Best Masters in Public Policy: Students Before Profits 2020

An MPP degree (masters in public policy) program prepares students for a career in politics and government. Those who work through this program will develop the skills needed for policy analysis and policymaking. Those who complete this program of study have gone on to have careers in lobbying, government, nonprofit management, and more. By taking this program online, students can choose to develop their skills while continuing their current job. They can also save money on their tuition by choosing an online program.

Best MPP Degree Programs Methodology

For students who want to pursue a master’s in public policy, we have compiled a list of the top programs available. These programs have been selected for this ranking based upon a scoring system that takes into account the cost of tuition and the length of the program. All of these programs have been accredited by nationally recognized accreditation boards and have had their nonprofit status verified. The programs are ordered from highest to lowest score.

Note that tuition rates for MPP degree programs listed below are based on cost per credit, and individual programs may have additional fees. Consult individual programs for latest information and for masters in public policy salary details.

Ranking the Top Masters in Public Policy Degrees

#1. California University of Pennsylvania

Master of Law and Public Policy

California, Pennsylvania

Students at the California University of Pennslyvania can enroll in the school’s Online Master of Law and Public Policy degree. This program of study has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Through this master’s public policy, students will develop a deeper ability to interpret and understand the ways that laws and public policy shape our society. A total of 30 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. Courses in this program of study include law and ethics, law and legal method, law and the international community, and much more.

Tuition: $15,480

Score: 100

#2. Regent University

Online Master of Art in Government – Law & Public Policy

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Regent University offers its Online Master of Art in Government – Law & Public Policy degree to students entirely online. This masters in public policy online degree can be completed in under two years. A total of 30 credit hours are needed to complete this program. Courses in this MPP degree are eight weeks long. Those who have completed this degree have gone on to have careers as lobbyists, public policy advocates, nonprofit management careers, and more. Courses in this program of study include Public Policy Initiatives, Presidency, Congress, and much more. Regent University has received accreditation for this program from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $20,250

Score: 99.75

#3. Liberty University

Online Masters in Public Policy

Lynchburg, Virginia

This Online Master of Arts in Public Policy degree is offered entirely online by Liberty University. Students can expect to complete this program in under two years. Courses in this program of study are eight weeks long. To complete this degree program, students must earn a total of 36 credit hours. This MPP degree is offered in a variety of different specializations including Campaigns and Elections, International Affairs, Leadership, Middle East Affairs, and many others. Those who have graduated from this program have gone on to have careers in public relations, research, politics, and more.

Tuition: $20,340

Score: 99.5

#4. SUNY Empire State College

Online Master of Arts in Social and Public Policy

Saratoga Springs, New York

SUNY Empire State College offers a partially online master’s in public policy degree to its students. This Online Master of Arts in Social and Public Policy requires a total of 36 credit hours to complete. Half of the courses in this program are offered online and the other half of the courses are offered on-campus. Students can expect to complete this master’s in public policy online degree in about two years. This program of study has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Through this program, students will have gained the skills for careers in politics, political advocacy, lobbying, and more.

Tuition: $20,340

Score: 99.25

#5. New England College

Online Masters in Public Policy

Henniker, New Hampshire

Students can choose to enroll in New England College’s Online Master of Arts in Public Policy degree. This program is offered entirely online. Courses in this program are seven weeks long. Students can expect to complete this program in under two years. A total of 36 credit hours are needed to complete this master’s public policy. Courses in this program of study include Economic Analysis, State and Local Government, Public Finance and Budgeting, and more. The New England Commission of Higher Education has provided accreditation for this program of study.

Tuition: $20,376

Score: 99

#6. Carnegie Mellon University

Master of Science in Public Policy & Management

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Carnegie Mellon University offers students a Master of Science in Public Policy & Management degree. This master’s in public policy degree is offered to students on-campus. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has provided accreditation for this program of study. A total of 32 credits are needed to complete this master’s public policy degree. Students in this program will study contemporary issues and the policies implemented to help contain these issues. Courses in this program of study include Writing for Public Policy, Management Science, Financial Analysis, and more.

Tuition: $22,080

Score: 98.75

#7. Eastern Illinois University

Online Master of Art in Political Science with an Option in Public Administration & Public Policy

Charleston, Illinois

Offered entirely online, this Online Master of Art in Political Science with an Option in Public Administration & Public Policy degree is made available by Eastern Illinois University. Students in this program of study have gone on to have careers working in human resource management, public policy research, protective services administration, and more. A total of 32 credits are needed to complete this degree program. Courses in this program of study include civic and nonprofit leadership, international policy issues, cities and urban policy in the US federal system, and more.

