Public Policy

Student Research—For Potential Clients « Return to Public Policy Resources

The Mills College Public Policy Program can help government and nonprofit organizations answer their important policy questions. Graduate students in our Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Joint MPP/MBA Programs have training in economics, statistics, and multidisciplinary research methods, and are available to conduct independent analyses of policy problems for agencies and institutions. Under faculty supervision, each Mills MPP student produces a Master's Policy Report (MPR), a professional paper that meets both the school's academic standards and the needs of a practitioner who acts as a client for the project.

Potential clients are invited to contact the Mills Public Policy Program faculty to discuss possible research areas. MPR topics should be specific and bounded policy or program questions that lend themselves to in-depth analysis, such as:

  • Assessing policy alternatives
  • Evaluating program effectiveness
  • Designing a new program or service model
  • Planning strategies for organizational improvement
  • Marketing to different communities or funders

View summaries of recently completed MPRs on our Research webpage. Visit The Policy Forum, a student-run online journal, to read additional work and analysis by Mills public policy students.


MPR Timeline

August–November Students negotiate with clients about topics and objectives.
Early December Memoranda of Understanding drafted by students and reviewed and approved by clients and faculty advisors.
January Students begin research.
February–March Students continue to work on projects and attend a weekly research seminar.
Early April Students submit draft papers for feedback from faculty advisors and clients.
Early May Final papers are due to faculty advisors and clients.


Program Contacts

To find out more about how Mills MPP students can help your organization, please contact MPP Program Director Mark Henderson (510.430.3169,