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Stanford GPPP

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Albany Rockefeller
American SPA
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Ohio Glenn
Oregon PPPM
Ottawa GSPIA
Ottawa SPS
Oxford BSG
Pennsylvania Fels
Pittsburgh GSPIA
Princeton Wilson
Queen Mary SPIR
Queen's SPS
Rutgers SPAA
Ryerson DPPA
Sac State PPA
Sask-Regina JSGS
SciencesPo Paris
SF State DPA
Simon Fraser SPP
Singapore LKY
Stanford GPPP
Sydney GIR
Sydney GSG
Syracuse Maxwell
Tenn State CPSUA
Texas Johnson
Tokyo GraSPP
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UCLA Luskin
UC London SPP
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Victoria SPA
Vic Wellington
Virginia Batten
Warwick PAIS
Waterloo MPS
Washington Evans
Western LGP
York Glendon
Carleton Paterson
Columbia SIPA
Toronto Munk
NYU Wagner MPA with Int Spec'n
Rutgers (Bloustein)


MPP and MPA Programs

Stanford University, Graduate Program in Public Policy (GPPP) - MPP

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The Graduate Program in Public Policy was created in 2006:

"The Stanford interdisciplinary program in Public Policy has offered a strong undergraduate major since 1980. In 2006, the Faculty Senate granted the Public Policy Program approval for a graduate program, which included an MPP (a two-year professional degree) and an MA in Public Policy (a one-year degree). Both master’s programs were initially open only to Stanford graduate students. In the autumn of 2007-2008, the first graduate class started, comprised of three students. Since then, the program has steadily grown. The program currently offers 13 joint degrees.  In the autumn of 2009, the program also began accepting coterminal applications, which allow undergraduates to complete an undergraduate degree in any discipline and a master’s degree in Public Policy simultaneously." (At, accessed 18 February 2015.) 

Curriculum Design: The Stanford MPP is unique in that it is currently restricted to Stanford students and alumni and it offers an intriguing example of a recent curriculum design. This is reflected in some of the course titles in the Course Map below. Stanford uses a quarter system and we have applied the same 1:1.3 conversion factor to Stanford 4-unit courses as we have to UCLA and Chicago courses. This makes the Stanford MPP a 17.3 semester-course-equivalent program. Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 53% of their course work in subjects that we classify as being in the Institutions and Context or Policy Sector domains and 25% their study is in economic or quantitative courses. This places the Stanford MPP in the "high course requirement, more economic/quantitative, context/policy leaning" curriculum type, along with such programs as the Harvard MPP and Chicago MPP. Relative to those programs, Stanford provides a relatively small number of electives within the program, but each of the concentrations offers a long list of eligible courses from other programs in the University.

Professional Program Features: The program includes a Practicum and Colloquium, and is rare among MPP/MPA programs in providing a required full course on Writing and Rhetoric for Policy Audiences.  

Program Summary


University: Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California

Degree: Master in Public Policy

Marketing Approach: "The MPP ... degree is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in public policy. Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the graduate program prepares students to make original contributions to the knowledge of public policy and to interpret and present the results of such research." (At, accessed 17 February 2015.)

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

Academic Unit within University: The GPPP is an interdisciplinary graduate program administered by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), described as "a nonpartisan economic policy research organization that unites remarkable economic talent from all parts of Stanford University" (at, accessed 17 February 2015).

Related Academic Units and Degrees: The GPPP offers two Master's degrees: MPP and MA, a one-year program not intended as a professional degree. 

Posted Tuition: The 2014-2015 academic year tuition rate for full time (meaning 11 to 18 units/qtr) study is $14,728 per quarter ($44,184 per year), at, accessed 17 February 2015.

Concentration/Curriculum Overview

MPP Degree Requirements

Summary: The MPP is a two-year program leading to a professional degree. It is available to current Stanford seniors and graduate students, recent Stanford alumni, and external applicants seeking a joint degree.

