Master’s Degree in Public Policy
With courses in data analysis, statistics, institutional dynamics, and more, Drexel University’s master’s degree in public policy online covers a breadth of topics to prepare graduates for demanding roles in the public, private and non-profit sectors. The online program is ideal for individuals who already work in government or nonprofit organizations or who wish to pursue careers in these sectors.
Drexel's online master’s degree in public policy is innovative and distinct in at least two key respects:
- Offers you the opportunity to specialize by pursuing a graduate minor
- Focuses on case study research as a unifying curriculum element
What Will You Learn in the Master's Degree in Public Policy Online Program?
Courses in a wide range of disciplines offer a solid understanding of the complexity of policy issues. In the program’s core online courses, you'll learn how to analyze competing perspectives, helping you become a constructive problem solver.
Policies have different impacts on different populations, including the rich and poor, and current and future generations. You'll learn to spot these differences and design policies that promote greater equity.
Writing projects across the curriculum teaches you to express highly specialized ideas from multiple domains in a way that non-specialists can understand and use to guide their actions.
Students from different backgrounds work together, learning to problem-solve in groups where not everyone sees eye-to-eye.
Why Choose Drexel for a Master's Degree in Public Policy Online Program?
You can begin study in the fall, winter, or spring quarters. Through a flexible course schedule that includes evening or online classes, you can complete the program at a pace that suits you. On average, students can complete the program in as little as 18 months to two years. Working professionals are also welcome to enroll part-time.
Breadth of Elective Courses from across Drexel University, Including Graduate Minors
You'll gain a strong foundation in analysis, economics, research and writing, while customizing your curriculum to fit your career interests through Drexel’s numerous certificate programs and graduate minors.
While many universities run on a semester schedule, most of Drexel University’s programs are based on a quarter system. Though this might be a bit of an adjustment, the benefits to the quarter system include the ability to take more classes per year. If this is your first time working on a quarter schedule, this resource can help you adjust to your new workload and plan your academic schedule.
Customize the Program to Your Interests Through Case Study Research
You'll take a series of three-credit case study research courses (PLCY 510, 516, and 517). These case studies provide a unique opportunity to concentrate on and demonstrate your expertise in a more specific policy area than is typically covered in traditional courses. You'll choose your own topic, learn case study methodology and practice, develop a research agenda, and ultimately sit for an oral defense. By the end of the program, you'll have produced a polished, in-depth analysis of a specific case that you can use to demonstrate expertise in a given policy area.
- Case Studies In-Depth
Case studies begin with detailed descriptions of how a program or organization works. You'll provide authoritative commentary on the ways the program or organization is either meeting or not meeting its goals (or both), and how it could better meet its goals. An organization is defined as a government agency, sub-unit of a government agency, or freestanding nonprofit corporation. A program is defined as a set of interrelated activities performed by an organization toward some specified goal.
- Subject Proposal
Part of the goal of the case study program is to allow you the maximum flexibility in choosing what you'd like to study. You may propose a subject for your case study that is different from that described above. All case study subjects must be approved by the Center for Public Policy director.
Key Program Features
Drexel’s online Master’s Degree in Public Policy program offers you the opportunity to develop the toolkit necessary for applied policy analysis. Drawing on courses from across Drexel, the program allows you to seek opportunities to apply these skills in a range of disciplines, while developing an in-depth policy analysis in a specialization area of your choosing.
What Can You Do with a Master's Degree in Public Policy?
The online Master’s in Public Policy develops your leadership and management skills, and there are many public policy career paths to consider. Every corporation and organization is responsible for addressing legal and policy issues; therefore, public policy jobs exist in various fields. Public policy jobs often involve elements of project planning, budget analysis, public relations, fundraising and other functions.
Potential roles include policy analyst at advocacy organizations and in many government divisions. In addition, there is a strong demand for policy professionals who contribute to think tanks, legal firms, and large corporations’ legal and public affairs departments.
Other Careers You Can Pursue with a Master's Degree in Public Policy:
- Campaign Manager
- City Manager
- Human Resources Director
- Nonprofit Program Director
- Policy Analyst
- Political Researcher
- Public Relations Specialist
FAQs About the Online Master's Degree in Public Policy
How Long Does the Program Take to Complete?
The expected time to complete the online Master’s in Public Policy is 18 months for full time students, depending on your selection of courses and the availability of electives, and three years for part time students.
What Graduate Minors are Available?
Any fully-online graduate minor of 9 credits can be integrated into the MSPP online program without requiring changes.
What Is The Case Study Sequence?
The case study sequence is a set of courses that focus on the production of a case study on a topic of your choosing. The first classes focus on developing research skills and data collection, while the latter focus on the drafting, revision and presentation of the case study. Your final case study can be defended as a master’s thesis.
Is an Online Master's Degree in Public Policy a Professional Degree?
The Online Masters in Public Policy degree is a professional and specialized degree that prepares you for leadership roles in public policy in diverse organizational settings. Upon degree completion, graduates pursue roles in public, private and nonprofit sectors.
- Certificate in Public Health
- Certificate in Public Relations
- MS in Strategic and Digital Communication
- MS in Global Health
This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.
|PLCY 503||Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis||3.0|
|PLCY 504||Methods of Policy Analysis||3.0|
|PLCY 506||Institutional Dynamics of the Policy Process||3.0|
|PLCY 507||Nonprofit Organizations||3.0|
|ECON 616||Public Finance and Cost Benefit Analysis||3.0|
|INFO 680||US Government Information||3.0|
|URBS 530||Quantitative Methods & Reasoning for Urban Strategists||3.0|
|Economics Course (choose one)
|Essentials of Economics|
|Statistics Course (choose one)
|Data Analysis in Communication|
|Intro to Econometrics and Data Analysis|
|Statistics for Business Analytics|
|Case Study Courses||9.0|
|Introduction to Case Study Research|
|Case Study Research II (1-credit course taken 3 times)|
|Case Study Final Project|
|Public Policy Elective Courses||9.0|
- A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution
With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.
- A completed application
- Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended (including trade schools)
- Two letters of recommendation
- Essay that discusses:
- Potential policy areas or issues you might like to explore for your case study
- How your background, experience, interest, and/or values, when combined with a Drexel degree, will enable you to pursue your goals successfully
- Additional requirements for International Students
The tuition rate for the academic year 2023-2024 is $691 per credit. (A 50% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $1382 per credit)
For the academic year 2023-2024, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.
- This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
- Special tuition rates available for Drexel University Alumni, Military members, and members of our Partner Organizations
- These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
- Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
- All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
- Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
- When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.
2023-2024 Academic Year
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