Master of Science in Public Policy
Center for Public Policy
Drexel, the PA Department of Corrections and the University of Oslo are co-creating the ‘Little Scandinavia’ Prison Project. © PA Commonwealth
Drexel’s Master of Science in Public Policy (MSPP) program is innovative and distinct in at least two key respects: Its focus on student-led inquiry and its distinct specialization tracks. Our program –which is offered both in-person and online– focuses on case study research as a unifying curricular element. Students must choose a specific research topic they will work on for their time in the program. In each subsequent Case Study Research course, students continue further research and writing on their chosen case study topic. By the end of the program, students will have produced a polished and in-depth analysis of a specific case that they can use to demonstrate expertise in a policy area.
Students take required courses for the Master of Science in Public Policy from multiple schools within Drexel University, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business, and the College of Computing and Informatics. Students gain a strong foundation in analysis, economics, research and writing — skills and knowledge that will help them achieve or advance in careers in public service, both in government and the private sector.
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- Full-time or part-time plans of study
- Online or on-campus course options
- Specialty tracks through coursework in Drexel’s numerous certificate programs and graduate minors
- Case study research develops demonstrative policy relevant areas
Kate Pelusi, Graduate Program Manager, Center for Public Policy
215.895.6374 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- U.S. Applicants — Sept. 1, Nov. 23, Feb. 22, June 12
- International Applicants — June 13
With courses in data analysis, statistics, institutional dynamics, and more, Drexel's Master of Science in Public Policy (MSPP) program covers a breadth of topics to prepare graduates for demanding roles in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Our program is for individuals who already work in government or nonprofit organizations or wish to pursue careers in these sectors. Drexel’s MPP program is innovative and distinct in at least two key respects: Its focus on case study research and its separate specialization tracks. Our program focuses on case study research as a unifying curriculum element.
Students take required and elective courses for the Master of Science in Public Policy from multiple schools within Drexel University, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business, and the College of Computing and Informatics.
Applications for both the in-person and online formats are accepted year-round, and applicants can expect a decision within one month.
Entering students may begin to study fall, winter, or spring quarters. Through a flexible course schedule that includes evening or online classes, students can complete the program at a pace that suits them. On average, students can complete the program in as little as 18 months to two years. Working professionals are also welcome to enroll part-time. Graduates go on to successful careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors plus more.
Students in the Public Policy master's degree program gain a strong foundation in analysis, economics, research and writing. Students can customize their curriculum to fit their career interests through Drexel’s numerous certificate programs or graduate minors.
Faculty members affiliated with the Public Policy master's degree program address a wide range of topics, including: citizen science, data infrastructure, drug treatment and use, energy literacy, prison rehabilitation, urban politics and violence reduction. Many faculty collaborate with local communities and nonprofits on projects that have a real impact on people in the Philadelphia area and beyond.
Department Head, Department of Politics; Professor
MacAlister, Room 3025
- American political development
- Urban politics
- Public policy
Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement; Professor
3021-F MacAlister Hall
- Environmental Political Theory
- Deliberative Democracy
- Human-Animal Studies
- Multispecies Ethnography
- Multispecies Urbanism
- Wild horses and Burros
Director, Center for Public Policy; Associate Professor
3401 Market Street, Room 110-B
- Corrections, Re-entry and Community Supervision
- Comparative and International Penology
- Drug Treatment and Drug Use
- Community Violence Reduction
- Prison Climate, Oversight and Reform
- Financial Sanctions
- Scandinavian Correctional Policy
- Experimental and Field Research
3101 Market Street, Room 217
- Environmental justice
- Political theory
- Science and technology policy
- Citizen science
- Science and engineering ethics
- Information infrastructures
- Community-based research
- Know the basics. Courses in a wide range of disciplines offer students a solid understanding of the complexity of policy issues.
- See all sides. In the program’s core courses, students learn how to analyze competing perspectives, enabling them to be constructive problem solvers.
- Care about equity. Policies have different impacts on different populations, including the rich and poor, and current and future generations. Students learn to spot these differences and design policies that promote greater equity.
- Communicate clearly. Writing projects across the curriculum teach students to express highly specialized ideas from multiple domains in a way that non-specialists can understand and use to guide their actions.
- Collaborate effectively. Students from different backgrounds work together, learning to problem-solve in groups where not everyone sees eye-to-eye.
