MASTER OF
PUBLIC POLICY

The mission of the Public Policy program is to prepare students for roles as effective citizens and people who work in the public service.


The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is an interdisciplinary degree program designed to prepare students for work in the analysis, development, and evaluation of public policies.  In all levels of government and on a global scale, public needs and limited resources require public policy choices that are at once economically efficient, socially and technically effective, and politically responsive. Such choices confront policymakers in a broad range of critical issues, including health, education, economic development, public finance, social policy, nonprofit policy, and disaster policy.

Decision-makers often lack the knowledge and skills needed to interpret the full social, political, economic, and technical dimensions of the policy issues they face. In response, state and local governments, businesses, and federal agencies have turned to trained policy analysts for assistance in assessing policy options and in evaluating public programs.  The same is true for nonprofit agencies, such as hospitals, schools, emergency preparedness and relief agencies, and regional planning organizations.

Graduates of the MPP program typically work in analytical and leadership positions in a wide array of governmental, public service, private sector, consulting, and nonprofit organizations. Metropolitan Atlanta serves as a laboratory for students, who are encouraged to undertake field instruction and action research with local public, private, and nonprofit agencies. Opportunities are also available through the various research centers and community outreach efforts of the Andrew Young School. These opportunities enhance the education students receive and often open doors to attractive jobs.

Degree Requirements

The curriculum is a two-year course of study of 36 hours of graduate coursework, comprised of 18 credit hours of required core courses, 15 hours of coursework in a concentration area, and 3 hours in an internship, practicum, or thesis.

Required Core Courses (21 hours):

  • PMAP 8011 Politics and Policy
  • PMAP 8121 Applied Research Methods and Statistics I
  • PMAP 8131 Applied Research Methods and Statistics II
  • PMAP 8141 Micro-Economics for Public Policy
  • PMAP 8521 Evaluation Research
  • PMAP 8531 Policy Analysis
  • PMAP 8941, PMAP 8981, or PMAP 8991 Internship, Practicum, or Thesis

Internship, Practicum, or Thesis:

Internships provide students the opportunity to apply concepts and skills gained from their graduate curriculum and are required for all M.P.P. students who lack significant prior administrative experience in a public or nonprofit agency or a related organization. The department’s faculty internship coordinators assist in the search for an appropriate internship opportunity, but students are expected to take the lead. An internship requires enrollment in three hours of PMAP 8941 and the completion of 300 hours of work in the intern position. Students are free to work full-time or part-time, according to their needs and those of their internship sponsor. Many students find paid internships, but unpaid internships can also be very rewarding. Students should consider the value of the experience that an internship provides, in addition to the pay. Internship information and applications are available from the Department of Public Management and Policy, or the PMAP internship homepage on the web at http://aysps.gsu.edu/pmap-internship/ . Students with substantial prior administrative experience may petition to waive the internship requirement by completing the online Graduate Internship Waiver Petition form: aysps.wufoo.com/forms/graduate-internship-waiver-petition/.

M.P.P. students also have the option to conduct a practicum – an applied research project, in lieu of the internship. The practicum represents an excellent option for working students who do not qualify for an internship waiver, but who could pursue a practicum research project in their employing agency. It also represents an excellent option for students who are interested in additional research experience, especially those who intend to pursue doctoral work. Students must obtain approval one semester in advance of the semester they will begin their practicum work and before they will be authorized to register for PMAP 8981 by the department. Approval is obtained by completing the Practicum Proposal Cover Sheet and Approval Form, receiving all the necessary approval signatures, and submitting to the department. The Practicum Proposal Cover Sheet and Approval Form can be found here.

Candidates for the Master’s Degree in Public Policy have the option to submit an approved thesis to complete the requirements for the degree. A thesis would replace the requirement for an internship or a practicum, the options most students are encouraged to pursue. A thesis may be more appropriate for a student who expects to pursue a doctoral degree, although other students may also pursue this option. The decision to write a thesis is made by the student in consultation with and with the approval of the department’s Faculty Program Director (hereafter referenced as “the Director”) for the Department of Public Management and Policy (PMAP). Before approval is given, the student must demonstrate that an appropriate member of the faculty of PMAP is willing to chair the thesis committee, and that two other appropriate faculty members are willing to serve on the committee. A student must have completed at least 18 hours of graduate credit in the M.P.P., including PMAP 8111, PMAP 8011, and PMAP 8121 before registering for thesis hours. More details on the thesis option can be found in the graduate catalog.

Every student also chooses a concentration from one of the following approved options: Disaster Policy, Nonprofit Policy, Planning and Economic Development, Public Finance Policy, Health Policy and Social Policy.

