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#1 in Analytics Education

Turn Raw Data Into Solutions for Society’s Most Pressing Problems

MSPPM: Data Analytics

Heinz College offers a depth of analytics coursework that is unrivaled among policy schools, and the intense MSPPM: Data Analytics pathway is our most quantitatively rigorous public policy program.

As the modern world generates massive amounts of data, large organizations, government agencies, think tanks, and consulting firms all seek the brightest minds with next generation data skills. The need continues to grow in public interest sectors for professionals who can interpret and analyze raw data to improve public programs and policies across areas such as education, transportation, energy and the environment, criminal justice, sustainable development, national security and defense, and health and human services.

You can step up and take on such challenges.

Our MSPPM: Data Analytics pathway will train you to harness the power of data and analytic technologies to transform organizations that serve the public good. MSPPM-DA graduates have a truly unique skill set in the policy field. and are highly sought by employers, including the top firms and agencies in our partner network.

In addition to world-renowned faculty with deep expertise in analytics, Heinz College houses several analytics-driven research institutes, where you can get involved in groundbreaking data projects while in school.

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Duration: 2 years / 4 semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer Internship, Fall, Spring)

Data Science for Social Good & Public Interest Technology

Heinz College is a global leader in applying data science to public policy and using technology for public good. Among policy schools, we have the deepest bench of data scientists and analytics experts to help you convert data into human-centered solutions. Under the direction of our faculty experts, our policy analytics students tackle complex problems such as:

  • Predicting resource shortages at senior care facilities during COVID-19
  • Promoting fairness and reducing bias in criminal sentencing
  • Combatting the opioid crisis by helping social workers identify abuse
  • Improving transparency and data-sharing across public service agencies
  • Mapping public utilities using data and technology
  • Reducing waste and fraud in the Medicare system
  • Using text analytics and machine learning to fight poaching and illicit trade
  • Testing feasibility of large-scale projects in renewable energy, like solar farms and biogas
Professor Beibei Li presenting data

Game Changing Research

MSPPM-DA students gain data skills and techniques that open new possibilities for public policy research and social impact. Heinz College and CMU provide many opportunities to apply those skills on innovative projects directed by our faculty and sponsored by our renowned research centers. Recent research highlights include:

  • Reducing bias in data and algorithms to minimize false positives in child welfare screening
  • Evaluating COVID-19's impact on income loss, mental health, and housing among vulnerable populations
  • Using machine learning to optimize routes for meal delivery to seniors and children in low-income households
  • Developing decision tools for gig workers that address systemic bias and promote worker well-being

My Story: Gursmeep

Gursmeep Hundal (MSPPM-DA '18) grew up "all over India." In the MSPPM: Data Analytics program, she found the right blend of curiosity and reason to have an impact in the world.

My Story: Jafar

Jafar Haider (MSPPM-DA '19) came back to grad school looking for a challenge. In MSPPM: Data Analytics, he gained a new network, a new skillset, and a whole new outlook.



Below is one possible schedule for MSPPM: Data Analytics. Actual schedules will vary depending on pathway, concentrations, and electives.

Class titles in bold are core courses.

  • Programming R for Analytics
  • Statistical Reasoning with R
  • Intro to Database Management
  • Intermediate Database Design and SQL
  • Intro to Programming with Python
  • Applied Economic Analysis
  • Writing for Public Policy
  • Strategic Presentation Skills

  • Management Science I & II
  • Applied Econometrics I & II
  • Data Mining
  • Policy & Politics: American or International Perspective
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Statements and Analytics for Companies


  • Organizational Design & Implementation
  • Data Science and Big Data
  • Applied Analytics: the Machine Learning Pipeline
  • A/B Testing: Design and Analysis
  • AI, Society, and Humanity
  • Cities, Technology, and the Environment

  • Data Analytics Capstone Project
  • Decision Analytics for Business and Policy
  • Big Data and Large Scale Computing
  • Managing Analytics Projects
  • Critical Analysis of Policy Research

*Career data shown below reflects the last three years.


MSPPM Pathways

Compare all four MSPPM options at a glance

The MSPPM program is offered in four distinct modalities—Pittsburgh (Two-Year), Data Analytics, Washington D.C., and Fast Track (Three-Semester). Compare all four and choose the path that best suits your mission.