Community Consulting

Students in the Mills College Public Policy Program help government and nonprofit organizations answer their important policy questions as part of their education at Mills. Graduate students from our Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Joint MPP/MBA Programs have training in economics, statistics, and multidisciplinary research methods, and conduct independent analyses of policy problems on a pro bono basis for agencies and institutions. Under faculty supervision, each Mills MPP student produces a Master's Policy Report (MPR), a professional report that meets both our academic standards and the needs of a practitioner who acts as a client for the project.

Community Clients

Potential clients are invited to contact the Mills Public Policy Program faculty to discuss possible research areas. MPR topics should be specific and bounded policy or program questions that lend themselves to in-depth analysis, such as:

  • Assessing policy alternatives
  • Evaluating program effectiveness
  • Designing a new program or service model
  • Planning strategies for organizational improvement
  • Marketing to different communities or funders

You can view summaries of recent policy reports to understand the type of projects we students undertake. Visit The Policy Forum, a student-run online journal, to read additional work and analysis by Mills public policy students.

Master's Policy Report Timeline

August–November Students negotiate with clients about topics and objectives.
Early December Memoranda of Understanding drafted by students and reviewed and approved by clients and faculty advisors.
January Students begin research.
February–March Students continue to work on projects and attend a weekly research seminar.
Early April Students submit draft papers for feedback from faculty advisors and clients.
Early May Final papers are due to faculty advisors and clients.

Program Contact

To find out more about how Mills MPP students can help your organization, please contact MPP Program Director Mark Henderson (510.430.3169,