Master of Public Policy

What can an Master of Public Policy do for you? The MPP is designed for students considering a career in research or pursuing a Ph.D. An MPP degree 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.

The MPP is a 2-year, 37 hour degree preparing individuals for careers in 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 degree emphasizes analyzing and evaluating information to solve policy problems. In the Martin School's MPP program students can expect:

  • An outstanding multidisciplinary approach that encourages broad-based understanding;
  • An innovative learning environment, with strong commitment to public service values, strategic thinking, and integrity;
  • Interaction with faculty members engaged in cutting edge research who are also dedicated to student success.

Students will acquire tools to

  • Prepare for a career analyzing complex social, political, and economic issues;
  • Foster ability to clarify problems, formulate solutions, and see alternatives;
  • Develop rigorous analytical skills and the ability to communicate conclusions and recommendations effectively.

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 Student Affairs Officer, Suzy Wampler, with any questions.


In preparation for the program, students should have taken an intermediate microeconomics, calculus (MA 123 at UK), 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.

Application Deadlines

  • January 15: Deadline to apply for Ph.D. and masters students to be considered for funding for the fall 2022 semester.
  • February 1: Deadline for international applications (all programs) to be submitted to the Graduate School for the fall 2022 semester.
  • March 15: Notification letters concerning fellowships, assistantships, and scholarships sent out for fall 2022.
  • July 24: Deadline to apply to the Graduate School for the fall 2022 semester. 
  • October 1: Deadline to apply for masters students to be considered for funding for the spring 2023 semester.
  • December 6: Deadline for domestic students to apply to the Graduate School for the spring 2023 semester. 

Application Materials

  • Official Transcripts
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • *Starting spring 2023, GRE/GMAT is no longer required for admission


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.

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.



Fall (Year 1) Spring (Year 1) Fall (Year 2) Spring (Year 2)

PA 651: Policy Process

PA 652: Public Policy Economics

PA 692: Econometrics

PA 795: Special Topics in PA - Math Prep (1 credit hour)

Total: 10 credit hours

PA 622: Program Evaluation

PA 624: Government Information Systems

PA 690: Public Policy Analysis

Total: 9 credit hours

PA 642: Public Organization, Theory, and Behavior

Guided Elective: (PPL 575:Educational Policy, PPL 583: Tax Policy, or PPL 584: Environmental Policy)

PA 631: Public Financial Management

Total: 9 credit hours

PA 681: Capstone

Approved Elective


Total: 6 credit hours


Note: Doesn't include 3 hours credit for summer internship

Areas 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.

Marina Byrd Profile picture

"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."

- Marina Byrd, Legislative Policy Analyst with the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability