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MPP and MPA Programs

University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The Ford School of Public Policy is one of 19 schools and colleges at the University of Michigan.

Curriculum Design: The Ford School offers an MPP and an MPA. The MPA is a one-year (10 month) program that focuses on analytical skills and has an applied Integrated Policy Exercise. 

With an 18-course degree, the Michigan Ford MPP has one of the higher course requirements among the MPP/MPA programs. Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 73% of their course work in policy-oriented subjects and 27% in management-oriented subjects. Typical students take about 37% of their course work in subjects with high math-economics content. This places the Michigan Ford MPP in the "high course requirement, policy-oriented, higher math-economics content" curricular type, along with such programs as the Berkeley MPP and the Chicago MPP (see MPP/MPA Curricular Types). Among peers in its curricular type, the Michigan Ford MPP has as a high number of courses and a high proportion of courses taught within the school. The competency gap analysis below suggests that a Michigan Ford MPP student taking the required courses and a random selection of listed electives would, on average, graduate with approximately 21 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies, including shortfalls of 4 course-weeks in Leadership Skills and in Public Financial  Management, and shortfalls of 3 course-weeks in each of Socioeconomic and Political Context, Human Resource Management, and Information and Technology Management.

For the Michigan Ford MPA our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 82% of their course work in policy-oriented subjects and 18% in management-oriented subjects. Typical students take about 50% of their course work in subjects with high math-economics content. This places the Michigan Ford MPA in the "low course requirement, policy-oriented, higher math-economics content" curricular type, along with such programs as the Queen's MPA and the Maryland MPM (see MPP/MPA Curricular Types). Among peers in its curricular type, the Michigan Ford MPA has as a high number of courses and a high proportion of courses taught within the school. The competency gap analysis below suggests that a Michigan Ford MPA student taking the required courses and a random selection of listed electives would, on average, graduate with approximately 60 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies, including shortfalls of 13 course-weeks in Policy and Management Analysis and 12 course-weeks in Democratic Institutions and the Policy Process..

Professional Program Features: The Ford School makes extensive use of current and former practitioners in its teaching. Its courses make substantial use of case studies. There are extensive professional development modules, career counselling services and co-curricular activities with a professional focus as described at http://fordschool.umich.edu/careers-internships/graduate-students/services. The Ford School lists 7 policy centres and initiatives on it Research Centers page (http://fordschool.umich.edu/research-centers): the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) conducts, supports and fosters applied academic research to inform local, state, and urban policy issues; the Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies is charged with promoting cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary research, educational opportunities, and dialogue to improve the design and implementation of public policies in societies that are increasingly complex and diverse locally, nationally, and globally; the Education Policy Initiative (EPI) is a program within the Ford School that brings together nationally-recognized education policy scholars focused on the generation and dissemination of policy-relevant education research; the International Policy Center supports the faculty and students of the University of Michigan and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in creating new knowledge, fostering considered debate, and developing the policy leaders of tomorrow; the National Poverty Center (NPC) conducts and promotes multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research, mentors and trains emerging scholars, and informs public discourse on the causes and consequences of poverty; and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program is devoted to interdisciplinary research and teaching on the politics and processes of science and technology policymaking.  

Program Summary

Website: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/

University: University of Michigan

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Degree: Master of Public Policy (MPP) / Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Degrees Awarded per Year: Not Stated

Posted Tuition: Michigan resident: $11,373 per year; Non-resident: $20,692 per year for 2014-15, at http://www.ro.umich.edu/tuition/tuition-fees.php, accessed 17 May 2015.

