The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is the industry standard among public policy professionals. It emphasizes the analysis of data and other relevant information to assess public problems, develop appropriate policy responses, and evaluate program effectiveness. Northeastern University’s MPP program is dedicated to developing policies that create more just, equitable, and resilient cities.

With the option to take courses online, on campus in Boston, or on campus in Arlington, this degree allows students to exchange diverse views, consult with faculty, and work collaboratively no matter where they are in the world. MPP graduates enter careers as policy analysts, researchers, consultants, program evaluators, and policymakers in a broad range of public, nonprofit, and private sector settings.

“I chose the MPP program because public policy decisions affect every part of our lives, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of affecting policy change on principles of equity and improving the lives of underprivileged, underserved communities. . . .The MPP program allowed me to better understand the nuances of policy creation and the factors that prevent or spur policy development.”

Katie Kalugin, MPP ’18

Northeastern MPP at a Glance

  • Take courses online, on campus in Boston, or on campus in Arlington, or a combination of all three
  • The upcoming start date is September 4, 2024.
  • Tuition: $979 per credit hour; $39,160 total plus fees
    • Courses taken at Northeastern University outside of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities are subject to different tuition rates.
  • Complete an optional concentration or certificate of specialization

Master of Public Policy Overview

The Northeastern MPP takes a practice-oriented, research-based approach. Students build a toolkit of essential skills in analysis, evaluation, statistical, economic, and decision-making. They also gain advanced technology skills, including Big Data analytics, data visualization, programming languages such as R and Python, GIS applications, and artificial intelligence. In addition to technical skills, the MPP program prioritizes social, economic, and racial justice to equip students with the people skills that employers ask for.

All of our MPP courses incorporate real-life case studies and we partner with public and private organizations to offer on-the-job training through co-op, capstones, and internships.

Students can choose to take all courses online, on campus in Boston, or on campus in Arlington. They can also mix and match modalities. All online classes are offered asynchronously and all on-campus courses take place after 5 p.m. to accommodate employment and co-op opportunities.

Learn more about completing your degree in Boston, in Arlington, or online.

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

As a professionally oriented graduate program, the MPP develops leaders for a changing world through:

  • Coursework that combines methodological rigor, diverse analytical tools, and real-world relevance through applied policy projects (e.g., program evaluations, field research)
  • Policy-relevant internships and co-ops with real-world employers plus opportunities to work with faculty on applied, participatory, and action research that’s community engaged
  • Team-based capstone projects that deliver actionable advice to a range of local and regional clients

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions
  • Identify and explain the institutional, structural, and political contexts of policymaking
  • Employ analytical tools to collect, analyze and interpret data, including appropriate statistical concepts and techniques
  • Anticipate in and contribute to the public policy process
  • Communicate results of analysis and interact productively with diverse audiences
  • Assess policies, research methods, and practices using a social justice lens

Master of Public Policy Admission Requirements

  • Completed online application
  • Application fee ($100)
  • Personal statement
  • Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resumé

Applicants to the MPP program are not required to submit GRE scores.

Visit our admissions page for more details about application requirements, tuition, and financial aid.

“Northeastern is an exciting and dynamic place, and we attract students who reflect that.”

Alicia Sasser Modestino, associate professor, School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics

Program Curriculum

The Master of Public Policy at Northeastern consists of 40 semester hours and can be completed in as little as 1.5 years (4 semesters as a full-time student). Our online and on-campus modalities include the same core courses and are taught by exceptional faculty with extensive experience working for public policy organizations, government agencies, private sector enterprises, and nonprofits.

The MPP is designed for students whose career goals are to analyze problems, strategize and devise policy options, assess the impacts of the alternatives, and advocate for effective solutions.

The curriculum focuses on developing competencies in statistical analysis, research methods, policy analysis, and program evaluation. Our courses teach students to think strategically and act ethically. MPP courses include:

  • Techniques of Program Evaluation
  • Techniques of Policy Analysis
  • Research Methods in Social Sciences
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Economic Analysis for Policy and Planning
  • Strategizing Public Policy
  • Capstone in Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Visit our MPP curriculum page for more information, including a full course list with descriptions.

Choose a Concentration or a Certificate

Students who would like to target specific areas of expertise can add an optional concentration or earn a specialty certificate alongside their public policy master’s degree.

Concentration Options

  • Healthcare Management and Policy
  • Sustainability and Climate Change Policy

Certificate Options

  • Computational Social Science
  • Information Ethics
  • Nonprofit Sector, Philanthropy, and Social Change
  • Security and Resilience Studies
  • Urban Analytics
  • Urban Studies

Find out more about these customization options.

Experiential Learning: Real-World Experience for Real-World Impact

Our experiential learning opportunities are a hallmark of Northeastern’s graduate programs in public policy. The co-op is our signature program, where students earn graduate credit for full-time work at a partner organization.

The MPP requires a capstone project with a real-world client, and students can also learn experientially through internships and partnerships with research labs and centers. Students also get practical experience throughout their coursework with case studies, small group exercises, applied projects, action research, and more.

Visit our experiential learning page for more information.

Master of Public Policy Careers

This program equips graduates with the conceptual, analytical, and methodological tools necessary for rewarding careers as policy analysts, researchers, consultants, program evaluators, and policymakers. Our goal is to prepare students to be effective in a dynamic and increasingly diverse professional environment. This includes assisting students in every possible way to secure internships, post-graduate employment, and career advancement.

NU graduates work in a broad range of public and nonprofit settings, ranging from local to international, and in the private sector.

Learn more about salaries and careers with a Master of Public Policy degree.

100% The job placement rate of the 2021–22 graduates of Northeastern’s MPP program

Interested in a role focused on the management and implementation of public policies? Northeastern also offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA). To compare the degrees, view our article on the differences between an MPA and MPP.

Master of Public Policy

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