Master in Public Policy M.P.P.

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Master in Public Policy M.P.P.

Policy Education for Leadership and Change.

Program Overview

The Master in Public Policy degree (MPP) offers you the opportunity to learn the skills you need to succeed in today’s public policy profession—analytical expertise, strategic vision, clear and compelling communications, and the tools of leadership. The MPP degree is ideal whether you will be completing your bachelor’s degree in the near future or are currently working in a policy-related field. You can choose a track focused on policy analysis or strategy and communications—and select from a broad range of electives to personalize your degree. Built into the unique curriculum are a variety of experiential learning opportunities to deepen and broaden what you learn in the classroom, such as:

  • Colloquium in Washington, DC: You will be immersed in the capital scene – meeting with leaders in Congress, the White House, government agencies, political parties, advocacy groups, think tanks, and more.
  • Policy Internship: You will work in a policy-focused organization to gain practical, real-world experience and a valuable perspective on careers in public policy.
  • Capstone Project: You will employ the skills you have gained to delve deeply into a specific policy area to produce a comprehensive written report and oral presentation. 

You can earn your MPP degree in as little as 14 months (or 12 months for accelerated UNH students).  You can also choose to earn your MPP degree over a longer period by attending part time.

Program Delivery & Location:  Academic courses are offered in person on the UNH Durham campus with a portion of the experiential learning taking place offsite: Washington, DC, for the Colloquium and at the Internship site location during the internship experience.

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Curriculum & Requirements

Students enrolled in the Carsey School's Master in Public Policy program are required to complete a forty (40) credit program, consisting of:

  • Five (5) CORE Curriculum Courses   
  • Four (4) EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Activities
  • Two (2) PUBLIC POLICY TRACK Courses (Strategy and Communication Track or Policy Analysis Track)
  • Four (4) ELECTIVE Courses

These provide the foundational analytical, strategic, and communication skills for a successful career in the world of policy making. Students focus their policy studies by choosing either the Strategy and Communication Track or the Policy Analysis Track and completing two courses in one of the tracks. Courses in both tracks can also be taken as open electives. Further opportunities for depth and specialization in substantive policy areas are provided by open elective courses which vary by semester.   

MPP CORE Curriculum Courses (5 Courses):
PPOL 902Strategy and Practice of Public Policy3
PPOL 904Economics for Public Policy3
PPOL 906Fundamentals of Policy Analysis3
PPOL 908Quantitative Methods for Policy Research3
PPOL 910Policy Across Borders3
MPP EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Activities (4 Courses):
PPOL 950Washington DC Colloquium3
PPOL 990APolicy Capstone Planning1
PPOL 990Policy Capstone3
PPOL 998APolicy Internship 10
or PPOL 998 Policy Internship
PUBLIC POLICY TRACK (2 Courses): 26
Two (2) courses are selected based upon the chosen track: Strategy and Communication Track or Policy Analysis Track
ELECTIVE Courses (4 Courses): 1,312
Four (4) open elective courses are selected in substantive areas approved by the MPP program (or 3 open elective courses if the Policy Internship is taken for credit, PPOL 998) 1
Total Credits40

Explore Program Details

Strategy and Communication Track

The Strategy and Communication track is for students who want policy careers as leaders, spokespeople, or strategists. Students selecting the Strategy and Communication Track are required to take:

  •  PPOL 912:  Strategies for Policy Impact
      OR
  •   PPOL 822:  Media Strategy and Communication

And at least one additional course from among:

  • PPOL 912:  Strategies for Policy Impact
  • PPOL 822:  Media Strategy and Communication
  • ADMN 952:  Organizations, Leadership, and Environment
  • LPI 928:  Lobbying and the Legislative Process
  • NR 885:  Systems Thinking for Sustainable Solutions
  • PA 812:  Leadership Theory and Practice
  • PA 815:  Art of Negotiation

Students may also propose courses to fulfill the track requirement that meet their own needs and career plans.  Discussion with an advisor should inform this choice. 

 

Policy Analysis Track 

The Policy Analysis track is for students who want policy careers as policy researchers, data analysts, and/or researchers specializing in evaluation. 

Several possible areas of focus within the track are:   

  • Research Design and Evaluation
    Students selecting this area will gain skills in designing and carrying out research in real world settings, including evaluation and assessment, and experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Courses focus on different aspects of research design and data collection and on the tools of evaluation research.

    Courses (2 minimum)
    One course in Advanced Research Design

    • EDUC 882: Introduction to Research Methods
    • SOC 902: Research Design Assessment   

    One course (minimum - more can be taken as open electives) in one area below: 
    Evaluation (one of the following)

    • SOC 794/894: Evaluation Research
    • EDUC 972: Introduction to Education Evaluation  
    • PA 804: Research Design and Evaluation Qualitative Inquiry

    Qualitative Inquiry

    • SOC 904: Qualitative Research Methods  
    • EDUC 904: Qualitative Inquiry         

    Assessment 

    • EDUC 885: Introduction to Assessment  
    • EDUC 886: Issues in Assessment Qualitative Inquiry   

     

  • Advanced Statistics and Data Analysis
    Students selecting this area will gain skills in advanced statistics—logistic regression, time series analysis, econometrics, multi-level modeling—and data analysis—analyzing data from randomized controlled experiments, especially in a policy context, working with complex data sets (census, administrative data, available survey data like ADD Health), and graphic presentation of data.

    Courses (2 minimum)

    • SOC 903: Advanced Social Statistics
    • DATA 801: Foundations of  Data Analytics    
    • DATA 802: Analytical Tools and Foundations 
    • DATA 803: Introduction to Analytics Applications
    • EDUC 979: Applied Multilevel Modeling
    • PSYC 907: Research Methods and Statistics II
    • PSYC 909: Advanced Seminar in Quantitative Methods
    • ECON  (TBD:  They will add an 800-level section to a 700-level econometrics course; 900 level econometrics courses not appropriate)
    • GSS 800: Elements of Geospatial Science
    • GSS 805: Applied GIS for Research

  • Survey Research and Public Opinion 
    Students selecting this area will gain skills in designing, carrying out, and interpreting survey research, particularly in the context of measuring public opinion about policy issues. Focus on survey sampling, measurement, data management, and interpretation of survey data. 

    Courses (2 minimum)

    • SOC 897: Sociological Methods: Survey Research
    • POLT 811: Public Opinion and Survey Research
      (One credit modules to be developed in sampling, measurement, interviewing)

Students may also design their own focus by proposing courses to fulfill the track requirement that meet their own needs and career plans. Discussion with an advisor should inform this choice.

Electives are available in many substantive areas. Topics and courses are added on a continuing basis.  In addition, independent studies with leading experts can be arranged to match specialized student interests. Recent examples include independent studies on trade policy and tax policy.

Students may propose additional electives if those electives make sense in terms of the student’s interests and academic plan. Discussion with an advisor should inform this choice.


Elective Courses are offered in many Substantive Areas, including:

  • Communication and Strategy for Policy Impact
  • Community Development
  • Data Analysis for Public Policy  
  • Education and Schools
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Families, Youth, and Children
  • Health and Health Policy
  • Interpersonal Violence
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Poverty and Inequality
     

Departments throughout UNH offer Elective Courses, including:

  • Analytics
  • Business Administration
  • Education
  • Health Policy and Management
  • History
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Natural Resources
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • UNH School of Law

Sample Paths to Degree

1.  Three Full-Time Semesters and Summer Internship: 16 Months

Fall I January Term Spring Summer Fall II
  • Economics for Public Policy (PPOL 904)
  • Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (PPOL 906)
  • Quantitative Analysis for Policy Research (PPOL 908)
  • Elective
  • Washington, DC Colloquium (PPOL 950)
  • Strategy and Practice of Public Policy (PPOL 902)
  • Policy Across Borders (PPOL 910)
  • Capstone Planning (PPOL 990A)
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Internship
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Capstone Project (PPOL990)

