Skip to main content

Master of Public Policy

Our Graduate Programs

The Hobby School of Public Affairs offers two graduate programs of study, four graduate dual degree programs, seven graduate certificates in public policy and six accelerated pathway program opportunities for undergraduates.

Real-world Impact

An advanced degree from the Hobby School prepares a new generation of leaders to face tomorrow’s most pressing challenges through interdisciplinary coursework, training in ethics and leadership and experiential learning opportunities. Hobby School graduate students have a common goal of making a difference in their communities and will develop fundamental tools and skills transferable across a range of fields.

Master of Public Policy

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) at the Hobby School of Public Affairs is a 39-hour program rooted in cross-disciplinary study, blending social sciences, advanced quantitative methods, analytical skills and applied research that empowers graduates to positively influence various policy areas. The rigorous curriculum emphasizes evidence-based problem-solving, policymaking and policy implementation, preparing students to apply theory to complex problems.

The Master of Public Policy program consists of a core curriculum, an internship, a capstone project and electives chosen from the broader University of Houston classes to fulfill a specialization in respective fields of interest.

Alumni Careers

Hobby School alumni lead successful careers and endeavors across sectors and make a measurable impact in Texas and nationwide.

There are many paths to help shape the policy decisions that affect our neighborhoods, state, country and world. Graduates represent all levels of government, education institutions, nonprofit organizations and private corporations.

Turning Passion into Action

Pie chart of 2022 graduating class
*Career outcomes from the 2022 graduating class of MPP graduates.

MPP alumni are policy and data analysts, researchers, consultants and public affairs specialists. They lead elected offices as chiefs of staff or advise lawmakers and decision-makers on policy. They direct programs in a diverse array of fields. They are in impactful roles from City Hall to Capitol Hill and from classrooms to hospitals.

Recent employers of Hobby School MPP alumni include:

  • Air Alliance Houston
  • Invesco
  • American International Group Inc.
  • Texas Legislative Budget Board
  • British Consulate General Houston
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Office of Texas State Representative Mary Gonzalez
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research
  • Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management
  • Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Harris County Budget Management
  • Texana Center
  • Harris County Public Health
  • United Healthcare
  • Harris County District Attorney's Office
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Houston-Galveston Area Council
  • U.S. Federal Trade Commission
  • Institute for Human Rights and Business

Alumni Spotlight

Karen Banda, Master of Public Policy ’22 2023 Garnet Coleman Award for Student Excellence Recipient

Karen Banda earned a Master of Public Policy with a specialization in race and ethnicity in public policy in the fall of 2022. Banda was a graduate student researcher for the Center for Public Policy and served as a CONNECT Fellow on a community project with Cy-Hope that measured program outcomes and developed data collection tools for youth programs.

She was named a U.S. Office of Personnel Management Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program finalist. Chosen from over 10,000 applicants, she is one of 850 finalists across the country selected for the federal government’s flagship leadership development program. The first in her family to attend college, Banda uses her life experiences to study social issues through the public policy lens and hopes to apply her efforts to helping disadvantaged communities thrive.

karen-banda.jpeg“I learned from the Hobby School to dig deeper, think more critically and consider a multitude of beliefs and values. My experiences ignited a fire in me to develop the skills I will use to implement action and help change the lives of individuals and whole communities.”


Mission Statement for the Hobby School's Master of Public Policy Program

A Master of Public Policy from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston prepares graduates for mission-oriented professions by providing a leading-edge education encompassing policy, politics, ethics, quantitative analysis and leadership development and implementation. Students will focus on real-world solutions and engage in meaningful experiential learning opportunities in one of the most diverse cities in the nation. They will demonstrate integrity, cross-disciplinary competence, strong communication skills and a commitment to diversity.

The Master of Public Policy at the Hobby School of Public Affairs is a Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) accredited degree program. The program is ranked among the country's top 100 public affairs programs by the U.S. News & World Report. The Hobby School of Public Affairs is a full member of NASPAA. The Hobby School also maintains a Pi Alpha Alpha chapter, the global honors society for public affairs and administration.