The Woodrow Wilson School offers a one-year Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree for mid-career professionals who are rising leaders in international and domestic public policy.

This rigorous residential program is designed for mid-career professionals with seven or more years of public service experience in government agencies or nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad.

The MPP program provides rigorous training in economic, behavioral and political analysis.

By convening a diverse group of extremely competent professionals and providing them the opportunity to reflect on their experiences, strengthen their analytical skills and expand their knowledge base, the MPP year leads to a sum greater than the individual parts. MPP candidates return to their careers with the intellectual breadth and self-confidence necessary to assume leadership positions in the policy world. 

MPP candidates come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, and their courses of study at the Woodrow Wilson School reflect this diversity.

The program is extremely flexible and can be tailored to each student’s professional needs.

Applicants to the MPP for mid-career professionals must have a minimum of seven years of relevant public or nonprofit work experience. Mid-career professionals enrolled in the MPP program typically have had public-sector work experience ranging from 10 to 20 years.

The MPP Program is a terminal degree designed for policy professionals. It should not be viewed as a stepping stone to a PhD program.

MPP for Physicians, Ph.D. Scientists and Lawyers

The MPP program also welcomes applications from qualified physicians, Ph.D. scientists and lawyers. The MPP program for physicians, Ph.D. scientists, and lawyers does not require a specific amount of work experience.

MPP for Physicians

The MPP for physicians aims to enroll medical doctors in a one-year training program in public policy. Doctors play an active role in policy issues related to health, and medical degrees are implicitly, if not explicitly, a prerequisite for many senior health policy positions. The MPP degree can be distinguished from a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree by its focus on economics, politics, psychology, sociology and statistics as tools for policy analysis. These skills are critically important for future health policy makers. WWS offers a graduate certificate in Health and Health Policy (HHP), designed for policy students who want to pursue domestic or international careers in health-related fields. Physicians enrolled in the MPP program are encouraged (but not required) to enroll in the HHP certificate program.

MPP for Ph.D. Scientists

The MPP 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 and the evolution of drug-resistant strains of disease organisms. 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 great. 

The School 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 MPP program are encouraged (but not required) to enroll in the STEP certificate program. It is expected that candidates for the MPP degree for Ph.D. scientists also will take courses in economics, politics and statistics to round out their curriculum.

MPP for Lawyers

The MPP degree for lawyers is intended for those who have completed their J.D. and recognized, after several years of work experience, the need to acquire the analytical tools for policy analysis.