About the Program
The Master of Public Policy degree program (MPP) is open to students who wish to pursue analytic careers in government, non-profit agencies or in businesses subject to government regulations. The MPP program is structured to prepare graduates to work as analysts and as program managers.
Core courses in the MPP program cover public policy, policy analysis, quantitative methods, and economic policy.
This is a two-year program for students taking 8 or more units per term. The program consists of 60 approved units (not including courses necessary to compensate for deficiencies). The degree culminates with a two-term seminar focused on analytical projects where students will develop, present, and discuss individual research.
Students develop a unique concentration of electives related to their interests and may pursue joint graduate degree programs.
Core courses in the Masters in Public Policy program cover public policy, policy analysis, quantitative methods, and economic policy. This is a two-year program for students taking 8 or more units per term. The program consists of 60 approved units (not including courses necessary to compensate for deficiencies). The degree culminates with a two-term seminar focused on analytical projects where students will develop, present, and discuss individual research. Students develop a unique concentration of electives related to their interests and may pursue joint graduate degree programs.
The MPP offers coursework relevant to problem solving and analysis of public policies. Each student files a formal study plan after completing 12 units of coursework (generally toward the end of Winter quarter in the first year).
The formal program of study includes 60 units; 44 are found in the core and 16 are electives. Core MPP courses must be taken for a letter grade. Full course descriptions can be found in the Cal Poly catalog online and in print. The student has seven years to complete all coursework and requirements for the degree, including the comprehensive examination.
As of Fall 2009, graduate students must maintain continuous enrollment in the University in three of four academic quarters annually. To maintain enrollment, students must be enrolled as a regular student, enrolled in a special place-holder course (GS 597), or be on planned educational or medical leave.
For more information on the Continuous Enrollment Policy, please visit the Cal Poly Graduate Education website.
Throughout the program, students are to develop an area of policy expertise. In order to do so, students are to direct their 16-20 elective units toward a specific area of policy specialization. Students can choose courses from a wide array of disciplines throughout the university to develop a specific area of policy expertise. View policy electives.
MPP Culminating Exam
The culminating experience is a two-day take-home exam, designed to assess the student's ability to integrate knowledge and demonstrate mastery in policy analysis applications. The exam will be administered by faculty associated with the program during fall and spring quarters each year.
|POLS 510 Research Design
|POLS 515 Public Policy
|POLS 518 Public Policy Analysis
|POLS 540 Leadership & Management
|POLS 550 Regulatory and Economic Policy
|POLS 560 Quantitative Methods
|POLS 586 Policy Internship
|POLS 590 Graduate Seminar
|POLS 595 Directed Supervised Reading for MPP Comprehensive Exam
NOTE: Core courses scheduling may change on faculty availability
Elective courses to be selected with graduate adviser's approval. At least 8 units must be at the 500 level. With permission of the Director, MPP students may apply up to 4 units of POLS 500 (Independent Study) and up to 4 units of POLS 400 (Independent Study) as elective credits toward their MPP degree.
Minimum Requirements for Admission
- Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
- A grade point average of not less than 3.0 in all undergraduate coursework.
- Academic preparation or work experience demonstrating analytical and writing skills.
- For applicants whose preparatory education is principally in a language other than English, a TOEFL score of 550 or higher is required (or 213 on the new conversation scale for the computer-based TOEFL exam). A score of 4.5 or higher on the essay portion of the TOEFL is also required.
How to Apply
- Students can apply directly online via CSU Mentor.
- Applicants must submit official transcripts to Cal Poly Graduate Admissions (see address below).
- Students should submit the following electronically via Interfolio.
- Three letters of recommendation. The required letters of recommendation must include at least one academic reference and at least one professional reference. The third letter of recommendation can be either an academic or a professional reference. These recommendations must be written in English and ought to address relevant academic coursework, work experience and other preparation that make the applicant a strong candidate for the MPP program.
- Personal statement detailing the applicant’s understanding of, interest in and use for a public policy degree from the perspective of the applicant’s career and educational goals.
- Resume/CV detailing relevant academic and professional information.
- A scanned copy of your transcripts.
- GRE scores are recommended but not required for admission. GRE scores should be sent electronically from the testing agency directly to Cal Poly Admissions.
Addresses for Graduate Admissions and MPP Director:
- Graduate Admissions (transcripts)
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
- For Interfolio Electronic submissions (letters, statement, resume), Interfolio
Questions about Interfolio:
Building 116, Room 212