Office of Admissions
In the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, we drive interdisciplinary thinking and problem solving on issues of pressing concern to society at local, state, national, and international level – from transportation, housing, energy and community development to social and environmental justice, resilience and sustainability. By educating students in both theory and practice, we prepare them to become effective contributors to social, economic, and environmental change, in careers spanning the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, as well as academic research. Our degree, certificate and international exchange programs, and cutting-edge research centers are putting into place the intellectual and institutional infrastructure required to create lasting solutions for social, economic and environmental challenges.
MA in International Affairs
Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Policy
MS in Urban and Regional Policy
MS in Urban Informatics
MS in Security and Resilience (via the Department of Political Science)
JD/MS in Law and Public Policy (Dual Degree)
PhD in Public Policy
Fields of Specialization/Study Tracks
Government (Public) Administration
Healthcare Policy / Management
Security Studies (National or International)
Urban Studies / Regional Planning
Graduate Program Overview
Located in Boston, the Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs is at the forefront of social and policy effects in a dynamic urban setting. Our degree programs, research centers and broad array of experiential learning opportunities enable our students to hone their skills and make positive impacts wherever their careers take them, from local town offices and nongovernmental organizations to national governments and international institutions. Our programs stress flexibility, career relevance, and experience, as obtained through internships, capstone projects and, as an option, through six month full-time job experiences via Northeastern's signature cooperative education program.
Three programs -- the MPA, MPP, and MSUI -- can be completed fully online.
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is the management and leadership degree for those seeking to serve the public good. The program equips its students with skills in policy analysis, program evaluation, research methods, and written and verbal communications. Students also develop competencies in budgeting and human resources, organizational management and leadership, and the interplay between ethics and accountability in a diverse society. Throughout the degree program, students gain career-oriented experience through internships, small group projects, and other interactions with professionals in the field. These experiences are designed to enable the Northeastern MPA graduate to move into a wide array of public and nonprofit sector positions at the local, state, national, and international levels. The MPA can be completed entirely on campus, fully online, or in a mix of modalities.
The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is the recognized “industry standard” for those seeking careers in public policy analysis, design, and evaluation. The Northeastern MPP 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, nonprofit, and private sector settings. The MPP can be completed entirely on campus, fully online, or in a mix of modalities.
The Master of Science in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) trains leaders interested in building just and sustainable solutions to today’s critical urban problems. The program combines the expertise in urban planning, policy analysis, and data analytics from the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs with expertise in physical planning, design, and data visualization from the School of Architecture. Its curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in research design and statistics, economic analysis, legal foundations planning, and the history of urban development and urban planning. Students also specialize in one of four concentrations — urban analytics, urban sustainability and resilience, urban design and physical planning, and urban development policy and planning.
The MS in Urban Informatics (MSUI) couples comprehensive data analytics skills with an understanding of the big questions faced by cities. The MSUI 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 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 of the MSUI 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. The MSUI can be completed entirely on campus, fully online, or in a mix of modalities.
The MA in International Affairs (MIAF) is an interdisciplinary graduate program dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s global citizens. 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 harnessing their constructive potential. The MAIF takes a holistic approach to enhancing our understanding of the world, spanning the limits of any one academic field and embrace cross-disciplinary analytical competencies. Courses are taught by leading 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.
The MS in Security and Resilience Studies (SRS), offered through the Department of Political Science, is an emerging field of inquiry that focuses on how global, national, and sub-national actors manage a range of chronic transnational challenges that can be destabilizing to societies such as terrorism, organized crime, weapons proliferation, cyber-attacks, bio-terrorism, climate change and catastrophic disasters, migration, and radicalization. This field of studies explores how strategic doctrines, organization processes, bureaucratic behaviors and security tools and tactics are adapting to these challenges by placing greater emphasis on resilience. Resilience is a concept rooted in multiple disciplines that is gaining widespread currency at the community, societal, and global levels given the prevalence of human-made and naturally-occurring threats that do not lend themselves to preventive and protective measures. Recent SRS graduates have found employment in a number of security and resilience-related industries.
The JD/MS in Law and Public Policy (LPP) is a joint program with and open only to students in the Northeastern University School of Law designed to equip graduates with a unique blend of skills for navigating a complex and rapidly changing policy landscape. The program builds on students’ legal training with a compelling blend of skills in applied public policy analysis, policy design, and strategic policy formation. Students also gain career-relevant experience through internships, small group capstone projects, and other interactions with professionals in the field. All are part of a learning process designed to enable the Northeastern Law and Public Policy graduates to navigate and redefine diverse policy areas. Applicants must first be admitted to the Northeastern University School of Law.
The PhD in Public Policy (PhD) is a scholarly-focused degree and training program for individuals interested in conducting research in academia or other high-level professional settings such as think tanks, nonprofit organizations, industry, and government. It equips students with the skills to solve issues of pressing concern to society at national and international levels, from health care, sustainability and resilience, to transportation, housing and community development. Students take core courses on policy, quantitative and qualitative methodology, and research design, and they specialize in one of three concentrations: Sustainability and Resilience, Urban and Regional Policy, and Health Care Policy and Management. Students, therefore, develop insight, experience, and synergies while working with faculty on key research projects or working at any of the School’s research centers. The School provides a high level of support allowing students to excel in their studies and research. The PhD program is highly selective and can only be completed full time and on campus.
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.
Applicants submit transcripts, resume, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement describing their area of interest, career goals and why the program is a good fit. GRE scores are required for the PhD. See the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs website for more information about application requirements.
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