Public Policy

Major: Public Policy
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 44.0501
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
11-1031; 19-3094

About the Program

Drexel’s MS in Public Policy is similar in its core curriculum to a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) program, as it is designed for people who work, or who would like to work, for government or a nonprofit organization. It is innovative and distinct in at least two key respects: focus on case study research and distinct track of specialization.

Case Study Research: The program has a required core curriculum of nine courses, specifically designed for students to:

  • develop an understanding of the social, political and ethical context of policy research, and how this understanding can be applied to an applied practice of policy analysis;
  • conceptualize, design and conduct social research for policy purposes, as well as comprehensively analyze existing social research data;
  • recognize the history of public policy institutions in America and the management and governance of nonprofit organizations; and
  • understand the concept of sustainability as it relates to policy planning, design, and implementation.

In addition to the core courses, the program has a focus on case study research as a unifying element of the curriculum. The curriculum reinforces coursework with a series of accompanying 1-credit, online, Case Study Research co-requisites. Students are required to choose a specific case study topic that they will work on for the duration of their time in the program. In each subsequent Case Study Research course, students continue further research and writing on their chosen case study topic. Thus by the end of the program students will have produced a polished, in-depth analysis of a specific case that they can use to demonstrate expertise in a given policy area.

Specialization Tracks: With the approval and support of the program director, students can craft a specialized course of study with their three electives, or they can take courses in the following:

  • Economic Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Information Policy
  • Science and Technology Policy

For additional information, view the Center for Public Policy page on the College of Arts and Sciences' website.  Current Drexel Thomas Kline School of Law students, please see the page on joint JD-MS Public Policy degrees for more information.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance for graduate study at Drexel University requires a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution. There is no pre-requisite undergraduate major or specific coursework. Although admission requirements vary by program, regular acceptance typically requires a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate work. The GPA for any graduate work must be at least 3.0.

The admission committee evaluates all credentials submitted by applicants to determine a student’s ability and potential to succeed in graduate study.  Applicants to this program should also include their intended area of focus (see the admissions page for the essay prompt) and are often contacted for an information interview. The committee is interested in the applicant’s ability to contribute to his/her program of study and to the University community as a whole.

Drexel is extending the same scholarship opportunities to Master of Science in Public Policy students who enroll in 8.0 credits that are usually only available for full-time programs (minimum enrollment of nine credits for full-time status).

Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information about requirements and deadlines, as well as instructions for applying online.

Degree Requirements

Students take required courses for the MS in Public Policy from multiple schools within Drexel University, including the Center for Public Policy in the College of Arts and Sciences, the LeBow College of Business, and the College of Computing and Informatics.

Students are required to receive a grade of “B” or better in all core coursework in order to fulfill the requirements of the MS in Public Policy degree and be eligible for graduation. This policy is in addition to the Drexel University Graduate College policy that requires all graduate students to maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA per term as well as an overall 3.0 GPA for graduation purposes.

Required Courses
BUSN 502Essentials of Economics3.0
ECON 550Econometrics3.0
ECON 616Public Finance and Cost Benefit Analysis3.0
INFO 680US Government Information3.0
PLCY 503Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis3.0
PLCY 504Methods of Policy Analysis3.0
PLCY 506Institutional Dynamics of the Policy Process3.0
PLCY 507Nonprofit Organizations3.0
STAT 601Business Statistics3.0
or STAT 610 Statistics for Business Analytics
Case Study Courses 9.0
The curriculum reinforces coursework with a series of accompanying 1-credit, online, Case Study Research courses. In the first, students are introduced to case study methodology and practice, and required to choose a specific case that they will work on for the duration of the core curriculum. In each subsequent Case Study Research course, students continue further research and writing on their chosen case study topic. Thus by the end of the program students have produced a polished, in-depth analysis of a specific case that they can use to demonstrate expertise in a given policy area.
Introduction to Case Study Research
Case Study Literature Review
Case Study Document Review
Case Study Interviews
Case Study Colloquium
Case Study Research II (1-credit course taken 3 times)
Case Study Final Project
Elective Courses *
PLCY T580Special Topics in Public Policy9.0
Total Credits45.0
*

Elective courses are taught under the PLCY T580 Special Topics in Public Policy, or one of the participating departments. Students are required to take three 3-credit graduate level courses to fulfill the electives requirement. Public Policy students are able to select any graduate level courses (pending department approval) to create an electives "track" based on their own interests. Students have taken this opportunity to explore areas such as Education Policy, Environmental Policy and Urban Systems.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredits
BUSN 502Essentials of Economics3.0
PLCY 504Methods of Policy Analysis3.0
PLCY 506Institutional Dynamics of the Policy Process3.0
PLCY 510Introduction to Case Study Research1.0
 Term Credits10.0
Winter
PLCY 503Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis3.0
PLCY 511Case Study Literature Review1.0
PLCY 512Case Study Document Review1.0
STAT 601Business Statistics3.0
 Term Credits8.0
Spring
PLCY 507Nonprofit Organizations3.0
PLCY 513Case Study Interviews1.0
PLCY 516Case Study Research II1.0
Approved Elective3.0
 Term Credits8.0
Second Year
Fall
PLCY 515Case Study Colloquium1.0
STAT 610Statistics for Business Analytics3.0
Approved elective3.0
 Term Credits7.0
Winter
ECON 550Econometrics3.0
PLCY 516Case Study Research II (2+3rd of 3 times)2.0
PLCY T580Special Topics in Public Policy3.0
 Term Credits8.0
Spring
PLCY 517Case Study Final Project1.0
Approved Elective3.0
 Term Credits4.0
Total Credit: 45.0

Public Policy Faculty

Brendan Boyle, MPP (Harvard University). Adjunct Professor. Pennsylvania State Representative, District 170
Rebecca Clothey, PhD (University of Pittsburgh). Assistant Professor. Comparative and international education, education of ethnic and linguistic minorities, sociology of education.
Richardson Dilworth, PhD (Johns Hopkins University) Director, Center for Public Policy. Professor. American political development, urban politics, public policy.
Christian Hunold, PhD (University of Pittsburgh). Associate Professor. Environmental policy; comparative politics; urban wildlife; political theory.
Franco Montalto, PhD (Cornell University). Associate Professor. Effects of built infrastructure on societal water needs, ecohydrologic patterns and processes, ecological restoration, green design, water interventions.
Mark Stehr, PhD (University of California at Berkeley) Assistant Director School of Economics. Associate Professor. Health economics, health behaviors, public finance, public policy.
Joseph Torsella, BA (University of Pennsylvania) Distinguished Visiting Fellow.
Kristene Unsworth, PhD (University of Washington). Assistant Professor. Information policy, ethics, government information.
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