People are drawn to a public policy program because of a passionate desire to improve the world in which they live. Some wish to remedy social injustice while others strive to enhance the performance of our governing institutions. From the local community to the international arena, they want to help solve the great and complex problems of our era, from promoting economic development to preserving the environment, from overcoming barriers to obtaining health care to protecting against bioterrorism, from enhancing the education of children to thwarting the causes of crime. Helping to solve these pressing problems, however, requires the dedicated hard work of exceptionally well-trained individuals. The UCLA Department of Public Policy offers a rigorous and challenging policy program that provides the analytical tools and strategic orientation that one needs to be a leader in identifying policy problems, designing new policies and organizations, advocating their adoption, managing their implementation, and evaluating their impact.
Our Master of Public Policy program combines the best of traditional policy education with a flexibility and responsiveness that enables our graduates to remain relevant and influential in a rapidly changing world. A career in public service, with its commitment to the public interest, is no longer limited to working in government. Increasingly, policy making and implementation involve nonprofit and for-profit institutions, often working together and in conjunction with government agencies. By setting the highest standards of excellence and giving students a diversified tool kit of quantitative and analytical skills and the flexibility to design a program of study that incorporates the vast intellectual resources of one of the nation’s top research universities, we produce graduates who are equipped to become real leaders in policy making, wherever that process takes place.
Our demanding interdisciplinary program attracts an intellectually outstanding and ethnically diverse group of students from all over the world. Prior to coming to UCLA, they have worked as teachers, political lobbyists, engineers, community organizers, police officers, government officials, television producers, administrators of nonprofit agencies, computer consultants, physicians, graphic designers, newspaper reporters, legislative aides, and military helicopter pilots, among other things. Once here, they engage a faculty that is internationally known for its influential research, policy experience, and high quality teaching. By all accounts, the UCLA Department of Public Policy has an impressive roster of distinguished scholars representing myriad disciplines. Our faculty reflects a wide range of interests in social and international issues, including crime, health, environment, welfare, and national security, to name just a few. The MPP program at UCLA also affords access to the rapidly transforming Los Angeles metropolitan region, a rich social laboratory that offers a look into the future for the rest of the country. To change the world, you need to know how the world is changing. As you seek preparation to influence the future, there is no better place to witness this social and policy dynamism than at UCLA.
Mark A. Peterson
Department Chair and Professor, Department of Public Policy