Master of Public Policy (MPP)
At the UCLA Department of Public Policy, we take people who are passionate about making a difference in the world and give them the tools they need to do so. Our Master of Public Policy program combines the best of traditional policy education with a flexibility and responsiveness that enables us to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world. With a diversified tool kit of quantitative and analytical skills and the flexibility to design their own program of study – while drawing on all the resources of a top research university – UCLA Luskin graduates are equipped to become policy leaders. A set of joint degree programs offer an even broader range of skill and expertise development, and the minor in public policy provides undergraduates with a systematic overview of public policy questions.
The Master of Public Policy is a two year, full time on-ground professional degree program. The curriculum consists of core courses that provide students with general analytic tools that are applicable in all policy areas and culminates in an advanced, team-based final project that prepares students for real-world client interactions. For this final project, the Applied Policy Project (APP), students work together and apply key skills in negotiation, analysis, research, presentation, and persuasion to advocate a “best” answer for a given policy problem.
Plan of Study
The Plan of Study (PDF) for the two-year MPP degree includes required core courses in economics, statistical methods, political science and more. It consists of twelve courses of required classes and nine courses of electives.
Any changes from the required courses from a student’s designated Plan of Study are only considered via petition to the Department of Public Policy. Exceptions are made on a case by case basis.
Note: Joint degree students have a different Plan of Study because they combine two different sets of degree requirements. Students should check the Plan of Study for their particular joint degree program.
Areas of Concentration
An area of concentration allows MPP students to gain in-depth knowledge on a specific policy interest, all while building their portfolio to become competitive candidates in a particular policy sector upon graduation. It is not required for MPP students to pursue an area of interest.
The MPP Area of Concentration handbook (below) provides MPP students guidance on the type of classes they can pursue under a particular area of concentration. Please note that this is not an extensive list of classes, and that students can take other classes not listed in this handbook that aligns with their area of concentration.
Most Common Areas of Concentration:
- Economics Policy
- Education Policy
- Environmental Policy
- Health Policy
- Immigration Policy
- International Policy
- Nonprofit Leadership
- Social Policy (Racial Equity)
- Technology Policy
- Transportation Policy
Joint (Concurrent) Degrees
The Department of Public Policy offers joint degrees with Law, Management, Medicine, Public Health, and Social Welfare. In each case, a joint degree applicant needs to meet the admissions criteria for each degree program. This means that an applicant must apply to each program separately. When applying to a joint degree, you are essentially applying to two separate programs, although you will select a joint degree option when filling out both applications. Admission to one program is not contingent on admission to the other.
Once admitted to both programs, the applicant becomes a joint degree student. Students enrolled either in the JD, MBA, MPH or MSW program may apply for admission to the joint degree program in their first year of residence.
This joint degree program allows students who are interested in the legal aspects of public policy to earn both M.P.P. and J.D. degrees in a four-year period. Individuals considering in pursuing policymaking careers in government, non-profits, and in the private sector that require professional training in both legal and policy analysis are encouraged to apply. Students already enrolled in their first year of public policy or law may also apply.
For additional information regarding this program, please contact the graduate advisor in Public Policy and the admissions officer in the Law School.
Usually students spend the first year at the Law School completing the required 33 units of law courses. During the second year, students are enrolled in Public Policy and complete 40 units of core and concentration courses. In their third and fourth years students complete the remaining classes for both programs taking courses in each program during each term. Students need to complete a total of 73 law units and 68 public policy units in order to fulfill the degree requirements. If while enrolled in the MPP/JD program, a student decides not to complete either the MPP or the JD, all the regular requirements for the program that the student intends to finish must be satisfied. See sample Plan of Study for the MPP/JD program.
For current JD/MPP students to keep track of both their JD and MPP degree units, click HERE
For current JD/MPP students to keep track of their MPP degree units, click HERE
To apply for the joint degree program, students are required to satisfy the regular admissions requirements of each program. Students enrolled either in the JD or MPP program may apply for admission to the joint degree program in their first year of residence.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for the MPP application. Students applying for the MPP/JD may submit their GRE score in lieu of a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score. For these students, no LSAT is required; however, please note that every student who has taken the LSAT must submit that score as well. See the section on Admissions for MPP admissions requirements.
To request an application for the School of Law please contact:
UCLA School of Law
71 Dodd Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1445
The Department of Public Policy and the John E. Anderson School of Management offer a three-year concurrent degree program whereby students simultaneously pursue the Master of Public Policy and the Master of Business Administration degrees. This joint degree program is designed for students who seek careers that require expertise in policy making and management. It will enable the joint degree graduate to move easily among careers in public service, nonprofit, and the private sector. For admission, applicants are required to satisfy the regular admission requirements for both the M.B.A. and the M.P.P. programs.
