Pursuing a graduate program in public policy may open up a world of possibilities for students interested in promoting change. Public policy occurs at local, state, national and international levels and impacts the interaction of the public and private sectors. If you are interested in the latest laws impacting healthcare or the environment or helping create a stronger local government or school system, a graduate school in public policy may be a good choice for you.
While many students pursue a Master of Public Policy (MPP), there are also Phd Public Policy programs if you are interested in research and advanced study. Professionals and graduate programs in public policy may also become involved with APPAM – the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management which is “dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education”. Due to the broad nature of the field, many programs offer concentrations in different aspects of public policy such as economics, education, environment, health, management or social policy.
Depending on your background, you may find certain public policy degree programs are better geared to suit your needs. For instance, some full-time programs are better for students going straight from a bachelor’s program or early in their careers who plan to take a year or two to complete the degree. Others will prefer to find degrees in public policy that can be completed part time or online. Depending on your career aspirations, you will also want to consider where the grad school in public policy is located and what connections they have. For instance if you are interested in international public policy, you might consider a program abroad or if you are interested in politics, you might consider a campus program located in Washington D.C. or your state capitol with an internship in government offices.
Earning your graduate degree in public can help prepare you with the knowledge of the past and the theory as well as the understanding of the present challenges facing our world so that you can help become part of the solution.