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Is MSPPM Right For Me?

The Master of Science in Public Policy & Management (MSPPM) is a master’s degree program that teaches students how to leverage data and technology in order to analyze, affect, and implement policy solutions that will impact society in meaningful ways.

The MSPPM is the ideal fit for students who see themselves as future leaders and change agents, and who have a desire to employ evidence-based problem-solving strategies that acknowledge the complexity and implications of technological change in the 21st century. MSPPM graduates typically find work in the public sector (including government at all levels, military, and national security), the non-profit sector, with international agencies and NGOs, or with private consulting firms.

MSPPM students all share a passion for collaboration, strong critical thinking, and intellectual curiosity. Their individual social, national, and educational backgrounds, however, are quite varied. Quantitative abilities vary upon entry, but all MSPPM graduates emerge from the program with confidence in their capacity to use data in problem solving.

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Curriculum & Courses

Core curriculum differs by pathway, as listed below.


Below is one possible schedule for the MSPPM: Pittsburgh (Two-Year) pathway. Actual schedules will vary depending on pathway, concentrations, and electives.

View sample schedules for Data Analytics, Washington D.C., and Fast Track (Three-Semester) pathways.

Class titles in bold are core courses. Heinz College offers a mix of full-semester (14 weeks) and half-semester courses (7 weeks) for core and elective courses.

Year 1 - Fall SEMESTER
  • AI for Public Policy
  • Design Thinking
  • Statistical Reasoning with R
  • Intro to Database Management
  • Organizational Design and Implementation
  • Applied Economic Analysis
  • Writing for Public Policy

Year 1 - Spring SEMESTER
  • Intro to Programming with Python
  • Management Science I & II
  • Policy & Politics: American or International Perspective
  • Financial Analysis
  • Strategic Presentation Skills


Year 2 - Fall SEMESTER
  • Telling Stories with Data
  • Behavioral Economics in Public Policy
  • Developing as a Leader
  • Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policies
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Societal Consequences of Technological Change: Autonomous Vehicles

Year 2 - Spring SEMESTER
  • Public Policy Capstone Project
  • Econometrics
  • Large Scale Data Analysis for Public Policy
  • Negotiation
  • Societal Consequences of Technological Change: Education
  • Methods of Policy Analysis


The average MSPPM class is diverse, both in terms of demographics and experience/education. Data shown reflects the last three years.

See the Admissions page for detailed admissions requirements for MSPPM.

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