MASTER OF PUBLIC POLICY

A program that brings together political science, economics, statistics, management, and other social science disciplines enabling students to shape policies and programs around the globe. It is designed to provide students with a strong analytical foundation, applicable to a wide variety of policy issues. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and practical experience to become leaders in the non-profit, public, or private sector while creating meaningful social change.

Graduates of this program will be prepared for careers as policy, research, program or budget analysts in federal, state or local government or in non-profit or private organisations. They can also work as program managers, city or town administrators, or as directors of or managers in non-profit organisations. The U.S. Federal Government allows regular post-completion OPT (12 months) to the students graduating from this program.

CURRICULUM

Year 1 | JKLU

Micro Economics


Credits - 4 An introductory course to provide conceptual foundation for economic analysis and thinking. Topics Covered: Gains from Trade; Supply, Demand and Equilibrium; Elasticity & its Applications; Supply, Demand and Government Policies; Costs; Perfect Competition; Monopoly; Pricing and market segmentation; Oligopoly, Game Theory; Market Failures.




Probability & Statistics


Credits - 4 This course will introduce various statistical topics such as probability, descriptive statistics, statistical inference, sampling distributions, point and interval estimates, regression analysis with applications drawn from diversified areas including economics, business, public policy and governance, health etc. Statistical computing includes calculations using the Microsoft Excel.




Univariate Calculus


Credits - 2 This course is aimed to learn and understand the fundamental concepts of functions, Differentiation and integration, and apply these concepts in real life problems of rate of change, approximation and maxima-minima.




Spreadsheet Applications


Credits- 2 The course will focus on applications and analysis with spreadsheets.




Cognition & Critical Thinking


Credits- 2

This course will be introduced in Semester 1. It will help students build the foundational ability to clearly reason through problems and to present arguments in a logical, compelling way which has become a key skill for survival in today’s world.




Indian Government


Credits - 2

This course is focussed on comprehending the Indian government and politics through an empirical and theoretical lens. The goal is to discover order in the chaotic world of politics. The course teaches general theories that help explain political outcomes as those arising from collective decisions made in the public arena consisting of political institutions and processes.




Seminar on Macroeconomics


Credits - 2 This Seminar will provide an overview of selected macroeconomic issues such as employment, interest rates, inflation, monetary and fiscal policies, and international economic issues.




Research Design


Credits- 3

This course will teach the ideas of hypothesis, measurement, survey design, behavioral and experimental research.




Academic Writing


Credits- 4

Academic writing is a critical skill in the success of one's graduate studies in policy and social sciences, and the professional life thereafter. This course will cover skills such as formulating a problem, doing a literature review using various tools (databases, citation software), structuring and presenting the writing in an appropriate format etc., all geared towards formulating a “Fellowship proposal” project.




Public Policy Seminar


Credits- 3 This is an online course provided by UMass Amherst. It is required of all candidates for the MPP degree, and introduces theories of public policy analysis in general and as applied to several timely issues of policy in the US and elsewhere. Issues are grounded around a broad theme, such as immigration, or security. Coursework will include case studies and/or policy simulations relevant to the selected public policy issues.




Critical Thinking for Developing Perspectives


Credits- 2

Further building on the Cognition & Critical Thinking Course of Semester I, this course will be introduced in Semester II. It will enhance skills on formulating relevant and investigative questions, evaluating information and evidence for correctness, consistency, and relevance. Students will learn to recognize their own beliefs, biases, claims and assumptions in solving problems through a medium of case studies, group simulations, debates etc.





Year II | UMass Amherst

Professional Development Seminar


Credits- 1 This seminar sharpens students' job-seeking and networking skills. In addition to sessions on writing resumes and cover letters; interviewing; and internships, students get opportunities to meet SPP alumni who are working in a variety of government departments and nonprofit organizations. While this one-credit class is not required, it is highly recommended that MPP students take it in the fall semester of their undergraduate senior year.




Politics and the Policy Process


Credits - 3 This course examines the influence of political factors on the initiation, formulation and implementation of public policy. The goal of the course is to give students the background necessary to devise strategies to develop public policy.




Introduction to Statistical Methods for Public Policy + Statistics Lab


Credits- 4 Integrates material from core courses and applies it to actual and hypothetical policy issues in many areas. Examines policy analysis methods using case studies from a wide range of substantive policy areas. Looks at social, economic, organizational, political, and other influences on policy decisions. https://www.umass.edu/spp/spp-608-intro-statistics-pub-pa




Economics & Public Policy


Credits- 3 This course provides an introduction to microeconomic theory and analysis. The course examines economic rationales for and against government policy and the economic consequences of public policy. https://www.umass.edu/spp/spp-605-economics-and-public-policy




Comparitive Public Policy


Credits - 3 https://www.umass.edu/spp/comparative-public-policy-0




Policy Methods


Credits- 3 This course provides an introduction to qualitative and quantitative methodologies for analyzing and evaluating public policy. Topics include research methods, participant observation, survey research and questionnaire construction, measurement theory and practice, and framing categories. https://www.umass.edu/spp/spp-607-policy-methods




Public Policy Analysis


Credits- 3 Integrates material from core courses and applies it to actual and hypothetical policy issues in many areas. Examines policy analysis methods using case studies from a wide range of substantive policy areas. Looks at social, economic, organizational, political, and other influences on policy decisions. https://www.umass.edu/spp/spp-603-public-policy-analysis




Program Electives


School of Public Policy's program electives provide students with a deeper understanding of areas that affect professionals in the public and non-profit sectors. MPP students are required to take four program electives, chosen from two of these three sections: policy, management and methods. SPP offers a number of electives in each category. https://www.umass.edu/spp/academics/courses/graduate




Internship


Credits- 3 Students are required to complete a three-credit summer internship. The internship will be integrated into the curriculum and will be supervised by a School of Public Policy (SPP) faculty member. Students' interests will guide the internship placement process, and SPP staff and faculty will help students establish internships through their alumni network and through our connections via the Five Colleges. Students may complete the internship in semester III or after semester V. Students may petition to waive the internship requirement if they can document substantial professional experience in their field of interest.





ALASDAIR ROBERTS

Director, School of Public Policy at UMass Amherst

“This program balances academic theory with professional skills development and practical experience, preparing students to become leaders in government, nonprofits, or the private sector. The scholars who join us through our partnership with LSEF will add to the cultural and intellectual diversity of our vibrant campus. We’re excited to welcome them to our supportive living and learning environment and help prepare them for future success.”

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