Concentration/ Curriculum Overview:

Masters of Public Policy: Our master’s level curriculum trains students with a broad range of interests for a wide set of jobs, providing a toolbox of research, analytical, and management skills that are widely transferable across sectors and issue areas. Core courses develop a foundation of skills, knowledge, and concepts in economics, statistics, political analysis, ethics, and public management. All students receive serious quantitative training in data analysis and program evaluation, moving as a cohort through a carefully sequenced set of courses. Students then have tremendous flexibility in choosing from advanced classes in social policy, international trade, education, national security, human rights, politics, and more. They combine their policy courses with electives from elsewhere around the U-M, including its 18 professional schools—such as law, business, education, and urban planning—or one of the top-ranked social science departments. Students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom, gaining hands-on, practical policy experience. We require a policy-related summer internship, and students are encouraged to take an Applied Policy Seminar, enabling them to do real-world policy consulting with classmates under faculty supervision. Students may also choose to pursue a dual degree program, combining the MPP with simultaneous study in another graduate school program.

Masters of Public Administration: This one-year (ten month) program helps students to strengthen their analytical abilities and core technical skills while offering the opportunity to explore a policy field in depth. The 30 hours of course work required of MPA students includes the Integrated Policy Exercise and at least 15 additional hours from the MPP core curriculum.

Degree Requirements:

MPP Summary: The degree requires completion of 48 credit hours (most courses are 3 credit hours), with a total of 36 credits required within the Ford School. Additionally, the Rackham Cognate requirement external link requires that students must complete a minimum of 4 credits of graduate-level coursework outside their primary discipline.

MPA Summary: The degree requires completion of 30 credit hours (most courses are 3 credit hours), with a total of 21 credits required within the Ford School. Additionally, the Rackham Cognate requirement external link requires that students must complete a minimum of 4 credits of graduate-level coursework outside their primary discipline.

Duration: MPP: 24 months; MPA: 10 months

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: MPP: 18 (16 plus required internship equivalent to 2 course-equivalents); MPA: 12

Number of required courses: MPP: 12; MPA: 8

Number of Typically Taken Electives: MPP: 6; MPA: 4

Number of Electives offered within program: 68

Comprehensive examination: MPP: No; MPA: No

Thesis required: MPP: No; MPA: No

Internship required: MPP: Yes; MPA: No

International study required: No, but optional

Co-Curricular Activities Supportive to Degree: Yes        

Professional development and career support: Yes

 Student run journal: Yes, Michigan Journal of Public Affairs, http://mjpa.umich.edu/

Applied Projects: MPP: Yes; MPA: Yes

Pro Bono Consulting: No

Courses Offered: The full list of 2013-14 Ford courses for Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 are found at http://fordschool.umich.edu/courses/index.php. With permission, students can also select graduate-level courses offered by other units at the Ford school. The courses offered by the Ford school have been assigned to Atlas subjects in the map below. Required courses are indicated by (R). Where the required course has two options, they are both designated with (R/2).

Course Material Online: An extensive collection of syllabi can be found at: http://fordschool.umich.edu/curriculum/documents/u/ (accessed 29 May 2014).

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.

 

Michigan

Michigan

MPA

MPP

Curricular Type Parameters

Number of Courses Required for Graduation

10.0

18.0

Math-Economics Subjects (EA, QM, Macro, Fin Markets)

50.0%

37.1%

Policy-Oriented Subjects

82.8%

73.0%

Management-Oriented Subjects

17.2%

27.0%

Enrolment-Adjusted Course Distribution

Analysis and Skill Subjects

59.0%

50.0%

  - Policy and Management Analysis

4.0%

7.9%

  - Economic Analysis

22.5%

14.4%

 

  - Quantitative  and Analytic Methods

28.9%

24.1%

  - Leadership and Communication Skills

3.5%

3.6%

Institutions and Context Subjects

11.6%

19.4%

  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

4.8%

8.6%

  - Ethics, Rights and Accountability

3.3%

7.2%

  - Socioeconomic, Political, and Global Contexts

3.5%

3.6%

Management Function Subjects

7.6%

8.3%

  - Public Financial Management

0.7%

0.7%

  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement

4.0%

4.7%

  - Other Management Functions

2.8%

2.9%

Policy Sector Subjects

21.8%

22.3%

  - Macroeconomic Policy

2.1%

2.2%

  - International Development

2.1%

2.2%

  - Health

0.7%

0.7%

  - Other Policy Sectors

16.9%

17.3%

                              Total

100%

100%

Competency Gap Analysis (in Course-Weeks of Instruction)