2. Two Full-Time Semesters and Two Summers: 14 Months

Summer I Fall January Term Spring Summer II
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Economics for Public Policy (PPOL 904)
  • Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (PPOL 906)
  • Quantitative Analysis for Policy Research (PPOL 908)
  • Elective
  • Washington, DC Colloquium (PPOL 950)
  • Strategy and Practice of Public Policy (PPOL 902)
  • Policy Across Borders (PPOL 910)
  • Capstone Planning (PPOL 990A)
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Internship
  • Elective
  • Capstone Project
    (PPOL 990)

3. Part Time: 24 Months

Fall I January Term I Spring I  Summer I 
  • Economics for Public Policy (PPOL 904)
  • Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (PPOL 906)
  • Washington, DC Colloquium (PPOL 950)
  • Strategy and Practice of Public Policy (PPOL 902)
  • Policy Across Borders (PPOL 910)
  • Capstone Planning (PPOL 990A)
  • Elective
Fall II January Term II Spring II Summer II 
  • Quantitative Analysis for Policy Research (PPOL 908)
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Internship
  • Capstone Project (PPOL 990)

4. Part Time: 36 Months

Fall I January Term I Spring I Summer I
  • Economics for Public Policy (PPOL 904)
  • Washington, DC Colloquium (PPOL 950)
  • Strategy and Practice of Public Policy (PPOL 902)
  • Elective
Fall II January Term II Spring II Summer II 
  • Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (PPOL 906)
  • Quantitative Analysis for Policy Research (PPOL 908)
  • Elective
  • Policy Across Borders (PPOL 910)
  • Capstone Planning (PPOL 990A)
  • Elective
Fall III January Term III Spring III Summer III
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Internship
  • Capstone Project (PPOL 990)
Application Fee & GRE are not required for UNH undergraduate students applying for accelerated master’s admission!

For current University of New Hampshire undergraduates, there is an exciting opportunity to accelerate the MPP program by taking up to 12 credits in approved electives while still undergraduates. These students will then follow the standard MPP curriculum beginning in the fall following completion of their undergraduate degrees. After finishing their spring semester, students who have achieved the maximum number of MPP credits as undergraduates will need to complete only their capstone and internship—which can be accomplished over the following summer.  


Sample Paths to Degree

1. UNH Accelerated Master's Degree: 12 Months

UNH Undergrad or Summer I Fall January Term Spring Summer II
  • Elective
  • Elective 
  • Elective
  • Economics for Public Policy (PPOL 904)
  • Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (PPOL 906)
  • Quantitative Analysis for Policy Research (PPOL 908)
  • Elective
  • Washington, DC Colloquium (PPOL 950)
  • Strategy and Practice of Public Policy (PPOL 902)
  • Policy Across Borders (PPOL 910)
  • Capstone Planning (PPOL 990A)
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Capstone Project (PPOL 990)
  • Internship

2. UNH Accelerated Master's Degree with Specialization Certificates 

UNH Undergrad or Summer I Fall January Term Spring Summer II Fall II
  • Elective
  • Elective 
  • Economics for Public Policy (PPOL 904)
  • Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (PPOL 906)
  • Quantitative Analysis for Policy Research (PPOL 908)
  • Elective
  • Washington, DC Colloquium (PPOL 950)
  • Strategy and Practice of Public Policy (PPOL 902)
  • Policy Across Borders (PPOL 910)
  • Capstone Planning (PPOL 990A)
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Capstone Project (PPOL 990)
  • Internship
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

 

Application

When can I start the program and what are the application deadlines?

Applicants can apply to start in the fall, spring, or summer terms, by the following deadlines:

Fall Term Start:           July 1st (when most students begin the program)
Spring Term Start:      December 15th 
Summer Term Start:   April 15th 

International students are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible to insure visa’s and other necessary paperwork are obtained in a timely manner. Please contact Sanjeev Sharma, Admissions and Academic Advising, with any admissions questions.

How do I apply?

All applications are submitted online through the University of New Hampshire Graduate School. Instructions, link to the online application, and list of required documents can be found on the Graduate School’s Application site.  If you are unable to apply online, contact Sanjeev.Sharma@unh.edu or 603-862-1871.

Does the MPP program have prerequisites?

The MPP does not have any specific courses that must been taken as an undergraduate.

Can I get an MPP on a part-time basis? 

Carsey welcomes part-time students, although it requires some day-time availability and other time commitments that may not be possible for all. Those interested should contact us to discuss scheduling possibilities. In general, part-time students should expect to take four or more courses per-year—including the fall semester, January Term, spring semester, and summer sessions. Please note that the five core classes are offered during the day—each taught one day per-week. In addition, the January Term Washington Colloquium requires spending a week in Washington, DC. Some electives are offered online and in the evening.

Is there a required minimum score on the GRE, which I must achieve to be admitted?

No.  A GRE score is one of many pieces of information in an applicant’s file, all of which are reviewed carefully by the admissions committee. The ability of the GRE to predict admissions or graduate program success varies widely among students. GRE scores, like all aspects of a student’s record, are considered in context as a part of the overall application.

I took the GRE more than once. What score will you look at?

We only evaluate the highest score received. 

Financial Aid

Does this program offer any Scholarships? 

The Carsey School of Public Policy offers a limited number of needs- and merit-based partial tuition scholarships to students who have submitted their online application and been accepted into the program. In order to be considered for a Carsey School Scholarship, please complete and submit your Online Scholarship Application Form by April 20. Applicants will be notified if they qualify for an award within two to three weeks after submitting a completed application. We also encourage students who are awarded a scholarship to leverage their award by seeking additional funding opportunities from other sources.

Additionally, all applicants to the program will be considered for the Tara and J. Morgan Rutman Scholarship which will be awarded to one or more students of outstanding ability who are in need of financial support.

What happens to my Carsey Scholarship award if I need to defer? 

Carsey Scholarships based on financial need are considered and awarded to individuals for the program year of application. If an admitted student who has been awarded a Carsey Scholarship needs to defer his/her start date due to financial reasons, their scholarship application will also be deferred and given priority reconsideration for the new program start date.

Does the program offer any Fellowships?

The Carsey School offers a limited number of fellowship opportunities for MPP students during the academic year. Student fellows work 15 hours per week while classes are in session and receive a stipend of $4,600 per semester.  After applying and being accepted into the MPP program, Fellowship applicants should complete the online Master in Public Policy Fellowship Application for consideration.  

What alternative funding opportunities are available? 

We strongly encourage you to look into other outside scholarship opportunities. Domestic students are eligible for both private and federal loans. More detailed information can be found on the UNH Grad School’s Financial Aid webpage or at Tuition Management Systems

Other 

What are available housing options at UNH?

On-campus housing is available and there are many options in the seacoast region including in Durham itself as well as surrounding communities, such as Dover, Portsmouth, and Newmarket, served by a UNH-run bus service for which there is no additional charge above the mandatory student transportation fee. Learn more about off-campus housing options.

What is the Capstone Project? 

Students are tasked with demonstrating their competency through a comprehensive project that includes a substantial piece of written work. Capstone projects will be completed under the direction of faculty mentors and outside experts. The purpose of the capstone is to demonstrate student capabilities and to provide an opportunity to work with expert mentors aimed at enhancing post-graduation employment options. ​ 

Does tuition cover the travel and meal costs of the Washington, DC, Colloquium during the January Term?

Accommodations in Washington, some meals, and local transportation are covered for the Colloquium which takes place during the January Term. Travel to and from Washington, DC, are the student’s responsibility. Reasonable air, bus, and train fares are typically available to and from Washington from most locations in the United States at this time of year. Car-pooling is also an option. 

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Get a Job…and a Degree!

Get a Job…and a Degree!

Public Policy student completes capstone project while beginning career...

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