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Virginia Batten

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MPP and MPA Programs

University of Virginia, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy (Batten)

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy (Batten School) is was established in 2007 as one of 10 schools at the University of Virginia, following as $100 million gift.

Curriculum Design: The Batten MPP is notable among MPP/MPA programs in its explicit curricular focus on leadership. It has a higher proportion of courses in the Leadership subject than any other program reviewed to date. With an 18-course degree, the SIPA MPA is at the high end of course requirements. Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 79% of their course work in subjects that we classify as being in the Tools and Skills and Management Functions, and 24% their study is in economic or quantitative courses. This places the Batten MPP in the "high course requirement, more quantitative, tools/management leaning" curriculum type, along with such programs as the Berkeley MPP and the Ohio MPA.

Professional Program Features: The program provides the panoply of career services and student organizations associated with MPP/MPA programs. As stated on the Professional Development webpage  "We aim to provide our students with every competitive edge in an increasingly complex professional environment. Two hallmarks of our efforts come from our extensive short course program and the internship requirement. Short courses afford students the chance to acquire critical skills in a compact timeframe. Students can either supplement the core MPP curriculum by adding short courses to their existing courseload or they can replace up to six elective credits by taking short courses as graded courses. The Office of Career Services also offers workshops tailored toward job seekers. All MPP students also complete a 400 hour internship during their course of study."(At, accessed 20 February 2015).

Program Summary


University: University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Degree: MPP

Marketing Approach: "There are more than 250 schools of public policy and administration in the United States. As the nation’s only school explicitly committed to teaching both evidence-based leadership skills and rigorous policy analysis, the Batten School is positioned to be the national leader in the evolution of leadership training and policy research." (Dean's message at, accessed 20 February 2015.) "A Batten School education focuses on how leadership works, why context matters in decision making and what action leads to tangible results. We don’t favor any one career path. As a Batten School graduate you’ll be equipped to work wherever your strengths lead. You’ll be ready to unleash your abilities to analyze, advocate, persuade and mobilize from day one. Batten graduates lead impressive careers in domestic and international arenas, in nonprofit organizations and business and at every level of government." (At, accessed 20 February 2015.) "We’ve reinvented the Master of Public Policy, creating a new program that makes the most of the realities and possibilities of a complex, fluid world. We’ve focused on how leadership works, why context matters in decision making and what action leads to tangible results. The MPP Curriculum instills four distinctive elements into the traditional study of policy analysis: A focus on leadership skills; A multidisciplinary perspective on the evolving context of public policy; Attention to the role of psychological and non-rational factors in decision-making and group behavior; A fully realized commitment to experiential learning through hands–on projects, policy simulations and field experiences." (At, accessed 0 February 2015.) 

Degrees Awarded per Year: TBD [Information will be requested from the School]

Academic Unit within University: The Frank Batten School is one of 10 schools at the University of Virginia.

Related Academic Units and Degrees: The School offers a Master of Public Policy; an Accelerated Master of Public Policy (allows University of Virginia students from all majors to complete a bachelor's degree and an MPP in 5 years); a BA in Public Policy and Leadership; and dual degree programs with Law, Business, Education, Public Health, and Architecture. 

Posted Tuition: Annual 2014-15 tuition is $14,639 for Virginia residents and $24,202 for non-Virginia residents (set at rates of Arts & Sciences, at, accessed 20 February 2015).

Concentration/Curriculum Overview

MPP Degree Requirements

Summary: The core curriculum consists of 10 required Batten School courses: Four courses on the concepts and tools of problem solving and policy analysis (PPOL 6100: Economics of Public Policy I; PPOL 7110: Economics of Public Policy II; PPOL 6150: Research Methods and Data Analysis I; PPOL 7160: Research Methods and Data Analysis II); Two courses on leadership (PPOL 6050: Leadership in the Public Arena; PPOL 7410: Psychology for Leadership); One course on the context of public policy (PPOL 7010: Foundations and Contexts of Public Policy); Three courses centered on applied, experiential learning (PPOL 6250: Introduction to Policy Analysis; PPOL 7600/7610: Applied Policy Project and Thesis Project). In addition to core courses, students are required to take 18 elective credits. Students may enroll in electives offered at the Batten School and across the University. Batten students regularly enroll in courses at the Law School, the Darden School of Business, the Curry School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with approval by the Batten School Office of Academic Affairs.

Duration: 2 years

Academic Prerequisite: Applications require transcripts from bachelor's degree and Official GRE Scores (at, accessed 20 February 2015).

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 18 (10 core courses, plus 18 elective credits (6 courses) plus a require internship of a minimum of 400 hours, which for comparison purposes is assigned a 2-course credit).

Number of Required Courses: 12 (including 2-course equivalent for required internship).

Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): 6

Number of Electives Offered within Program: 19 three-credit courses (see plus about 9 "one-credit courses on areas of skill building, introductions to new fields, and a chance to deepen knowledge. Students can count up to six short courses (graded only) toward the elective requirement of the MPP. See SIS for course scheduling." (At, accessed 20 February 2015.)

