University of California, Riverside

School of Public Policy



MPP Curriculum


Program of Study

The Master of Public Policy degree will require 72 units of graduate courses, taken over two years. Below is a breakdown of what you will have to take during the course of your studies:

Year 1

  • Seven core courses (28 units)
  • One elective course (4 units)

Between Year 1 and 2

  • Policy-related internship with a public, private or non-government agency (students may do an internship through the SPP Internship Program)

Year 2

  • Three core courses (12 units)
  • Four elective courses (16 units)
  • Two-quarter-long capstone project (8 units)

In addition, students will be expected to participate in the SPP Seminar Series, which brings leading policy makers and policy researchers to UCR to discuss important and timely policy issues and policy interventions.

Core Courses:

The Policy Process (4 courses)

  • Introduction to policy analysis
  • Policy institutions and processes
  • Regional policy-making across administrative jurisdictions
  • State governments as laboratories of change

Institutional Context (3 courses)

  • Environmental and social policies: interactions, synergies, and unintended consequences
  • Ethics, professionalism, and the normative bases of public policies
  • Global-local policy connections: Case studies in poverty, water, and sustainable development

Policy Methods (4 courses)

  • Quantitative methods for public policy analysis
  • Qualitative social science methods
  • Applied microeconomics for public policy
  • Public management and leadership

Read more information about Core Course Descriptions

Elective Courses

Students can choose to align their elective coursework with their interests and career goals. A minimum of two courses are required. Our faculty have expertise in and regularly teach classes in the following areas: the environment, health, immigration, social policy, political participation, poverty/inequality, race/ethnicity, education, crime and criminal justice, urban/suburban development, and several other areas.

Read more information about Elective Course Descriptions

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

School of Public Policy
Anil B. Deolalikar
Founding Dean
Professor of Economics

Student Affairs
Tel: (951) 827-2334
E-mail: jolene.sedita@ucr.edu

Dean’s Office
4133 CHASS Interdisciplinary South
Tel: (951) 827-5564
E-mail: spp-dean@ucr.edu

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