The mission of the Public Policy program is to prepare students for roles as effective citizens and people who work in the public service.

The Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) is an interdisciplinary degree program designed to prepare students for work in the analysis, development, and evaluation of public policies.  In all levels of government and on a global scale, public needs and limited resources require public policy choices that are at once economically efficient, socially and technically effective, and politically responsive. Such choices confront policymakers on a broad range of critical issues, including health, education, economic development, the environment, global affairs, nonprofit policy, and public finance.

Decision-makers often lack the knowledge and skills needed to interpret the full social, political, economic, and technical dimensions of the policy issues they face. In response, state and local governments, business, and federal agencies have turned to trained policy analysts for assistance in assessing policy options and in evaluating public programs.  The same is true for nonprofit agencies, such as hospitals, schools, and regional planning organizations.

Graduates of the M.P.P. program typically work in analytical and leadership positions in a wide array of governmental, public service, private sector, consulting, and nonprofit organizations. Metropolitan Atlanta serves as a laboratory for students, who are encouraged to undertake field instruction and action research with public, private, and nonprofit agencies in the Atlanta area. Opportunities are also available through the various research centers and community outreach efforts of the Andrew Young School. These opportunities enhance the education students receive and often open doors to attractive jobs.


Program Characteristics

The M.P.P. program is a late-afternoon/evening program with courses offered Monday-Thursday.  All courses are one-night-a-week classes, either in the 4:30-7:00 p.m. or 7:15-9:45 time slot.  Classes are all taught on the GSU downtown campus.  Students are welcome to enroll on a part-time or full-time basis based on their personal schedules and work demands.  The purpose for offering the program during evening hours is to not only accommodate those students who are already working professionals, but we also want to ensure students have the ability to complete necessary internship requirements during regular business operating hours at local public agencies.


The information listed here is taken from the University Catalog, but may not be 100% up-to-date. For the most accurate curriculum information, visit the University Catalog and scroll to find your program: 2050.60 – Master of Public Policy

The curriculum is a two-year course of study of 39 hours of graduate coursework, comprised of 21 credit hours of required core courses, 3-6 credit hours of coursework in analytical and financial methods, and 12-15 credit hours in a defined concentration or an individualized concentration that must be approved by the program director.


  • PMAP 8011Politics and Policy
  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy or GLOS 6400 International Governance & Policy (Global Affairs concentration students)
  • PMAP 8121Applied Research Methods and Statistics I
  • PMAP 8131Applied Research Methods and Statistics II
  • PMAP 8141Microeconomics for Public Policy*
  • PMAP 8531Policy Analysis
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone**

*Students may substitute ECON 8100 for PMAP 8141 if they plan to take ECON 8110, ECON 8180, or ECON 8740 in the analytical sequence.

**Students may substitute PMAP 8991 for PMAP 8900 if they plan to write a thesis.

  1. Analytical or Financial Methods Elective(s) (3-6):
  • PMAP 8161 Public Budgeting and Finance or PMAP 8261 Nonprofit Financial Management
  • PMAP 8521 Evaluation Research: Design and Practice
  • PMAP 8561 GIS Applications
  • ECON 8110 Macroeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 8180 Applied Economic Analysis
  • ECON 8740 Applied Statistics and Econometrics
  • PH 7345 Introduction to Risk Assessment
  • PH 7522 Qualitative Research or SOCI 8342 Qualitative Methods in Sociology


Every student chooses a concentration from one of the following approved options: Education Policy, Environmental Policy, Global Affairs, Health Policy, Nonprofit Policy, Public Finance Policy, Social Policy, and Urban Planning and Policy. Students also have the option of developing an individualized concentration in consultation with the Master’s Faculty Program Director. Approval of individual concentrations is required. Students must complete the online graduate petition found here: to request approval from the department.

This concentration prepares students to analyze and evaluate policies that influence educational outcomes. Governments around the world struggle with how to equitably, efficiently, and adequately educate their populations for the common good. Graduates with this concentration will be equipped with the theoretical concepts, analytical skills, and empirical knowledge necessary to analyze the effects of education policies to inform policy development and decision. This degree prepares students for positions in local and higher education agencies, think tanks, and consulting firms.

