Graduate Division

Master of Public Policy

Section 1


The Master of Public Policy program is a two-year, professional program aimed at training the next generation of policy leaders. In addition to mastering the interdisciplinary curriculum, students complete a 400-hour summer internship, and address a policy concern in a two-quarter Capstone Project. With an eye trained towards social justice, the program draws upon the expertise of faculty from across the campus and is especially strong in such areas as:

  • Environmental Policy
  • Sustainable/Affordable Communities
  • Criminal Justice Policy
  • Workforce Policy
  • Education Policy

The program strives to provide professional development and networking opportunities through on campus workshops, participation in professional meetings and hosting an annual policy forum.

What Sets Us Apart?

The greater Orange County community provides our students with the perfect laboratory to study critical policy issues that are impacting the entire nation and beyond. California is recognized as a policy innovator because it has been forced to deal with pressing issues such as immigration, prison overcrowding, minimum wage reform, and sea-level rise long before most other parts of the nation. Orange County is becoming increasingly diverse with a multicultural population base that varies greatly in terms of social and economic status. The varied landscape highlights the need to create policies that carefully balance the competing interests of local constituencies. 

No one discipline, no one methodology, and no single analytical tool will provide "the answer" sought to address complex issues. Our MPP program prides itself on taking a more complete view of the policy process by requiring students to understand the roles that social movements and advocacy play in shaping policy outcomes. In addition to offering training in quantitative methods, students are also introduced to the qualitative methods that make unpacking complex issues possible.

Our students are winning awards and securing jobs. They nearly swept the competition at the 2018 APPAM Regional Student Conference by winning First and Third Place for the presentation of their innovative policy work. The highest praise for our program comes the agencies and institutions that hire our students. Examples of placements include:

  • League of California Cities
  • Bay Area Council
  • California State Auditor’s Office

Quick Facts

Program Type

Professional Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

2 years

Capstone Type

Capstone Project

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

UC Irvine seeks applicants from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and work expierences. Individuals who meet the following requirements are encouraged to apply!

  •     Demonstrated passion for learning and helping to solve social problems
  •     Interest in multi-disciplinary studies
  •     Self-motivated and able to work collaboratively with others
  •     Completed Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  •     Can provide transcripts that show a minimum grade point average of 3.0
  •     Can submit scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  •     Experience in a related field is encouraged, but not required

Financial Support

Applicants who wish to apply for need based grants or loans will need to file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Assistance) form through the UCI Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Tuition & Fees

 Master of Public Policy Fees 2019-20 Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition 2,532.00 2,532.00 2,532.00 7,596.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Document Fee * 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total California Resident $ 8,440.87 $ 8,440.87 $ 8,440.86 $ 25,322.60
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 4,082.00 4,082.00 4,081.00 12,245.00
Total Nonresident $ 12,522.87 $ 12,522.87 $ 12,521.86 $ 37,567.60

Posted 17July 2019:

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Victoria Basolo
Professor of Planning, Policy and Design
Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Frank D. Bean
Chancellor's Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., Duke University

Matthew N. Beckmann
Associate Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., University of Michigan

Tom Boellstorff
Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., Stanford University

Scott A. Bollens
Chair of the Department of Planning, Policy and Design and Professor of Planning, Policy & Design; Warmington Chair in Peace & International Cooperation
Ph.D., University of North Carolina, AICP

Catherine Bolzendahl
Associate Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., Indiana University

Graeme Boushey
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., University of Washington

Susan K. Brown
Associate Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., University of Washington

Tim Bruckner
Associate Professor of Public Health and Planning, Policy and Design
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Jan Brueckner
Department Chair and Professor of Economics
Ph.D., Stanford University

Carter T. Butts
Professor of Sociology & Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences
Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon

Damon Clark
Assistant Professor of Economics
Ph.D., University of Oxford

Linda Cohen
Professor of Economics and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology

Jim Danziger
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Ph.D, Stanford University

Louis DeSipio
Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Greg J. Duncan
Distinguished Professor Dept. of Education
Ph.D., University of Michigan

George Farkas
Professor Dept. of Education
Ph.D., Cornell

David Feldman
Professor of Planning, Policy and Design and Political Science
Ph.D., University of Missouri

Martha Feldman
Professor of Planning, Policy and Design, Management, Sociology, and Political Science; Johnson Chair for Civic Governance and Public Management
Ph.D., Stanford University

Cynthia Feliciano
Associate Professor of Sociology & Chicano/Latino Studies

Amihai Glazer
Professor of Economics
Ph.D., Yale University

Matthew Harding
Associate Professor of Economics and Statistics
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

C. Ronald Huff
Professor Emeritus of Criminology, Law & Society and Sociology
Ph.D., Ohio State University

Richard Matthew
Professor of Planning, Policy & Design and Political Science; Director - Center for Unconventional Security Affairs, and Blum Center for Global Engagement
Ph.D., Princeton University

Bill Maurer
Dean, School of Social Science
Professor of Anthropology & Professor of Law
Ph.D., Stanford University

Cheryl Maxson
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D., University of Southern California

David S. Meyer
Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Planning, Policy, and Design
Ph.D., Boston University

David Neumark
Professor of Economics
Ph.D., Harvard University

Andrew Noymer
Associate Professor of Public Health
Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Emily Owens
Associate Professor of Criminology, Law, and Society
Ph.D., University of Maryland-College Park

Andrew Penner
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Mark Petracca
Associate Dean, Social Science; Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., University of Chicago

Seth Pipkin
Assistant Professor of Planning, Policy & Design
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Maria Rendon
Assistant Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design & Sociology
Ph.D., Harvard University

Shawn W. Rosenberg
Professor of Political Science and Psychology & Social Behavior
M. Litt., Oxford University

Ruben G. Rumbaut
Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., Brandeis University

Jean-Daniel Saphores
Professor Civil & Environmental Engineering
Ph.D., Cornell University

Yang Su
Associate Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., Stanford University

George Tita
Director, Master of Public Policy
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society and Planning, Policy & Design
Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University

Susan F. Turner
Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Geoff Ward
Associate Professor of Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D., University of Michigan

Students & Alumni

Alumni Profile: Derek Dolfie

Student Profile: Erika Libiar Estrada

If you would like to get in touch with current MPP students, contact the student group - the Public Policy Student Association (PPSA) - at ppsa.uci@gmail.comA board member will answer any questions you may have, get you in touch with other students, faculty, or staff, or provide you with general information about the MPP program here at UC Irvine.