Course-Weeks in Core Subjects taken by Typical Student

94

168

Surplus or Shortfall Relative to Core Competency Requirement

  - Policy and Management Analysis (CCR = 18 course-weeks)

-13

-1

  - Economic Analysis (CCR = 12)

15

19

  - Quantitative Methods (CCR = 12)

18

32

  - Analytic Methods (CCR = 6)

-2

2

  - Leadership Skills (CCR = 9)

-6

-4

  - Communication Skills (CCR = 3 courses)

-1

0

  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process (CCR = 18)

-12

1

  - Ethics, Rights and Accountability (CCR = 6 courses)

-2

10

  - Socioeconomic and Political Context (CCR = 6)

-4

-3

  - Global Context (CCR = 3)

0

2

  - Public Financial Management (CCR = 6)

-5

-4

  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement (CCR = 6)

-1

4

  - Human Resource Management (CCR = 3)

-3

-3

  - Information and Technology Management (CCR = 3)

-3

-3

  - Macroeconomic Policy (CCR = 6)

-3

-1

  - Environment and Sustainability (CCR = 3)

-2

-1

Subject-Matter Shortfall for Typical Student (Sum of Shortfalls)

-60

-21

Additional Parameters

Total Courses Listed

70

72

Courses Designated as Required (inc. Specialization Reqs)

6.0

12.0

Archetypal Public Affairs Subjects (P&MA, EA, QM, DI&PP)

56.7%

51.4%

Archetypal International Affairs Subjects (GC, ID, DS&FR)

10.6%

10.8%

Courses Required and Offered

Courses Required to Graduate

10

18

Required Courses

6

12

Elective Courses Taken by Typical Student

4

6

Elective Courses Listed

64

60

Enrolment Weight of Elective Course

0

0.1

Total Courses Listed

70

72

   

Source: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/courses/?course_level=graduate&year=2013&academic_year=2013-2014&term=any&research_interest_filter=any&keywords=&sa=Search#, http://fordschool.umich.edu/curriculum/mpp/index.php; http://fordschool.umich.edu/curriculum/mpa/index.php (accessed 14 November 2013).

Page Created By: Kyle Richardson on 14 November 2013 and updated by Ian Clark on 12 December 2013 and on 7 September 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.

Michigan Ford 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

  PUBPOL 515/BE 550 - Non-Market Strategy: Setting the Rules of the Game
  PUBPOL 587 - Public Management (MPP: R) (MPA: R/4)

 Economic Analysis

  PUBPOL 555 - Microeconomics A (R)
  PUBPOL 558 - Microeconomics B: Basics of Economic Decision-Making (R)

 Quantitative Methods

  PUBPOL 513 - Calculus (MPP: R)
  PUBPOL 529 - Statistics (R)
  PUBPOL 571 - Applied Econometrics (MPP: R/2)
  PUBPOL 567 - Practicum in Data Analysis Using STATA
  PUBPOL 647 - Data Analysis Using Excel I
  PUBPOL 648 - Data Analysis Using Excel II

 Analytic Methods

  PUBPOL 687 - Negotiations
  PUBPOL 750.008 - Topics: Qualitative Methods
  PUBPOL 778 - Project Skills Workshop
  PUBPOL 830 - Immersion in Research
  PUBPOL 810 - Policy Research Seminar

 Leadership Skills

  PUBPOL 682 - Leadership & Communication in State-level Policy Making
  PUBPOL 750.001 - Topics: Local Govt Leadership in Times of Change
  PUBPOL 750.006 - Topics: Leadership and Grand Strategy

 Communication Skills

  PUBPOL 521 - Introduction to Policy Writing
  PUBPOL 779 - Presentation Skills


Multiple Subjects

 Capstone Courses, Internships, Major Projects, Theses, etc.

