The University of Massachusetts Amherst


School of Public Policy students at 2018 orientation

The UMass Amherst School of Public Policy prepares students to solve problems for the common good and become leaders in public service.

Our curriculum balances academic theory with professional skills development and practical experience, preparing students for careers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. 

The School of Public Policy was created with the approval of the UMass Board of Trustees in September of 2015. The School of Public Policy continues UMass Amherst's long tradition of providing rigorous professional training for students interested in public service and careers in public administration.The tradition began with a master's program in public administration, housed in the Department of Political Science, which later became the Center for Public Policy and Administration. 

The program now offers master's degrees in public policy (MPP), public affairs (MPA) and public policy and administration (MPPA), as well as an undergraduate certificate. Beginning in the fall of 2022, SPP will offer a new undergraduate major in public policy.

SPP has been named among the most innovative public service programs in the United States by the independent group Best Value Schools and received the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration's (NASPAA) inaugural Social Equity Award in recognition of its commitment to teaching, research, and service aimed at advancing social justice and social change.