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Do you aspire to influence public policy analysis? You can align your degree with your goals, through electives or by choosing a focused concentration, preparing you to make policy decisions using analytics. This degree program is currently ranked No.14 by U.S. News and World Report.

The MPP program allows students to approach the study of public policy with a focus on public policy in the urban setting. The master's degree program in public policy prepares students for professional careers as policy analysts and leaders in public service involved in the formulation, approval, implementation and evaluation of public policy at all levels of government and in the private and nonprofit sectors. The program can also serve as a platform for preparation for doctoral studies in public policy, public administration, urban studies and other related programs.

Students learn analytical techniques and conceptual frameworks for understanding policy issues and identifying potential solutions, and about applying these skills to real-world issues --- especially to the needs of cities in the region. Students also gain an understanding of policies addressing issues such as poverty, education, the environment and public safety

The program trains people to lead by making positive policy decisions, addressing the difficult questions associated with public policy and managing the process of policy creation, approval, implementation and evaluation. At the conclusion of the master's degree program, students are able to identify, analyze and interpret the challenges and dilemmas of public policies, especially those of urban areas. Students also are able to approach policy analysis with a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods and are prepared to develop innovative processes and tools to deal with changing realities of public policy and address issues on a global, regional and local scale.

This degree program offers the following concentrations:

Learn to understand complex public problems and develop and implement innovative policy solutions. Through coursework and real-world projects, you can gain the analytic skills required for addressing society's most challenging problems.


The MPP program equips students with the analytical tools they need in order to understand and address public policy issues. Students also develop skills in managing the process of policy development, approval, implementation and evaluation, as well as gain policy-specific knowledge on issues such as poverty, education, the environment and public safety.

At A Glance

Public Policy, MPP

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Application deadline

Applicants to the MPA and MPP programs are accepted year-round. Students may be granted admission for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

Priority application deadlines:

July 1 for Fall semester
Nov 1 for Spring semester
April 1 for Summer semester

Degree requirements

Required Core (27 credit hours)
PAF 501 Public Service Research I (3)
PAF 502 Public Service Research II (3)
PAF 504 Microeconomics of Public Policy I (3)
PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis (3)
PAF 540 Advanced Policy Analysis (3)
PAF 541 Program Evaluation (3)
PAF 570 Microeconomics of Public Policy II (3)
PAF 573 Applied Econometrics (3)
PAF 574 Diversity, Ethics and Leading Public Change (3)

Electives (12 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
PAF 509 Public Policy Capstone (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students enrolling in core Master of Public Policy courses must demonstrate minimum competency in statistics and American national government. Courses taken to fulfill competencies do not count toward the 42 credit hour degree program. Completion of prerequisite courses is not a requirement for admission but must be completed within one semester after starting the program.

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  3. two letters of recommendation
  4. written statement
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. Additional requirements for international students are available on the Admission Services website at https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate-apply.

The letters of recommendation must be from faculty or other academic staff who can evaluate applicant's academic performance.

The one- to two-page written statement should state the applicant's educational and career goals; and it also is used as a sample of the applicant's writing abilities.

Applicants may also submit a resume or other documents.

Fees increase after deadline.

Applicants should contact the School of Public Affairs at 602-496-0450 or email spa@asu.edu if there are questions about the application process.

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