Public Policy

Degree Requirements

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The MPP is a two-year professional degree program. The degree includes two levels of requirements: the foundation courses and the professional curriculum. The Master of Public Policy Program now includes the opportunity for students who select a concentration to graduate with a specialization in one of three policy concentrations, including Nonprofit Management, Innovation and Impact, and Education Policy. Previous course work may be applied to the foundation requirements, reducing the number of classes and time needed to graduate. Equivalent courses are those we determine to have covered the essential material covered in the Mills foundation courses.

Foundation Requirements
(a minimum of 31 semester course credits)
Credits may be completed at other institutions prior to enrollment in the MPP Program, or by Mills undergraduates on the accelerated BA/MPP track.

  • Introduction to Economics (micro and macroeconomics) (4)
  • Public Policy and Economic Analysis (4)
  • Ethics of Policy/Politics (multiple options) (4)
  • Law and Public Policy (4)
  • Introduction to Statistics (4)
  • Public Sector Economics (4)
  • Methods of Policy Analysis (4)
  • Dimensions of Diversity in Public Policy (multiple options)

Professional Curriculum
(a minimum of 30 semester course credits)
Credits must be completed at Mills or through cross-registration.
The professional curriculum consists of six required courses and two electives that offer students opportunities to augment and deepen their skills through practical application. Depending on the number of foundation requirements met prior to entry, students may take some courses from the professional curriculum in the first year of a two-year program. Note, however, that the following (or their equivalents) are prerequisites for PPOL 230/231: Introduction to Economics; Public Policy and Economic Analysis; Introduction to Statistics; Methods of Policy Analysis; and Public Sector Economics.


PPOL 220 Organizational Efficacy (4)

PPOL 221 Political Efficacy (4)

PPOL 227 Local and Community Policy Making, Planning, and Management (4)

PPOL 230 MPP Integrative Core I: Advanced Methods and Cases in Public Policy (4)

PPOL 231 MPP Integrative Core II: Master's Policy Report (MPR) Seminar (4)

Advanced Analytics and Research Methods (select one course from the following four courses):

PPOL 216 Qualitative Methods in Policy Research (4)

PPOL 225 Simulation in the Social and Policy Sciences (4)

MGMT 264 Econometrics and Business Forecasting (3)

EDUC 413 Qualitative Methods (4)

Two electives (relevant to policy issues and methods)

Electives will be selected to deepen the student's knowledge of either analytic methods or a policy area of concentration and must be approved by the program director or advisor. In addition to taking classes on campus, Mills students can expand their academic experience by cross-registering for courses at institutions such as UC Berkeley. Students should be aware that graduate-level courses in a substantive policy area or advanced methods may have prerequisites. Electives may also be taken in other Departments at Mills, subject to the advisor’s approval.

See the full list of electives.

For full-time students in the two-year track, the minimum residency is three (3) semesters. For full-time accelerated degree program students, the minimum residency is two (2) semesters. For part-time students in either track, residency requirements are pro-rated.


Students who wish to specialize in the following concentrations may choose to fill their electives by specializing in specific policy area. The MPP Program now offers the following concentrations:

See more on concentrations.

 MPP Program Brochure

Internship Success

Course List

Master's Policy Report

Course Schedule

Graduate Catalog

Academic Calendar


Contact Information
P: 510.430.3173

If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact or call 510.430.2194.

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Last Updated: 3/31/16