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: Yes.

Internship Required: Elective

International Study Required: No

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Yes, Office of Career Services and Professional Development, at

Student-run Journal: Yes, Virginia Policy Review at:

Applied Projects: Yes

Pro Bono Consulting: Yes, FCG Consulting (see

Courses Offered: The full list of courses is found at (accessed 20 February 2015).

Course Material Online: Almost unique among MPP/MPA programs, there does not appear to be any course description (other than the title) publicly available online. 

Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): The table below indicates the distribution of instruction offered, based on the course assignments to subjects in the Course Map below, weighted by estimated enrolment determined by the PEACO Algorithm.   



I. Courses Required and Offered

Number of one-semester courses required for degree


Number of required courses


Number of elective courses taken


Number of courses offered


Enrolment weight of elective courses


II. Distribution of Courses (Enrolment-Adjusted) among Atlas

     Domains and Subjects

Tools and Skills


  - Strategy and Structure


  - Economic Analysis



  - Quantitative Methods and Management Sciences


  - Leadership, Communication, Professional Practice


Institutions and Context


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process


  - Ethics and Accountability


  - Socioeconomic, Political, and Global Contexts


Management Functions


  - Public Financial Management


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement


  - Other Management Functions


Policy Sectors


  - Fiscal, Monetary and Tax Policy


  - International Development


  - Health


  - Other Policy Sectors




III. Number of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student in NASPAA Required Competency Domains

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Total Course Equivalents taken in Required Competencies


IV. Ratio of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student to Estimated Requirement for Competency

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Ratio of Total Instruction in Competencies to Amount Needed


V. Number of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics or Quantitative

      Methods Courses taken by Typical Student

Economic Analysis


Fiscal, Monetary and Tax Policy; Financial Sector and Pensions


Quantitative Methods




Ratio of Quantitative Courses to Total Courses Required


Sum of Tools and Skills and Management Functions


Sum of Institutions and Context and Policy Sectors



Source: At and related sites (accessed 21 February 2015).

Page Created By: Ian Clark on 21 February 2015 and updated by Dave Marshall on 3 April 2015. Updating and editing may consist of substantive and/or formatting changes. Unless otherwise noted, however, information regarding a program's structure, curricular offerings and PEACO score is based on the program as it was on the date of page creation. The content presented on this page, except for the assignments of courses to Atlas subjects, the Instructional Distribution analysis, and the Commentary is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.

Virginia Batten MPP Course Map
 C o u r s e s  O f f e r e d,  l i s t e d  b y  P u b l i c  P o l i c y  a n d  M a n a g e m e n t  S u b j e c t

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  PPOL 6250: Introduction to Policy Analysis (R)
  PPOL 5025: Wise Interventions

 Economic Analysis

  PPOL 6100: Economics of Public Policy I (R)
  PPOL 6100: Economics of Public Policy II (R)
  PPOL 7115: Public Economics

 Quantitative Methods

  PPOL 6150: Research Methods and Data Analysis I (R)
  PPOL 7150: Research Methods and Data Analysis II (R)
  Data Wrangling (1/3)

 Analytic Methods

  PPOL 7045: Game Theory
  PPOL 7055: Strategies and Processes of Negotiation
  Data Visualization (1/3)
  GIS for Public Policy (1/3)
  Game Theory (1/3)

 Leadership Skills

  PPOL 6050: Leadership in the Public Arena (R)
  PPOL 7410: Psychology for Leadership (R)
  PPOL 5035: Leading and Managing Diverse Groups

 Communication Skills

  Public Speaking Workshop (1/3)

 Professional Practice

  PPOL 7600/7610: Applied Policy Project and Thesis Project (2R)
  Internship (2R)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  PPOL 7010: Foundations and Contexts of Public Policy (R)
  PPOL 6710: Congress 101

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  PPOL 7025: Values-Based Leadership

 Social and Political Context

 Intergovernmental and Global Context

  PPOL 7075: Global Leadership
  PPOL 5760: International Financial Institutions

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

  PPOL 5460: Budgetary Process Politics
  PPOL 6765: Federal and State Budgeting
  The Appropriations Process (1/3)

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

  Evaluating Publci Programs (1/3)

 Human Resource Management

 Information Management and Technology

  Government 2.0 (1/3)
  Cyper Security Policy (1/3)

 Program and Service Delivery

 Regulatory Policy and Management

  PPOL 6775: Federal Rulemaking
  Food Policy II (1/3)

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

 International Development

  PPOL 6770: Development Economics
  PPOL 7015: Advanced Development Policy

 Social Policy and Welfare


  Global Health Policy (1/3)


  PPOL 5600: Education Policy

 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

 Environment and Sustainability

 Agriculture and Resources

  Food Policy I (1/3)

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

  International Trade Policy and Practice (1/3)

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  PPOL 7050: National Security Process
  PPOL 6715: Leadership in U.S. Foreign Policymaking
  Intelligence Policy (1/3)

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Markets

 Other Policy Sectors

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance