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Master of Public Policy (M.P.P)

Time required: 90 units, or about 2 years.

Application and admission process: Admission to a Stanford graduate program that does not offer a joint degree in public policy. Matriculation in that program and consent of that department or school. There are no admissions for applicants from outside of Stanford University. M.P.P. applications are submitted by the student and admissions decisions based on the student’s original application materials and subsequent performance at Stanford.

Advising: Each M.P.P. student will have a faculty adviser in his or her primary program and another chosen from among the Public Policy associated faculty.

Curriculum: Any Stanford University graduate student enrolled in an academic unit of the University that does not offer a joint Public Policy degree may, with the consent of their primary program, apply to the M.P.P. program after being admitted by that program and making satisfactory progress toward the degree.

All applicants must satisfy University residency requirements for the degree and are responsible for consulting with the Department and the Financial Aid Office about the effects of the proposed program on their current funding. General University requirements for the master’s degree are described in the “Graduate Degrees” section of the Bulletin. Faculty advisors from the primary program must approve participation in the MPP program as complementary to the student’s primary course of study. The primary program may condition such approval on the student’s successful completion of a certain portion of that program. M.P.P. students must be enrolled in the M.P.P. core curriculum full time for at least one year. At all other times, enrollment may be in either program, and students may choose courses from either program regardless of where enrolled. Students must satisfy the requirements for the M.P.P. degree as specified in the Stanford Bulletin and elsewhere.

Candidates for the M.P.P. degree will not be able to count courses taken in their primary departments toward their Public Policy degree requirements. This differs from the joint degree programs, wherein much of the coursework from the primary department counts toward the second-year M.P.P. concentration requirements. Tuition is at the full-time H&S graduate student rate. M.P.P. students who, through previous studies, have equipped themselves at the appropriate level with one or more of the required graduate public policy skills, will be required to substitute for the corresponding public policy course either an advanced course in the same skill or a course in a different subject approved in advance by the public policy director.

Typical Program

Prerequisite skills: Students are expected to be equipped to take economics and quantitative courses at a graduate level. Students lacking such skills are required to take appropriate math and economics courses before beginning the core curriculum. In addition, there is a summer “boot camp” refresher course, although this does not serve as a substitution to pre-requisite course completion.

Core curriculum: M.P.P. students are expected to dedicate one year full time to the M.P.P. core curriculum of at least 45 units of applied skills in economics, quantitative methods, organizational behavior, social psychology, political science, political philosophy, ethics, and law.


PP301A Microeconomics

PP301B Cost-Benefit Analysis and Evaluation 4
PP302A Introduction to Law 3
PP302B Economic Analysis of Law 4
PP303A Political Methodology I 5
PP303B Political Methodology II 5
PP304A Comparative Political Economy 3
PP317 Comparing Institutional Forms 4
PP305A Judgement and Decision-Making 4
PP305B Social Psychology and Social Change 3
PP306 Writing & Rhetoric Rolicy Aud. 4
PP307 Justice 4
PP309 Practicum 10
PP311 Colloquium (weekly all year) 1

Subtotal M.P.P. core


Concentration: M.P.P. students in the standalone program take 35 units in one of the offered concentrations: Health Policy; Environmental and Energy Policy; Legal and Regulatory Interventions; International Policy Studies; Science and Technology Policy; or Self-designed. Concentration coursework is designed by students in consultation with an M.P.P. program adviser. Students must be qualified, as required, for the chosen concentration(s).

Practicum: The final element consists of an interdisciplinary practicum (10 units), where teams of four to five students from diverse disciplines attack practical policy problems.

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