  • Required Course
    • ECON 8310: Economics of Educational Policy
  • Elective Courses (9-12)- select three or four courses from the following:
    • EPEL 7330: Law, Policy and Governance
    • EPSF 8320 Politics and Policy in Education
    • EPSF 8330 Globalization and Education Policy
    • EPSF 8630 Critical Policy Studies
    • SOC 8380 Sociology of Education
    • PMAP 8941 Internship

The environmental policy concentration prepares students for work on environmental issues in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Course work explores contemporary issues in the areas of air, water, climate, and other aspects of the environment. Students also examine how these issues might be better addressed through public policy as well as through the efforts of leaders in the various sectors. The concentration prepares students for work as environmental analysts and advocates and in other aspects of environmental affairs.

  • Required Course:
    • PH 7150 Introduction to Environmental Health
  • Elective Courses (9-12)
    • PH 7155 Air Quality and the Environment
    • PH 7340 Built Environment and Health
    • PH 7345 Introduction to Risk Assessment
    • GEOS 6644 Environmental Conservation
    • GEOS 6784 Climatic Change
    • PMAP 8331: Urban Development and Sustainable Cities
    • PMAP 8561 GIS Applications
    • PMAP 8941 Internship
    • ECON Environmental and Resource Economics and Theory

This concentration prepares students to plan, implement, and evaluate policies to address global, international and transnational issues, or that are applied in international contexts. Graduates will be equipped with the theoretical concepts, analytical skills and empirical knowledge necessary to produce and analyze evidence to inform policy development and decision making on these issues. This degree prepares students for positions in local, state and national government; international organizations; international development and humanitarian aid; academic institutions, think tanks, and consulting firms.

  • Concentration Electives (12-15):
    • GLOS 6210 Global Issues Social Psychology
    • GLOS 6211 Psychology of Terrorism
    • GLOS 6215 Politics of Peace
    • GLOS 6400 International Govern and Policy
    • GLOS 6450 American Foreign Policy
    • GLOS 6650 Special Topics Global Studies
    • GLOS 6761 Directed Study
    • GLOS 8211 Psychology of Terrorism
    • GLOS 8215 Politics of Peace
    • GLOS 8650 Special Topics Global Studies
    • GLOS 8761 Directed Study
    • ECON 8470 International Public Economics
    • PMAP 8201 International Nongovernmental Organizations
    • PMAP 8941 Internship

This concentration prepares students to utilize their analytic skills to plan, implement, and evaluate health policy, analyze factors that impact the organization and financing of health care delivery systems, and produce research evidence to inform policy development and support decision making. Graduates may find health policy analyst positions in provider organizations, health service delivery systems, government and non-profit health agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, healthcare research and consulting firms as well as community-based organizations.

  • Required Courses (3-9):
    • HA 8160 or PH 7160 Health Care System
    • HA 8250 or PH 7250 or ECON 8210 Health Care Economics and Financing
    • SOCI 9230 (Sociology of Health and Illness) or PH 7011 (Epidemiology) or PH 7140 (Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health)
  • Concentration Electives (3-6)
    • PMAP 8561 GIS Applications
    • PMAP 8941 Internship
    • PH 7012 Health Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
    • PH 7025 Health Disparities
    • PH 7150 Environmental Health
    • PH 7170 Public Health Policy
    • PH 7340 Built Environment and Health
    • PH 7535 Dissemination and Implementation Science
    • PH 7565 Disability Policy
    • SOCI 7110 or GERO 7110 Aging Policy and Services
    • SNHP 8500 Systemic Meta-Analysis
    • LAW 7244 Public Health Law
    • HA 8190 Health Policy and Ethics
    • HA 8700 Health Services Research and Evaluation Methods

The mission of the concentration in nonprofit policy is to educate talented and motivated individuals with knowledge of the nonprofit sector as well as the skills and values to become visionary leaders. Graduates become researchers, policymakers, and advocates in their communities after enhancing their understanding of relationships between nonprofit organizations, government and the policy making process.

