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MPP Program Attributes

The McGeorge School of Law Master of Public Policy (MPP) prepares professionals for careers capably making and effectively implementing public policy decisions. Graduates of the  48-unit program will be well-prepared for professional careers in government, non-profit and private sectors. Consequential public policy issues are characterized by conflict, complexity and uncertainty. Students can complete the program in a full-time or part-time format. Successfully addressing such issues is the mission of this program.

The McGeorge MPP has four distinctive attributes:

  1. Only MPP program in Sacramento, capital of largest state in nation and noted for engaging policy issues of great significance, including:
    • Health care
    • Natural resource management (water supply, ecosystem function, the Delta, marine protected area network)
    • Sustainability (energy and land use policies; business practices and advocacy groups)
  2. Only MPP within a law school, rooting understanding of public policy making and implementation in the law. Students receive deeper exposure to law than common in MPP programs, including a required course in the intersections of policy and law in statutes and regulations. Most areas of concentration include a course in the relevant field of law, providing students an important legal context for action in those policy areas, whether health, water, sustainability, governmental reform or energy, for example. In contrast to a law degree alone, MPP graduates will have understanding of competencies in use of a variety of tools not only to analyze public policy issues, but also to design and to implement more effective public policies. Understanding political dimensions of the use of laws and legal actions in public policy processes will further empower MPP graduates to be effective professionals.
  3. MPP with a focus on professional skills actually used in the real world, including:
    • Accurate identification of the type of public policy issue confronted and of useful tools of analysis and action (e.g., degrees of complexity and uncertainty, extent and depth of conflicts, capacities to make decisions and to implement choices)
    • Capacity to understand, analyze and recommend actions with sufficient understanding of relevant values, past history, competitive forces, and adaptive human behaviors to reasonably assess probable longer term effects of public policy choices
    • Strategic leadership capacity, to pursue a policy goal by effective engagement at key decision points and mobilization and leverage of critical resources
    • Ability to convey information effectively in several formats-written, verbal, and web-emphasizing those useful to decision makers, professionals in a field, and citizens
    • Effective identification, collection, organization and analysis of information,  including demographic, economic, fiscal and agency activity data
    • All written course assignments expected to take the form of professional work products (e.g., issue brief, decision memo, budget change proposal...)
  4. MPP with a deeply experiential focus, including:
    •  A required externship in the first year, building on a successful program that places McGeorge law students in agencies or firms
    • Graduate assistant research positions focused on significant public policy issues
    • Participation in student teams undertaking class projects linked to public policy processes
    • Access to internship programs linking students to opportunities with agencies, nonprofits and firms involved in making or implementing public policies

About the MPP Program

More Information


Contact Casey Heinzen, Assistant Director, Public Policy Programs
Email | 916.340.6192