The New School is a progressive university in New York City where scholars, artists, and designers come together to challenge convention and create positive change. Founded in 1919, the university consists of Parsons School of Design, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, the College of Performing Arts, The New School for Social Research, and numerous renowned graduate programs. The New School’s rigorous, multidimensional approach to education gives students the academic freedom to shape their unique, individual paths of study for a complex and rapidly changing world.


The Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy challenges you to develop innovative solutions for the world’s thorniest challenges, which are increasingly urban and global. The New School's community of scholars examine today’s urban policy issues in real time and design creative solutions, all while working closely with policymakers in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

We give you the opportunity to work on policy analysis in real-world settings, with a focus on social justice. Put theory into practice and apply your analytical and collaborative problem-solving skills as early as your second semester in our Urban Policy Lab. Our areas of specialization allow you to explore emerging fields of study, such as data visualization, global urban futures, food and environment, housing and community development, finance, and capital markets, politics and advocacy, and many others.

The New School is also home to Parsons School of Design and the School of Media Studies, putting you at the center of conversations around democracy, urbanization, technological change, economic empowerment, social equity, sustainability, migration, and globalization. The result is a challenge to the status quo and an opportunity for you to translate your passion into real-world policy initiatives that change people’s lives.

Set Your Own Pace

Do you want a program that is fast and focused? Or do you want to continue working full-time while you study? We offer three different paths toward your degree so that you can choose the right one for your academic and professional goals. Each combines the academic rigor, hands-on learning, and a supportive and collaborative setting that are the hallmarks of the NASPAA-accredited Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy.

  • Fast-Track Path (16-Month Accelerated Option) 16 months
    Take the fast track to change with this new, accelerated MS degree option. It offers the same courses, faculty, facilities, and support as the traditional path but takes just 16 months to complete.
  • Traditional Full-Time Path 2 years
    Full-time is the traditional path for completing the MS degree, giving you time to immerse yourself more fully in internships, research, and other activities outside of the classroom.
  • Part-Time Path 3 to 3.5 years
    Flexible and designed with working students in mind, the part-time path allows you to earn your degree in as little as three years.

Connection to New York City

New York is a global city and our local laboratory. We take advantage of the diversity of people and activities that the city attracts — from immigrant communities to Wall Street, from public schools and housing projects to meetings of world leaders — to explore the challenges faced by cities across the country and around the world. Our faculty and students work with local organizations (such as the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Human Services Council, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice) and government leaders (such as the New York City mayor’s office and the New York City Housing Authority) to identify and understand policy alternatives that improve the lives of New Yorkers and design, advocate for, and bring about a better global urban future.

Program highlights

  • Work on policy or management issues for government officials and nonprofit executives in applied, client-centered courses.
  • Join conversations around pressing issues including democracy, urbanization, technological change, economic empowerment, social equity, sustainability, migration, and globalization.
  • Use New York City as your local laboratory to explore the challenges faced by cities across the country and around the world.
  • Work in teams to tackle two major projects with public-sector and nonprofit clients as early as your second semester—in the Urban Policy Lab.

Career Paths

We prepare our students for fulfilling careers in government, international agencies, the private sector, think tanks, foundations, and nonprofits. Our students and alumni pursue careers around the world in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors; in local, national, and international organizations; and in financial services. They support underserved constituencies by partnering with advocacy groups working on community development and housing. Many begin working in one sector and move on to another or work in organizations that build strategic alliances and partnerships across sectors. New School degrees prepare graduates to succeed in many professions, rather than limiting them to narrow expertise. At graduation, every student has a professional portfolio and highly developed analytical and managerial skills in his or her field of study.

The Public and Urban Policy Program is accredited by NASPAA, the membership association for graduate programs in public administration, public policy, and public affairs—the Global Standard in Public Service Education. We are the proud recipient of the NASPAA 2015 Social Equity Award.

Program taught in:
  • English
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Last updated October 14, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
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16 - 42 months
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