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Master of Public Policy

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is the recognized “industry standard” for those seeking careers in public policy analysis, design, and evaluation. The Northeastern MPP emphasizes the analysis of data and other relevant information to enable graduates to assess public problems, develop appropriate policy responses, and evaluate program effectiveness. MPP graduates enter careers as policy analysts, researchers, consultants, program evaluators, and policymakers in a broad range of public, nonprofit, and private sector settings.

Consistent with the College of Social Sciences and Humanities commitment to the Experiential Liberal Arts (ELA), our program provides a range of experiential learning opportunities throughout the curriculum, ranging from part-time internships to client-driven small group capstone projects, and, for some students, full-time professional experience through Northeastern’s signature cooperative education program.

This degree is available in person or online.


Degree Requirements

To earn the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree, students must successfully complete 40 semester hours (SH) of credit in a prescribed curriculum, which can be accomplished in as little as 18 months. The curriculum is designed to offer methodological rigor, a theoretical framework, and opportunities for applied experiences in optional areas of specialization. The majority of classes are offered in the early evening to accommodate working students. Current and prospective students should refer to the 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog for a description of the Master of Public Policy curriculum.

The MPP Core

The MPP Core encompasses seven courses (28 SH) that cumulatively provides the program’s methodological foundation and covers a broad array of public policy analysis concepts, tools and competencies. Each core course is offered at least once each year on campus, and some are available online.

All students should expect to start the program with PPUA 6502, Economic Institutions and Policy, and finish it with PPUA 7673, Capstone in Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Other core courses, and any electives, can be taken as convenient, with sequencing based on an individualized plan of study worked out with the student’s advisor.


MPP students have 12 SH in free electives, which can be applied to earning one of several graduate certificates (below), concentrated in a particular focus area, or selected as desired from a broad array of courses offered by the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, other graduate programs in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and most other graduate level programs at Northeastern University. The selection of electives is done in consultation with the student’s advisor.


Students can concentrate in health care management and policy or sustainability and climate change policy. The health care management and policy angle of study equips students to better assess and act within today’s complicated health care sector. Students who select sustainability and climate change policy will be immersed in the intricacies of climate change inquiry and action, the most crucial issue of our time.

  • Health Care Management and Policy
    This graduate concentration is available to students in the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) and Masters of Public Policy (MPP) programs in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. It is designed to enable students to develop a deeper understanding of the contemporary health care sector, including the intricacies of U.S. health policy, and competencies in health care management. The concentration is comprised of three (3) courses, one from each of three focus areas.

    • Health Management (Select 1)
      • HRMG 6220 Health Organization Management. 3 SH
      • STRT 6220 Strategic Management for Healthcare Organizations. 3 SH
      • SCHM 6223 Managing Healthcare Supply Chain Operations. 3 SH
    • Health Policy (Select 1)
      • PPUA 7240 Health Policy and Politics. 4 SH
      • PPUA 7247 U.S. Health Reform: Past, Present, and Future. 4 SH
      • PHTH 5234 Economic Perspectives on Health Policy. 3 SH.
      • PHTH 5212 Public Health Administration and Policy. 3 SH
    • Health Elective (Select 1)
      • PHTH 5120 Race, Ethnicity, and Health in the United States. 3 SH
      • PHTH 5212 Public Health Administration and Policy. 3 SH
      • PHTH 5214 Environmental Health. 3 SH
      • PHTH 5222 Health Advocacy. 3 SH
      • PHTH 5224 Social Epidemiology. 3 SH
      • PHTH 5230 Global Health. 3 SH
      • PHTH 6200 Principles and History of Urban Health. 3 SH
      • PHTH 6204 Society, Behavior, and Health. 3 SH
  • Sustainability and Climate Change Policy
    This graduate concentration is available to students in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. It is designed to enable MPP students to develop deeper insights into the policy dimensions of these intertwined but conceptually distinct realms of climate change inquiry and action, and in both domestic and international domains. The concentration is comprised of three (3) courses:

    • ENVR 6150 — Food Security and Sustainability 4 SH
    • LPSC 7312 – Cities, Sustainability, and Climate Change 4SH
    • PPUA/INTL 5100 Climate and Development 4 SH
    • PPUA 5260 – Ecological Economics 4SH
    • PPUA 5261 – Dynamic Modeling for Environmental Decision Making 4SH
    • PPUA 5264 – Energy Transitions and Climate Resilience 4SH
    • PPUA 5268 – International Environmental Policy 4SH
    • PPUA 5270 – Food Systems and Public Policy 4SH
    • PPUA 6101 – Environmental Science and Policy Seminar 1 4SH


MPP students can use their 12 SH in electives to fulfill a graduate certificate in an area of specialized training. Currently available graduate certificates include the Nonprofit SectorUrban Analytics, and Urban Studies.

Experiential Learning

The MPP program takes full advantage of Northeastern University’s extensive commitment to experiential learning in all of its forms, including applied work in courses, group capstone projects, internships with a range of partner organizations and agencies, and the University’s signature cooperative education program.

Students who enter the MPP program with fewer than two years of relevant professional experience will be required to complete a substantial and professionally relevant internship, which can be accomplished any time after the first semester, and while taking classes. Students with relevant professional experience can request a waiver of the internship requirement.

For more information, visit our Internship Experiences page.

Cooperative Education (Co-op)

MPP students can take advantage of Northeastern’s signature Cooperative Education Experience,which offers full time, six-month research and work experiences in nonprofit, public, and private sector institutions in Greater Boston and across the United States. Participating students apply the skills and competencies acquired in the program in a particular professional environment, and then reflect on their professional experiences through the required one-credit Experiential Integration course. Students interested in Co-op should meet early on with Professor Linda Kowalcky, who coordinates the School’s experiential education program, to  determine eligibility and how Co-op will fit within the student’s curriculum.

A Global Hub and Virtual Campus

The MPP is offered on Northeastern’s main campus in Boston, a city known as a global hub for higher learning and service. Students in Boston can take courses on campus, fully online, or in hybrid modalities, a flexibility designed to accommodate working professionals. The program also is available 100 percent online, allowing students around the world to take advantage of our challenging classes and expert faculty. Regardless of modality, all MPP students follow the same rigorous curriculum toward the same degree.


For additional information, contact:

Requirements and policies subject to change. For up-to-date information, contact Julie Switkes or view the official graduate catalogue for a full listing of graduate level courses.