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Welcome current students!  This page is designed to help you locate useful resources as you work towards your degree.  Please take a couple minutes to familiarize yourself with the site index below.

As always, I'm here to help!  If you need assistance, email or schedule an appointment with me.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses   

Course Class Description 
PADMN 6320 Public Policy Theories and Application This course introduces the critical examination public policy making in democratic societies, with an emphasis on the United States. In addition to developing a general theoretical toolkit for understanding policy processes, you will examine and engage with empirical policy processes through course assignments.
PUBPL 6290

Applied Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy

This applied statistics course covers analytical methods to inform public policy. We use data and software to probe policy and management questions. Topics include descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, inference based on a sample, associations between categorical and/or interval variables, and visualization of data and results.
PADMN 6323

Policy Analysis

This course introduces public policy analysis in democratic societies. The course stresses policy analysis in government contexts, however, policy analysis in nongovernmental settings—such as nonprofits and think tanks—is also considered. Course topics include assessing data and evidence in the course of analysis, traditional policy analysis methods (e.g., cost-benefit analysis), and "alternative" ones (e.g., stakeholder, gender, and race analysis).

PUBPL 6563

Program and Policy Evaluation

This course introduces the science of evaluation, with a special focus on program theory, quantitative methods for causal inference, and ethical and political issues surrounding evaluation. Class activities are designed to foster the development of critical thinking and to provide opportunities to apply concepts to real-world policies and programs. The main project of the course is a group-based program evaluation that will be undertaken with support from community partners.

PUBPL 6560

Survey Research Methods

This course provides students with skills necessary for understanding the survey research process used across the behavioral science disciplines with an emphasis on public policy issues. The goal is to familiarize students with survey design and analysis. Approaches include item construction, sampling, reliability, validity, and data analysis and interpretation.
ECON 6300

Public Finance

This course has two objectives: 1) Develop a rudimentary framework for understanding the taxing and spending activities of government, and 2) Improve each student’s applied economic skillset. These objectives will be presented from the perspective of applied economists who study the Utah economy and advise government, business, and non-profit decision-makers.
ECON 6380

Law and Economics

This course will survey the basic applications of microeconomic principles to the common law fields of property, torts, contracts, and criminal law. Antitrust law and intellectual property law are also covered.

PUBPL 6900

Public Policy Research

This course is designed to provide students with the skills needed to interpret and synthesize published research materials for the purpose of guiding public policy. An emphasis is placed on critiquing the research designs used in public policy, as well as developing public policy research proposal.
PUBPL 6950

Applied Policy Project 

This is a 3-credit course taken the final semester. It consists of a faculty-supervised project applying the Master of Public Policy curriculum to the analysis of real-world policy issues.  Students learn and practice skills in policy research and policy development, discuss their projects, challenges they encounter, obtain individual assistance, and learn from guest speakers from the world of public policy and policy analysis.

PUBPL 6960

Applied Capstone Prep

This is a 1-credit Independent Study course designed to help students prepare for the Capstone course the following semester. The course will cover topics such as writing and presenting public policy for different audiences (a skill set employers request) and public policy ethics.
PUBPL 6002

Statistical Software Packages for Public Policy

This course is designed to train graduate students to examine policy issues and address policy research questions using three statistical software packages commonly used in the public and nonprofit sector; Excel, SPSS and R.

PUBPL 6000*

Application of Economic Principles and Public Policy Statistics*

Fulfills Microeconomics and Applied Statistics prerequisite requirements. Also counts towards MPP degree as an elective. 
This class is designed for students who have never taken an economics or statistics class or students who would like a refresher. In this class you will learn fundamentals of economics and statistics to prepare you for taking the in-depth courses that are required for the program.

*if needed

There are a few factors to consider when planning your program:

Students can take PUBPL 6000 the summer prior to starting the MPP if needed. This course will meet the Economics and Statistics admissions pre-requisites and will also count as an elective if needed. 
It is recommended students take PADMN 6320- Public Policy Theories & Applications before PADMN 6323- Policy Analysis.
Students should take PUBPL 6290- Applied Quantitative Analysis before taking PUBPL 6900- Public Policy Research.
Students should take PUBPL 6900- Public Policy Research either before or with PUBPL 6563- Program and Policy Evaluation.
Students should plan their program so PUBPL 6950- Applied Policy Project & Capstone is taken their final semester.

Elective courses are taken through other departments and programs.  Those offered may change each semester and year.  Students can take a minimum of 9 elective credit hours, and should identify courses fitting their policy track, then notify the program manager before enrolling.

Please review the elective course listings for suggestions on sequencing courses.

Spring 2024 Electives List

Summer 2024 Electives List

Fall 2024 Electives List

Hinckley Institute Internship Elective

The Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of International Affairs & Global Enterprise (MIAGE) programs have partnered with the Hinckley Institute of Politics (HIP) to place students in graduate-level, semester-long internships locally, nationally, and globally. 

Current MPP students can apply for internships after completing 9 semester hours of matriculated coursework and obtaining a 3.3 or higher GPA.  To apply, please visit the HIP Graduate Internships webpage and complete all items on the application checklist. Application deadlines for each semester are also listed on the webpage.

If selected, internship placement will be made by HIP staff based on availability within the organization and interest of the student.  HIP internships account for 3 credit hours, and students will receive a letter grade.  Academic requirements such as papers, projects, readings and more will be determined for each internship.  Credit earned from an HIP degree can count as elective credit towards your degree.  Students are responsible for paying tuition, University fees, the HIP course fee ($300), and all other related expenses.


mpp capstone timeline

The MPP program is a project-oriented, nonthesis degree requiring students to complete an independent Capstone as part of the requirements.  MPP students should be capable of conducting thorough public policy research and analysis to complete the Capstone before they can graduate.  The purpose and expectation of the Capstone is students will apply aspects of the MPP curriculum to the analysis of a public policy issue.  Students determine a research question and complete the project in conjunction with a faculty chair of their choosing.  Students may also partner with a community member who has expertise in an area relevant to the project. 

During their final fall semester, students register for a one credit Independent Study with their capstone advisor. Students are strongly encouraged to select their project prior to starting their Independent Study, and must email their committee members and tentative title to the MPP Program Manager by October 15th. 

Then during their final spring semester students register for the PUBPL 6950 Applied Policy Project/Capstone course.The purpose of this course is to guide students through their project with assistance from their peers and instructor.  By the end of the course the project will be submitted to the instructor, their committee chair (who must formally approve the project), and the program staff.  The final project must be approved (signed off) by the committee chair by finals week at the latest in order for a student to graduate.

What is a Capstone: Listen to previous Program Manager Beth Henke and core faculty as they discuss what forms the project can take, their research, and examples of strong past projects. John Stillman, Director of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), discusses when you need IRB approval and how to navigate that process (This is at the 45 minute mark).

MPP Capstone Chairs: View the current list of potential chairs and their research areas as a starting point to selecting your chair

MPP Capstone Examples & Guidance: scroll through this presentation to get an idea of what is expected. 

PUBPL 6950 Capstone course syllabus

Institutional Review Board



Last Updated: 3/28/24