  PUBPOL 578 - Applied Policy Seminar
  PUBPOL 638 - Integrated Policy Exercise (MPP: 2R, MPA: R)
  PUBPOL 735 - Professional Development
  Internship (MPP: 2R)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  PUBPOL 510 - The Politics of Public Policy (MPP: R) (MPA: R/4)
  PUBPOL 625 - The Legislative Branch: Structure and Current Issues
  PUBPOL 683 - Elections and Campaigns

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  PUBPOL 580 - Values, Ethics, and Public Policy (MPP: R) (MPA: R/4)

 Social and Political Context

  PUBPOL 736 - Poverty & Inequality
  PUBPOL 750.003 - Topics: Race and Urban Inequality

 Global Context

  PUBPOL 662 - Global Corporate Social Responsibility
  PUBPOL 675 - Human Rights and International Public Policy
  PUBPOL 717 - Social Activism, Democracy, and Globalization from the Perspective of the Global South

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

 
PUBPOL 715 - Public Budgeting and Financial Planning

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

 
PUBPOL 639 - Quantitative Methods of Program Evaluation (MPP: R/2) (MPA: R/4)
 
PUBPOL 821 - Advanced Program Evaluation

 Human Resources Management

 Information Management and Technology

 Local Government Management

  PUBPOL 756 - Local Government, Opportunity for Activism

 Regulatory Policy and Management

  PUBPOL 688 - Intellectual Property and Information Law

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

  PUBPOL 671 - Policy and Management in the Nonprofit Sector
  PUBPOL 750.006 - Topics: Latino Ident Pol, Advocacy & Represent

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

  PUBPOL 542 - International Financial Policy
  PUBPOL 556 - Macroeconomics
  PUBPOL 750.009 - Topics: Wielding Economic Power

 International Development

  PUBPOL 674 - Economic and Social Policies in a Selected Emerging Market Economy
  PUBPOL 750.004 - Economic Policy Issues in Developing Countries
  PUBPOL 750.007 - Topics: Human Rights

 Social Policy and Welfare

  PUBPOL 746 - Social Welfare Policy
  PUBPOL 750.005 - Topics: Civil Rights Policy in the U.S.

 Health

  PUBPOL 642 - Socioeconomic Policy and Health Policy

 Education

  PUBPOL 631 - Economics of Education
  PUBPOL 628 - Democracy and Education
  PUBPOL 713 - Causal Inference in Education Policy
  PUBPOL 750.002 - Topics: Future of the American Research University

 Employment, Labour and Immigration

  PUBPOL 677 - Immigration Policy

 Arts and Culture

 Cities and Urban Development

  PUBPOL 626 - The History and Future of Detroit

 Environment and Sustainability

  PUBPOL 564 - Government Regulation of Industry and Environment

 Agriculture and Resources

 Science, Technology and Innovation

  PUBPOL 650 - Introduction to Science and Technology Policy Analysis
  PUBPOL 668 - Topics: Science and Policy

 Industry, Trade and Investment

  PUBPOL 541- International Trade Policy
  PUBPOL 780 - Topics in Policymaking: Trade Agreements and Negotiations as a Policy Instrument

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

  PUBPOL 519/SNRE 574 - Sustainable Energy Systems

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  PUBPOL 613 - Nuclear Weapons
  PUBPOL 624 - Media, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy
  PUBPOL 716.001 - Introduction to Chinese Policy
  PUBPOL 716.002 - Introduction to Chinese Policy Tour
  PUBPOL 750.001 - Topics: Cyber Conflict
  PUBPOL 751.001 - Chinese Foreign Policy
  PUBPOL 766 - Issues in US National Security
  PUBPOL 750.002 - Topics: Doing Diplomacy
  PUBPOL 750.005 - Topics: Working in an Embassy

 Policing and Justice Administration

  PUBPOL 692 - Thinking About Crime

 Financial Markets


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