Degree Options

The Master of Public Policy program requires the completion of 40 credit hours.  The curriculum is divided into core and elective courses with core courses seeking to build a strong foundation in analysis and management.  Core courses consist of three components (policy process and institutions, economics, and quantitative analysis).  Through these courses you will learn to tackle complex public policy problems by asking substantive questions, exploring alternatives, and assessing the capacity of organizations to implement solutions.  Our program is designed to equip you with the conceptual framework and skills needed to be successful in the public sector.

The MPP is a professional, non-thesis degree. Instead, students complete a Capstone Project.

Core Courses - 31 credits

Course Class Semester Day Time Instructor
PADMN 6320 Public Policy Theories and Application Fall T 6:00-9:00 PM Collard
PUBPL 6290

Applied Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy

Fall M 6:00-9:00 PM Carlson
PADMN 6323

Policy Analysis









PUBPL 6563

Program and Policy Evaluation





6:00-9:00 PM

6:00-9:00 PM



PUBPL 6560

Survey Research Methods

Fall H

6:00-9:00 PM


ECON 6300

Public Finance

Fall H 6:00-9:00 PM


ECON 6380

Law and Economics






PUBPL 6900

Public Policy Research

Spring 6:00-9:00 PM 


PUBPL 6950

Applied Policy Project  & Capstone

Spring  T 6:00-9:00 PM  Mastracci
STAT 6003 

Survey of Statistical Software Packages





6:00-9:00 PM

6:00-9:00 PM


Cook, Hunt, Tanana

There are a few factors to consider when planning your program:
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 - minimum 9 credits 

Elective courses are taken through other departments and programs.  Those offered may change each semester and year.  Students should identify courses fitting their policy track, using the University course catalog, then notify the program manager before enrolling.

Please see the Degree Planning Tool or Course Listings on our Current Students page for suggestions on the sequencing of core and elective courses.

Track options are:

  • Family and Social Welfare Policy 
  • Health Policy
  • Community Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • International Context of Public Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Economic Policy
  • Urban Affairs Policy 
  • Food Policy
  • Transportation Policy
  • Land Use Policy
  • Business Policy Regulations

With the approval of the MPP Program Director, you can pursue an existing certificate to fulfill the emphasis.  The types of certificates available are below.


Demography Certificate

Demography is the statistical study of populations. Demographers study the size, structure, and distribution of populations as well as spatial and/or temporal changes in them.

Demographic analysis can be applied to entire societies or groups defined by criteria such as nationality, religion, and ethnicity.  Demographic research affects the central aspects of society such as housing, education, health care, and business.

Click here to learn more about this Graduate Certificate

Degree Planning Tool

Urban Planning Certificate

Urban Planning Certificate

This certificate offers students and professionals critical urban planning strategies in order to better engage contemporary planning challenges.  This five-course certificate is particularly well suited for architects, business managers, economists, public agency managers, non-profit professionals, sociologists, social workers, or students from related disciplines who wish to work in these fields.

Click here to learn more about this Graduate Certificate. 

Degree Planning Tool


Disability Study Certificate

Disability Studies teaches about disability, not as an individual deficit, but as a physical and social barrier constraining people.

Students graduating with the certificate will be able to apply their knowledge and skills in multiple roles such as manager, co-worker, teacher, lawyer, business owner, service provider, community member, and neighbor.

Click here to learn more about this Graduate Certificate. 


Sustainability Certificate

This certificate is a collaborative, interdisciplinary program grounding students in science, society, and policy to effectively address global change and sustainability challenges.

This transdisciplinary literacy will enhance graduate education without compromising disciplinary expertise. Students will be provided opportunities to develop their capacities as transformational change agents within their communities and institutions.

Click here to learn more about this Graduate Certificate.

Degree Planning Tool

Gender Studies Certificate Photo

Gender Studies Certificate

Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field focusing on interactions of gender, class, sexual orientation, and nationality.

This certificate will deepen your research skills, strengthen your teaching, and increase your ability to find jobs after graduation.  You will have an opportunity to think about your research and pedagogy in an interdisciplinary context that gives you an advantage in the job market.  Students graduating with this certificate will be able to apply their knowledge and skills in many areas including human services, law, social work, non-profit organizations, private business, arts, health professions, and education.

Click here to learn more about this Graduate Certificate.

Degree Planning Tool

Big Data Certificate

Big Data Certificate

Big Data impacts many aspects of our life.  It monitors traffic patterns, weather, purchases made by online customers, and more.  With an increasing usage of Big Data, employers are now looking for employees who can analyze and interpret Big Data.  Students who complete the Big Data certificate will be taught how to conduct, analyze, interpret, and communicate a Big Data analysis; which is a growing need in today’s economy. 

Click here to learn more about this Graduate Certificate.


Law photoshopped


University of Utah's joint Master of Public Policy/Juris Doctor degree combines training in public policy with legal training obtained through S.J. Quinney's College of Law.  Students who pursue this degree will benefit from an education that teaches policy content, such as statistics and economics, as well as concepts regarding law and legal institutions.

The MPP/JD program recognizes the increasing need for leaders possessing skills related to both policy and law.  While pursuing this joint degree you will receive individual attention which will help you achieve your professional goals. Both programs are small, enabling you to study issues you care about in real world settings. 

Students can earn an MPP/JD degree in a four-year period. Those considering a career in policymaking fields requiring legal and policy analysis are encouraged to apply.

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Public Health


The Public Policy and Public Health (MPP/MPH) dual degree program is designed for students seeking to advance their training in the quantitative and qualitative methods of policy analysis as well as expand their knowledge of public health issues and health policies.

Health issues are an area of priority within the public arena. One of the primary ways health issues are dealt with is through public policy. Approaches to health issues range from government contracting for services to setting regulations that promote population-level health (e.g., childhood vaccination policies). Students who pursue a joint MPP/MPH degree will acquire the skills needed to conduct effective health policy analysis, understand organizational processes within the health domain, develop policy-based approaches to important issues of public health, and translate complex health policies for a lay audience. Graduates will also learn about working across public, non-profit, and private sectors to produce policy-based approaches for improving and protecting the public’s health. Through this joint degree program, graduates will gain the education needed to be effective in professional roles involving health policy development, administration, and evaluation.

Students graduating with a MPP/MPH degree will be qualified for many positions in the public health policy arena, including: health policy analyst, research associate, program planner/evaluator, risk analyst, and policy assistant.  Graduates of the program may pursue research and policy analysis positions in federal and state governmental agencies, consulting organizations, health advocacy groups, and health care associations.


For more information please contact Elizabeth Henke in Public Policy or Kelbe Goupil in Public Health.

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Population Health Sciences


The Master of Public Policy and PhD in Population Health Sciences is a dual degree providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to impact change in health care systems.  These two programs employ an interdisciplinary approach to students as they are taught how policy decisions relate to individual patients.   

By making informed policy decisions, health care disparities and diverse perspectives are brought to the forefront.  This exciting program creates an educational path preparing students to investigate, analyze and inform public policy in the context of health care delivery systems.

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The Combined BA/BS and MPP degree provides students with an opportunity  to earn a Bachelor of Arts/Science in Economics or Political Science as well as a Master of Public Policy in five years rather than six years.  

What are the advantages of a Combined BA or BS and MPP degree?

The purpose of the BA/BS and MPP combined degree is to enhance your knowledge of economics and/or political science with valuable training in public policy.  It allows you to earn a Bachelor's and Master's degree in about five years, compared to the six or more years it would take if done separately.

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Last Updated: 3/14/18