Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.)

The MPP program requirements are designed to provide students with a solid, interdisciplinary foundation in public policy analysis. Students master a common set of concepts and analytical tools, and complete additional courses in a study specialization. The curriculum is divided into 3 categories for a total of 37 credits. Courses are 3 credits each unless otherwise indicated.

Core courses – 7 courses (16 credits)

Basic concepts (10 credits):

  • PUBL 603 Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis
  • PUBL 613 Managing Public Organizations
  • PUBL 623 Governmental Budgeting
  • PUBL 697 Internship Course (0 credit)
  • PUBL 699 Policy Analysis Paper (1 credit)

Research methods and quantitative analysis (6 credits):

  • PUBL 600 Research Methodology
  • PUBL 604 Statistical Analysis

Disciplinary foundation courses – 3 courses (9 credits)

  • PUBL 602: Microeconomics for Public Policy (formerly ECON 600) or ECON 601 Microeconomic Analysis
  • PUBL 601 Political and Social Context of the Policy Process
  • SOCY 606 Social Inequality and Social Policy

Study specialization courses – 4 courses (12 credits), with one course a specialization-approved statistical/methodological/analytical course.

Our study specializations are:

  • Evaluation and Analytical Methods
  • Health Policy
  • Public Management
  • Social Policy
    • Urban Policy
    • Education Policy

Learn more about study specializations.

Specific course requirements for each area of specialization are listed in the Graduate Student Handbook.

M.P.P. students who have completed 15 credits of course work, and are do not have relevant public policy work experience, are required to complete a departmentally-approved internship as a condition of graduation. Students serving the internship must register for PUBL 697. For information on the MPP internship requirement, contact Graduate Program Coordinator Shelley Morris at

MPP Policy Analysis Paper
Master’s students are required to take a 1 credit course (PUBL 699) in which each student produces a policy analysis paper.

Master’s Thesis Option
Students may write a master’s thesis instead of the policy analysis paper. They will then substitute a 6 credit hour master’s thesis for the 1 credit hour policy analysis paper. Students choosing this option will be required to take only 3 track courses instead of the 4 required of other students. As a consequence, students choosing the master’s thesis option will engage in a 39 credit hour master’s program instead of the 37 hour program required of the other students.

ICARE NRT Interdisciplinary Program
The ICARE NRT master’s degree is a 2-year interdisciplinary degree program with a dual mission of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice combined with research focused on improving the health of Baltimore Harbor. Students will be mentored by a UMBC faculty member and a non-academic scientist from a government agency, non-profit, or industry. That research team will be embedded in a larger stakeholder team, meaning that each student and their mentors will identify one or more community members (non-scientists) with a stake in the research to be engaged in the research from development to completion. Students will also be taking skills courses (community leadership, DEIJ, oral and written communication) and disciplinary courses appropriate to their research project.  Some accepted students will be funded (stipend, tuition, and benefits) by the ICARE NSF grant, and we will work with the remaining four to try to find funding. Public Policy is one of five Masters programs participating. Prospective students apply to both the MPP program and the ICARE program.