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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. 

For detailed curriculum information, please visit the MSPPM Student Handbook.


Below is one possible schedule for the MSPPM: Pittsburgh (Two-Year) pathway. Actual schedules will vary depending on pathway 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
  • Statistical Reasoning with R
  • Applied Economic Analysis
  • Organizational Design and Implementation*
  • Writing for Public Policy*
  • Strategic Presentation Skills
  • U.S. Energy and Climate Policy

Year 1 - Spring SEMESTER
  • Management Science
  • Policy and Politics: American or International Perspective
  • Financial Analysis*
  • Intro to Database Management*


Year 2 - Fall SEMESTER
  • Systems Analysis: Environmental Policy
  • Behavioral Economics in Public Policy
  • Evidence-based Management*
  • Programming R for Analytics*
  • Policy Innovation Lab: Public Interest Technology*
  • Telling Stories with Data*

Year 2 - Spring SEMESTER
  • Public Policy Capstone Project
  • Rise of Asian Economies
  • Critical Analysis of Policy Research
  • Human Rights, Conflicts and Development*
  • Affordable Housing Policy and Finance*

*Half-semester courses


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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