School of Public Policy

On The Steps of the Legislature

Prepare for Career Success in Public Policy

Get professional experience and create meaningful social change with a Master of Public Policy or a Master of Public Policy and Administration

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School of Public Policy


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Gain the knowledge, skills, and practical experience you need to become a leader in the nonprofit, public, or private sector with a master’s degree from the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy. Whether you choose our two-year Master of Public Policy and Administration, our one-year Master of Public Policy, or our accelerated 4+1 Master of Public Policy, you’ll graduate ready to find a job and make positive social change.

We welcome part-time students. The GRE is not required.

Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA)

Get the analytical foundation you need to work on a wide variety of policy issues with our Master of Public Policy and Administration. You can also opt to pursue a dual degree in Business Administration (MBA), Higher Education (MEd), Public Health (MPH), or Regional Planning (MRP), or build an area of specialty based on your interests. Students typically complete the 48-credit MPPA in two years.

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The Master of Public Policy integrates theoretical learning with real-world experience, including internships, capstone projects, and client work. Our mix of online and in-person classes allows you to move quickly toward pursuing your professional goals with the skills you need to fuel your success. Complete your master’s in just one year by taking up to 12 online credits the first summer and the balance during two semesters in residence.

4+1 Master of Public Policy (4+1 MPP)

The 4+1 Master of Public Policy program allows you to begin earning credits for your MPP during your senior year, making it a fast and affordable way to get your graduate degree. The 4+1 MPP is open to outstanding students at UMass Amherst and Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges.


Our goal is to make our programs financially accessible to all students, whether in state, out of state, or international. We offer generous grants, including Commonwealth Policy Fellowships, which recognize academic excellence and leadership potential.


Our programs keep pace with trends in public policy, including courses in policy analysis, policy methods, economics and public policy, and more. Students build connections and gain practical experience through internship support, a professional development seminar, networking trips, and other opportunities to meet professionals in the field.


Public policy and administration is a growing field, with employers seeking candidates with knowledge of political systems, administration, and policy analysis. Our programs offer the academic and practical experience to prepare you to meet this demand and excel as a public policy leader.