two degrees at the same time?
The MPA program encourages students to investigate pursuing degrees simultaneously with other University programs. We have setup a model program with economics that leads to an MPP and an MA in Economics and a program with Survey Research that leads to an MPA and an MA in Survey Research.

  • MPP/MA in Economics - The M.A. in Economics and the MPP share a common orientation toward methodological rigor and skill development. Students completing both degrees will be highly skilled in economic analysis as it applies to public policy problems. They will have a substantial amount of practice applying these skills to policy issues through their coursework and internship. The M.A. in Economics and the MPP can be completed in two calendar years of full-time study (two academic years and one summer). The joint degree will be of particular interest to students with an undergraduate background in economics, strong mathematical abilities, and a desire to work in the public policy arena with state governments; “think tanks” such as Rand Corporation or Brookings Institution; or policy/program evaluation organizations such as MDRC, Mathematica, or ABT Associates. Students need to apply and be admitted to both the M.A. in Economics and the MPP program. The M.A. in Economics is highly quantitative and requires students to learn mathematical skills beyond what is required for the MPP. While there is no set requirement for admission to the M.A. in Economics, calculus is usually required. Students are also strongly encouraged to have some familiarity with linear algebra and probability & statistics.
  • MPA/MA in Survey Research - The Department of Public Policy offers a structured, 57 credit, simultaneous degree in Public Administration and Survey Research. Students should plan on a minimum of five semesters to complete the necessary course work.
  • Other programs that students have pursued simultaneously with an MPA include the following:
    • Business (MPA/MBA)
    • International Studies (MPA/MA)
    • Law (MPA/JD)
    • Public Health (MPA/MPH)
    • Social Work (MPA/MSW)

How many graduate credits can I transfer from another institution?
Students may transfer up to 6 credits from another institution with the departmental approval.

Will I have an advisor?
Yes. Upon entering the program, the Graduate School will alert you to your faculty advisor, however, the Administrative Program Director should be considered your first point of contact. Advisors and the program directors help students prepare course schedules and plan for careers after graduation. You can change your advisor at any time by contacting the Administrative Program Director.

Admissions

What is required to apply to the MPP program?
Applicants are expected to submit the following to the Graduate School's online Apply Yourself system:

  • Completed online application
  • Personal Statement
  • Unofficial transcripts (for review, once accepted official transcripts must be sent)
  • GRE scores (GRE waiver options are available)
  • Current Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation, and
  • $75 application fee
  • For non-native English speakers, TOEFL, IELTS, or the PTE exam scores are also required.

Can I waive the GREs?

All applicants are required to submit GRE scores. In certain circumstances, the GRE can be waived. The following waiver options are available:

  • I am a current UConn undergraduate, or I graduated in the last three years from UConn with a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
  • I graduated from UConn in the last five years with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • I am a current non-UConn undergraduate, or I graduated from a four-year college or university in the last five years with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Please email a GRE Waiver Request Statement that reflects one of the above statements to dpp@uconn.edu to request a GRE waiver. Please note the lack of quantitative evidence on undergraduate transcripts will be viewed negatively by the admissions committee without GRE scores.

Can work experience or other graduate exams substitute for the GRE?
The Admissions Committee requires the GRE test for an application to be considered complete.

What are the GRE codes?
The GRE codes are: Institutional Code = 3915, Program Code = 1903
PLEASE NOTE: GRE scores are not required for MPA Fellow applications

How can I submit my GREs?
The GRE’s can be submitted in the following manners:

  • Using the GRE codes to have the scores sent directly to the Public Policy Department at the University of Connecticut is the best method to send your scores to us. After you take the test, it will be approximately 4 weeks for your scores to arrive to us.
  • Calling the Administrative Program Director to report directly what your GRE scores are. As a test taker, you will receive the results of your verbal and quantitative GRE sections immediately following your test. All scores are verified upon acceptance of admission. This option may be particularly useful for test takers who can only schedule their exam close to the February 15th deadline.
  • Sending a PDF or JPG of your scores. All scores are verified upon acceptance of admission.

Can I substitute the GREs with another test?
The Admission Committee requires the GRE test for your application to be considered complete.