  • Core Curriculum—All core courses must be taken for a letter grade and must be completed with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.
  • At least two electives are taken during the first year. At least one must be from the Concentration Electives List.
  • Colloquium: All Public Policy graduate students are required to attend and enroll in three quarters of PUBLPOL 311 Public Policy Colloquium (3 units) during their first year of the program. Attendance and participation are mandatory.
  • Practicum: Completion of the two-quarter practicum course, PUBLPOL 309 Practicum (10 units, Autumn and Winter quarters), and presentation of a report in which interdisciplinary student teams analyze real world policy issues for outside clients.
  • Concentration: Advanced course work in a specialized field, chosen from the approved list of concentration courses with the prior approval of the student's faculty adviser and the program director.

Duration: 2 years (6 quarters)

Academic Prerequisite: The Public Policy graduate curriculum assumes that students have completed the following: Microeconomics (Stanford equivalent: ECON 50) and Multivariable Calculus (Stanford equivalent: MATH 51). While the prerequisites are not required to be completed at the time of application, they must be completed prior to matriculation.

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 17.3 (90 credits) See Note 1.course. See Note 1.

Note 1: We apply the same conversion factor of 1 four-unit quarter course = 10/13 one-semester as for other MPP/MPA programs using the quarter system (See Credit and Course Equivalencies).

Number of Required Courses: 10.4

Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): 6.9

Number of Electives Offered within Program: 6+

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: No

Internship Required: No

International Study Required: No

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: No

Student-run Journal: No

Applied Projects: No

Pro Bono Consulting: No

Courses Offered: The full list of courses offered in the GPPP is found at, accessed 17 February 2015.

Course Material Online: One-paragraph course descriptions are found at the Courses page noted above. No syllabi are 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


Quantitative Methods




Ratio of Quantitative Courses to Total Courses Required


Sum of Tools and Skills and Management Functions


Source: At and related sites (accessed 18 February 2015).

Page Created By: Ian Clark on 18 February 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.

Stanford 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

Courses are 4 units (0.77 semester course equivalent) unless otherwise indicated; Concentration electives of 35 units have not been listed individually

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  PUBLPOL 305A Problem Soving and Decision Making for Public Policy and Social Change (R)
  PUBLPOL 305B Public Policy and Social Psychology: Implications and Applications

 Economic Analysis

  PUBLPOL 301A Microeconomics (R)
  PUBLPOL 303D Applied Econometrics for Public Policy (R)
  PUBLPOL 206 Law and Economics (R)

 Quantitative Methods

  ECON 102A Introduction to Statistical Methods (5R/4)

 Analytic Methods

 Leadership Skills

 Communication Skills

  PUBLPOL 306 Writing and Rhetoric for Policy Audiences (R)

Multiple Subjects

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

  PUBLPOL 311 Public Policy Colloquium (3R/4)
  PUBLPOL 309 Practicum (10R/4)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  PUBLPOL 308 Political Analysis for Public Policymakers (R)
  PUBLPOL 302A Introduction to American Law
  PUBLPOL 303B Political Methodology II: Causal Inference
  PUBLPOL 319 Legislation

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  PUBLPOL 307 Justice (R)
  PUBLPOL 304A Collective Action Problems: Ethics, Politics & Culture

 Social and Political Context

  PUBLPOL 307 Justice (R)

 Intergovernmental and Global Context

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

  PUBLPOL 301B Cost-Benefit Analysis and Evaluation (R)

 Human Resource Management

 Information Management and Technology

 Program and Service Delivery

 Regulatory Policy and Management

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

  Legal and Regulatory Interventions Electives (35/4)

 International Development

 Social Policy and Welfare


  Health Care Policy Electives (35/4)


  Education Policy Concentration Electives (35/4)

 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

 Environment and Sustainability

  PUBLPOL 413R The National Environmental Policy Act: Pushing the Reset Button (0.5)
  Resources, Environment, and Energy Policy Electives (35/4)

 Agriculture and Resources

 Science, Technology and Innovation

  PUBLPOL 353 Science and Technology Policy
  Science and Technology Policy Electives (35/4)

 Industry, Trade and Investment

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  International and National Security Policy Electives (35/4)

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Markets

  PUBLPOL 364 The Future of Finance (0.5)

 Other Policy Sectors

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