Master's in Public Policy (MPP)

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.

Effective public policies advance the public good. The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at George Mason University's 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.


A Degree That Works With Your Schedule

You can earn this degree:

  • On-campus
  • Entirely online in a synchronous format
  • Through a combination of on-campus and online classes
  • Part-time or full-time

Classes are offered in the evening to accommodate working students.

Curriculum and Course Schedule

A cornerstone of our MPP degree is your ability to pursue a public policy emphasis area of your choosing. You can select from among the pre-defined areas of emphasis or work with your advisor to craft a tailored focus area. Policy topics covered in the emphasis areas include:

  • 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
  • Urban Policy and Development
  • US Government Institutions and Policy Management 

For detailed curriculum and course schedule information, click here.

To learn more about the differences between the MPP and MPA degrees, click here.

Najma Mohamud, Master’s in Public Policy student

“I think it’s important to study public policy, because it teaches people how to make an impact. Through understanding the policy processes and a wide range of perspectives, I feel this degree will give me the best chance to enact positive change.”
—Najma Mohamud, Master’s in Public Policy student

William Kreamer, Master's in Public Policy '06

“The academic discipline that I learned at Mason was much, much greater than anything I learned at academic institutions prior. [My professors] were brilliant and inspired me to be more creative in problem solving, and more expansive in the way I think about issues in the world.”
—William Kreamer, Master's in Public Policy '06

Rose Previte, Master's in Public Policy '07

“City and local policy issues have always been my favorite. It’s exciting to see the results of your work in your community not long after doing the work.”
—Rose Previte, Master's in Public Policy '07

Wilberg Rivera, Master's in Public Policy '18

"I never thought that it would be possible for me, the child of immigrants [from El Salvador], to have that opportunity right out of the gate as a freshman in college—or even ever."
—Wilberg Rivera, Master's in Public Policy '18

Where You'll Work

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.


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



Rose Previte, Master's in Public Policy '07

With a Hot Restaurant and a New TV Show, Rose Previte Finds her Public Policy Master’s Degree Still Pays Off

Rose Previte’s award-winning Washington restaurant, Compass Rose, is on national “best restaurant” lists, noted as much for its sold-out, no-reservation tables as for its global “street food” theme.


Second Marine Cohort Lands at the Schar School

Second Marine Cohort Lands at the Schar School

The Marine Corps officers cohort, selected after a rigorous application process, enroll in the Schar School's Master's in Public Policy program which provides fellows with the skills in policymaking and analysis necessary for understanding and solving critical problems. 


PhD Graduate Wayne Lavender with a small orphan on his lap

Public Policy PhD Alum Works to House and Educate Vulnerable Children

Wayne Lavender, a graduate from the PhD in Public Policy program, is the executive director at the Foundation 4 Orphans, where he builds homes and educates hundreds of orphans in Mozambique.


Photo of Zoltan Acs  and Emma Lappi

How Does a Culture's Traditional Alcoholic Beverage Preference Impact the Economy?

Schar School professor Zoltan Acs and Emma Lappi, Jönköping International Business School PhD candidate, set out with some scientific rigor and big data analysis to reveal how entrepreneurial endeavors perform in European countries known for their cocktails.