The Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) offers three graduate degrees in public policy, the Master of Public Policy (MPP), the Master of Public Affairs (MPA), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Master in Public Policy (MPP)

The MPP degree is earned in a two-year, full-time program consisting of a core curriculum, a policy internship in the summer after completion of the first year, a second-year policy analysis project, and elective courses chosen from those available on the campus and at GSPP. The program emphasizes practical and applied dimensions of policy-making and implementation, encouraging students to develop skills in:

  • Defining policy issues to make them more intelligible to officials in the public, private, or non-profit sector
  • Providing a broader perspective for assessing policy alternatives
  • Examining techniques for developing policy options and evaluating their social consequences
  • Developing strategies for the successful implementation of public policies once they have been adopted

Given the relatively small class size, the school's approach to teaching emphasizes teamwork, cooperation, and interaction among students and with the faculty. Students work, either as individuals or in small groups, on real policy problems for real clients under close faculty supervision.

Concurrent Degrees

The Master in Public Policy may be earned in combination with an advanced degree from a number of Berkeley schools under a coordinated program. Applicants must be accepted to both programs to pursue a concurrent degree.

Master of Public Affairs (MPA)

The Berkeley Master of Public Affairs (MPA) is a flexible one-year degree program for domestic and international mid-career professionals with an average of seven years or more of work experience and who have led or managed teams. Emphasizing innovation and leadership skills, the MPA curriculum prepares mid-career executives and professionals to act as strategic and visionary leaders and advance their careers.

Please visit the school website for more information about the MPA.

PhD in Public Policy

GSPP offers a doctoral degree program for students who seek careers in academia and/or with governments, non-profits, or research institutes. Usually, only two or three PhD applicants are admitted each year. The program emphasizes the generation of knowledge, theories, methodologies, and applications appropriate to the advancement of public policy analysis and management. Doctoral students pursue highly individualized programs of study and typically work closely with Goldman faculty members who share the student's subject matter of interest. The doctoral program provides enormous flexibility in the topics addressed and the program of study but is directed mainly at training academic social science researchers with an interest in policy issues.

A thorough preparation in or aptitude for rigorous policy analysis skills is a prerequisite for the doctorate. Because there is no core program of study, the PhD committee prefers applicants to have completed an MPP or equivalent, or some other indication of sustained interest in (and aptitude for) public policy. Visit the "Applying for the PhD" page for more information and specific application procedures.