Graduate Curriculum

At W&M Public Policy, our goal is to prepare students to become public policy leaders and to provide them with the tools that they need to thrive in our complex, changing world while making a difference in their communities, states and nations.

Our MPP curriculum provides an engaged, personalized education focused on the intersection of knowledge and action. We expose students to core public policy concepts through inquiry, research, and application. Our classes require students to challenge and debate ideas while developing fundamental analytical and communication skills. Throughout the program, students participate in collaborative, real-world projects and engage with the policy community.

Our curriculum emphasizes the legal and political institutions and processes of public policy, the economic foundations of policy analysis, and cutting-edge tools for analyzing policy. We also offer classes on a variety of specific policy issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. Unique among MPP programs we require all of our students to take two law classes, a specialized Law and Public Policy course that is only for MPP students, as well as an additional law elective. In addition to the required full-year quantitative sequence, students can take skills-based classes in Cross-Section Econometrics, Time-Series Econometrics, Empirical Policy Evaluation, Geographic Information Systems, Budget Policy Making, and many more. This curriculum prepares students for public policy careers in both the public and private sector across a variety of industries and issue areas.

Students in the MPP program follow one of two tracks, the U.S. domestic focused Public Policy Analysis (PPA) track or the comparative and internationally focused International Development and Policy (IDP) track. While the two tracks have some track-specific course requirements, the core requirements are the same for all MPP students. Below we list the core requirements for both tracks, and on the PPA and IDP web pages we list the full requirements for each track.

Core Requirements for Both Tracks:
First Year Fall:
  • PUBP500: Mathematics for Public Policy
  • PUBP602: Quantitative Methods I
  • PUBP604: Microeconomics for Public Policy
First Year Spring:

Summer Internship 

Second Year Fall
  • PUBP610: Policy Research Seminar
  • PUBP612: Public Management and Organizational Behavior
Second Year Spring