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MPP Career in Elected Office

How a Pepperdine Master of Public Policy Degree Prepares you for a Career in Elected Office.

What attracted you to Pepperdine School of Public Policy?

When I was an undergraduate at Hillsdale College in Michigan, I was thinking about pursuing a variety of graduate programs including graduate studies in history but I was also interested in political science and politics as an actual vocation. Furthermore, I was thinking about running for office at some point in the future as well. Pepperdine seemed to tie together a lot of those interests that I had. Pepperdine was a place where I could get a practical education that was also grounded in the theoretical basis which emphasized the principles of a free society; which are so critical because we need to have serious thinkers who are going into public life who have that kind of a grounding. We need people in public service who have studied our Constitution, who have studied the principles of deliberation, and the kinds of virtues that it takes to be successful as a leader in a free society. Pepperdine's program is the type of program that we need leaders to take so that they can build and continue to lead successfully in the future.

How does Pepperdine's "liberal arts" approach best prepare future public leaders?

A Pepperdine education is really the best kind of education for decision makers in public life because people are going to need to draw on a variety of sources of knowledge. They will need to be able to make a quantitative analysis as well as need to be able to understand economic principles. We also need people in public service who need to be able to understand statistics but also who need to be able to understand our place in time; they need to understand history. I needed to have some sense of philosophy of the first principles that undergird our democracy and you know I think that's the kind of thing that Pepperdine education provides. With Pepperdine, you're really getting a broad liberal education in leadership and that's a rare thing in our time and I think a valuable thing for those who want to be leaders.

What makes Pepperdine's master program uniquely important?

Pepperdine is different, because it ties together a lot of the elements that you'll find in other public policy or public administration programs, and as well as elements that you'll find in economics and political science programs. You'll even get history which is something that you will not find often in public policy programs, but in a time like we're living in, it is so critical that leaders be trained and practiced in traditional American values because inevitably there are moral judgments that have to be made in public life. In some ways, Pepperdine provides a broad public leadership education and that's the kind of education that I think public leaders need in our time.