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Best 15 Masters in Public Policy Programs in 2021

March 10, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Public Policy
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A Masters Degree in Public Policy is a degree that allows professionals to take their passion and make real change in their community or even globally. There are many different concentrations a student can choose to best apply their Public Policy education, and many colleges offer the option of taking the degree in that specific direction. Concentrations include health policy, environmental policy, security policy, social policy, technology policy, and more.

What Should You Look For In A Good Masters In Public Policy Program?

First, look for a program that fits your schedule. Many quality colleges offer flexibility for busy students who are already in their careers as they pursue higher education. Also, look for student reviews and college credentials to ensure you will have a quality learning experience. Finally, you want to consider your budget and tuition charges.

 Top 5 Masters in Public Policy Programs

RankSchoolLocation
1University of California – BerkeleyBerkeley, California
2Georgia Institute Of TechnologyAtlanta, Georgia
3University of Michigan – Ann ArborAnn Arbor, Michigan
4University of ConnecticutMansfield, Connecticut
5University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Reasons To Pursue Your Masters This Year

  • If it is on your mind, you will likely not feel satisfied in your career until you take the leap. 
  • You will have a little more efficiency (power) in your field if you increase your degree. This may translate to more action for your cause, more money in your paychecks, and greater promotions.
  • There are many programs that work for busy professionals who are not able to stop and attend classes full time. 

15 Best Schools To Earn Your Masters In Public Policy

1

University of California – Berkeley

  • Berkeley, California

Changing i.e.. improving the world is the goal of many people pursuing a degree in Public Policy and Berkeley provides students all the opportunities they need to grow and evolve as leaders who can make real change in the world. The school boasts small class sizes and a personalized learning environment for all of the master’s degree students. The program takes two years, full time, with a summer internship after the second year. When graduates leave the school they are truly the leaders of their communities and have the tools to facilitate change.

School Overview

Tuition: $14,253 In-State, $44,007 Non-Resident
Graduate Enrollment: 11,837
Visit School Website
2

Georgia Institute Of Technology

  • Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia Tech takes pride in its award-winning faculty that is notable across the globe. If you are interested in upgrading your credentials in public policy so you can earn more, provide more benefit to your employer and community, or for any other reason GaTech is a solid option. The program does not just teach from the set curriculum and leave students to navigate on their own, they integrate both theory and practice so graduates of the program are movers and thinkers of their generation. They also have an emphasis on policy analytics across their specialties.

School Overview

Tuition: $12,424 In-State, $33,794 Non-Resident
Graduate Enrollment: 20,338
Visit School Website
3

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University of Michigan knows that a Masters in Public Policy is not the type of degree that is “one size fits all” people who are pursuing this degree may want to go in vastly different directions when the time comes to use it and their offerings reflect this. They have a few different paths to graduate degrees in Public Policy to give students the education and hands-on experience they need to achieve their goals after graduation.

School Overview

Tuition: $15,558 In-State, $51,200 Non-Resident
Graduate Enrollment: 16,824
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4

University of Connecticut

  • Mansfield, Connecticut

The University of Connecticut offers a fast track master’s in public policy that can be started pre-graduate school if you are a student who already knows you are interested in furthering your bachelor’s degree. Students in this program come from a variety of majors and all have a commitment to improving their community in common. Programs start each fall, so apply soon to be a part of their fast track program if you already know you want to take your degree in that direction.

School Overview

Tuition: $14,628 In-State, $37,296 Non-Resident
Enrollment: 1,562
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5

University of North Carolina

  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The University of North Carolina has a whole Public Policy department and a program that can take students all the way through their Ph.D. in Public Policy. If you are interested in improving the world around you but are unsure where to start to actually make real change on the highest levels then consider attending school in scenic North Carolina.

School Overview

Tuition: $8,980 In-State, $36,159 Non-Resident
Graduate Enrollment: 10,723
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6

University of Texas – Dallas

  • Richardson, Texas

The University of Texas offers a masters in public policy that is competitive but once students are in they will find that the staff is supportive, the curriculum feeds their passion and teaches the skills needed to facilitate change in the field they choose, and when they graduate they leave with both experience and knowledge. Apply today to find out if you make it into the program next semester.