Applicants interested in the concurrent program should contact the Public Policy or Management Admissions Officers.
Students pursuing the concurrent degree program with the John E. Anderson School of Management complete the nine core courses, concentration courses, and the two-quarter seminar in applied policy analysis for total of 68 units. The remaining 12 units of course requirements are fulfilled through Management courses taken for the M.B.A. program and are applied toward the M.P.P. degree through a pro forma petition to the Graduate Division upon application for advancement to candidacy. See sample Plan of Study for the MPP/MBA program.
For current MBA/MPP students that would like to keep track of their MPP degree units, click HERE.
To apply for the joint degree program, students are required to satisfy the regular admissions requirements of each program. Students enrolled either in the MBA or MPP program may apply for admission to the joint degree program in their first year of residence.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for the MPP application and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required for the MBA application. In addition, the Test of English Language (TOEFL) is required for international students.
Students in the MBA/MPP degree program pay the MBA fees for all three years of the MBA/MPP concurrent degree. Check the UCLA Registrar’s Fees section for current fees and tuition for each program.
UCLA Anderson School of Management
110 Westwood Plaza, Suite B201
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
(310) 825-6944 fax (310) 825-8582
MPP / MD
The MD/MPP dual degree programs are a more recent evolution among dual disciplinary degrees. Rather than entering roles as hospital administrators and healthcare managers, physicians are increasingly assuming leadership ranks among policy makers at all levels of government and healthcare delivery systems—as elected officials themselves, and as federal and state legislative aides; analysts in executive department “policy shops”; senior policy advisors to mayors, governors, and the president; and heads of policy-oriented agencies. In addition, programs like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Fellows program place numerous physicians in one-year health policy advisory positions in the federal government, primarily in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Although related to management and public health administration education, the analytic skills necessary for effective policymaking are the purview of Public Policy programs. MD/MPP programs are fewer in number than the more ubiquitous healthcare management dual degrees. The programs that do exist, however, reflect some of the top Schools of Medicine and Public Policy.
The structure of the proposed program takes advantage of complementarities between the MD program and the MPP program. The general outline of the combined degree program would be three years of medical education, following by the first year of the MPP program, and the second year of the MPP program interleaved with the last year of medical school. This plan gives the student some significant hands-on clinical experience prior to embarking on the public policy education component of the joint degree program. The clinical experience would take the place of the work experience required of other Public Policy students, giving the MD/MPP students an age and experience profile similar to the MPP population.
For a sample of a MD/MPP plan of study, click HERE.
For current MD/MPP students to keep track of their degree units, click HERE.
Eligibility and Application Process
UCLA matriculated medical students may apply to the UCLA Graduate Division for a position in the Luskin School of Public Affairs/Department of Public Policy during the fall of their second-year, by January 10th.
The formal application process is followed, which requires the following elements. Please review the MPP Admissions website for important additional information.
- An application for UCLA Graduate Admission (online at www.gdnet.ucla.edu).
- An MPP-specific supplemental application (Graduate Division supplemental application is not required).
- Graduate Division application fee.
- Statement of Purpose – Write a Statement of Purpose as described on Department website.
- Three letters of recommendation from professors or professional references.
- Current resume or CV.
- A Medical School transcript must be submitted as part of the application. For Official Transcript requests you will need to submit a Document Request Form (Current Students), via e-mail, to email@example.com.
- Official copy of your degree-granting undergraduate transcripts.
- A “Letter of Good Standing” must be submitted as part of the application. The “Letter of Good Standing” form can be found in the SAO website.
- MCAT scores will be accepted in lieu of GRE Scores.
- Send documents to the Public Policy Admission Office:
UCLA MPP Admissions
3250 Public Policy Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
- Fellowship and/or Diversity Fellowship Supplemental Applications may be submitted per the guidelines found on the MPP website.
The joint degree sponsored by the Department of Public Policy and the Department of Health Policy and Management offers a concurrent degree program whereby students are able to pursue the Master of Public Policy degree and a Master of Public Health degree in three years. As one of the leading universities in the nation oriented to health services and health policy research, UCLA is especially well positioned to offer a concurrent degree that brings together top-tier training in public policy and health services. The joint degree program provides professional training in policy analysis and management, as well as expertise in the complexity of health care services and strategies of policy-making institutions. Those interested in having an impact on the development of health care policy and management are encouraged to apply. For admission, applicants need to satisfy the regular admission requirements for both the MPP and the MPH programs.
Students begin taking core courses for both programs during their first year. Additionally students take elective or concentration courses in order to fulfill the program requirements; 68 units in Public Policy and 56 units in Health Policy and Management. See sample Plan of Study for the MPP/MPH for the joint degree program. Although in some cases students may take a course in either program to fulfill a content requirement, each course counts only toward the units of the department within which the course is offered. Consequently a student may take a different proportion of electives and core courses than indicated in the sample Plan of Study.