  • Required Courses (9)
    • PMAP 8210 Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector
    • PMAP 8203 Nonprofit Advocacy, Law, and Policy
    • PMAP 8261 Nonprofit Financial Management
  • Concentration Electives (3-6)
    • PMAP 8201 International Nonprofit Governmental Organizations
    • PMAP 8213 Nonprofit Financial Resources
    • PMAP 8223 Nonprofit Human Resources
    • PMAP 8232 Social Innovation and Enterprise
    • PMAP 8251 Grant Writing and Management
    • PMAP 8941 Internship

The mission of the public finance policy concentration is to prepare students to analyze public budget and finance policy. These analysts are in demand by a variety of public agencies. The public finance policy concentration takes advantage of the top five US News & World Report ranking of the Andrew Young School in the area of public finance. The program should be ideal preparation for a variety of positions in the fields of budget analysis and finance policy.

  • Required Courses (6)
    • PMAP 8161 Public Budgeting and Finance
    • ECON 8080 Economics of the Public Sector
  • Concentration Electives (6-9)
    • PMAP 8501 Managing Public Money
    • ECON 8110 Macroeconomic Analysis
    • ECON 8460 Economics of the State and Local Public Sector
    • ECON 8470 International Public Economics
    • HA 8250 Health Economics and Financing
    • PMAP 8941 Internship

A concentration in social policy is designed to give the student an understanding of policies addressing issues such as poverty, crime, and education—including how these policies develop, what effects they have, and how they can be addressed. This concentration provides a good preparation for students interested in careers in the analysis of social policies and for students intending to pursue doctoral work in public policy or a related field.

  • Required Course
    • PMAP 8232 Social Innovation and Enterprise
  • Concentration Courses (912)
    • Race Ethnicity and Gender
      • PMAP 8921 Race and Public Policy
      • WGSS 8216 Gender and Society
    • Child and Family
      • SW 7600 Social Welfare Policy
      • SW 8490 Child Welfare Practice, Policy and Research
    • Aging
      • GERO 7110 Aging Policy and Services
      • GERO 8200 Aging Program Administration
    • Other
      • PMAP 8941 Internship
      • PMAP 8321 Economic Development Policy
      • CRJU 9010 Contemporary Criminal Justice Policy
      • SOC 8226 Urban Sociology

This concentration prepares students to be better decision makers on urban planning and policy issues for public, private, and nonprofit employers and to be more informed and effective as citizens. It provides appropriate academic background and practical experience with jobs responsible for urban planning and services, providing analysis of policy alternatives, and advocating change and improvement within organizations, communities, and society. The concentration emphasizes technical skills, planning, law, economics, and other social science literature and provides a hands-on experience with current practice. It introduces students to the history and professional culture of the planning profession and to the planning process as a systematic, yet creative approach, to urban problem solving. The required courses are also designed to acquaint students with common planning, socioeconomic and economic development data sources and methods and how to use them appropriately.

  • Required Courses (9)
    • PMAP 8201 Scope and Theory of Planning
    • PMAP 8321 Economic Development Policy
    • PMAP 8561 GIS Applications
  • Concentration Electives (3-6)
    • PMAP 8161 Public Budgeting and Finance
    • PMAP 8311 Urban Demography and Analysis
    • PMAP 8331 Urban Development and Sustainable Cities
    • PMAP 8351 Local Government and Management
    • PMAP 8411 Law for Public Managers
    • PMAP 8941 Internship
    • ECON 8300 Urban Economics



PMAP 8941 Internship: Internships provide students the opportunity to apply concepts and skills gained from their graduate curriculum and are optional for all M.P.P. students who lack significant prior administrative experience in a public or nonprofit agency or a related organization. The department’s faculty internship coordinators assist in the search for an appropriate internship opportunity, but students are expected to take the lead. An internship requires enrollment in three hours of PMAP 8941 and the completion of 300 hours of work in the intern position. Students are free to work full-time or part-time, according to their needs and those of their internship sponsor. Many students find paid internships, but unpaid internships can also be very rewarding. Students should consider the value of the experience that an internship provides, in addition to the pay. Internship information and applications are available from the Department of Public Management and Policy. Students with substantial prior administrative experience may petition to waive the internship requirement by completing the online Graduate Internship Waiver Petition form:

PMAP 8991 Thesis: Candidates for the Master’s degree in Public Policy have the option to submit an approved thesis to complete the requirements for the degree. A thesis replaces the requirement for PMAP 8900: Public Service Capstone, the option most students are encouraged to pursue. A thesis may be more appropriate for a student who expects to pursue a doctoral degree, although other students may also pursue this option. The decision to write a thesis is made by the student in consultation with and with the approval of the department’s Faculty Program Director for the Department of Public Management and Policy (PMAP). Before approval is given, the student must demonstrate that an appropriate member of the faculty of PMAP is willing to chair the thesis committee, and that two other appropriate faculty members are willing to serve on the committee. A student must have completed at least 18 hours of graduate credit in the M.P.P., including PMAP 8010, PMAP 8011, and PMAP 8121, before registering for thesis hours.