Drexel’s Master of Science in Public Policy (MSPP) degree program is suited for those who want to work in government or nonprofit organizations. Because the Master&rsquops in Public Policy equips graduates with skills like leadership and management, there are many public policy career paths for graduates to consider. Every corporation and organization is responsible for addressing legal and policy issues; therefore, public policy jobs exist in various fields. Public policy jobs often involve elements of project planning, budget analysis, public relations, fundraising and other functions.
Potential roles include policy analyst at advocacy organizations and in many government divisions. In addition, there is a strong demand for policy professionals who contribute to think tanks, legal firms, and large corporations’ legal and public affairs departments.
- Campaign manager
- City manager
- Human resources director
- Nonprofit program director
- Policy analyst
- Political researcher
- Public relations specialist
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Is Case Study Research?
For the Master of Science in Public Policy degree program, students take a series of three-credit case study research courses (PLCY 510, 516 and 517). The case study provides students in the Master of Science in Public Policy program with a unique opportunity to concentrate on and demonstrates their expertise in a more specific policy area than is typically covered in traditional courses. Through the case study program students choose their own topic, are introduced to case study methodology and practice, develop a research agenda, and ultimately sit for an oral defense. By the end of the program, students have produced a polished, in-depth analysis of a specific case that they can use to demonstrate expertise in a given policy area, and they will defend their case study with a panel of public policy faculty.
Case Studies In-depth
Case studies begin with detailed descriptions of how a program or organization works. Students will provide authoritative commentary on the ways in which the program or organization is either meeting or not meeting its goals (or both), and how it could be changed so that it could better meet its goals. An organization is defined as a government agency, a sub-unit of a government agency, or a freestanding nonprofit corporation. A program is defined as a set of interrelated activities performed by an organization toward some specified goal.
Part of the goal of the case study program is to allow students the maximum flexibility in choosing what they would like to study. They may propose a subject for their case study that is different from that described above. All Case Study subjects must be approved by the Center for Public Policy director.
Past Case Studies
- Katelyn Baron, “Overdose Prevention Sites: The Mobility of Harm Reduction Practice,” MS Case Study, 2021.
- Daniel Carcione, “An Examination of Congressional Legislation in Response to the U.S. Veteran Suicide Epidemic.” MS Case Study 2021.
- Elise Fisher, “A Critical Analysis of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958.” MS Case Study 2021.
- Alaina Foulkes, “Upward Bound: Program Evaluation and Management.”; MS Case Study 2021.
- Heather Stohler, “A Case for Relaxing Requirements for Teacher Preparation and Certification in Pennsylvania: Policy Recommendations.” MS Case Study 2021.
- Emily Storz, “Custodians of the Sea: Regulatory Failures Compel Fishers to Participate in Marine Debris Removal,” MS Case Study 2021.
- Stephanie Weller, “Addressing the Teacher Shortage: A Comparative Analysis on Denver Public Schools Recruitment Strategies,” MS Case Study, 2021.
- Benjamin Winkler, “Philadelphia's Sanctuary City Policy: Local Action in a Neglected Field,” MS Case Study, 2021
- Joseph Oleksak, “Forging Bureaucratic Autonomy: An Examination of Agency Discretion Within the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board,” MS Case Study, 2020.
- Darnell Peterson, “Influence in the Fourth Branch of Government,” MS Case Study 2019
- Satish Rajaram, “Pennsylvania Renewable Energy.” MS Case Study 2019
- Kevin Thomas, “Philadelphia's "Home for Good" Recidivism Reduction Plan,” MS Case Study 2019.
- Shuhan Zeng, A study on China Villager Committee's Work, Performance, Dilemmas & Possible Solutions: With the Case Study on Magou Villager Committee, Henan Province, China,” MS Case Study 2019.
- Kayleigh Denneler, "The Professional Music Therapist," MS Case Study, 2018.
- Emily Glassman, "Humane Slaughter Does Not Exist: How Regulatory Policy has Failed to Protect Animals in Slaughterhouses," MS Case Study, 2018.
- Sembu Kamara, “Employment Outcomes of African Immigrants in Philadelphia: A case study of How West African Immigrants Obtain Employments during the First Year of Migrating to Philadelphia,” MS Case Study, 2018.
- John LaMorte, "Keeping up with Industry: A Look at how United States Coast Guard Procedures Keep Pace with Industrial Innovations," MS Case Study, 2018.
- Roseanna Portiolli, "The Economic Impact of the Philaport in Philadelphia," MS Case Study, 2018.
We proudly invite prospective students to review recent theses authored by our Master of Science in Public Policy degree recipients.