Real-world experience is an important part of the MPP program. Here are three notable ways MPP students receive hands-on opportunities to hone their skills.

1. Spring Consulting Projects

Teams of first-year MPP students serve as consultants to clients. The semester begins with a 48-hour memo experience  and ends with client recommendations. Students define a problem, frame a policy question, conduct interviews in the field, research and develop policy options, undertake analysis, draw conclusions, and make recommendations.  

The project helps prepare students for their master’s projects and gives them concrete experience to show future employers. 

If you are an organization or an agency with a policy question that needs answering and you are interested in being a client, explore more information on the Spring Consulting Project.

Deandrea Newsome lets us follow along on her 48-Hour Memo journey.

2. Worldwide Internships


Students Ipsita Das and TJ Lowdermilk worked with faculty member Subhrendu Pattanayak in India. "Getting into the field with Professor Pattanayak was terrific," said Lowdermilk. "He stressed the importance of relying on empirical evidence for policy analysis because theoretical models fail to capture how people actually act."

MPP students also complete a required internship.  Students test new analytical tools, make connections for their master’s projects and/or determine areas for further study.

MPP students have interned at organizations such as:

  • The World Bank
  • UNICEF, India
  • US Agency for International Development
  • Action Aid, Ghana
  • FBI: Counterintelligence Unit
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • US Senate Finance Committee
  • World Health Organization
  • UN Environmental Programme​

3. Capstone Master's Research Project

All students work closely with a faculty advisor while completing a yearlong capstone master’s project.

For his project, Tyler Gamble MPP'17 applied principles from behavioral economics to a local government system. He ran an experiment to find out if small changes could get more people to pay their property taxes on time.