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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Careers in Public Policy

Malibu Beach

See Your Career Differently From Here

While the government is where public policies ultimately become laws, at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, we recognize that the cultivation and creation of policy can and often comes from a variety of areas. That is why we support and encourage our students and alumni to seek out careers not just in local, state, federal, or international government, but also in the nonprofit arena and the private sector. We believe an MPP degree is a multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary degree. As such, your career opportunities are just as varied.

The Master of Public Policy Degree is More than a Master's Degree in Government Service

Policy internships put the studies into practice. 

  • Policy Internship (MPP 699) – The policy internship requirement ensures students get hands-on public policy experience.
  • Professional Development (MPP 608) – The professional development requirement enables students to build their professional skills and networks, and see the variety of career opportunities available to them.

Policy Internship Organizations have Included

Research Think Tanks

  • American Enterprise Institute
  • The Black Institute
  • Cato Institute
  • Center for Islam and Religious Freedom
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Hoover Institution
  • International Institute for Counter-Terrorism

Governmental Organizations

  • City of Los Angeles
  • National Right to Work
  • Office of the Governor of New Hampshire
  • Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor
  • United Nations Children's Fund
  • US Department of Defense
  • US Department of Homeland Security
  • US Department of State
  • The White House Internship Program

Private Sector

  • Commonwealth Consulting
  • Duke Energy
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Policy Consulting Associates
  • The Polling Company
  • Roche Pharmaceuticals
  • Sempra Energy
  • SMART Development Center

Nonprofit Sector

  • Cambodian Center for Human Rights
  • Freedom House
  • Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation
  • Los Angeles World Airports
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • National Review
  • US Chamber of Commerce
  • World Trade Center of Los Angeles

Employer Organizations Include

Research Think Tanks

  • Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Hoover Institution
  • Manhattan Institute
  • Milken Institute 

Governmental Organizations

  • Board of Supervisors, County of Orange, California
  • Department of Education, State of New Mexico

Private Sector

  • Accenture
  • Anthem, Inc.
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Lionsgate

Nonprofit Sector

  • American Israel Public Affairs Committee
  • Intercollegiate Studies Institute
  • RAND Corporation
  • The Ronald Reagan Foundation

Policy Leadership in Action

Employers across sectors recognize the critical thinking, problem solving, and ethics Pepperdine MPP graduates consistently bring to their organizations and missions.

Wavemaker Testimonials

  • "In both my role as the former White House assistant press secretary and currently as a Hoover Institution associate director overseeing media relations, public affairs, and Washington, DC, programming, SPP's foundation prepared me to understand and appropriately communicate the ideas and research I disseminate to the public, policy-makers, and other policy influencers." - Eryn Witcher Tillman ('97, MPP '99) Associate Director and the Bechtel Director of Public Affairs, Hoover Institution
  • "The Pepperdine School of Public Policy allowed me to develop a skill set necessary to compete in an increasingly regulatory state. As part of the public policy team within Anthem's Public Affairs department, we work to address our members' needs at both the state and federal level. Together, my team assists different lines of business to navigate the rocky shoals of an ever-changing healthcare industry." - Sean Whitney ('13, MPP '16) Health Policy Analyst, Anthem, Inc.
  • "The program at the School of Public Policy helped me to think in a structured way about public policy, giving me the tools to be an effective legislator. Understanding the foundational aspects of our democracy and having a framework for deliberation are critical to making a meaningful impact as an elected official." - Hans Zeiger (MPP '09) Former Washington State Senator, 25th District; Commissioner, Pierce County, Washington