This type of degree program may be the first choice for people that have the drive and desire to improve public programs, wish to establish plans for more inclusive public services, or want to work with communities in need of guidance.
You might consider a featured Online MPA that is currently accepting applicants.
- USC's Online MPA Program - Earn your MPA online from USC Price, ranked #3 for public affairs.
- UNC-Chapel Hill's Online MPA Program - GRE Waivers available, can be completed in less than two years
- Norwich University - Online MPA Program - 8 different concentrations, graduate in as few as 18 months. No GRE or GMAT requirement.
- George Washington University - Online MS in Political Management - 100% online, learn at your own pace. No entrance exam for qualified applicants.
- American University - Online MPA Program - NASPAA accredited MPA program. Graduate with your MPAP in 24 months. 100% Online MPA Program.
If any of these goals sounds like something you can relate to, you should read more about this incredible degree program in the guide below. For over a decade, our team of educational experts has been reviewing and reporting on educational programs all over the U.S.
Through their research, they have determined that the Public Policy programs in the U.S. can lead to exciting and influential careers at the local and government level. The curriculum involved in this degree program may consist of topics that are related to the history and formation of policies, research methods and tools used to identify needs, and the laws and regulations that govern the practice of public service for all agencies.
In order to get started in this degree program, you should research degree programs that have all of your required elements prior to making your choice. There are hundreds of programs to choose from all throughout the United States, many of which may be a great fit for you. In the sections below, you can read more about what is involved in the curriculum of this program, as well as some insight into the results of achieving your degree.
Master’s in Public Policy Programs to Consider
Probably one of the most important parts of your degree seeking process may be finding the right school. There are so many to choose from that it may be difficult to tell which one is the best or which program best fits your needs.
Online Master’s in Public Policy programs are some of the most popular choices for upcoming students with busy work schedules and family lives. If online education is what you desire, check out some of the example programs listed below. Each of these programs can be completed 100% online – making them a great option for busy working adults.
The field of Public Policy can be a great place for structure-minded individuals to set their roots. Ohio University current provides an online MPA – Public Policy that is geared towards providing students with the information they need to be successful professionals in the field. This online program can cater to the flexible needs of students while still providing a rigorous curriculum throughout the process. The entire MPA-Public Policy program at Ohio University can be completed in as little as 2 years.
Oregon State University
OSU’s online Master’s in Public Policy program was created in an effort to help newcomers to the field of Public Policy become more familiar with the topics and skills needed to be a helpful public service professional. This online program can be a great resource for individuals that are currently working in the public field, or even for those transitioning from other bachelor’s programs. OSU’s program may require that students complete 62 credit hours before being approved for graduation.
American Public University
American Public University currently provides an online Master of Public Policy program for students that are intrigued by reviewing and improving public policies throughout the United States. This program can be helpful for students interested in building their understanding of the U.S. Government, as well as the different sectors that may influence the development and change of policies over time. This program can be a great way for students to move forward into influential positions within society and can be completed in around 2 years for most students.
Common Master’s in Public Policy Coursework to Expect
Part of choosing the right school should also involve a look into the courses you might be expected to take while enrolled. Most online Master’s in Public Policy programs may have a similar goal of introducing you to advance topics in public service, while some may provide more insight and focus into specialized areas within the field.
While you look at colleges and programs available, be sure to take a look at the curriculum to ensure that you are aware of what exactly will be covered. In order to make this part a little easier, our team of educational experts has provided a few example courses below for you to browse. Take a look to see the types of classes you could be enrolled in during this program.
Public Policy and Finance
In order to truly understand how policies can be influenced by financial support and spending, students should take a dive into courses surrounding this aspect of Public Policy. This course can be a great way for students to learn about taxation, budgeting, and economics in relation to policy formation and maintenance. Engaging in this course can help students become more knowledgeable about the financial practices common within public services agencies, which can lead to exciting positions in the professional field.
Part of the responsibilities of public service workers may include a look into how social programs operate and how well they meet their stated goals. This course can provide students with the tools necessary to perform evaluations on public agencies in order to suggest methods for change or improvement. Throughout this course, students may learn to use qualitative and quantitative tools to help assess the efficiency of organizations and implement programs for change.
Research and Evaluation
Since a lot of the work in Public Policy careers may involve reviewing organizations for validity and efficiency, upcoming professionals should have a strong understanding of research practices relevant to their service area. In this course, students can learn how to accurately develop a research program, test theories and hypotheses and implement program changes to help make necessary improvements. These skills can be great for students interested in working on improving public services within their communities.
How Much Does A Master’s in Public Policy Graduate Make?
We pulled some data on careers that might be associated with graduates of this Master’s program.
- Survey Researchers: $54,270 on average per year (BLS).
- Urban and Regional Planners: $71,490 on average per year (BLS).
Career Options Associated With Master’s in Public Policy
Obtaining a higher degree in Public Policy can be a great outlet for showcasing your talents and expertise in the field of public administration. Public Policy degree programs can prepare you to manage public service organizations of varying types, such as those concerned with providing services to the less fortunate, people affected by abuse or addiction or even in fields such as healthcare and education.
Organizations in the public domain may require educated professionals to assist with ensuring that services are up to par with what is required by the government, as well as meeting pre-determined goals set forth during planning stages. If you want to know more about career options for this degree program, take a look at a few listed below.
- Social Research
- Government Officer
- Charities Specialist
- Housing/Food Service Management
Public Policy Versus Public Administration Masters Degree Comparison
Finding the right degree specialization or major can be a daunting task for upcoming students. Some students may be well aware of what they want to do with their degree after graduation, while others may be open to new suggestions or not totally committed to one certain area.
The field of public administration as a whole is broken into many subsections that can provide students with focus in different areas. In this section, our team will examine the differences between 2 common degree programs within this field: public administration and Public Policy. Take a look at what they have found during their comparison below this paragraph.
Public Policy may be in a field all of its own in terms of public administration options. Public Policy as a field may be concerned with the actual implementation of policies within the public service field, which is slightly different that other fields under the public administration umbrella.
If you were to pursue a degree program in Public Policy, you might find that the curriculum can help to prepare you for careers as quality-attentive leaders, program evaluators, and planning specialists. In addition to these careers, you can also work for government offices responsible for ensuring the compliance of public service agencies.
In public administration, students can gain a more widespread outlook on the field of public services. The goal of the public administration degree program may be to create knowledgeable and effective leaders to help organize and operate public service organizations.
While policy does find its place within this realm of expertise, it may not be the only area of focus for those in this field. If you are more interested in moving up the ladder and providing management to large teams of public service workers, public administration may be the better specialization option for you to pursue.