Program Description

Address a vast range of public concerns, including terrorism, human trafficking, gender studies, environmental hazards, and hunger with the Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

Effective public policies advance the public good. The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the Schar School of Policy and Government prepares you to move into influential positions in the policy world. You will develop skills in policymaking and analysis necessary to understand and solve critical problems. Our MPP graduates advance in careers across a wide range of policy areas and hold positions throughout the public and private sectors, including government agencies, NGOs, and consulting firms.

What it costs

The total cost for this program is $893.25 per credit hour for VA state residents or $1,681.25 per credit hour for Non-VA residents. See the Cost tab below for a breakdown of tuition and fees. All of Mason’s tuition rates and fees can be found on our Student Accounts site.

Application Deadline

For admission in the fall Semester, the priority deadline is February 1, and the standard deadline is May 1. For admission in the spring Semester, the priority deadline is November 1, and the standard deadline is December 1. For more application information on how to apply, see the Admissions site.

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Program Summary

Hybrid OR 100 Percent Online

Program: Public Policy

Degree: MPP

College/School: Schar School of Policy and Government

Credits: 36-39 total

Who should apply?

The Master of Public Policy, MPP leads to a degree for aspiring or experienced professionals who seek career advancement through cutting-edge education and training in policy analysis and development in increasingly technical and global environments. The program prepares students to be reflective practitioners who develop, implement, manage, analyze, evaluate, and effect innovative change in the public and private sectors through a course of study that emphasizes the fundamentals of policy development; the role of technology, analytic assessment, and modeling for policy evaluation; and the implications of international and global perspectives on policy formation. Courses are offered primarily in late afternoon and evening to fit the schedules of busy professionals.

Why choose George Mason?

With George Mason University’s prime location in the Washington, D.C. area, Schar School students gain access to leading scholars and practitioners closely connected to the epicenter of policymaking and public service, and the hub of the nonprofit sector.

The Schar School as a whole has 80+ faculty members, as well as hundreds of adjunct faculty, allowing students to gain access to a variety of perspectives and subjects through elective courses. Notable faculty members in the public policy program include program director Bonnie Stabile, Dean Mark J. Rozell, Siona Listokin-Smith, Janine Wedel, Stephen Fuller, and many more.

Program requirements may change; please refer to the Public Policy, MPP Program Page in the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements. This program can be completed completely online or in a hybrid format.

Requirements: 36-39 credits total

  • 21 credits core courses
  • 15 credits Electives Courses
  • 0-3 credits Professional Experience

Core Courses (21 credits)

  • PUBP 500 Theory and Practice in Public Policy | 3 credits
  • PUBP 503 Culture, Organization, and Technology | 3 credits
  • ITRN 503 Macroeconomic Policy in the Global Economy | 3 credits
  • POGO 511 Introductory Data Analysis for Policy and Government | 3 credits
  • PUBP 720 Managerial Economics and Policy Analysis | 3 credits
  • PUBP 741S. Financial Policy Processes and Procedures | 3 credits
  • Select one from the following, or approved substitution:
    • POGO 611 Advanced Data Analysis for Policy and Government | 3 credits
    • POGO 646 Policy and Program Evaluation | 3 credits
    • PUBP 754 Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis for Public Policy | 3 credits

Elective Courses (15 credits)

Students choose electives in their emphasis area. Electives are chosen from one of the following policy emphasis areas. One of the courses in the emphasis sequence should have an international focus.

  • Education Policy
  • Global Medical and Health Policy
  • International Governance and Institutions
  • National Security and Public Policy
  • Public Finance and Budgeting
  • Regional Economic Development
  • Science and Technology Policy
  • Social Policy
  • Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption
  • Transportation Policy
  • Urban Policy and Development
  • S. Government Institutions and Policy Management

Select 15 credits from the following in consultation with the student’s advisor: 1

