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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. Bill Hoyt, 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.

    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, Spring

    PA 681: Capstone

    Approved Elective

    Total: 6 credit hours

    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

    January 15: Martin School application deadline to be considered for funding

    March 15: Martin School notification letters regarding financial support sent out for fall semester

    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
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement (indicate your public service background and why you want to obtain an MPA)
    • CV or resume
    • TOEFL/IELTS for international students
    • Residential master's students who want to be considered for funded positions must also submit a Funding Interest Form with their application for admission.  Please note: you do not need to attach this to your admission application; just submit the form directly to us via this link
    • GRE not required for MPA

    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

    Bill Hoyt

    William Hoyt Director of Graduate Studies, MPA and MPP programs, Bryan Endowed Chair of Public Finance

    Linked Department (or Location)
    Meet Dr. William Hoyt
    Location Detail
    477 Patterson Office Tower