The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Welcome to the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy

Make Positive Social Change. Become a Leader in Public Service.

At the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy, students prepare to solve problems for the common good and become leaders in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors through a balance of academic theory and professional skills development and practical experience.

For undergraduates, we offer a new bachelor's in public policy, launching in the fall of 2022. Undergraduates can also choose to pursue a certificate in public policy.

For graduate students, who offer several degree options:

Graduate students can enroll on a full- or part-time basis. The GRE is not required to apply. 

We strive to make our graduate programs financially accessible to all students and offer generous grants, including Commonwealth Policy Fellowships, which recognize academic excellence and leadership potential.

The UMass Amherst School of Public Policy received the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration’s inaugural Social Equity Award.

Request information about our graduate degree programs.


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Alum Profile: Adrienne Núñez, MPPA '21

Adrienne Núñez has served her community for nearly a decade, including two terms as an elected member of the Greenfield School Committee. During her tenure, she served as chair of the committee for two years and gained valuable experience in collective bargaining, policy development, and public budgeting. After gaining experience in so many aspects of municipal government, she naturally sought her next step.

SPP Alum Ambyr Braxton

Alum Profile: Ambyr Braxton, MPP '21

Ambyr Braxton (MPP ’21) has always wanted to help people who needed it most. So much so that she started her higher education journey studying law, hoping to work within the system to have a meaningful impact.

headshot of Jane Fountain

Distinguished Professor Jane E. Fountain Named New School of Public Policy Director

Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences R. Karl Rethemeyer has named Distinguished Professor Jane E. Fountain the next director of the School of Public Policy (SPP).

A Distinguished Professor of political science and public policy, as well as an adjunct distinguished professor by appointment in the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences, Fountain will succeed current SPP director Alasdair Roberts, who will complete five years of service this summer.

Headshot of Marta Vicarelli

Vicarelli Research Project Receives Grant

The project, “Towards a Green and Inclusive Post-pandemic Recovery of the Blue Economy and Coastal Communities,” will provide science-based guidance for a green post-COVID recovery of coastal areas in Costa Rica, Germany, Scotland, and the US

Joseph Ferry

Internship Spotlight: Joseph Ferry, Office of Congresswoman Lori Trahan

"When the Taliban successfully overthrew the Afghan government, the nature of my work completely changed," Ferry says. "I went from prioritizing constituent calls over issues with tax returns or unemployment assistance to answering calls from family members of those trapped in Afghanistan."

Professor Alasdair Roberts in his office

Roberts Named Visiting Scholar at the Canada School of Public Service

As visiting scholar, Roberts will work on research on the theme of democratic resilience — namely, how governments can respond to major shocks without compromising their commitment to democracy and human rights.

Tyler Wolanin

Alumni Profile: Tyler Wolanin, MPPA '18

"SPP gave me the familiarity with data analysis in a public policy context, and with research and reviews of public policy literature, necessary to succeed at my current position," says Wolanin, a research assistant at the Congressional Research Service.