Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The George Washington University - Columbian College of Arts & Sciences

Program Description

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The George Washington University - Columbian College of Arts & Sciences

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree is the recognized professional degree in the field of public policy analysis. The MPP degree provides students with education and training that prepares them for opportunities in professional positions in a wide variety of organizations, including federal, state, and local governments, private business, research institutes, think tanks, nonprofit organizations, community advocacy groups, foundations, and professional and trade associations.


Public policy education at GW provides students with the ability to think clearly and analytically about social and economic problems and public policy. Students not only learn the basic analytical and methodological tools to engage in policy analysis; they also develop an understanding of the political processes through which policy is made and the social, economic and historical context in which problems arise and are addressed. Each student chooses a policy field that serves as an area in which he/she can apply these skills and gain substantive knowledge. However, the program is a generalist rather than highly specialized; it provides students with the ability to quickly and successfully come to grips with policy problems across a wide range of issues.

The MPP program is interdisciplinary; the course of studies focuses on problems, policy alternatives, and solutions rather than on methodologies and approaches that are associated with a single academic discipline. Students have the opportunity to combine academic training with a wide array of practical experiences available in our nation's capital. The faculty has extensive professional contacts to aid students in job placement.

The MPP program is available at the George Washington University's main campus in downtown Washington, DC. It is not available as a distance-learning program.

Master of Public Policy Curriculum

The MPP degree offered by GW’s Trachtenberg School is a 40-credit hour program. GW’s MPP program provides students with a solid foundation in economics, politics and research methods as applied to policy analysis generally, and with exposure to the range of policy problems in a specific policy field selected by the student. The program consists of a seven-course core required for all students, a three-course field of study, and three elective courses.

The MPP program provides a balance between a strong core of essential courses and the freedom to select and tailor a field of study. This mix offers a balance between the coverage of general tools of policy analysis, and the policy issues and analytical approaches found in each of several specific policy areas.

Master of Public Policy Fields of Study

The MPP draws on the strengths of the entire university to provide a broad range of choices in policy fields. Each field of study consists of three courses. Students may select a concentration from the 10 fields developed especially for the MPP, choose a field from those often selected by MPA students or design their own individualized field with consultation and approval of a substantively appropriate faculty advisor.

Available policy fields are:

  • Budget & Public Finance
  • Education Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Health Policy
  • International Development Policy
  • National Security & Foreign Policy
  • Program Evaluation and Analysis
  • Regulatory Policy
  • Social Policy
  • Urban Policy

MPP students may also pursue the Certificate in Organizational Performance Improvement in the College of Professional Studies. Please see Kathy Newcomer for more details.

General Entrance Requirements

To be considered for admission as a candidate for the MPA or MPP degree, you must have a bachelor's degree awarded by a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or equivalent degree from a recognized non-U.S. institution.

As of fall 2016, the Trachtenberg School does not require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, although scores from exams taken within the past five years can be sent directly to the university (code 5246) if you would like them to be considered.

The admissions process is competitive and, normally, a minimum of a B average in undergraduate coursework is required for admission to graduate study in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and successful applicants typically have GPAs of 3.5 or higher. However, we take into account all aspects of your application and consider a wide range of factors that indicate your ability to succeed in the curriculum. These also include, but are not limited to, your undergraduate major, undergraduate institution, graduate coursework (if applicable), GRE scores (if submitted), relevant work experience, personal achievements, the strength of recommendation letters, and commitment to public service.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
Full time
USA - Washington, District of Columbia
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
USA - Washington, District of Columbia
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info