School Overview

Tuition: $13,442 In-State, $38,168 Non-Resident
Enrollment: 8,547
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7

Brigham Young University

  • Provo, Utah

Brigham Young University is known for both it’s affordable tuition and competitive curriculum. Students will learn with practical application, case studies, a proven curriculum, and field experience. To apply you do not need experience in the public sector but you do need to write a statement of intent.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,790
Enrollment: 3,026
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8

William Paterson University of New Jersey

  • Wayne, New Jersey

William Paterson University offers a Public Policy and Administration MA that is described by a former student as a “transformative experience. The program focuses on critical thinking and graduates are able to tackle public problems in a unique way. No previous experience in the field is required to apply.

School Overview

Tuition: $12,652 In-State, $21,768 Non-Resident
Graduate Enrollment: 1,500
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9

Florida State University

  • Tallahassee, Florida

Florida State University asserts that public administration runs the world and they offer one of the oldest degrees in the nation at their Askew School of Public Administration. If you are interested in a masters in public policy you will discover a demanding and rewarding program at FSU that prepares you to be one of the movers and shakers of the world.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,656 In-State, $18,786 Non-Resident
Graduate Enrollment: 9,180
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10

Princeton University

  • Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton has a two-year program for graduates who want to pursue their masters in public affairs. Princeton is a school that stands out for the classic curriculum, hands-on opportunities, and of course the lifelong connections the students make in the school. The acceptance rate is low so apply soon to see if you qualify for the next term that the two-year program starts.

School Overview

Tuition: $52,800
Graduate Enrollment: 2,997
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11

New York University

  • New York City, New York

NYU Wagner offers a one-year master’s program and many other Public Policy and Public Leadership courses. If you want to learn and practice the skills you need to implement public policy improvement and change in one of the largest cities in the world then be sure to browse the programs at NYU Wagner.

School Overview

Tuition: $53,308
Graduate Enrollment: 25,904
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12

Cornell University

  • Ithaca, New York

Cornell has an excellent 18-month blended course of study to allow a working professional to earn their degree. The program is a blend of mostly online classes with three on-campus sessions. They state that you will be prepared to be a part of the solution upon graduation, so if you are ready to actually make some improvements, apply today.

School Overview

Tuition: $57,222
Enrollment: 8,984
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13

Pepperdine School of Public Policy

  • Malibu, California

Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP) offers a 21-month full-time master of public policy degree program with five specializations. Its courses combine a unique leadership curriculum that melds quantitative policy analysis with history and political philosophy to prepare students for impactful careers on either side of the aisle.

School Overview

Tuition: $41,520 (per year)
Average Scholarship: $25,862
Graduate Enrollment: 100
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14

Duke University

  • Durham, North Carolina

Duke University offers a Master of Public Policy with a global perspective. They offer many concentrations to choose from to prepare graduates for world across the world bringing forth improvement and change. There are some math requirements for admission and the program is competitive but you can be confident you will be prepared to face anything when you earn your degree.

School Overview

Tuition: $58,031
Graduate Enrollment: 10,037
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15

Syracuse University

  • Syracuse, New York

Syracuse University is located in New York but a step away from the bustle of the city. Graduates receive many opportunities to practice their skills in Public Policy while in the program, and have many of the same connections that the NYC schools offer. The Maxwell School has been known from the start to be a place that creates forward thinking individuals ready to tackle whatever the world throws their way while changing policy and raising funds to make it a better place.

School Overview

Tuition: $53,849
Graduate Enrollment: 7,575
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Our Ranking Methodology

This list of the tops schools for a master of public policy was compiled using data from the school’s website, reliable sources, and student reviews. If you feel that your school is misrepresented in this list or if there is an error please let us know so we can correct the issue and provide accurate and up-to-date information to our readers.

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