Public Policy: Definition, Courses, And Universities

Public Policy

An exciting field of interest within administration and governance, Public Policy is an emerging area of study that focuses on finding solutions to socio-economic issues extending into areas of public affairs, management, development, media, security, psychology, and law, amongst others. With the growing need to analyze issues from different perspectives, like historical, area-based, normatively, etc, policy studies dive deep into the mechanics of designing and implementation of efficient strategies. This blog aims to summarise all the details relevant to policy and administration starting from a brief overview of what you will need to study at the leading universities.

Public Policy: Overview

Offered typically at master’s and higher level, policy studies courses aim to provide a solid base for students to effectively analyze and interpret the policy issues. With this respect, the program curriculum not only involves the study of a multitude of fields but also equips students with the quantitative and qualitative methods of research. Further, the different study tracks offered with the program provide the learners with a platform to delve into a specific subfield within public policy. Listed below are some common specializations options are:

  • International Development
  • Public Administration
  • Social Policy
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Health Policy
  • Security & Governance
  • International Affairs
  • Media & Communication
  • Education
  • Law
  • Social Justice

As for the study structure in public policy courses, students undertake thesis writing, research projects and participate in designing and delivery policies across various settings. Individuals graduating from the course enter as policy analysts and consultants into think-tanks, national and international governmental organizations as well as social sector firms, amongst others. Following up on a master’s degree with a PhD is recommended for those looking to enter research.

Also Read: Master in Public Health

Types of Degree Programs

As discussed, Public Policy courses are typically offered at the postgraduate and doctoral levels, owing to the heavy amount of analysis and research involved. Additionally, many leading universities across the world also offer dual and joint degree programs, for instance, an MPP/MBA and MPP/MIM, etc. Students can also go for a more research-inclined MPP/PhD in any field of interest.

Also Read: International Relations Courses

Public Policy Courses: Universities

Courses on public policy form part of offerings at some of the elite institutions in the USA, UK, and Europe, amongst others. They have been not only recognized for the outstanding study curriculum but also for experienced faculty members and a competitive study environment. Further, graduates have gone on to work at leading organizations in sectors of policy, administration, governance and much more. Here is a list of 7 institutes you must consider:

S.NoName of the UniversityLocationCourse
1.University of OxfordOxford, UKMaster in Public Policy (MPP)
2.Georgetown UniversityWashington DC, USAMPP;Master in Policy Management;Master in International Development Policy;Master of Data Science for Public Policy;Executive Master in Policy Leadership;MPP/MBA;MPP/PhD in Psychology; etc
2.Hertie School of GovernanceBerlin, GermanyMPPDoctoral Program in Governance;Dual Degree Programs
3.Central European UniversityBudapest, HungaryMA in Public Policy
4.Sciences PoFranceMPP
5.The London School of Economics & Political ScienceLondon, UKMSc Public Policy & Administration;MSc International Social & Public Policy;MSc Philosophy & Public Policy
6.University of ChicagoChicago, USAMPPMSc in Computational Analysis & Public Policy;MSc Environmental Science & Policy;MSc International Development & Policy;MA in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods;Executive MA Public PolicyPhDDual Degree Programs
7.Syracuse UniversityNew York, USAMaster of Public Administration;

Note: The above-mentioned universities have not been ranked in the order that they appear. Refer to THE World University Rankings 2020 in the subject of Policy and International Studies for specific rankings.

In order to be eligible for the above-mentioned courses, possessing an undergraduate degree in any field from a regionally accredited university and a few years of industry experience is a common prerequisite. Further, the application materials include submission of GRE/GMAT, IELTS/TOEFL/PTE scores, statement of purpose and letters of recommendation, amongst others. However, these eligibility and admission criteria are flexible and students must peruse the official university websites for specific information.

Public policy is a highly technical field of study that offers lucrative job opportunities in a variety of sectors. Needless to say, choosing a career path according to one’s interests and aspirations is paramount to building a vibrant career. The AI-tool at Leverage Edu is a step in this direction, suggesting fields of study based on personalized algorithmic mapping of skills and abilities, thus helping individuals to take an informed decision towards a rewarding career. 

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