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Public policy school

Public policy schools teach students policy analysis, policy studies, public policy, political economy, urban planning, public administration, public affairs, and public management.

Public policy schools offer a wide range of public policy degrees. Master of Public Policy (MPP), the Master of Public Administration (MPA), the Master of Public Affairs (MPAff), the Master of Public Service (MPS), the Master of Urban Planning (MUP), and the Master of International Affairs (MIA). Schools with an international and interdisciplinary focus award Master of Arts in International Policy Studies.[1][2] Some schools also offer executive master's degrees in the same topics for mid-career individuals. Doctoral degrees include PhDs in Public Policy, Policy Studies, and Public Administration, as well as the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA).

In North America, students pursue a public policy degree after having completed an undergraduate degree in some other field, or can complete both degrees concurrently at select schools. North American public policy programs are generally located in an autonomous graduate or professional school within a larger university.


Most public policy programs combine elements of political science, economics, statistics, law, international relations, international development, public finance, ethics, sociology, and public administration. Some schools also apply quantitative analysis, management information systems, organizational behavior, project management, and operations research to the public sector.

While degrees in Public Policy are generally at the graduate level (masters and PhD), some undergraduate degree programs still exist.


In contrast to many other graduate-level programs, applicants with various, sometimes unrelated, educational backgrounds can be admitted to public policy schools. Applicants' backgrounds can range from economics and political science, to social sciences, to physical sciences and engineering.

Admissions requirements, including standardized testing requirements, vary widely. Some school have a second language requirement due to their global orientation.[3]

In the United States, applicants must have graduated from an accredited university and are generally required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Many schools also accept the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) in lieu of the GRE.

Notable public policy schools





Czech Republic

  • Department of Public and Social Policy at Charles University in Prague













United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

Schools of public policy that have met professional standards of education and quality in the United States are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA):[4]

See also