Master of Public Policy Courses

Seven core courses (21 credits) are required for those enrolled in the MPP program. 

These courses are intended to provide students with substantive knowledge about the policy process and analytical skills that can be applied generally to a wide range of policy issues and problems.

The eight core courses are grouped below in the order in which the Program suggests they be taken.

Introductory Core

PPPA 6002: Research Methods and Applied Statistics (3 credits)
Development of skills and knowledge for conducting original research and critically evaluating empirical studies.  Various research designs and data collection techniques are examined. Focus on computerizing data sets for quantitative analysis, analyzing strength of relationships, selecting appropriate statistical techniques and testing statistical hypotheses.

PPPA 6011: Approaches to Policy Analysis (3 credits)
The organizing theme of this course is the “policy orientation” centered on two concerns: understanding the policymaking process and serving the intelligence needs of decision makers. The class studies the stages of the policymaking process and discusses the intelligence needs of policymakers at each stage. They the politics of the policy orientation and its effects upon the profession of policy analysis and the possibilities for democratic governance. In addition, students perform a data analysis exercise and construct a policy analysis project that identifies a problem, provides background and evaluates potential solutions to a public policy problem.

PPPA 6013:  Econometrics for Policy Research I (3 credits)
This course emphasizes the application of basic econometric methods to the analysis of policy.  Prerequisite: PPPA 6002 or equivalent.

PPPA 6014:  Economics in Policy Analysis (3 credits)
The application of intermediate microeconomic theory to the study of public policy. Topics include: models of individual choice in policy analysis, policy aspects of models of the firm, theory of market failure and welfare economics and resource allocation decisions in the public sector.  Prerequisite: Econ 6217 or equivalent; credit cannot be earned for PPPA 6014 and SMPP 6206.


Budgeting, Benefit-Cost, and/or Evaluation (2 courses from below)

PPPA 6005: Public Budgeting, Revenue, and Expenditure Analysis (3 credits)
Survey course that focuses on the institutions and analytical tools associated with raising revenue and allocating/managing resources at all levels of government.  Hands-on budgeting skills and communication of analysis to decision makers.  (Spring)

PPPA 6015: Benefit-Cost Analysis (3 credits)
The application of microeconomic theory and welfare economics to the empirical evaluation of public policies and programs.  Applied welfare economics as a framework for policy analysis; empirical measures of welfare change; techniques of benefit-cost analysis.  Prerequisite: PPPA 6014 or equivalent.

PPPA 6016: Public and Nonprofit Program Evaluation (3 credits)
Theory and practice of program evaluation and evaluative research.  Exploration of scope and limitations of current practice in evaluation, considering economic, political, social and administrative factors.  Examination of methodological considerations for design, data collection, analysis and dissemination.  (Spring)

Policy Capstone

PPPA 6019:  Capstone Seminar (3 credits) 
Policy theory and typologies; policy formulation, implementation and evaluation; ethics and practice in policy analysis, policy processes, content and contexts; and policy linkages to multiple disciplines.  Students conduct an analysis of a substantive policy.  Open only to MPP students in their final semester of study. All other core courses must be completed prior to taking this class.