Public policy is the process of making organizational decisions and political, management, financial, and administrative policies to meet established goals. Public administration is the study and application of government policy, including both government and non-governmental management.

Occupations

With a graduate degree in public policy or administration, consider your professional opportunities as a policy analyst, adviser or manager in governmental, non-profit organizations, or private consulting agencies. EducationUSA Centers provide advising services and have an in-depth collection of materials to assist students searching for schools and financial aid. To find the nearest EducationUSA Advising Center, visit EducationUSA Advising Centers.

Graduate Programs

Graduate students choose degree concentrations in public policy and administration such as criminal justice, community development, economic development, and education. Masters of Public Administration (MPA) students develop skills in implementing policies, projects, and programs to address societal problems, resolving organizational, human resource, and budgetary challenges, and analyzing public policy. Masters in Public Policy (MPP) programs emphasize research and analysis, focusing on data, policy concerns, and developing policy solutions.

MPA and MPP programs can be combined with graduate study in law, social work, health care, engineering, or business programs, for example. There are two different options for students pursuing a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration. The PhD in Public Administration or Public Policy is an academic degree in advanced policy analysis while the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) is a professional degree that hones public management techniques and builds on extensive managerial experience.

In addition to researching regionally accredited colleges and universities which offer study in public policy, prospective students, particularly at the graduate level, should identify academic programs with professional accreditation. The professional accrediting organization for the field of public policy and administration is the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.