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Standard Curriculum by Semester

MPP students are required to take the core curriculum classes but also have flexibility to explore their interests and expand other skills. Following is the standard curriculum by semester that most students follow to meet their graduation requirements, which can be found in the MPP Student Handbook.

Semester 1

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  • Student in class. Man in military uniform

    Public Policy and Veterans: A Social Policy Seminar

    During the 2019-2020 school year, some MPP students opted to take the new course: Public Policy and Veterans: A Social Policy Seminar—The Case of Returning Military Veterans. Four students in the class were veterans themselves, including one who was active-duty military. All students worked directly with clients on veterans’ issues. For example, one team worked with Military Outreach USA on the issues of loneliness and social isolation for veterans. The student team produced a report and pamphlet for the client. At the end of the seven-week course, students presented their final projects in front of retired Brigadier General J.R. Gorham, North Carolina National Guard (top right).


    Read more about this course >>


Microeconomics and Public Policymaking (PUBPOL 810)
Politics of the Policy Process (PUBPOL 814)
Statistics and Data Analysis (PUBPOL 812)
Policy Analysis 1 (PUBPOL 803.01)
Ethics (PUBPOL 816), a specialization Foundation course (Globalization and Governance, PUBPOL 820, or Topics in Social Policy, PUBPOL 850), or another approved substitute

Semester 2

Microeconomics: Policy Applications (PUBPOL 811)
Quantitative Evaluation Methods (PUBPOL 813)
Policy Analysis II (PUBPOL 804)

Summer Internship (usually completed after first year)

Semester 3

Public Management (PUBPOL 815)
Ethics (PUBPOL 816, if deferred from Semester 1) or Elective
Master’s Project I (PUBPOL 807)

Semester 4

Leadership Skills Modules*
Master’s Project II (PUBPOL 808)

*Includes topics such as negotiation and leadership. Students pick two 1.5 credit (1/2 semester) courses or one three-credit (full semester) course.

Sample Masters Project

For his masters project, Tyler Gamble MPP'17 ran an experiment with Guilford County, N.C.  to find out if small changes to a single letter (low-cost, behavioral economic "nudges" ) could get more people to pay their taxes on time.