May 21, 2018  
2017-2018 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
    
2017-2018 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog

Master of Public Policy (MPP)


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The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is designed to be a two-year professional degree, although part-time students may take significantly longer to complete the degree.

Students are normally required to complete 39 credits of coursework (13 courses), including 24 credits (8 courses) in a common curriculum component, that includes an Internship, 9 credits (3 courses) in a policy concentration area, 3 credits of free elective (1 course), and a 3 credit Policy Research Seminar. Students are also required to prepare a portfolio of their professional work and present it to a faculty committee for review and approval.

The Common Curriculum Component consists of eight courses required of all students in the MPP program. Some courses in the Common Curriculum Component have prerequisites which can/may be fulfilled by courses taken as an undergraduate. If a prerequisite is not fulfilled by a course taken in obtaining a bachelor’s degree, the Free Elective may be used to fulfill one prerequisite, including one appropriate undergraduate course. No other courses taken as prerequisites will count toward the MPP degree requirements.

Requirements


Common Curriculum Component


Some courses in the common curriculum component have prerequisites that may have been fulfilled by courses taken as an undergraduate. If the prerequisite is not fulfilled by a course taken in obtaining a bachelor’s degree, the Free Elective may be used to fulfill one prerequisite, including one undergraduate course. Otherwise, no other upper-division courses taken as prerequisites will count toward the MPP degree requirements.

Internship


The Master of Public Policy requires an Internship (3 credits) for students with less than two years of substantial and relevant public policy or public management experience. The field work component of the Internship (2 credits) will be waived if an individual has at least two years substantial and relevant work experience in a policy making or appropriate public management position, although all students must enroll in the academic course component (1 credit) of the Internship to graduate. All students will be required to participate in the 1 credit academic seminar component of the Internship for purposes of reviewing the students’ professional portfolios.

Students seeking a waiver should make a formal request in writing to both the Department Chair and Internship Coordinator in the semester prior to when they plan on completing the internship requirement.  This written request should include a detailed discussion of the substantive reasons why the applicant’s previous experience and professional background merits a waiver.  Waivers are granted at the sole discretion of the Department of Public Policy.

Students will select an internship venue from a pre-approved list of local, state, and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector businesses. The internship’s objective is to expose students to a policy-related or public management setting that allows them to integrate public policy theory (in their academic course) with the real world of policy making and public management in their area of substantive interest. In the academic seminar, interns will share workplace experiences and analyze these experiences within the framework of public policy and public management theory.

For more detailed information on the Department’s Internship policies including waivers and deadlines for requests, please see: http://www.umassd.edu/seppce/departments/publicpolicy/resources/internships/

For more information about internships, please see: http://www.naspaa.org/principals/resources/internship.asp
For a searchable listing of internship opportunities in Massachusetts, visit  http://www.massitsallhere.com/stayhere
 


Professional Portfolio


The portfolio presentation is a final requirement of all Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidates.  The goal of the portfolio is to present a “cumulative experience assessment” that integrates the academic experience of the student in the MPP program with a reflective assessment by the student of how that experience has impacted their understanding of public policy both intellectually and practically.  This goal is met by two deliverables: a portfolio submission and a portfolio presentation (both explained in greater detail below).  Faculty members review the submission of the MPP candidate, some level of inquiry is given, and the candidate finalizes the process by completing an exit interview.
 

Students will begin building toward the internship starting with their matriculation into the MPP, when each student will be required to start constructing a professional portfolio. The professional portfolio will include:

  • research papers written for courses taken in the program
  • policy white papers written for courses taken in the program
  • papers or products from the course in Applied Policy Research
  • documentation of other professional or scholarly achievements over the course of the student’s enrollment in the MPP
  • newspaper clippings about the individual’s achiements, public service and awards
  • published articles in trade magazines or newspapers
  • professional certifications, licenses and other evidence of professional development
  • evidence of presentations or attendance at meetings of relevant professional associations
  • letters of commendation and letters of recommendation from supervisors or others in a position to evaluate the individual’s academic and work performance
  • other items of importance as determined by the student and faculty advisor

More information about the portfolio is available here:  http://www.umassd.edu/seppce/departments/publicpolicy/resources/portfolio/

 

Concentration Area


The MPP requires students to declare a policy area concentration by the beginning of their second semester. The policy area concentration will be fulfilled by taking three or more courses on a related topic(s). Special Topics courses and Independent Study courses may count toward the concentration if they are relevant to the student’s declared area of concentration and are approved in advance by the Program Director.

Available concentration areas include:

  • Public Management
  • Environmental Policy
  • Education Policy

Students may propose an individualized concentration area from available courses and submit it for approval to the Program Director before the end of the student’s first semester.

Public Management


(any 3 of the following courses):

Environmental Policy


(any 3 of the following courses):

Education Policy


(any 3 of the following courses):

Recommended Schedule for sequencing courses to complete the program in two years


Year Two – Fall


  • Concentration Area Class or Internship
  • Concentration Area Class or Internship

Year Two – Spring


  • Concentration Area Class or Internship
  • Concentration Area Class or Internship

Total credits: 39


Articulation and Exchange Agreement with Kassel University (Germany)


The Department of Public Policy has a student exchange and course-sharing partnership with Kassel University’s (Germany) Master in Global Political Economy program. The exchange agreement allows up to 3 students annually to study in Germany for periods of 4 weeks to one full semester (or summer). All courses in Germany are taught in English and are pre-approved for transfer credit in the MPP. Consult the UMass Dartmouth International Programs Office for more information.

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