Master in Public Policy (M.P.P.)
"M.P.P. candidates come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, and their courses of study at the Woodrow Wilson School naturally reflect this diversity. Successful applicants to the M.P.P. program demonstrate leadership, creativity, a commitment to public service, and the intellectual ability to thrive in a demanding academic environment."
Thomas J. Christensen
Faculty Chair of the M.P.P. Program
The Woodrow Wilson School offers a one-year Master in Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree for mid-career professionals who are rising leaders in international and domestic public policy, and since the fall of 2008, the School now offers the M.P.P. to qualified physicians, Ph.D. scientists, and lawyers. The M.P.P. program is designed to meet the needs of rising leaders in the public service professions, including government agencies and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and internationally. The M.P.P. program provides rigorous training in quantitative and policy analysis, preparing degree candidates to return to their careers with the intellectual breadth, organizational skills, and self-confidence necessary to assume leadership positions in an increasingly complex public service environment.
The M.P.P. year begins with an intensive six-week summer program in economics,statistics, and policy analysis, designed to strengthen students' skills in preparation for graduate-level Woodrow Wilson School courses. During the academic year, M.P.P. candidates select their courses from among the offerings available to all Woodrow Wilson School graduate students. in consultation with their faculty advisors, M.P.P. candidates may devise programs of study that combine fields of concentration and specialized programs, as well as draw on courses offered outside the School by other departments of the University.
Applicants to the one-year M.P.P. for mid-career professionals program must have had at least seven years of relevant public or nonprofit work experience. The expanded M.P.P. program for qualified physicians, Ph.D. scientists, and lawyers does not require a specified amount of work experience, but is intended to serve the School's mission to increase the leadership capacity for careers in public service, especially government careers in international affairs.
M.P.P. for Mid-Career Professionals
The M.P.P. degree for mid-career professionals provides rising leaders in international and domestic public policy with an opportunity to broaden their economic, policy, and leadership skills. This rigorous in-residence program is designed for mid-career professionals with seven or more years of public service experience in government agencies or non-profit organizations in the United States and abroad. The program aims to prepare experienced professionals to return to their career ready to assume significant leadership positions in an increasingly complex public service environment. The program teaches skills in analyzing the political, economic, quantitative, organizational, and normative aspects of complex problems. M.P.P. candidates come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds and their courses of study at the Woodrow Wilson School naturally reflect this diversity. Mid-career professionals enrolled in the M.P.P. generally have significant public sector work experience ranging from 10 to 20 years.
M.P.P. for Physicians
The M.P.P. for physicians aims to enroll medical doctors in a one-year training program in public policy. M.D.s play an active role in policy issues related to health, and medical degrees are implicitly, if not explicitly, a prerequisite for many senior policy positions concerned with health. The M.P.P. degree can be distinguished from a Master’s in Public Health (M.P.H.) degree by its focus on economics, politics, sociology, and statistics as tools for policy analysis. These skills are important for future health policymakers.
M.P.P. for Ph.D. Scientists
The M.P.P. for Ph.D. scientists was created, in part, because many of today’s most pressing and controversial policy issues are rooted in science, such as global warming, stem cell research, the evolution of drug-resistant strains of disease organisms, and the protection of privacy in an increasingly wired world. While none of these issues are the exclusive domain of scientists, scientists will play an increasingly important role in addressing them. Therefore, WWS seeks to enroll leading professionals in the natural and physical sciences in such disciplines as physics, biology, engineering, information technology, atmospheric sciences, and the geosciences. Candidates for this one-year degree must have completed their Ph.D. when they apply to the WWS graduate program.
The vast majority of leaders and innovators in contemporary science have doctoral degrees, yet a Ph.D. in a scientific field typically provides no training in public policy. The result is a widening gulf between the scientific and policy communities, arising at a time when the need for dialogue, cooperation, and leadership is growing.
The School currently offers a graduate certificate in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP), which includes a wide array of elective courses in science policy. Ph.D. scientists enrolled in the M.P.P. program will be encouraged, but not required, to enroll in the STEP certificate program. It is expected that candidates for the M.P.P. degree for Ph.D. scientists also will take courses in economics, politics, and statistics to round out their curriculum.
M.P.P. for Lawyers
The M.P.P degree for lawyers is intended for those who have completed their J.D.s and recognized, after several years of work experience, the need to acquire the analytical tools for policy analysis. They also may enroll in courses in International Relations or Domestic Policy analysis, depending on their interests.
As with the other M.P.P. degrees, the M.P.P for lawyers will add crucial exposure to politics, economics and policy that students would not get in the routine course of their other professional education.