Master of Public Policy (MPP) Courses | Master of Public Policy Curriculum | Pepperdine University | School of Public Policy

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'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
The Roots of American Order: What is Public Policy* Political, Organizational, and Strategic Aspects of Public Policy Analysis*
Ethical Dimensions of Public Policy: Great Books and Great Ideas* Applied Economic Analysis of Public Policy II*
Applied Economic Analysis of Public Policy I* Professional Development
Applied Research Methods in Public Policy* 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
  • International Relations and National Security
  • State and Local Policy

Elective Course Offerings:

Applied Economic Policy

  • Advanced Econometrics
  • Applied Econometrics
  • Applied Methods
  • Criminal Justice
  • Development of American Economic Institutions and Policies
  • Economics and Policy of Science and Innovation
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
  • Global Economics
  • International Aid
  • Labor Economics
  • Latin American Economic Development
  • Law and Economics
  • Public Finance and Public Choice
  • Seminar in Economic Policies (Selected Topics)
  • Social Policy
  • Urban and Regional Economics

American Policy and Politics

  • American Democratic Culture
  • American Strategies in World Politics
  • Contemporary American Ideologies
  • Environmental Regulation, Business, and Society
  • Federalism and the Progressives
  • Immigration Policy
  • Opinions, Passions, and Interests
  • Public Policy and Education in America
  • Public Policy and Political Economy
  • Public Policy and Religion
  • Public Policy and Social Regulation
  • Public Policy and the Family
  • Public Policy and the Legal Framework
  • Public Policy in Modern America
  • Seminar in Political Issues (Selected Topics)
  • Strategy and Rhetoric in of Presidential Campaigns
  • The Political Biography of a New Policy

International Relations and National Security

  • Business-Government Cooperation
  • Comparative Democracy and Federalism
  • Contemporary Issues in American Foreign Policy
  • Contending Approaches to International Politics
  • Global Migration and International Relations
  • International Conflict Management
  • International Institutions and the New Diplomacy
  • National Security and Freedom
  • Prudence in Politics
  • Public Diplomacy in a Global Context
  • Region-Specific Studies (Africa, China, Eastern Europe, Middle East, etc.)
  • Seminar in International Relations (Selected Topics)
  • Statecraft from Machiavelli to Kissinger and Beyond
  • Studies in United States Relations with Other Nations
  • The World Leadership Role of the United States
  • War, Strategy, Democracy, and Politics

State and Local Policy

  • Aging Policy and Local Implementation
  • Leadership through Public Engagement
  • Regional Governing Institutions
  • Regional Policies: Southern California as World Microcosm
  • Permissions, Development, and the Environment
  • Policies Past and Present: The History and Wealth of Cities
  • Policy Relationships of State and Local Government
  • Seminar in Regional Policies (Selected Topics)
  • The Financing of Local and Regional Government
  • Urban and Agricultural Policies