Tuition: $23,520

Score: 98.5

#8. Oregon State University

Online Masters in Public Policy

Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University offers students an Online Master of Public Policy degree. This program of study has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Students in this program will work through a curriculum that follows the principles outlined by the Network of School of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. A total of 46 credits are needed to complete this program. Students can expect to complete this master’s public policy degree in under two years. Courses in this program include econometrics, public policy theory, microeconomics, and more.

Tuition: $25,760

Score: 98.25

#9. Georgia Institute of Technology

Masters in Public Policy

Atlanta, Georgia

Students at the Georgia Institute of Technology can enroll in the school’s Master of Science in Public Policy degree. This master’s in public policy degree is offered to students on-campus. Through this program of study, students will develop their skills in policy analysis. They will also learn how to analyze contemporary issues to develop more effective public policies. A total of 46 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. Courses in this program of study include Applied Policy Methods, Microeconomics in Policy Analysis, Fundamentals of Public Policy, and more.

Tuition: $26,956

Score: 98

#10. University of California – Berkeley

Masters in Public Policy

Berkeley, California

This Master of Public Policy degree is made available to students on-campus at the University of California-Berkeley. This program of study is designed to be completed in approximately two years. Students in this program will learn to analyze policy to determine policy issues and how to implement better policy. To complete this program of study, students must earn a total of 48 credits. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has provided accreditation for this program. Classes in this program of study include Law and Public Policy, Introduction to Policy Analysis, The Economics of Public Policy Analysis.

Tuition: $34,326

Score: 97.5

#11. Florida State University

Master of Applied American Politics and Policy

Tallahassee, Florida

Students at Florida State University can enroll in the school’s Master of Applied American Politics and Policy degree. This on-campus master’s in public policy degree will teach students the skills needed for a variety of different careers. Those who have completed this degree have gone on to work in political fundraising, campaigning, lobbying, legislative affairs, and more. Florida State University has received accreditation for this degree program from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. A total of 36 credits are needed to complete this program of study.

Tuition: $39,960

Score: 97.25

#12. George Mason University

Masters of Public Policy

Arlington, Virginia

George Mason University offers its students the ability to enroll in a master of public policy degree. This degree program is made available to students on-campus. By enrolling in this program, students will work through a curriculum designed to teach them advanced policy analysis as well as policy development. They will focus on studying contemporary issues to learn ways that their policies can help improve the world of tomorrow. A total of 36 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. George Mason University has received accreditation for this program of study from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $48,456

Score: 97

#13. University of Kentucky

Masters of Public Policy

Lexington, Kentucky

This Master of Public Policy degree is offered on-campus to students at the University of Kentucky. Students can expect to complete this degree program in about two years. A total of 37 credits are needed to complete this program of study. Those who have completed this public policy master’s degree have gone on to work in government as well as positions in nonprofit management. The University of Kentucky offers a variety of concentrations including education policy, environmental policy, health policy, international policy and management, public finance, and more. The University of Kentucky has received accreditation for this program from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $48,846

Score: 96.75

#14. Georgia State University

Masters of Public Policy

Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia State University offers students a Master of Public Policy degree. This master’s in public policy degree is offered to students on-campus. Georgia State University has received accreditation for this program of study from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. A total of 39 credits are needed to complete this program of study. Students in this program of study will work to develop their skills as future policymakers. They will learn how to analyze different societal issues to effectively determine which policy decisions to make.

Tuition: $49,101

Score: 96.5

#15. University of Michigan

Masters of Public Policy

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Students at the University of Michigan can choose to enroll in the school’s Master of Public Policy degree. This master’s in public policy program provided training to students in a variety of different disciplines and skills. Students will develop their analytical, management, and research skills as they prepare for a career understanding policymaking. A total of 48 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. The University of Michigan has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Courses in this program of study include the politics of public policy, performance management, public management, and more.

Tuition: $49,624

Score: 96.25

#16. Brandeis University

Masters of Public Policy

Waltham, Massachusetts

Brandeis University offers this masters public policy to its students on-campus. Through the pursuit of this master’s in public policy degree, students will develop their skills as future policymakers. They will learn how to determine the efficacy of current policy through policy analysis. A total of 36 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. Brandeis University has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education. Those who have completed this program have gone on to work as lobbyists, in government, in positions at nonprofits, and many other careers.

