The Maryland School of Public Policy is one of 14 schools at the University of Maryland, College Park. The school is located inside the Capital Beltway and ranks 16th nationally for schools of public policy according to U.S. News & World Report (2012).
On October 26, 1978, University of Maryland President John S. Toll appointed the Committee on a School of Public Affairs to pursue the question of whether the College Park campus should establish a new school. With the support of the Sloan foundation and key individuals such as U.S. Senator Joseph Tydings and publisher Philip Merrill, the Maryland School of Public Affairs was established on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park in 1981. By April 1981, Albert Bowker was appointed the first dean of the school and a group of faculty was recruited. The first seven faculty included Allen Schick, Robert Pastor, Catherine Kelleher, Frank Levy, Peyton Young, George Eads and Mark Winer. The school's doors opened in 1982 and degrees were conferred on a dozen students during the school's first graduation exercises in 1984.
The School of Public Affairs changed its name to the School of Public Policy in 2004 in order to better communicate its mission to contribute to the nation and the world through the preparation of current and future leaders committed to public service.
Master of Public Policy The UMD School of Public Policy’s MPP program helps students become equipped to succeed in the policy management field and become effective public policy leaders. Graduates are adept at analyzing, designing, evaluating, and advocating for public policies.
Master of Public Management The school offers the MPM program in two tracks for students who have at least five or more years of professional policy or management-related experience after their undergraduate studies. The 36-credit, policy-oriented curriculum tracks the MPP curriculum with 12 fewer elective credits. The Executive Master of Public Management (EXPM) follows a prescribed 30-credit, management-oriented curriculum. Many EXPM students attend evening classes twice a week in Washington, D.C. Students move through the program as a cohort and have the opportunity to participate in numerous enrichment activities.
Joint Master’s Programs (MPP/MBA, MPP/MS, and MPP/JD) The school has also established joint degree programs with the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences Conservation Biology program, the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore.
Specializations Students pursuing master's degrees can choose to specialize in the following areas:
The education policy specialization allows students to focus on policies and politics of education reform and the economics of education. Students in this specialization also study the foundations of social policy, program evaluation, and cost-benefit analysis
The environmental policy specialization aims to train students to find effective solutions to promote sustainable social, economic and environmental conditions. Students learn to encourage human well-being and economic prosperity while also enhancing the health and quality of the environment. Students have the opportunity to engage in real and relevant research and investigate scientific, philosophical, legal, economic, and political dimensions of environmental issues.
The energy specialization focuses on current and future energy systems and how they interact with policy and society. Four dimensions of energy policy are analyzed and studied, including economic well-being, energy security, environmental protection and energy access.
The federal acquisition specialization prepares students to deliver acquisition outcomes to support a variety of areas including military operations, homeland security, health care, responses to natural disasters, and energy research and development. The experience gained in this specialization is useful to students interested in federal, local and state government. Students also have the opportunity to conduct research and participate in acquisition-related activities in the School’s Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise.
The health policy specialization teaches students the basics of social policy, along with program evaluation and analysis of costs and benefits of social programs. In addition, students in this specialization study health policy; health economics; and disease, disasters and development related to health policy.
The international development policy places focus on economics, political, demographic, health, and ethical dimensions of development. Topics covered include economic stagnation, poverty, unhappiness, food insecurity, political repression, ethnic/religious conflict, population displacement, and health. Students obtain the tools and skills to identify development challenges and to measure the effects of interventions on development outcomes.
The international security and economic policy specialization allows students to address 21st century challenges in security and economic policy including international financial crises and trade conflicts, as well as conflicts involving terrorism and destructive technology. The program also focuses on addressing the gap between the need for international management of these issues and the state of current international institutions.
The management and leadership specialization prepares students for future leadership and management at the local, state and federal level. Students study financial mechanisms; management and leadership theories and practices; and learn how government can work with the private and nonprofit sectors.
The nonprofit management and leadership specialization allows students to study financial management for nonprofit organizations, strategic management, strategic philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and theory of nonprofit fundraising.
The public sector financial management specialization prepares students to handle state and local government budgeting, federal budgeting, financial systems control, and analyzing fiscal conditions.
The social policy specialization provides students with the knowledge of relevant history and institutions of social policy, helps students develop their quantitative skills for program evaluation and analysis of large data sets, and helps them handle moral issues raised by inequality.
The centers and institutes located within the Maryland School of Public Policy offer students opportunities to work on research projects with practitioners who make significant contributions to global and domestic policy. The research, educational and service centers at Maryland include: