MPA vs. MPP | Master of Public Policy Degree Comparison | Pepperdine University | School of Public Policy

MPA vs. MPP: Why Choose a Master of Public Policy

How does a Master of Public Policy (MPP) differ from a Master of Public Administration (MPA), and what's different about Pepperdine's approach to a public policy masters degree? Distinctive curriculums, skill sets, and job opportunities set the two graduate degrees apart in unique ways that help define your public policy focus, and Pepperdine's view since our founding has always been to prepare well-rounded and grounded public leaders.


A student obtaining a Master of Public Policy will gain a background in:

• A blend of technical and leadership skills.

• Policy development and policy implementation.

• Research methods, statistical and economic
cost-benefit analyses in creation of public policies.

• Data-driven program evaluation and strategy with emphasis on research and analysis.

A student obtaining a Master of Public Administration will gain a background in:

• Improving managerial processes in the public sector through organizational decision-making and management training.

• Management of public finance.

• Program implementation, management, and administration.

Pepperdine's unique "James Q. Wilson Core" requires coursework in economics and statistics, as well as study in the history and philosophy of American political institutions and a survey of the "Great Ideas" that have influenced the citizen/government relationship.

Core courses require more classes in administration and leadership and cover more about management.

Possible fields of study:

• American Politics and Public Policy

• Budget and Public Finance

• Public Engagement as a Leadership Skill

• Economic Policy & Philosophy

• Education Policy

• Environmental Policy

• Health Policy

• International Development Policy

• International Relations

• National Security and Foreign Policy

• Nonprofit Management

• Program Evaluation and Analysis

• Regulatory Policy

• Social Policy

• State and Local Policy

• Urban Policy

Possible fields of study:

• Budget and Public Finance

• Federal Policy, Politics and Management

• International Development Management

• Managing State and Local Governments

• Nonprofit Management

• Public-Private Policy and Management