For current MPH/MPP students that would like to keep track of their MPP degree units, click HERE.
To apply for the joint degree program, students are required to satisfy the regular admissions requirements of each program. Students enrolled either in the MPH or MPP program may apply for admission to the joint degree program in their first year of residence. However, each school has its own entrance requirements, and there is no guarantee that because an individual is already a student in good standing in one school that he or she will be accepted by the other. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for both the MPP and the MPH applications. In addition, the Test of English Language (TOEFL) is required for international students.
To request an application for the Department of Health Policy and Management please contact:
A1-269 Center for Health Sciences
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772
Phone: (310) 825-5524
The joint degree sponsored by Public Policy and Social Welfare permits students to earn both the MPP and MSW degrees in three years. With Social Welfare’s emphasis on understanding the ecological context in which human social problems exist and Public Policy’s analytic tools, students are enabled to develop social policy that is congruent with the needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Those interested in being social policy makers are encouraged to apply. Students already enrolled in their first year of public policy or social welfare may also apply.
For additional information regarding this program please contact the admissions officer in the Department of Social Welfare and in the Department of Public Policy.
During the first year, students follow the required M.S.W. curriculum, taking 43 units. In the second year students take most of the M.P.P. core courses. During the third year of the program students complete the remaining M.P.P. core and concentration course (32 units) along with their M.S.W. AOC courses and electives (32 units). Click HERE for the MPP-MSW MOU and a sample Plan of Study. The second year field education requirement for of 12 units is completed over the summer.
Students enrolled in this dual degree are required to register and enroll for 12 units during Summer Session this will serve to complete their second year field education requirement for the MSW program. Tuition for Summer Session is charged per unit and will cost approximately $4,500.
For a copy of the MSW/MPP MOU, please click HERE
For current MSW/MPP students who would like to track their progress in the MPP program, click HERE
To apply for the joint degree program, students are required to satisfy the regular admissions requirements of each program. Students enrolled either in the MSW or MPP program may apply for admission to the joint degree program in their first year of residence.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for the MPP application. Because of the highly analytic curriculum, the GRE scores required for the MPP have a higher baseline than for the MSW or (have a similar baseline to the doctoral program in Social Welfare.) In addition, the Test of English Language (TOEFL) is required for international students. See the section on Admissions in this brochure for MPP admissions requirements.
To request an application for the Department of Social Welfare please contact:
UCLA Department of Social Welfare
3250 Public Affairs Building, Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
Luskin-Wide Certificate Programs
UCLA Luskin students seeking to strengthen their quantitative skills outside of core classes may earn this certificate as a signal to employers of their further training in quantitative analysis. Although qualitative data analytics is also valuable, this certificate is designed for students focusing on techniques and resources related to quantitative data analytics. For more information, HERE.
Leaders in Sustainability
Graduate students looking for an edge in future careers need look no further than the IoES Leaders in Sustainability graduate certificate. Companies, consumers, and governments across the world increasingly focus on making products, services, operations and lives more sustainable. Leaders in Sustainability gives students the tools to make that happen in a collaborative, action-oriented setting.
The national award-winning certificate is free to UCLA graduate students pursuing degrees in any discipline. By bringing together diverse academic focuses, the program fosters cross-pollination for innovative ideas and solutions. More than 190 students from 24 disciplines participate in Leaders in Sustainability. For more information, HERE.
Global Public Affairs
The Global Public Affairs (“GPA”) certificate program is an interdepartmental academic initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs that provides intellectual preparation to future experts who plan to work within the realm of global public affairs. Certificates are awarded in addition to the graduate degree earned at Luskin.
The GPA certificate program is not an independent, degree-granting program. GPA certificates are awarded by the Office of the Dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
There are four cluster areas to choose from:
- Global Environment & Resources
- Global Health & Social Services
- Global Processes & Institution
- Global Urbanization & Regional Development
All cluster courses are coordinated by the GPA Curriculum Coordinator. The Curriculum Coordinator organizes cluster courses and secure agreement from participating faculty to include their course in the cluster. Courses are included in each cluster at the discretion of the GPA Associate Director. For more information, HERE.
To ensure that students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the real world, as well as to initiate and develop professional contacts in public policy, MPP students are required to participate in a 400-hour field internship with a government agency, nonprofit group, private firm, or other organization approved by their faculty advisor. This internship is traditionally completed during the summer, but many students complete all or part of the 400 hours during the academic year. The internship hours may also be served in several different organizations. Although internships are not assigned, the department and Luskin career services will work with students to find an internship they are able to work in, local or otherwise.
