The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Prepare for Career Success in Public Policy

Get professional experience and create meaningful social change with our master's degrees.

Book with the word Regulations on the spine

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 Affairs, or our accelerated 4+1 Master of Public Affairs, 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 Affairs (MPA)

The Master of Public Affairs 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 Affairs (4+1 MPA)

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

SPP provided the technical skills, knowledge, and practical opportunities that I needed to be competitive in the job market. My internship and capstone—in combination with the research methods, policy analysis, legislative drafting, memo writing, and environmental policy knowledge—placed me ahead of my peers for the very positions I was most interested in.

Cobi Frongillo, MPP ‘19 


Affordable & Accessible

Our goal is to make our programs financially accessible to all students.

We offer generous grants which recognize academic excellence and leadership potential.

Relevant Curriculum

Our programs keep pace with trends in public policy, including courses in policy analysis, policy methods, and more.

Students build connections and gain practical experience through opportunities to meet professionals in the field.

In Demand

Public policy and administration is a growing field, with employers seeking knowledgeable candidates.

Our programs offer the academic and practical experience to excel as a public policy leader.


of students reported finding employment within 6 months of graduating


courses to help hone your expertise


of students in internships or experiential learning

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