Office of Admissions

The School provides policy-relevant and professional training for tomorrow's leaders, fosters interdisciplinary social science research on critical public policy issues, energizes sustained community involvement through collaborations with local, regional, national and global institutions, and offers a venue for public discourse and problem solving.

Degrees Offered

MA in International Affairs
Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Policy
MS in Urban and Regional Policy
MS in Urban Informatics
JD/MS in Law and Public Policy (Dual Degree)
PhD in Law and Public Policy


Fields of Specialization/Study Tracks

Environmental Policy
Government (Public) Administration
Healthcare Policy / Management
Housing / Economic Development
Law / International Law
Nonprofit Management
Public Finance / Budgeting
Social Policy / Poverty
Urban Studies / Regional Planning

Graduate Program Overview

The School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs is focused on training the next generation of public policy makers and shapers, whether they plan careers in local, state or federal government service, in non-profit agencies, in advocacy roles within their communities, or in government relations in the private sector. Experiential learning is a key component of our professional graduate programs.

We live in an increasingly interconnected global environment where people, goods, ideas and conflicts traverse borders with rising frequency. Leaders in the activist, policy and academic spheres must learn not only how to critically analyze these phenomena but also to envisage har-nessing their constructive potential. Northeastern University is delighted to announce the September 2015 launch of a new interdisciplinary graduate program dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s global citizens: the MA in International Affairs. A holistic approach to enhancing our understanding of the world must span the limits of any one academic field and embrace cross-disciplinary analytical competencies. Spanning several Social Sciences and Humanities our courses are taught by cutting-edge scholars who research Democratization, Gender, Globalization, Ethnic Conflict and Cooperation, Human Rights and International Law, International Relations, Social Activism, Social Justice and many other topics. Through its core courses, its two tracks — Democratization, Globalization and Social Justice, and International Public Policy — global and regional electives, this graduate program allows students to pursue a variety of themes.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program integrates theoretical foundations with practical skills in the public sector, and is directed toward defining and developing analytical, conceptual and practical competencies for management and leadership careers in the public or non-profit sectors. With classes scheduled after 5 PM, or provided online, the program is designed for both the full-time student and current public-sector professionals. We provide a practice-oriented and research-based graduate educational experience. Our MPA program will prepare students to be effective in a dynamic and increasingly diverse professional environment. We are committed to the ideals of public service, high levels of academic excellence combined with ethical and professional integrity, and advancing the public interest. We seek students who share the same enthusiasm.

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree is the recognized “industry standard” for those seeking careers in public policy analysis and design. As such, a typical MPP degree emphasizes the analysis of data and other relevant information to enable graduates to assess public problems, develop appropriate policy responses, and evaluate program effectiveness. MPP graduates enter careers as policy analysts, researchers, consultants, program evaluators, and policymakers in a broad range of public and nonprofit settings, ranging from the local to the international, and in the private sector. At Northeastern, the MPP joins our long established and nationally accredited Masters of Public Administration (MPA) as well as our Masters in Urban and Regional Policy (MURP), Urban Informatics, and International Affairs. As such, MPP students will be part of a larger Policy School community of great intellectual and policy area diversity.

MS in Urban & Regional Policy: The 21st century will see most of us living in urban areas. As a result, policymakers will need creative solutions to the economic, social, environmental and political challenges facing cities, within the context of a complex and integrated global economy. Students in the Master of Urban & Regional Policy program analyze and develop real-world solutions to these challenges, be they in housing, energy and transportation, resource sustainability, civil infrastructure, or economic opportunity. The Program's uniqueness is its strong emphasis on a curriculum integrating theoretical thinking on sustainability and urban development with a "research toolkit" spanning an array of cutting-edge analytical techniques and methodologies. It addresses the need for a new breed of urban policy analysts and practitioners, who better understand two critical issues about the 21st century metropolitan area: (1) the opportunities and challenges for cities and suburbs of being part of a fully globalized economy and (2) the opportunities and challenges for sustainability in a world of dwindling resources and environmental constraints.

The MS in Urban Informatics (MSUI) program couples comprehensive data analytics skills with an understanding of the big questions faced by cities. Students that graduate from the program will be provided with a framework that outlines the major social, political and environmental challenges in contemporary urbanization along with a focus on the data analytics skills that can help to address these challenges. The MSUI program is built upon a unique cross-college initiative at Northeastern University, which offers comprehensive state-of-the-art training in the core skills of data analytics including quantitative analysis, data mining, machine learning, and data visualization. Students in the MSUI program supplement training in these core skills with a sequence of courses that address how data and technology are being used to address the key social and environmental challenges faced by contemporary cities. This theoretically informed perspective on urban data and technology is applied through professional research practicums and client-based projects. Graduates from the Urban Informatics program will be a part of the next wave of urban professionals ready to integrate data analytic skills with knowledge of the socio-political dimension of cities. Given the continuous growth in urban data and technology, these professionals will be essential to shaping the future of cities throughout the globe. This program provides a uniquely integrated urban and informatics degree with a substantial experiential education component. Embedded within the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, the Northeastern program in Urban Informatics connects substantial education in data analytics with applied policy and urban theory. As cities increasingly define the frontier of professional applications in data analytics, such training is essential for our urban future.

The PhD in Law and Public Policy prepares students for careers in government, non-profit and legal organizations, and research. We examine law, legal institutions, and public policy from an interdisciplinary social science perspective. Students examine a full range of strategies for creating policy change, including legislation, litigation, the ballot box, and civil action. Students engage in policy analysis and applied research that develops real-world solutions to public policy challenges. The PhD program offers an innovative, rigorous and empirically based law and public policy curriculum that prepares graduates to enter careers in academia, research, and government service. The program focuses on the full scope of law and public policy from an interdisciplinary social science and legal perspective. Students acquire an understanding of how law and public policy is created, modified, and studied at all levels of government, and develop the skills to choose and implement the right approaches and sophisticated tools to do theoretically-based policy analysis.

Admissions Deadline

Fall: August 1
Spring: December 1
Summer: April 1

Please visit our website for more information on priority deadlines for financial aid and deadlines for international students.

Admissions Overview

Applicants submit transcripts, resume, three letters of recommendation, in addition to a personal statement describing their area of interest, career goals and why the program is a good fit. See the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs website for more information about application requirements.

Contact Information

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA

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