Application Deadlines*

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Priority Deadline – February 15
Regular Deadline – April 1
Late Deadline – June 1
Space Available Deadline – July 15
Regular Deadline-October 1
Late Deadline – November 1

*Online applications must be submitted and all materials received by the deadline to be reviewed for admission.

Application Submission Instructions

  • Create an account.
  • Start a new application.
    • Select application type: “2018 Graduate Programs”
    • Click “Create an application”
    • Click “Open Application” to begin your application
  • On the “Program Selection” page:
    • Select College: “Andrew Young School of Policy Studies”
    • Select Program: “Public Policy; Master of Public Policy”
Start Your Application and Apply Now 

Application Requirements

A completed application includes:

  1. Submitted Online Application. All online applications must be submitted by the deadline. Paper applications are not available.
  2. Application fee: A nonrefundable fee of $50 is required for each application. This fee must be paid online by credit card.
  3. Goal statement: The goal statement is your means of presenting yourself to the Graduate Admissions Committee. You should submit a short typed statement of personal and professional goals as they relate to the certificate or degree program you are seeking. Most applicants write approximately two typed pages, summarizing their work experience, the reasons they have chosen the program, why they want to attend Georgia State, and how the degree fits in with their career goals.
  4. Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores: Official scores must be reported to institution code 5251. More information can be found at our Admissions FAQ page or, to schedule the test, at
  5. TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores (International applicants only): All international applicants are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores.
  6. Three letters of recommendation: All letters should be submitted through the online application.
  7. Copies of Official Transcripts from each post-secondary college/university attended:
    • Official transcripts are not required at this stage of application review.**
    • Transcripts should be uploaded to the Academic History section of the online application and must be copies of university transcripts. This can either be an official electronic transcript, or a paper copy that you have scanned and uploaded.
    • Copy of transcript must have one or more of the following features: registrar’s seal, registrar signature, or watermark of the institution.
    • Documents such as self-printed academic histories, web-based academic evaluations, and anything hand-written are not acceptable for review process and should not be uploaded. Doing so will significantly delay the review of your application.
    • Submit one copy of transcript for each post-secondary institution attended, regardless of length of time you attended, your status, whether grades are listed, or where your final degree(s) were received. This would include community colleges, study abroad programs and AP credit. If you received college level credit, a transcript should be submitted for review.
      **Official transcripts will only be required if an applicant is admitted to the program.

If you need assistance with the application process, please contact the Office of Admissions – Graduate Programs.

If you want to learn more about our programs, please contact the Office of Academic Assistance for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

If you are looking for a professional degree that includes policy but also focuses on managing and leading a public or nonprofit organization, the MPA degree offers courses in organizational behavior, human resources management, public budgeting, and management systems.


  • Criminal Justice
  • Management and Finance
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Planning and Economic Development
  • Policy Analysis and Evaluation
  • Public Health


  • Directors
  • Program Managers
  • City Managers
  • Executive Directors
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Volunteer Management
  • Human Resources
  • Development Directors
Visit the MPA Page 

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The MPP is focused on policy analysis, advocacy and evaluation, and the core for this program includes courses in statistics, evaluation research, politics and policy, and policy analysis. Some students use the MPP as preparation for entering a doctoral program in public policy.


  • Disaster Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Nonprofit Policy
  • Planning and Economic Development Policy
  • Public Finance Policy
  • Social Policy


  • Policy analysts
  • Consultants
  • Advocacy
  • Evaluation
Visit the MPP Page 


Choosing Classes


For help with your career direction, contact AYSPS Career Services. Attend our frequent workshops or work one-on-one with a career counselor to optimize your job search.

Talk to an Advisor:

Office of Academic Assistance
Telephone: 404-413-0021