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Degree Requirements

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The Master of Public Policy degree requires a total of 39 semester credit hours of coursework, which includes an internship within the public, private, or nonprofit sector. During the last semester, students will complete either an individual or group capstone project that will incorporate the entire program. The program is designed to be completed in two years, but program length will vary depending on full-time or part-time enrollment.

In order to accommodate working students, classes are offered in the evenings, Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Academic advising and career placement services will be coordinated by a dedicated Hobby School staff member.

The MPP degree curriculum is interdisciplinary with a quantitative emphasis, incorporating political science, economics, computer science, business, and statistics.

The MPP also requires nine hours of more quantitatively-focused classes such as microeconomics, research methods, statistics, and advanced data analysis, six hours in philosophy and research ethics, and three hours for an internship.

In addition, students are required to complete a specialization that is six hours, or typically two courses. This specialization and courses are selected by the student and approved by the Hobby School.

The Hobby School doesn't have a pre-selected list of specializations that must be used. Therefore, students are encouraged to find graduate-level electives throughout the university that fit their interests. The following are some examples of MPP students' specializations: Governmental Affairs, Health Policy, Higher Education Policy, Nonprofit Management, and Quantitative Methods.

The specialization won't specifically appear on students' diploma or transcripts. However, a record is kept by the Hobby School of all specializations, and students are encouraged to list their specialization on their resume.

The UH MPP Interdisciplinary Curriculum

The following table shows a sample degree plan for a current MPP student beginning in Fall 2019:

Term: Fall, Year 1
Term: Fall, Year 2
Course
Credits
Course
Credits
POLC 6311 Leadership and Professional Development
3
POLC 6312 Public Finance
3
POLC 6313 Policy Analysis I: Microeconomics
3
POLC 6316 Policy Research Methods III: Advanced Quantitative Modeling
3
POLC 6314 Policy Research Methods I: Introduction to Statistics
3
POLC 6331 Philosophy and Public Policy II
3
TOTAL FALL, YEAR 1 CREDITS
9
TOTAL FALL, YEAR 2 CREDITS 9
Term: Spring, Year 1 Term: Spring, Year 2
Course
Credits
Course
Credits
POLC 6315 Policy Research Methods II: Multivariate Analysis
3
POLC 6317 Public Policy Capstone
3
POLC 6320 Policy Analysis II: Political Analysis
3
² Public Policy Elective 3
POLC 6330 Philosophy and Public Policy I
3
² Public Policy Elective 3
TOTAL SPRING, YEAR 1 CREDITS
9
TOTAL SPRING, YEAR 2 CREDITS 9
Term: Summer, Year 1
Course
Credits
¹ POLC 6391 Public Policy Internship
3
TOTAL SUMMER, YEAR 1 CREDITS
3
TOTAL REQUIRED CREDITS
39

¹ POLC 6391 Public Policy Internship is a required course. However, a student may use their current job to satisfy the internship requirement if the position is related to public policy and approved by the Hobby School. The course requirements will still need to be fulfilled.

² Two Public Policy Electives comprise the student specialization, and are chosen by the student and approved by the Hobby School.


The following table shows a sample degree plan for a current MPP student that started prior to Fall 2018:

Term: Fall, Year 1
Term: Fall, Year 2
Course
Credits
Course
Credits
POLC 6313 Fundamentals of Policy Analysis
3
POLC 6316 Statistical Methods for Policy Research III
3
POLC 6314 Statistical Methods for Policy Research I
3
POLC 6397 Selected Topics in Public Policy: Policy Analysis II-Political Analysis
3
POLC 6330 Philosophy and Public Policy I
3
² Public Policy Elective
3
TOTAL FALL, YEAR 1 CREDITS
9
TOTAL FALL, YEAR 2 CREDITS 9
Term: Spring, Year 1 Term: Spring, Year 2
Course
Credits
Course
Credits
POLC 6312 Public Finance
3
POLC 6317 Statistical Methods for Policy Research IV
3
POLC 6315 Statistical Methods for Policy Research II
3
POLC 6352 Quantitative Methods & Applications 3
POLC 6331 Philosophy and Public Policy II
3
² Public Policy Elective 3
TOTAL SPRING, YEAR 1 CREDITS
9
TOTAL SPRING, YEAR 2 CREDITS 9
Term: Summer, Year 1
Course
Credits
¹ POLC 6391 Internship in Public Policy
3
TOTAL SUMMER, YEAR 1 CREDITS
3
TOTAL REQUIRED CREDITS
39

¹ POLC 6391 Internship in Public Policy is a required course. However, a student may use their current job to satisfy the internship requirement if the position is related to public policy and approved by the Hobby School. The course requirements will still need to be fulfilled.

