Public Policy

Degree Requirements

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The MPP is a two-year professional degree program. The degree includes two levels of requirements: the foundation courses and the professional curriculum. The Master of Public Policy Program now includes the opportunity for students who select a concentration to graduate with a specialization in one of three policy concentrations, including Nonprofit Management, Innovation and Impact, and Education Policy. Previous course work may be applied to the foundation requirements, reducing the number of classes and time needed to graduate. Equivalent courses are those we determine to have covered the essential material covered in the Mills foundation courses.

Foundation Requirements
Credits may be completed at other institutions prior to enrollment in the MPP Program, or by Mills undergraduates on the accelerated BA/MPP track.

  • Introduction to Economics (micro and macroeconomics)
  • Public Policy and Economic Analysis
  • Ethics of Policy/Politics (multiple options)
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Introduction to Statistics or Quantitative Methods
  • Public Sector Economics
  • Methods of Policy Analysis
  • Dimensions of Diversity in Public Policy (multiple options)

Professional Curriculum
(a minimum of eight courses and 24 semester course credits)
Credits must be completed at Mills or through cross-registration.
The professional curriculum consists of six required courses and two electives that offer students opportunities to augment and deepen their skills through practical application. Depending on the number of foundation requirements met prior to entry, students may take some courses from the professional curriculum in the first year of a two-year program. Note, however, that the following (or their equivalents) are prerequisites for PPOL 230/231: Introduction to Economics; Public Policy and Economic Analysis; Introduction to Statistics; Methods of Policy Analysis; and Public Sector Economics.


PPOL 220 Organizational Efficacy (3)

PPOL 221 Political Efficacy (3)

PPOL 227 Local and Community Policy Making, Planning, and Management (3)

PPOL 230 MPP Integrative Core I: Application/Integration of Policy Analysis Frameworks (3)

PPOL 231 MPP Integrative Core II: Application/Integration of Policy Analysis Frameworks (3)

Advanced Analytics and Research Methods (select one course from the following four courses):

MGMT 264 Econometrics and Business Forecasting (3)

PPOL 216 Qualitative Methods in Policy Research (3) or
EDUC 413 Qualitative Methods (4)

PPOL 225 Simulation in the Social and Policy Sciences (3)

Two electives (relevant to policy issues and methods)

Electives will be selected to deepen the student's knowledge of either analytic methods or a policy area of concentration and must be approved by the program director or advisor. In addition to taking classes on campus, Mills students can expand their academic experience by cross-registering for courses at institutions such as UC Berkeley. Students should be aware that graduate-level courses in a substantive policy area or advanced methods may have prerequisites. Electives may also be taken in other Departments at Mills, subject to the advisor’s approval.

See the full list of electives.

For full-time students in the two-year track, the minimum residency is three (3) semesters. For full-time accelerated degree program students, the minimum residency is two (2) semesters. For part-time students in either track, residency requirements are pro-rated.


The following concentrations, listed below, are available to MPP students who wish to specialize in one of the following areas of policy and management. To fulfill a concentration, students will choose three courses, and, in addition, may choose a subject matter or client for their Master’s Policy Report in PPOL 231 (Integrative Core II) that is aligned with the selected concentration. Concentration courses will take the place of two policy electives and, with the advisor’s approval, should fulfill either the advanced analytics and research methods professional curriculum requirement or the dimensions of diversity foundation requirement. In addition to the courses listed below, students may select additional concentration-relevant courses with the advanced approval of the student’s advisor.

Nonprofit Management Concentration

This concentration is valuable to students who hope to work in, lead, start, serve as policy analysts or advocates for, or volunteer in the nonprofit sector. Course work will expose students to how nonprofit strategies are developed, how nonprofit organizations operate, raise money, and seek to generate and scale social impact.


MGMT 270 Nonprofit Management (3)


Choose any two of the following:

MGMT 228 Governmental Accounting and Nonprofit Accounting (4)
Prerequisite: MGMT 214 Financial Accounting

MGMT 234 Human Resources Management (3 credits)

MGMT 271 Strategic Philanthropy and Social Enterprise (3)

Education Policy Concentration

In collaboration with Mills’ School of Education, this new policy concentration is designed to introduce students to the critical policy issues facing schools, students and families, teachers, educational leaders, cities, and education policy-makers today.

Choose any three of the following:

EDUC 203 Public Policy Children, Youth and Family Issues (4)

EDUC 220 Urban Education (4)

EDUC 401 School Leadership (4 credits)

EDUC 413 Qualitative Methods (4)

EDUC 427 Issues of Race and Ethnicity in Education (4)

Innovation and Impact Concentration

Impact and innovation—especially in the social and environmental arena—is a relatively new field focused on applying management skills and innovation capabilities to develop solutions around some of society’s unmet needs and policy challenges. This concentration is designed for students who wish to acquire skills in the field of impact and innovation, regardless of policy area.


MGMT 274 Innovation (3)


Choose any two of the following:

MGMT 223 Digital Marketing(3)

MGMT 271 Strategic Philanthropy and Social Enterprise (3)

MGMT 275 Entrepreneurship (3)

PPOL 214 Social Policy Analysis (3)

PPOL 235 Environmental Policy Analysis (3)

Internship Success

Course List

Master's Policy Report

Course Schedule

Graduate Catalog

Academic Calendar


Contact Information
P: 510.430.3173

If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact or call 510.430.2194.

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Last Updated: 6/9/17