What is the deadline?
For fall admission the Graduate Assistantship deadline is February 15. The final deadline for fall is July 15. For spring admission the deadline is November 1. Please contact the department directly at dpp@uconn.edu prior to applying for spring admission due to the sequential nature of the program. 

Is work experience a requirement for the MPP program?
Prior work experience is not required. A strength of our programs is the diversity of experience that students bring to the program. Students range from recent college graduates with some internship or volunteer experience to senior-level professionals.

Can I begin the MPP as an undergraduate student?
Yes, if you are a University of Connecticut undergraduate student and have a least a 3.3 cumulative GPA. You can apply to the Fast-Track program and being taking MPA and MPP courses while an undergraduate student. If accepted into the Fast-Track program you will still need to apply to the MPA or MPP program.

What are your admission statistics?
Undergraduate GPA (Middle 50%): 3.40-3.71
Average Class Size: 27
Average Verbal GRE Scores: 153
Average Quantitative GRE Scores: 152
Average Age of Students: 25
% Women: 50
% Full Time: 81

Is there a minimum GPA or GRE score required for admission?
Please see the Graduate School’s Admission Requirements regarding GPAs on your official transcript. The program accepts a range of GRE test scores. The Admissions Committee holistically reviews all components of an applicant’s application.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?
Your letters of recommendation should be written by people who know you and your work very well. Your writers may be current or past supervisors, college professors, or professional colleagues. For current and recent undergraduates we recommend that at least two letters are from recent professors.

How do I submit letters of recommendation and transcripts?
Letters can be uploaded to the application by the recommending individual when prompted via email from the application system. Or they can email dpp@uconn.edu directly to submit their letter. Letters can not be received directly from the applicant.

Can I defer my admission?
Yes. Admission can be deferred for up to one year. You must communicate your intention in writing to the Program prior to the start of classes.

Should I plan to visit campus?
We encourage you to visit the campus, meet with faculty and students, and attend one or more classes. Visit our Information Sessions page for more information or email dpp@uconn.edu.

Cost and Financial Aid

How much does the MPP cost?
Tuition and fee schedules for the MPA and MPP programs can be found on the Office of the Bursar's page for graduate students. Please note that students pay an adjusted General University Fee because the Department of Public Policy is based at the UConn Hartford campus. Students also do not pay the Student Health & Wellness Fee or the Student Rec Center Fee.

Can I take a course as a non-degree student first? If, so, how much does that cost?
Yes. You can take up to 6-credits with our Department before applying to the MPP program. If it is within 5 years, the 6-credits can later be transferred into your program to count toward your degree. You should consult with the Administrative Program Director or the MPP Program Director on what courses are best for your non-degree study. The cost of any non-degree course work in the Department is $2,475 (for a 3-credit course during the 2020-2021 academic year).

What type of tuition, financial or graduate assistantship opportunities do you offer?
Need-based financial aid is administered through the University of Connecticut Office of Student Financial Aid Services. Please visit their website for further financial aid information. For information about financial support from the Department of Public Policy, please visit our Cost and Financial Aid page.

Student Life

What extracurricular activities are available?
There are many opportunities for students to get involved in the UConn community outside the classroom. The Department of Public Policy, the Graduate Association of Public Policy Students, Pi Pi Alpha, and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration offers social, professional development, and public service events throughout the year.

What are my housing options?
Enrolled students live in and around Hartford or commute from further distances around the state. There is no on-campus housing available. UConn's Off-Campus Housing page provides a variety of resources and information.

What are my transportation options?
Most students at UConn’s Hartford campus travel by car or public bus transportation. The student parking lot is located in the Connecticut Convention Center Parking Garage. Please visit the Hartford Campus’ Parking Services site for more information. The Connecticut Department of Transportation also offers bus service in and around the Hartford area. In-person students have the opportunity to obtain a U-Pass which allows students to ride buses and trains in Connecticut for free.

Will I have the opportunity to meet alumni?
Yes. Alumni of the MPP program are engaged with current students. They routinely organize and attend events for current students. All students are also assigned to an alumni mentor.