William & Mary

Graduate Program

Our two-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) is a full-time, residential program in Williamsburg, Virginia, with a required summer internship between the first and second academic years. The MPP degree program prepares students for career placement at the strategic levels of public policy - both in the public sector and in private-sector firms such as regulated industries and consulting firms with government clients. Prospective students are encouraged to review our Prospective Student pages.

Small Size, Generous Financial Assistance

Limited to 50 new students each fall, our relatively small size allows unmatched access to faculty members and encourages a strong sense of community within the program. Most students receive merit-based assistantships (a mix of tuition credits and stipends) that help considerably to reduce the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses.

Convenient Access to D.C.

Our proximity to Washington, D.C. (less than three hours by car) allows convenient access to major policymakers, lawmakers, and analysts. Through the program's regular Policy Dialogues in D.C., for example, students meet and engage directly with policymakers ands policy practitioners.

Where Theory Meets "Real World" Clients

The curriculum provides a rigorous training that is both theoretical and applied. Students study the institutions and processes of public policy, the economic foundations of policy analysis, quantitative and statistical methods for analyzing policy, and a variety of specialized policy topics. Our Public Policy Analysis track is designed for students who are interested in the creation and evaluation of public policies in the U.S. while students in the International Development and Policy track focus on public policies in developing countries and international contexts.

Through the summer internship and work with real-world clients, students apply their knowledge and help to develop policy solutions.  Upon their return to classes, all MPP students register for the Policy Research Seminar, or PRS.  In this course, students work in small teams for real-world clients.  The work done by the teams allows students to bring to bear the analytic tools they have developed together in the first-year courses.  Class meetings address issues raised by the research teams, and the input of other students is a key element shaping the final presentations, reports, and other deliverables to clients.  Like a more traditional thesis, the work done by students is original.  The completion of a PRS project allows a W&M MPP to demonstrate substantial mastery of his or her subject in a real-world setting.