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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Master of Public Policy Courses


The first year is comprised almost entirely of a core curriculum that is required for all students. It is designed to provide a foundation that is steeped in Pepperdine's unique perspective that the formation, evaluation, and practice of public policy is a sacred calling devoted to service at the most profound level. The core curriculum also intends to provide an introduction to the tools necessary for analyzing public policy, its impact on individuals and society, and methods for evaluating the costs and benefits of various policies and programs. 

Much of the first year's curriculum sets up a dialog across courses between the conservative but morally neutral law and economics tradition on the one hand and, on the other, the morally challenging ethical issues whose relationship to specific policies and programs is often not concrete and specific or, at most, left vague and ambiguous. 

The James Q. Wilson Core*

Dedicated to the memory of one of the School of Public Policy's founders and professors, the James Q. Wilson Core reflects Wilson's indelible impression on our curriculum. In particular our distinctive set of required courses immediately begins to prepare students for a well-rounded approach to public policy – one that includes not only its quantitative aspects, but also what it means to consider the "public" in the creation of policy. This necessitates an exploration of the "Great Ideas" on government and citizenship, along with study in America's Founding principles, and how they have shaped the government/citizen relationship over these last two centuries.

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Ethical Dimensions of Public Policy: Great Books and Great Ideas* The Roots of American Order: What is Public Policy?*
Applied Economic Analysis of Public Policy I* Applied Economic Analysis of Public Policy II
Applied Research Methods in Public Policy* Professional Development
Political, Organizational, and Strategic Aspects of Public Policy Analysis* Elective Course
Professional Development Elective Course
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Elective Course Policy Seminar (Capstone)
Elective Course Elective Course
Elective Course Elective Course
Elective Course Elective Course
Professional Development Professional Development

Students select an area of specialization:

  • Applied Economic Policy
  • American Policy and Politics
  • Dispute Resolution
  • International Relations and National Security
  • State and Local Policy

Elective Course Offerings:

 Applied Economic Policy

 American Policy and Politics

 International Relations and National Security

 State and Local Policy

 Dispute Resolution

  • Seminar in Dispute Resolution in Public Policy