You are here:


About the Program

About the Program

Prospective Students

Prospective Students

Current Students

Current Students

Apply Now

Apply to our Program

University of Utah's Master of Public Policy (MPP) program combines policy and economic analysis with quantitative sources for students to build the necessary analytical skills needed to effectively solve public policy problems. These core skills are valuable in national, state and local governments, "think tanks", consulting firms, non-profit groups and private companies throughout the United States and world.


The Master of Public Policy program contributes to public service and public policy analysis by advancing understanding of the policy process, and producing graduates equipped to research, analyze, and inform public policy making.  We develop the individual by challenging and assisting each student to reach their professional and academic potential.  We strive to create a community that fosters mutual respect, enhanced by a strong partnership between faculty, students, and staff.

Photo of Director Sharon MastracciSharon Mastracci started at the University of Utah in Fall 2015. She was a 2014-2015 Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom and prior to that, spent 13 years at the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Public Administration. Born and raised in Ohio, she earned BA and MA degrees in Economics at Ohio University and then worked as an Economist at the State of Ohio Legislative Budget Office. She earned her PhD in Public Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Sharon studies gender in organizations and public sector employment, specifically emotional labor in public service. Her husband, Tony Mastracci, also teaches for the Programs of Public Affairs. Tony holds BBA and MPA degrees from Ohio State University and is currently pursuing his EdD at the University of Pennsylvania. Sharon and Tony live, work, and play in Salt Lake City.

Sharon Mastracci, Professor

Director of the Programs of Public Affairs 


The University of Utah Master of Public Policy program began in 2006 as a response to the growing need expressed by students and professionals to educate and train leaders who can understand, analyze, and evaluate public policy issues through a multi-disciplinary approach.  Public policy is present in nearly every context of the labor market and community, be it economic, political, domestic, or international. Many government and nonprofit organizations in the state have expressed a need for individuals who cannot only manage, but also perform analytical work to address policy questions and effectively communicate the analysis to others.

Currently, University of Utah's Master of Public Policy program is the only one offered within the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). Our program is located in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and housed in the Center for Public Policy & Administration. The mission of the Center for Public Policy & Administration is to provide research, education, and services to public and nonprofit organizations that will strengthen administration, leadership and public policy making.

Student Spotlight:

Chris Ogren


Who are you? I came to the MPP program after spending a gap year interning in local government in Bend, Oregon. I graduated from Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo in 2017 with a BA in Political Science. I had planned to go to law school, but after my internship experience, I found my calling in local government. I chose the MPP program because my professional goal is to help elected officials, at the local level, make informed decisions.

What is your favorite part about the MPP program? I love the interdisciplinary nature of our program. In the past 3 semesters, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to dig deeply into areas like tax and budgeting policy, water, housing affordability, gender/wage dynamics, among many others. My constantly professors encourage me to seek out local experts and expand my knowledge in areas of interest.

What is your advice to new MPP students? Don’t waste your electives. There are a lot of great classes you can take, choose carefully. Don’t work too hard. Try to secure a graduate assistantship and limit your “day job” if possible. For many of you, you’re only here for two years, get the most out of it that you can.

Follow us on Facebook! 

Last Updated: 12/2/19