Rotating Class Schedule for Department of Public Management and Policy (2015-2017)

Concentrations

This concentration focuses on local, state, national, and international policies to manage risks related to natural, technological, and other man-made hazards and on the linkages among disaster, environmental, public health, sustainable development, and related policies. The Disaster Policy concentration of the MPP takes advantage of the courses available in the School as well as the university’s Public Health program. The concentration in Disaster Policy would provide preparation for a career in a variety of public agencies at all levels of government that deal with disaster mitigation planning and policy. This concentration complements our existing certificate program in Disaster Management.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing

Required Courses (6 hours):

  • PMAP 8271 Disaster Policy and Emergency Management
  • PMAP 8281 Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance

Choose three courses (9 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8201 International NGOs
  • PMAP 8021 Scope and Theory of Planning
  • PMAP 8311 Urban Demography and Analysis
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
  • ECON 8320 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Theory
  • PH 7011 Epidemiology
  • PH 7150 Environmental Health
The mission of the concentration in Nonprofit Policy is to educate talented and motivated individuals with knowledge of the nonprofit sector as well as the skills and values to become visionary leaders. Many graduates will become researchers, policymakers, and advocates in their communities by enhancing their understanding of relationships between nonprofit organizations, government and the policymaking process.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing

Required Courses (6 hours):

  • PMAP 8210 Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector
  • PMAP 8203 Nonprofit Advocacy, Law, and Policy

Choose three courses (9 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy
  • PMAP 8201 International NGOs
  • PMAP 8213 Nonprofit Financial Resources
  • PMAP 8223 Nonprofit Human Resources
  • PMAP 8232 Social Enterprise
  • PMAP 8251 Grant Writing and Management
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
This concentration prepares students to be better decision makers on planning and economic development issues for public, private, and nonprofit employers and to be more informed and effective as citizens. It provides appropriate academic background for jobs responsible for selecting locations, planning services and facility investments, providing analysis of policy alternatives, and advocating change and improvement within organizations and society. The concentration relies on theory drawn from planning, economics, and other social science literature and provides a critical view of current practice. It introduces students to the history and professional culture of the planning profession and to the planning process as a systematic, yet creative approach, to problem solving. The required courses are also designed to acquaint students with common planning and economic development data sources and methods and how to use them appropriately.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing

Required Courses (9 hours):

  • PMAP 8021 Scope and Theory of Planning
  • PMAP 8321 Economic Development Policy
  • PMAP 8561 GIS Applications

Choose two courses (6 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy
  • PMAP 8031 Urban Political Economy
  • PMAP 8300 Planning for Resilient Communities
  • PMAP 8311 Urban Demography and Analysis
  • PMAP 8331 Urban Development and Sustainable Cities
  • PMAP 8341 Urban Transportation Planning
  • PMAP 8351 Local Government and Management
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
  • ECON 8300 Urban Economics
The mission of the Public Finance Policy concentration is to prepare students who are able to analyze public budget and finance policy. These analysts are in demand by a variety of public agencies. The Public Finance Policy concentration takes advantage of the top ten US News & World Report ranking of the School in the area of Public Finance. The program should be ideal preparation for a variety of positions in the fields of budget analysis and finance policy.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing

Required Courses (6 hours):

  • PMAP 8161 Public Budgeting and Finance
  • ECON 8080 Economics of the Public Sector

Choose three courses (9 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8501 Managing Public Money
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
  • ECON 8110 Macroeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 8460 Economics of the State and Local Public Sector
  • ECON 8470 International Public Economics
  • HA 8250 Health Economics and Financing
This concentration prepares students to utilize their analytic skills to plan, implement, and evaluate health policy, analyze factors that impact the organization and financing of health care delivery systems, and produce research evidence to inform policy development and support decision making.  Graduates may find health policy analysts positions in provider organizations, health service delivery systems, government and non-profit health agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, healthcare research and consulting firms as well as community-based organizations.

Required Course (9 hours):

  • HA 8160 or PH 7160 Health Care System
  • HA 8250 or PH 7250 or ECON 8210 Health Care Economics and Financing
  • SOCI 9230 (Sociology of Health and Illness) or PH 7011 (Epidemiology) or PH 7140 (Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health)

Choose two courses (6 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8561 GIS Applications
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
  • PH 7012 Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation
  • PH 7535 Intervention and Implementation Research
  • PH 7170 Public Health Policy
  • PH 7340 Built Environment and Health
  • PH  7150 Environmental Health
  • PH 7285 Social Determinants of Public Health
  • PH 7025 Health Disparities
  • PH 7265 Disability Policy
  • SOCI 7110 OR GERO 7110 Aging Policies and Services
  • LAW 7244 Public Health Law
  • HA 8190 Health Policy and Ethics
  • HA 8700 Health Services Research and Evaluation Methods
A concentration in social policy is designed to give the student an understanding of policies addressing issues such as poverty, crime, and education—including how these policies develop, what effects they have, and how they can be assessed. This concentration provides a good preparation for students interested in careers in the analysis of social policies and for students intending to pursue doctoral work in public policy or a related field.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing

