Public Policy, MPP

Effective Public Policies That Advance the Public Good

Address a vast range of public concerns, including terrorism, human trafficking, gender studies, environmental hazards, and hunger with the Master of Public Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School. This program prepares you to move into influential positions in the policy world. You will develop skills in policy-making and analysis necessary to understand and solve critical problems.

Email us:

Call: 703-993-8099

Request Program Information

To stay informed about the programs you’re interested in, complete our Graduate Program Interest Form.
(please do not use shared email addresses)


MPP Graduate Freddy Mitchell


“The professors I had were former Hill staffers, worked in public service, served in administrations, and worked for the government. They understand bureaucracy. They understand politics. They understand process. Being able to go a mile wide and a mile deep was just a whole other level. Those are things you expect from a graduate course at a prestigious graduate school.”

Freddy Mitchell
Vice President of U.S. Government Relations, MetLife
Master of Public Policy '17



Skills You'll Gain

  • Thorough understanding of policy formation
  • Ability to critically analyze policy
  • Grounding in economic theory
  • Effective communication of policy ideas

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.

Mosaic tile
No GRE Required to Apply

D.C. and Maryland Pricing Discount

Master's or certificate students who reside in Washington, D.C., and Maryland can qualify for a tuition rate is equivalent to the in-state rate! This new policy applies to Schar School students who begin their degree in fall 2023 or later. 

DC skyline from Arlington at night

Where Our Recent Graduates Work

Pie Chart: State Government 1%, Federal Government 27%, Academia 5%, Local Government 4%, Multilateral/International 3%, NGO/Nonprofit 23%, Private Sector (Consulting) 22%, Private Sector (General) 15%

Data gathered from recent graduates from 2017-21

Top Employers of Recent 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

The median salary of 2020-21 program graduates surveyed after graduation was $97,000.


MPP graduate Najma Mohamud, a young woman with brown skin and dark hair wearing a tan suit smiles at the camera


“The Schar School equipped me with the tools I use every day in my career in international development and gave me a love for learning that I will take with me wherever I go. My professors and colleagues were engaged, sharp, and intellectually stimulating.”

Najma Mohamud
Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff at USAID
Master of Public Policy ‘18


A Degree Tailored to You

A cornerstone of this degree is your ability to pursue a public policy emphasis area. You can select from among the pre-defined areas of emphasis or work with your advisor to craft a tailored focus area.

Learn more about the areas of emphasis.

“This program is the perfect fit if you're looking to advance a career in policy. You will not find a program with more flexible curriculum, active faculty, and staff.”

Justin Gest
Professor and Director of the Master of Public Policy Program

MPP Director Justin Gest

Practitioner Faculty

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 policy-making and public service, and the hub of the nonprofit sector.

The Schar School has 90+ 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 Justin Gest, Dean Mark J. Rozell, Bonnie Stabile, Siona Listokin-Smith, Janine Wedel, Stephen Fuller, and many more.

Mosaic tile

Interested in a graduate certificate instead?

Our graduate certificates require just five courses (15 credits) that can be applied to a master's if you choose to continue on.