Public policy school

Public policy schools teach students policy analysis, policy studies, public policy, political economy, urban planning, public administration, public affairs, and public management.

Public policy schools offer a wide range of public policy degrees. Master of Public Policy (MPP), the Master of Public Administration (MPA), the Master of Public Affairs (MPAff), the Master of Public Service (MPS), the Master of Urban Planning (MUP), and the Master of International Affairs (MIA). Schools with an international and interdisciplinary focus award Master of Arts in International Policy Studies.[1][2] Some schools also offer executive master's degrees in the same topics for mid-career individuals. Doctoral degrees include PhDs in Public Policy, Policy Studies, and Public Administration, as well as the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA).

In North America, students pursue a public policy degree after having completed an undergraduate degree in some other field, or can complete both degrees concurrently at select schools. North American public policy programs are generally located in an autonomous graduate or professional school within a larger university.


Most public policy programs combine elements of political science, economics, statistics, law, international relations, international development, public finance, leadership studies, ethics, sociology, and public administration. More recently, public policy schools have applied quantitative analysis, management information systems, organizational behavior, project management, and operations research to the public sector.

While degrees in Public Policy are generally at the graduate level (masters and PhD), some undergraduate degree programs still exist.


In contrast to many other graduate-level programs, applicants with various, sometimes unrelated, educational backgrounds can be admitted to public policy schools. Applicants' backgrounds can range from economics and political science, to social sciences, to physical sciences and engineering.

Admissions requirements, including standardized testing requirements, vary widely. Some school have a second language requirement due to their global orientation.[3]

In the United States, applicants must have graduated from an accredited university and are generally required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Many schools also accept the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) in lieu of the GRE.

Notable public policy schools

North America

United States

Public policy schools in the United States tackle policy analysis differently. The Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago has a more quantitative and economics approach to policy, the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon uses computational and empirical methods, while the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University has a more political science and leadership based approach. The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs provides traditional public policy training with multidisciplinary concentrations available in the environmental sciences and nonprofit management. Moreover, the University of Illinois at Chicago offers public policy training that emphasizes the stages of decision-making in formulating policy (e.g. agenda setting), as well as the importance of framing effects and cognitive limits in policy formation.

Schools of public policy that have met professional standards of education and quality in the United States are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA):[4]


South America



In Europe, the LUISS School of Government offers a multidisciplinary approach to public policy combining economics, political science, new public management, and policy analysis, while the French institute of political studies Sciences Po complements these core disciplines with organizational sociology, human security, political economy, and leadership.

Czech Republic
United Kingdom


The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation.



National Law School, Bangalore launched MPP programme in 2014 with some of the top faculty of India, with a special thrust on law as an interface between development and public policy.The Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy and Management course offered by Indian Institutes of Management is a multidisciplinary course with special emphasis on select policy areas such as health policy, environment policy and developed on Economic and Quantitative approach. The Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad & Mohali has launched an executive master's level "Management Programme in Public Policy (MPPP)" in consultation with one of the world’s leading public policy schools - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. School of International Relations and Politics, Mahatma Gandhi University was the first to start Masters in Public Policy and Governance which is interdisciplinary in nature. The Jindal School of Government and Public Policy in India offers an interdisciplinary training in public policy with a focus on the policy making processes in developing and BRIC countries. The Takshashila Institution in India offers a semester-long graduate certificate in public policy[5] instead, focusing on developing public policy as an academic discipline in India as well as making public policy education accessible to working professionals.


South Korea KDI School of Public Policy and Management

United Arab Emirates


South Africa



See also


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