Required Course (3 hours):

  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy

Choose four courses (12 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8321 Economic Development Policy
  • PMAP 8899 Causal Inference and Evidence Based Policy
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
  • AAS 6042 Diversity and Aging
  • EPSF 7110 Multicultural Education
  • EPSF 8320 Politics & Policy in Education
  • SOCI 7110 Aging Policy and Services
  • SOCI 8226 Urban Sociology
  • WGSS Gender and Society
  • SW 7600 Social Welfare Policy
  • SW 8490 Child Welfare Practice, Policy and Research
  • HA 8190 Health Policy and Ethics
  • PH 7170 Public Health Policy
  • CRJU 9010 Contemporary Criminal Justice Policy
  • ECON 8310 Economics Educational Policy

Application Deadlines*

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Priority Deadline – February 15
Regular Deadline – April 1
Late Deadline – June 1
Space Available Deadline – July 15
Regular Deadline-October 1
Late Deadline – November 1

*Online applications must be submitted and all materials received by the deadline to be reviewed for admission.

Application Submission

All applicants must apply and submit all materials online.

Application Requirements

A completed application includes:

  1. Submitted Online Application. All online applications must be submitted by the deadline. Paper applications are not available.
  2. Application fee: A nonrefundable fee of $50 is required for each application. This fee must be paid online by credit card.
  3. Goal statement: The goal statement is your means of presenting yourself to the Graduate Admissions Committee. You should submit a short typed statement of personal and professional goals as they relate to the certificate or degree program you are seeking. Most applicants write approximately two typed pages, summarizing their work experience, the reasons they have chosen the program, why they want to attend Georgia State, and how the degree fits in with their career goals.
  4. Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores: Official scores must be reported to institution code 5251. More information can be found at our Admissions FAQ page or, to schedule the test, at www.gre.org.
  5. TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores (International applicants only): All international applicants are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores.
  6. Three letters of recommendation: All letters should be submitted through the online application. If not submitted online, letters must be in sealed envelopes from recommender and sent to the Admissions Office address.
  7. Copies of Official Transcripts from each post-secondary college/university attended:
    • Official transcripts are not required at this stage of application review.**
    • Transcripts should be uploaded to the Educational Information section of the online application and must be copies of university transcripts. This can either be an official electronic transcript, or a paper copy that you have scanned and uploaded.
    • Copy of transcript must have one or more of the following features: registrar’s seal, registrar signature, or watermark of the institution.
    • Documents such as self-printed academic histories, web-based academic evaluations, and anything hand-written are not acceptable for review process and should not be uploaded. Doing so will significantly delay the review of your application.
    • Submit one copy of transcript for each post-secondary institution attended, regardless of length of time you attended, your status, whether grades are listed, or where your final degree(s) were received. This would include community colleges, study abroad programs and AP credit. If you received college level credit, a transcript should be submitted for review.
      **Official transcripts will only be required if an applicant is admitted to the program.

If you issues with your online application, please email GradAYS@gsu.edu.

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

If you are looking for a professional degree that includes policy but also focuses on managing and leading a public or nonprofit organization, the MPA degree offers courses in organizational behavior, human resources management, public budgeting, and management systems.

CONCENTRATIONS

  • Criminal Justice
  • Management and Finance
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Planning and Economic Development
  • Policy Analysis and Evaluation
  • Public Health

CAREER PATHS

  • Directors
  • Program Managers
  • City Managers
  • Executive Directors
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Volunteer Management
  • Human Resources
  • Development Directors
Visit the MPA Page 

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The MPP is focused on policy analysis, advocacy and evaluation, and the core for this program includes courses in statistics, evaluation research, politics and policy, and policy analysis. Some students use the MPP as preparation for entering a doctoral program in public policy.

CONCENTRATIONS

  • Disaster Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Nonprofit Policy
  • Planning and Economic Development Policy
  • Public Finance Policy
  • Social Policy

CAREER PATHS

  • Policy analysts
  • Consultants
  • Advocacy
  • Evaluation
Visit the MPP Page 

Choosing Classes

Careers

For help with your career direction, contact AYSPS Career Services. Attend our frequent workshops or work one-on-one with a career counselor to optimize your job search.

Talk to an Advisor:

Office of Academic Assistance
http://aysps.gsu.edu/student-resources/oaa/
Telephone: 404-413-0021
ayspsacademicassist@gsu.edu