Graduate Student Orientation Slide Show of Curriculum Overview and Learning Objectives

For policies and procedures on all degree programs, view the Graduate Student Handbook.

Degree Programs

Accelerated Pathways: Bachelor’s/Master’s (BA/MPP)

The Accelerated Pathways Program allows UMBC undergraduates with strong academic records to begin taking graduate level courses toward the M.P.P. degree in the junior and senior years.

To apply, please fill out the form via DocuSign on the Graduate School website. You do not need to submit letters of recommendation from faculty members, but be prepared to list two as references. If you have further questions, visit our BA/MPP info page, and contact the Public Policy Graduate Program Coordinator Shelley Morris,


The Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) requires 37 credits and the writing of a policy analysis paper.

M.P.P. students have a core curriculum (21 credits) and then select a study specialization (4 courses). Choices include: education policy, environmental policy, evaluation and analytical methods, health policy, public management, and urban policy. Learn more about these specializations here.

M.P.P. students who do not have relevant public policy work experience are required to complete a program-approved internship after their first 15 credits. Students should enroll in PUBL 697 during the internship and in the practicum course through the Career Center. Curriculum and course requirements.


The Doctor of Philosophy, Public Policy (Ph.D.) degree requires the equivalent of 48 hours of course work, a core-comprehensive examination and a field qualifying examination, 18 hours of dissertation research, and the writing and successful defense of a dissertation. Curriculum and course requirements.

Ph.D. students select a study specializations, Choices include: economics, education policy, emergency services,  evaluation and analytical methods, health policy, policy history, public management, and urban policy. Learn more about these specializations here.

M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis/Ph.D. in Public Policy

This joint program provides students with a broad perspective on policy formulation along with focused training in analytic techniques commonly used by economists. For more information, contact the Department of Economics ( or visit the website.


Combined Programs

Dual Degree Programs with the University of Maryland School of Law, and the University of Baltimore School of Law. These programs lead to a J.D./M.P.P. or a J.D./Ph.DDual Degree Program with the University of Maryland School of Medicine (MD/M.P.P.).

To participate in these programs, candidates must be admitted independently and separately to the School of Public Policy master’s or doctoral program and to the law or medical school. Under the joint programs, the School of Public Policy will accept up to six appropriate law/medical school credits for the master’s degree. The Ph.D. program will also accept up to fifteen law credits. All programs depend on the acceptance of credits by each school. Not all specializations with the master’s and doctoral program will allow for the maximum transfer of credits. All other degree requirements for both programs still apply.

Each student’s curriculum must be approved by the adviser for the joint program at the appropriate school and by the Public Policy adviser. While students may enter either joint program at any time during their study, it is most efficient to make that decision before too many credits have been accumulated.

For more information on the law school programs, contact the Admissions Office, University of Maryland School of Law or Law Admissions, University of Baltimore School of Law.  For more information on the medical school program, contact the Admissions Office, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

For information on these programs, contact us:


Transferring Credits

Previous graduate coursework, if it is relevant and taken within the past five years, may lead the adviser to recommend a reduction in the course credit hours required for the Ph.D or M.P.P. The maximum reduction is 18 credits for Ph.D. and 6 credits for M.P.P. A previously taken course may make a required course redundant. In this case, the student may ask to be exempt from the requirement. Exemptions do not reduce the total number of credits necessary, but they do give the student more flexibility in taking advanced courses and electives. Students will consult with their adviser to determine eligible transfer credit and exemptions. For more details, see page 4 of the Student Handbook