  • PUBP 504 Grand Strategy
  • PUBP 506 Ethics and the Use of Force
  • PUBP 650 International Conflict and Crisis Response
  • PUBP 651 Peace and Stabilization Operations
  • PUBP 710 Topics in Public Policy
  • PUBP 721 Transportation Economics
  • PUBP 723 Metropolitan Transportation Policy
  • PUBP 726 Telecommunications Policy
  • PUBP 730 S. Institutions and the Policy Process
  • PUBP 733 Urban Politics and Policy
  • PUBP 737 Cases and Concepts in E-Government
  • PUBP 739 Media and Public Policy
  • PUBP 742 Transportation Safety and Security
  • PUBP 743 National Security Management and Policy
  • PUBP 747 Air Transportation Policy, Operations and Logistics
  • PUBP 748 Public Transportation Policy, Operations and Logistics
  • PUBP 750 History of Military Operations Other than War
  • PUBP 751 International Police Operations
  • PUBP 753 Ethics in Public Policy
  • PUBP 754 Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis for Public Policy
  • PUBP 755 National Security Decision-Making Policy
  • PUBP 757 Public Policy in Global Health and Medical Practice
  • PUBP 758 Global Threats and Medical Policies
  • PUBP 759 National Security Law and Public Policy
  • PUBP 760 Science and Technology Policy in the 21st Century
  • PUBP 762 Social Institutions and Public Policy
  • PUBP 763 Illicit Trade
  • PUBP 764 Transnational Crime and Corruption
  • PUBP 765 Human Smuggling and Trafficking
  • PUBP 766 Modern Counterinsurgency: Theory and Practice
  • PUBP 768 Education and Public Policy (Topic Varies)
  • PUBP 769 Political Violence and Terrorism
  • PUBP 777 Critical Infrastructure Protection: Policy and Practice
  • PUBP 783 Global Governance
  • PUAD 729 Issues in Public Management
  • POGO 730 Global Economic and Human Development
  • POGO 733 Global Business and Policy
  • POGO 734 Country Risk Analysis
  • POGO 796 Directed Readings and Research
  • POGO 550 Topics in Policy and Government
  • POGO 750 Topics in Policy and Government
  • PUAD 738 Issues in International Security
  • PUAD 739 Issues in International Management
  • PUAD 749 Issues in Public Policy
  • PUAD 759 Issues in Local Government Administration
  • PUAD 769 Issues in Public Financial Management
  • ITRN 602 Global Financial Crises and Institutions
  • ITRN 603 Global Trade Relations
  • ITRN 701 Special Topics in International Commerce and Policy
  • ITRN 702 Special Topics in International Commerce and Policy: Study Abroad
  • ITRN 710 International Business Transactions: Finance and Investment
  • ITRN 712 World Trade Organization and Global Trade
  • ITRN 740 Trade and Regulatory Compliance
  • ITRN 761 European Political and Economic Union
  • ITRN 767 Political Economy and Integration in Latin America
  • ITRN 772 International Telecommunications
  • CONF 501 Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • HAP 609 Comparative International Health Systems
  • HAP 678 Introduction to the U.S. Health System
  • HAP 706 Integrated Health Systems Management

1 Other courses must be approved by the advisor or program director.

Professional Experience (0-3 credits)

Certification that the student has experience in the public policy process outside the classroom and is ready to take leadership responsibilities must be exhibited by one of two ways:

  • relevant professional experience, approved by the program director, or an approved internship.
  • POGO 794 Internship | 3 credits


Tuition (2021-2022)

Virginia Resident$743.00
Non-Virginia Resident$1,531.00
Mandatory Student fee$150.25
Total Cost per Credit for Virginia Residents $893.25
Total Cost per Credit for Non-Virginia Residents$1,681.25
Graduate New Student Fee$60 (non-refundable, one-time fee)

Please Note: In addition to the tuition and fees described above, various course and lab fees may be assessed depending on the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department.

In addition to university-wide resources, the Schar School has a dedicated team of student services and career development advisors to assist you in your academic and professional plans. The Master’s in Public Policy program prepares students for a range of industries and roles in the public and private sectors. In a recent graduating class career outcomes survey, the following were the top employers of MPP program graduates:

  • Accenture
  • BAE Systems
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • CACI International
  • CIA
  • City of Falls Church
  • Grant Thornton
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • Northrop Grumman
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • SRA International
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • World Bank
Program ContactJustin Gest
Program Website
School Contact Schar School Graduate Admissions
Phone: (703) 993-8099
Schar School of Policy and Government Website

Application Requirements

  • Graduate application and fee
  • 750-1,000 word written statement of your goals and interest in the program
  • Current resume
  • Unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the U.S. For international institutions, transcripts may be unofficial but should include cumulative transcripts, degree certificate, individual semester marksheets (if applicable), and diploma (if applicable)
  • Two letters of recommendation. At least one recommendation should be from an individual who is qualified to attest to the candidate’s academic potential
  • Additional requirements for applicants with international credentials

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact or (703) 993-2280.

Scholarship Requirements

The Schar School of Policy and Government awards merit-based scholarships based on an applicant’s academic achievements.