District of Columbia Masters in Public Policy Schools & Programs

Masters in public policy schools focus on problem-solving, both small- and large-scale. After all, policy is all about identifying complex issues and strategizing to overcome them. Policy is a broad field, and masters programs reflect that. Masters in public policy schools could address a range of subjects such as legal, business, and community issues. They also build on that expertise using strategy and creative thinking. So earning a masters in public policy could be for you if you want a multifaceted degree that may allow you to pursue a variety of unique paths. You could find all this in a graduate school setting right in your own community, or in a variety of exciting cities around the country.

Why Consider a Masters in Public Policy Degree?

Public policy masters programs focus on using legal knowledge to make strategic decisions to help your community. Programs could be broadly applicable and might examine roles in local government, public programs, and even private organizations. Courses could also touch on nonprofit leadership. Public policy knowledge could even apply in the private sector, helping guide ethical corporate strategies. 

Masters in Public Policy Schools: Terms to Know

If you’re new to the field of public policy, you might have noticed a few related program types. Here’s a brief guide to some of the terms you might encounter in program descriptions.

  • Policy: In a general sense, the term "policy" refers to a set of principles used by federal, state, and local governments to guide their decision making. Policy could influence the types of laws passed and how they might be enforced. In an academic sense, programs that focus on this are called Master of Public Policy or MPP.
  • Law: Unlike policy, law refers to the actual legislation that is encoded and enforced by federal, state, and local government.
  • Legislation and how it is interpreted is often influenced by policy.
  • Public Administration: These programs tend to focus on making effective and ethical decisions. Said decisions are generally guided by policy. As such, the two programs may have some elements in common. Master of Public Administration programs (or MPAs) tend to focus on leadership of public programs and nonprofit organizations. As such, they could sometimes also share content with business leadership programs.

What to Expect in a Masters School of Public Policy

Earning your master of public policy in a graduate school program could be a great choice for a few reasons. For one, public policy is a community-oriented field. Studying on campus means attending a program grounded in a local community. As a result, your professors might be able to offer a perspective relevant to the issues your community faces every day. Additionally, some public policy schools may be able to help you to arrange internships. That could be essential in gaining real-world experience. Best of all, in a masters program you’ll have the chance to collaborate with your peers on fascinating projects. That way, you could create personal connections that could evolve into a valuable professional network.

Find Your Masters in Public Policy Schools

Are you ready to take your first step toward a masters in public policy? GradSchools.com wants to help you find great masters in public policy schools. Start your search by reviewing the sponsored listings here. If you find some you’re interested in, click the program names to read more and to get in touch. Then submit your application and get started!


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