UMass Boston

Public Policy MPP

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Become an expert in policy design, analysis, and impactful interventions.

UMass Boston’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) program is an advanced two-year curriculum designed to prepare the next generation of analysts and leaders in shaping policy across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Whether you have recently graduated or boast years of work experience, our program is crafted to enhance your skills in policy design, analysis, and the execution of impactful interventions.

The MPP program is tailored to meet the evolving demands of both emerging and experienced professionals, ensuring students will have expertise in two of these concentrations: Data Analytics and Policy Simulation, Social Policy and Racial Equity, and Nonprofit Organization Policy and Management.

Recognizing the paramount importance of data analytics, data science, and policy simulation in today’s policy landscape, the MPP curriculum emphasizes the integration of public policy with cutting-edge information systems and technology. You will gain a deep understanding of various application areas, including service delivery, nonprofit management, urban planning, community development, conflict resolution, and applied social sciences. Furthermore, our program addresses the critical need for policy analysts proficient in conducting ‘equity audits’ and analyzing programs through equity and racial justice lenses underpinned by advanced quantitative analytic methods.

Career Possibilities

  • Policy analyst
  • Nonprofit program director/manager
  • Data analyst or data scientist
  • Social policy researcher
  • Economic development specialist
  • Environmental policy advisor
  • Health care policy analyst
  • Education policy specialist

Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Statement of Purpose
Write a 500-word essay on your reasons for considering the UMass Boston MPP program in relation to your academic background, professional work experience, and career goals, and a 1,000-word essay describing your personal qualities and development and how they have influenced your career choice.

Résumé or CV
Add a current résumé or CV noting your previous educational (a bachelor's degree is required) and working experience.

Official Transcripts
Submit official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all colleges attended.

Writing Sample
Submit a writing sample consisting of 3-5 pages. It might be from your previous academic or professional work.

GRE Scores
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for the MPP program. If you wish to submit GRE scores that are less than five years old, please use the UMass Boston GRE code: 3924.

Letters of Recommendation
Please include two letters of recommendation: one from a recent academic source (within the past seven years) and one from a recent professional source (within the past five years).

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: July 1 for fall admissions

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee. Students from underrepresented groups may apply (by emailing the program director) for the limited number of application fee waivers.

Cost: For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to Please refer to Graduate Student Financial Aid for more information on financial aid.


Year 1 - Fall (9 credits)

  • PPOL-G 611 Public Policy Processes: Environmental Power and Outcomes
  • PUBPOL 620 Analytic Methods for Public Policy
  • PPOL-G 621 Microeconomics

Year 1 - Spring (9 credits)

  • PUBPOL 610 Policy and Program Evaluation
  • PPOL-G 602 Political Economy of Class, Race and Gender
  • PPOL-G 622 Public Finance and Budgeting

Year 1 - Summer (3 credits)

  • PUBPOL 699 Internship (can substitute with elective)

Year 2 - Fall (9 credits)

  • Concentration I: Elective I
  • Concentration I: Elective II
  • Concentration II: Elective I

Year 2 - Spring (9 credits)

  • Concentration II: Elective II
  • PUBPOL 698 Capstone

The program curriculum requires completion of at least four elective courses. At least two courses should be drawn from one concentration area, and at least two other courses should be drawn from another concentration area. In addition, students are required to complete an internship (after the first year of coursework) and a capstone research project (during the second year of study).

Students can choose two from three possible concentrations: Nonprofit Organization Policy and Management; Social Policy and Racial Equity; and Data Analytics and Policy Simulation.

Graduation Criteria

Program Requirements

The program requires 39 credits of coursework including:

  • Six semester‐length courses for the core curriculum (18 credits)
  • Four semester‐length concentration courses in 2 different concentration areas (12 credits)
  • Internship [can be replaced by elective] (3 credits)
  • Capstone project (6 credits)

Students are expected to complete the 39-credit coursework, which includes ten three-credit courses, a three-credit internship (an elective can replace that), and a six-credit capstone project, within two years. All courses will be delivered in a synchronous format to foster real-time engagement and learning.

Capstone: Completion of a written paper and oral presentation.

Internship: There are multiple ways to satisfy the internship requirement. One is to complete the three-credit course PUBPOL 699 Internship in the summer after the first year. This will require students to coordinate with the Internship course instructor during the spring semester of the first year to choose an internship, to complete the internship during the summer after the first year, to attend PUBPOL 699 class sessions during the first summer session and to make a final internship presentation at the end of the second summer session. Alternatively, if students have sufficient and appropriate recent and/or current professional experience, they can request the MPP program director to waive this internship requirement. Finally, students may choose to take an additional three‐credit elective in place of internship.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes for the MPP Program:

  • Mastery of data analytics, science, and policy simulation for inclusive, equitable, and effective policy formulation and analysis
  • Deep knowledge across critical public and social policy areas, with skills in equity audits and racial justice analysis
  • Proficiency in advanced methodologies for evaluating public and nonprofit sector interventions

Graduates will:

  • Promote effective and equitable policies through informed analysis and design, improving public value and social justice.
  • Produce impactful research through empirical analysis to address societal issues.
  • Lead in government, nonprofits, and for-profits, driving impactful policy initiatives with advanced analytic methods.


Graduate Program Director Michael Johnson
(617) 287-6967

Graduate Program Administrator, Outreach and Recruitment Jack Li
(617) 287-6905

Hearing on immigration and higher ed at Kennedy Institute.

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