Tuition: $51,940

Score: 96

#17. University of Chicago

Masters of Public Policy

Chicago, Illinois

This Master of Public Policy degree is offered on-campus to students at the University of Chicago. This program of study is designed to be completed in two years. A total of 30 credit hours are needed to complete this public policy master’s degree. The University of Chicago has received accreditation for this program from the Higher Learning Commission. Students in this master’s in public policy degree will develop skills in policy analysis and policymaking. Courses in this program include strategic foundations, political institutions, and much more.

Tuition: $54,780

Score: 95.75

#18. Arizona State University

Masters of Public Policy

Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona State University currently offers students a masters public policy degree. This program of study is offered to students on-campus. Through this degree program, students will develop their understanding of policy analysis and policymaking. This particular program focuses on an understanding policy that affects cities and urban areas. A total of 42 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. The Higher Learning Commission has provided accreditation for this masters in public policy degree program.

Tuition: $55,146

Score: 95.5

#19. University of New Hampshire

Masters of Public Policy 

Durham, New Hampshire

This masters public policy degree is offered on-campus by the University of New Hampshire. Students in this MPP degree program have gone on to have careers in government affairs, politics, communications, as well as careers working in policy research and analysis. A total of 40 credit hours are needed to complete this degree. The New England Commission on Higher Education has provided accreditation for this masters of public policy degree. By completing this degree, students will have developed high-level skills in policy analysis and policymaking.

Tuition: $55,620

Score: 95.25

#20. DePaul University

Masters of Public Policy

Chicago, Illinois

DePaul University offers students a masters public policy on their main campus. This on-campus MPP degree will provide students with the training needed to be effective policymakers. They will work to hone their skills in policy analysis through this master’s of public policy. Topics covered in this MPP degree program include law and public policy, policy design, advocacy, lobbying, and much more. Some of the courses in this MPP program are offered online. The Higher Learning Commission has provided accreditation for this program of study. A total of 52 credits are needed to complete this program.

Tuition: $56,160

Score: 95

#21. Brown University

Master of Public Affairs – Policy

Providence, Rhode Island

Students at Brown University can enroll in the school’s Master of Public Affairs – Policy degree. This MPP degree program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. A total of 39 credits are needed to earn this public policy master’s degree. Courses in this program of study include management and systems, economics, statistics, and experiential learning. Students will also take courses in institutions, issues and the politics of the policy process. By working through this public policy master’s degree program, students will further their understanding of policymaking and policy analysis.

Tuition: $57,112

Score: 94.75

#22. Columbia University

Masters of Public Policy and International Affairs

New York, New York

Columbia University students can enroll in the school’s public policy masters program. A total of 30 credits are needed to complete this program of study. This master’s of public policy program can be completed in approximately one year. Courses in this program of study include Economic and Political Development, Energy and Environment, Urban and Social Policy, and much more. By completing this master’s of public policy degree, students will have developed the skills needed for a great career affecting policy.

Tuition: $57,476

Score: 94.5

#23. Indiana University

Online Master of Public Administration & Policy

Bloomington, Indiana

This Master of Public Administration & Policy degree is offered to students by Indiana University. By enrolling in this public policy master’s degree program, students will become experts at policymaking and policy analysis. Students enrolled in this master’s in public policy online degree program are required to earn a total of 48 credits to complete this masters in public policy online degree. Indiana University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission for this program of study. Courses in this program of study include Public Management, Law and Public Affairs, and Public Finance and Budgeting.

Tuition: $61,284

Score: 94.25

#24. University of Minnesota

Masters of Public Policy

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Students enrolled at the University of Minnesota can enroll in this public policy masters degree. Through this program of study, students will develop a better understanding of the skills needed to become effective policymakers. They will learn the process of properly analyzing policy. Topics covered in this program of study include politics, governance, leadership, management, and much more. A total of 45 credits are needed to complete this program of study. The Higher Learning Commission has provided accreditation for this master’s public policy degree.

Tuition: $67,068

Score: 94

#25. American University

Masters of Public Policy

Washington, DC

American University currently offers a public policy masters degree to its students. This program of study has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. A total of 39 credits are needed to complete this program of study. Students can choose from several available concentrations including social policy, health policy, education policy, international development, public financial management, public management, and much more. Those who complete this degree will be prepared for a variety of careers in policymaking and policy-adjacent careers.

Tuition: $68,601

Score: 93.75

Related to public policy masters programs:

Free Colleges

Free College Courses

Largest Nonprofit Online Universities

Best Online Graduate Schools

Top Scholarships for Online Students

Affordable Nonprofit Online Colleges

This concludes our ranking of the top public policy masters degree programs for 2020.

NCPO Staff
January 2020