Master of Public Policy

The Master of Public Policy is designed for individuals with at least seven years of significant, relevant professional experience who are interested in expanding their knowledge of public policy within urban, social, and environmental domains — or across these domains, such as programs and policies related to sustainable communities. This degree program offers students the opportunity to strengthen their critical thinking, policy analysis, and communication skills; improve their professional practice in areas such as mediation, land use planning, or financial management; and establish close professional relationships and networks among faculty, affiliated agencies, and other students.

Mid-career students can choose to enroll in a full-time program or in a part-time format. The part-time program allows working professionals to work full-time while attending courses during the evenings and weekends, completing their degree in two years. Full-time students typically complete the program in one year. 

Program Requirements and Policies

  • For the Master of Public Policy, a total of 10 courses or 30 credits are required. 
  • Up to two courses may be selected from course offerings in other Tufts departments and schools and, in addition, one class may be taken in the second semester at a consortium school as long as they relate to public policy and are approved by the student's advisor. Transfer credits are not accepted.

Course Requirements

Core Courses

UEP 251: Economics for Planning and Policy Analysis. This course introduces economic concepts and tools of analysis relevant to public policy and planning. Microeconomic and macroeconomic approaches to understanding economic behavior and to generating solutions to economic problems are explored. Applications include policies related to the environment, housing, individual and family income, and community development.

UEP 234: Quantitative Reasoning for Policy and Planning. This course presents basic concepts of statistical analysis and research, and develops related skills that are indispensable to agency directors, policymakers, and advocates alike. Students learn to select among available data sources, measures and indicators, and statistical techniques in order to best answer questions of interest.

UEP 288: Reflections on Public Policy Practice (Fall) and, UEP 289: Integrative Seminar (Spring). The MPP Seminar, open only to MPP enrolled students, is comprised of the above two partial-credit courses. It helps students examine their own professional experiences in the context of prevailing theories about policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Public Policy Areas

Each student, working closely with his or her academic advisor, identifies an area of public policy interest(s). The student then selects at least four policy courses that deepen his/her theoretical and practical understanding of policy within their area(s) of interest.

All our courses focus on urban, social and/or environmental policy issues. You can choose from one or more of these areas or you can choose to focus on the intersection(s) between these areas, for instance the arena of sustainable development.

Examples of Public Policy Courses

  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Social Policy for Children and Families
  • Race, Class and Public Policy in the United States
  • Community Planning and Development
  • Community Economic Development
  • Climate Change
  • Chemicals, Health and the Environment
  • Water Resources Policy and Planning and Watershed Management
  • Corporate Management of Environmental Issues
  • Environmental Policy Research
  • Developing Sustainable Communities
  • Environmental Justice, Environmental Security and Sustainability
  • International Planning and Urban Policy

Professional Practice Electives

Students also have opportunities to enroll in courses that enhance their professional practice skills, such as:

  • Leadership and Organizational Development
  • Financial Analysis and Management
  • Negotiation, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution
  • Program Evaluation
  • Geographic Information Systems

Quantitative Prerequisite

Students admitted to UEP degree programs are required to show evidence of basic algebra and graphing skills prior to registering for the department's quantitative courses (UEP 251 and UEP 254). This prerequisite must be fulfilled in one of the following three ways:

  1. Score 153 or above on the quantitative section of the GRE within the five years prior to entry into the UEP program
  2. Pass a college algebra or equivalent course (with a B- or higher) within the five years prior to entry into the UEP program
  3. Pass a UEP math screening exam with a score of 80% or above (this exam must be taken in person at UEP)

Students must fulfill the prerequisite before matriculation or have an approved plan submitted to the academic advisor and department chair to complete the prerequisite by the end of the first semester. Please contact the UEP office if you have questions.