² Two Public Policy Electives comprise the student specialization, and are chosen by the student and approved by the Hobby School.


Public Policy (POLC) Graduate Courses

Required MPP Courses

1) POLC 6311 Leadership and Professional Development

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

An introduction to policy process and public policy careers, with special emphasis on leadership, teamwork, and organizational dynamics. Professional skill development will also be emphasized

2) POLC 6312 Public Finance

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Effects of economic incentives on voters, government officials, economy, and markets. Analysis of situations where private markets fail to be efficient. Applications to government policies at federal and local levels, including welfare, insurance, health care, policing, roads, and Social Security. Analysis of tax system and interaction among federal, state, and local governments.

3) POLC 6313 Policy Analysis I: Microeconomics

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Overview of microeconomic tools to measure and weigh the gains and losses from any public policy, including consumers’ choices, firms’ decisions, supply and demand framework, market equilibrium, allocative and productive efficiency, property rights, externalities and market failures, and public choices and public goods.

4) POLC 6314 Policy Research Methods I: Introduction to Statistics

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Provides a basic understanding of statistical analysis for policy research, introduces basic statistical techniques and statistical software packages. Introduces research design and discusses the ethics of quantitative policy research

5) POLC 6315 Policy Research Methods II: Multivariate Analysis

Prerequisite: POLC 6314 and/or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Reviews more advanced statistical concepts and tools used to study the association between variables. Introduces students to regression analysis and explores its uses in policy analysis

6) POLC 6316 Policy Research Methods III: Advanced Quantitative Modeling

Prerequisite: POLC 6314, POLC 6315, and/or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Focuses on time series, panel data, and other more advanced statistical concepts and tools used to study the association between variables and systems of variables.

7) POLC 6317 Public Policy Capstone

Prerequisite: POLC 6314, POLC 6315, POLC 6316, and/or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

The capstone course for the Master of Public Policy program. Places an emphasis on a collaborative group project that incorporates the knowledge and skills learned throughout the entire program curricula, including data fusion, data visualization, spatial statistical analysis, and linkages between visualization and statistical analysis

8) POLC 6320 Policy Analysis II: Political Analysis

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Introduction to analytical models of politics applied to such topics as collective action, majority rule, coalition formation, and the functioning of government

9) POLC 6330 Philosophy and Public Policy I

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Evaluating value claims in policy with regard to political theory; normative, ethical, and political goals of policy; and applied ethics on issues of environment, punishment, inequality, gender, race, and research ethics

10) POLC 6331 Philosophy and Public Policy II

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Philosophical and critical examination of the value commitments behind different policy proposals. Comparative study of conservative, liberal, and other policy proposals in areas such as education, health care, social security, and income support.

11) POLC 6391 Public Policy Internship

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Work experience in selected private industry, nonprofit, federal, state, and local government offices under faculty and field representative direction and supervision.

Other POLC Courses

1) POLC 6198 Special Problems

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Individual study or projects on an arranged basis under faculty sponsorship.

Note: May be repeated for credit.

2) POLC 6310 Administrative Theory

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Strategies and techniques for managing public organizations from the perspectives of various administrative theories and organizational models; uses case studies to apply theory.

3) POLC 6342 Political Economy and Ethics of the Market Processes

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Explores the relation between citizens and market processes in basic market mechanism concepts, the role of government in market processes, and the ethics and morality in market processes.

4) POLC 6352 Quantitative Methods and Applications

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Overview of three quantitative tools for policy analysis: benefit-cost analysis, economic impact analysis, and analysis of government data sources. Benefit-cost analysis applies microeconomics to decisions about public projects. Economic impact analysis uses input-output models to analyze national and regional economies. Analysis of government data sources is an introduction to the use of Census and other data for the purposes of demographic analysis and economic forecasting.

5) POLC 6370 Family Policy: Theory and Research

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

This course provides a theoretical and empirical introduction to current research on the family. Students will be introduced to current philosophical debates about parental rights, children’s rights, and family justice, and explore in detail empirical research on the impact of different family policies, including paid parenting leaves, cash and tax subsidies for families with young children, flexible scheduling laws, and publicly-supported childcare, on children and parents.

6) POLC 6397 Selected Topics in Public Policy

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Selected topics in public policy.

Note: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

7) POLC 6398 Special Problems

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.

Independent graduate-level study focused on special research project.

Note: May be repeated for credit.

8) POLC 6399 Thesis

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate faculty advisor.