The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Information for New SPP Students

UMass Dubois Library and Old Chapel

We’re excited that you’re joining the School of Public Policy, a vibrant community of students and faculty committed to solving problems for the common good and making positive social change. We’ve put together this page as a one-stop resource for some of the information you’ll need as you get started in the program — but please remember that we’re always here to answer your questions as well. Just drop us an email.

Program Requirements

Master of Public Policy Curriculum

Master of Public Policy and Administration Curriculum 

Dual Degree Information

Course Information

Graduate Course List

Graduate Electives by Category

Internship Information

All School of Public Policy graduate students complete a policy- or administration-related internship of at least thirty-five hours a week for ten weeks (or the equivalent). The internship must employ skills learned at SPP and must be relevant to the student’s intended career path. Please complete the Registration Form for Summer Internship for Credit and email it to Satu Zoller for a signature. You will also need to complete a Graduate Internship Contract as soon as you have secured your internship and before you begin work.

SPP has some funds available to offer students financial support during their internships. To apply for financial support, please complete and submit an Internship Support Funds Application, well as a Graduate Internship Contract.

At the end of your internship, you must complete an Internship Evaluation Form. Your supervisor must complete a Supervisor’s Evaluation Form.

Students may petition to waive the internship requirement if they can document substantial professional experience. To be eligible for a waiver, you must have post-undergraduate, professional-level experience of one or more years related to your field of study and career goals. To apply, complete an Internship Waiver Form.

Information for International Students

Please visit the UMass Amherst International Programs Office site for information and resources for international students.

Fall Plans at SPP and UMass

In late March, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy announced the formation of a fall planning group to develop recommendations for the upcoming academic year. "We are working toward more normal campus operations for the next academic year, which would include face-to-face instruction, full residence halls, and a complement of student events and activities," the chancellor said at the time. "In other words, come fall, we could see campus life as close to pre-COVID times as possible." Updates will be shared on the UMass Amherst website.

UMass Amherst Graduate School

Visit the Graduate School website for information about programs and resources for graduate students, including events, inclusion activities, professional development support, and policies regarding grading, transfer credits, registration and degree requirements, and more.

Social Media

Be sure to follow the School of Public Policy on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You’re invited to join the private UMass Amherst School of Public Policy Community Facebook group for students.

Living in Amherst

The UMass Amherst Office of Off-Campus Student Life offers resources for students living in the community, including information about housing, community and campus activities, and more. The Off-Campus Living Office offers housing assistance, including a Housing Guide for Graduate Students, local rental cost information, a search engine to help you find available housing, and a housemate agreement. 

You can find information about Amherst shops and restaurants, events, and other resources at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District.