THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH - MASTER OF PUBLIC POLICY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What is the history of the MPP? The University of Utah MPP program was approved by the Utah State Board of Regents in June, 2005. The first MPP cohort started classes fall semester 2006. The MPP is the result of need expressed by students and professionals desiring further education in public policy. Currently, there are no other Master of Public Policy programs offered within the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). What is the MPP degree? The MPP degree emphasizes analyzing and evaluating information to explain policy issues. As analysts, managers, and leaders, graduates use quantitative and qualitative information and data to develop, assess, and evaluate alternatives to current and emerging policy issues. Graduates may pursue careers in a variety of public service fields including all levels of government, nonprofits, the international arena, and the private sector. Are there any MPP joint degrees? The MPP program has arranged a formalized MPP/JD joint degree program with the SJ Quinney College of Law at The University of Utah. The MPP/JD can be completed in approximately four years. Students must apply to both programs separately, and, if admitted to both, can then pursue the joint degree. There is also a combined bachelors/masters program available for undergraduates in political science and economics. This program allows students to apply to the MPP in their junior year and start taking graduate courses in their senior year. Students will complete a bachelors and masters in about five years. Students must maintain a 3.5 GPA. What are the differences between the Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Public Administration (MPA)? Although there is some overlap between the two, the MPP focuses on public policy analysis, while the MPA focuses on the administration of public entities. The MPP contains courses in statistics and economics, both key elements of policy analysis work. Students who earn the MPP degree are able to work as policy analysts in the private sector (approximately 40% of MPP graduates nationwide work in the private sector), as well as the public and not-for-profit sector. I have taken several courses towards a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree; can I get an MPP instead? You will need to apply for admission to the MPP program. If you are accepted in the program and you are currently enrolled in another degree program at The University of Utah from which you have not graduated, you may get credit for courses taken that are core or elective for either program. Please make an appointment with the program manager to discuss your particular situation. I already have a Masters degree. Can I get an MPP degree? You can apply for admissions to the MPP program. If you are accepted into the program there is the possibility of waiving core courses that you have already completed. The University will not allow graduation from a degree program with fewer credit hours than are required - for the MPP it is 40 semester credit hours. So, whereas, a waiver means you may not have to repeat a class, you will, with approval from the program manager, need to take an elective course in order to earn the required credit hours. Students must meet with the program manager to determine which, if any, courses can be waived. Are there prerequisites to the program? The MPP program prerequisites include: Introductory Statistics Microeconomics U.S. National Government These courses must be completed at the undergraduate level with a grade “C” or better in the last 10 years. It is also recommended students pursue intermediate microeconomics, but this is not a prerequisite to the program. Students can apply for the program and complete the prerequisites prior to beginning course work. I took American Government 15 years ago. Will it satisfy the prerequisite requirement? No. Prerequisite courses - American Government, Introduction to Statistics and Introductory Microeconomics - need to be completed at an accredited college or university within the past 10 years. Students may petition in writing for an exception. Such petitions will be decided by the program manager and the director on a case-by-case basis. Are classes offered during the days or evenings or weekends? The majority of classes will be offered in the evening. However, the MPP is an interdisciplinary program, meaning students will take courses from different departments across the University. Some departments may only offer daytime courses. There are no weekend courses available. Are there minimum standardized test score requirements? No. Students may take the GRE, LSAT, GMAT or MAT. Scores are reviewed as part of the total application, and above 50th percentile is standard for our applicants. What are the specific details of the letter of intent in terms of length, format, and content? Your letter of intent (a.k.a. personal statement or application essay) should be two to three pages, preferable double-spaced. It should address your reasons for wanting to earn a MPP degree at The University of Utah, what you could contribute, both academically and intellectually to the program, how the MPP will help further your career goals, what those career goals are, etc. Do all three letters of recommendation need to be from professors, or can I include professional recommendations? If you are currently an undergraduate student (or a recent graduate) the letters of recommendation need to be from professors who can speak to your academic abilities and personal qualities needed for success in graduate school. If you have been out of school for a while and you would find it difficult to track down three former professors, then you may use professional recommendations. However, if at all possible we like to see at least one academic reference.
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