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Master in Public Policy

The Martin School's 37-hour MPP is designed for students considering a career in policy research or pursuing a PhD; it overlaps in some ways with the MPA, but emphasizes data analysis and evaluation. An MPP can help develop the competencies needed to address complex policy questions via quantitative analysis within all levels of government and nonprofits. This program also builds a foundation for students wishing to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.

The MPP program is taught by Martin School’s core faculty members and adjunct faculty members, with additional electives being offered by joint faculty members from various departments on campus. The program is classroom-based and conducted on the University of Kentucky's main campus in Lexington. Courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening, allowing for part-time work during the program.  Please contact our Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Caroline Weber, with any questions.



In preparation for the program, students should have taken an introductory microeconomics class (ECO 201 at UK), algebra and statistics. It is possible to take statistics concurrently in the first semester of MPP coursework, but it will not count towards the MPP degree.

Four Components

The MPP curriculum consists of four major components:

  1.  the policy core
  2. an area of concentration,
  3. an internship or equivalent experience, and a
  4. capstone project

Area of Concentration

The area of concentration consists of two related courses that apply the concepts of the policy core to a particular subject or policy area. The following areas of concentration are common among MPP students.

  • Non-Profit Management
  • Public Financial Management
  • Policy Analysis
  • Social Policy 

In consultation with the DGS, students can create their own concentrations with relevant courses from other departments.

Policy Core

All students take 28 hours of policy core courses. The core provides the analytic and conceptual foundations necessary for successful entry into and advancement within public and nonprofit agencies. The core covers the areas of economics, finance, budgeting, management, statistics, research methods, policy formulation, and policy analysis.

First Year, Spring

Second Year, Fall

PA 642 Public and Non-Profit Organizational Theory and Behavior(3) 

Guided Elective (choose one) or free elective

PA 631: Public Financial Management

Second Year, Spring

PA 681: Capstone

Approved Elective or guided elective

Total: 6 credit hours

International Students

Can the Martin School waive the application fee?

We do not have any fee waivers available 

If my instruction was in English, how do I get a TOEFL/IELTS waiver?

Once you apply, your institution should email the appropriate Graduate School admissions officer with proof of English instruction

Marina Byrd

Marina Byrd MPP

"The Martin School MPP program prepared me for my career by providing the writing, communication, and analytical skills necessary for working as an analyst. The professors ensure that their students understand how to apply these skills to real-world examples to be ready for a job after graduation.  The Martin School also helps students build on skills learned in the classroom by connecting them with internships and jobs with many different types of government entities and nonprofits."

Important Dates

February 15: Martin School application deadline to be considered for funding You can apply here

April 15: Graduate School deadline for international applications for fall semester

One month prior to classes starting (fall): Deadline for domestic students to apply


Starting your Master's Degree

  • Transcripts (unofficial are acceptable for the application but official ones will be required by the Graduate School)
  • Personal statement (indicate your public service background and why you want to obtain an MPA)
  • CV or resume
  • Statistics/Algebra courses on transcript
  • TOEFL/IELTS for international students
  • GRE not required

Apply now

Contact Graduate Student Affairs

Graduate Student Affairs Office

Suzy Wampler, Staff

Suzy Wampler Student Affairs Officer

Linked Department (or Location)
Meet Suzy Wampler
Location Detail
407 Patterson Office Tower

Director of Graduate Studies, MPA and MPP

Caroline Weber

Caroline Weber Director of Graduate Studies, MPA and MPP

Linked Department (or Location)
Meet Dr. Caroline Weber
Location Detail
431 Patterson Office Tower