This map indicates internship locations from 2011-2018:
Internship Documents for Students
Master of Public Policy Internship(s) Form – This online form records the basic contact information about the internship along with the organization and internship description. A form needs to be completed for each internship site, if a student serves the 400 hours in more than one setting.
Internship Agreement Form – This form documents in detail the activities, duties, and responsibilities of the internship and any expected outcomes and deliverables.
Supervisor Evaluation – At the completion of the internship students must provide the internship supervisor with the Evaluation Form.
The Internship Agreement Form and Supervisor Evaluation Form must be uploaded in the Master of Public Policy Internship(s) Form at the end of the quarter when the student is enrolled in PUB PLC 496 Public Policy Internships course and once they have completed all of their internship hours. The Internship Brochure describes the internship expectations for potential employers, organizations, and agencies.
More information about internships and other resources can be found on the School’s Career Services page
Michael S. Dukakis Internship in Public Service
Professor Dukakis spearheaded this privately funded internship program to provide students at UCLA Luskin with first-hand public service experience in government. As power shifts from Washington, D.C., to the state and local level, the need for talented public servants has never been greater. The Michael S. Dukakis Internship in Public Service provides stipends for students serving in non-partisan internships in government, with a special emphasis on California. The focus for this 10-week summer internship is on government settings rather than in non-profits or NGOs. Students who are currently interning or have completed a government internship during the academic year are also eligible if they meet the criteria below.
Internship Practice Pathway
The International Practice Pathway (IPP) of Global Public Affairs (GPA) at Luskin provides financial support for first year students seeking summer internship placements in low and middle-income countries. GPA can assist students with information on potential summer internship placements, including contact information of summer employers, as well as second-year students and Luskin graduates who completed summer internships abroad. Ideally, this program is for students who are interested working in international affairs and/or organizations that are conducting international work. For more information, HERE.
Study Abroad Programs
The Department of Public Policy offers a variety of international exchange study opportunities, including summer programs, internships, international/comparative policy workshops, and international exchange agreements.
The school-wide Global Public Affairs at UCLA Luskin program introduces students to an increasingly interconnected world, where global challenges require global solutions. Students in the International Practice Pathway program facilitates identifying internship and project opportunities abroad.
The Public Policy Department also participates in international exchange programs with the Hertie School in Germany and with the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSSP) at the University of Tokyo in Japan.
Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSSP), University of Tokyo - Tokyo, Japan
The University of Tokyo is the most prestigious university in Japan. Its Graduate School of Public Policy–GraSSP–recently signed an exchange agreement with Luskin’s Department of Public Policy. Each year we are entitled to send up to three qualified MPP students to GraSPP during the fall quarter. GraSSP has its own distinguished faculty and also draws faculty from the university’s departments of economics, law, and political science. It offers courses in domestic policy areas as well as in international relations and the global economy. Important public officials from Japan and other countries regularly speak at GraSSP.
Many GraSSP courses are taught in English. Some courses end before the holiday break in late December while a few others continue into January. Students will receive a list of courses that are taught in English and end before the break. GraSSP has a student advisor who can help with enrollment and housing. The Tokyo arrival date is TBA. The return to Los Angeles is required to be no later than January 6th, the day before winter classes begin.
GraSSP is housed in a new building on the lovely Hongo campus. It is in one of the oldest parts of Tokyo, near Ueno Park. Downtown Tokyo is fifteen minutes away. Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a dynamic and fascinating city with nearly ten million people. It combines traditional and post-modern cultures. There are numerous cultural institutions and an excellent system for public transport. Tokyo is a gateway to Asia.
Exchange students will be enrolled in GraSPP’s international MPP program, the MPP/IP. Its students come from Japan and numerous other parts of the world. GraSSP is located in Japan, but it is a truly global school. It has exchange programs with thirteen other policy schools outside Japan. English is the common language of the MPP/IP program.
Applications for the program are now closed.
Please contact Kevin Franco, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Hertie School - Berlin, Germany
Initiated in 2011, the Luskin School reciprocal exchange program with the Hertie School in Berlin allows the exchange of up to three graduate students from each institution per year. The period of exchange is normally in Fall Quarter/Semester. Credits and grades earned at the exchange institution are applied toward the degree requirements at the home institution. Exchange students under this agreement are accorded normal student privileges. Students pay tuition and fees at their home institution, although they will also need to purchase student health insurance at the exchange institution. Students are responsible for travel and living expenses incurred during the exchange program.
Check the Hertie Course Catalogue and filter for the most recent Fall semesters to see the courses typically offered at Hertie in the Fall. The upcoming Fall Semester course list is not yet available, but reviewing the past offerings will provide insight into the potential courses that Luskin students may take at the Hertie School.
Instruction at the Hertie School is in English.
Please contact Kevin Franco, email@example.com, for more information.