The online criminal justice master's degree at Saint Joseph's University will help you advance a career in the fields of law enforcement, intelligence and forensic behavioral health. This program has been recognized as one of the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report.
Public Policy MS
Saint Joseph’s University’s Master of Science in Public Policy (MPP) includes multidisciplinary coursework that concentrates on the theory, analysis and application of policy. Public policy students will investigate policy as well as the relationships that have a voice in the policymaking process.
You will gain important critical-thinking skills through an inclusive and diverse community lens to help populations that are often marginalized in the policymaking process. The interdisciplinary coursework focuses on theory, analysis and application of policy to prepare you for a future career or graduate work. You will gain the requisite skills and knowledge to pursue careers in the public or private sector. This program will also equip you with preparation to pursue graduate work in public policy, political science, economics, sociology and other related disciplines.
You will take courses in:
- Advanced Research Methods & Analysis
- Advising & Advocacy
- State and Local Government
- Women and American Politics
- Economics of Labor
- EU and European Politics
- Poverty, Ethics, & Public Policy
- Race, Crime & Criminal Justice
- American Foreign Policy
- Ethics in International Relations
- Women, Gender & Global Politics
- Environmental Economics
- Urban Economics
- Healthcare Economics
- Global Smarts Internship
Museums, Monuments and Media
What Sets Our Program Apart
With a public policy degree, you will be prepared for a successful career as an engaged citizen. You will obtain the critical thinking, communication and leadership skills necessary to understand and shape public policy. The curriculum covers many disciplines and offers experiential learning opportunities for hands-on learning. By studying public policy at a Jesuit university, you will also develop ethical decision-making skills that will help you develop and promote policies to elevate those marginalized in society.
The master’s in public policy major offers a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts that encourages students to investigate social problems, explore ethical standards and considerations and examine issues of equity across a variety of contexts. The goal is to prepare students for personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship by equipping them with the skills that are necessary to understand the broad societal impact of public policy.
Public policy students take part in a wide variety of career-enhancing opportunities in Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York City and surrounding cities. You will partake in internship opportunities at The Washington Center and various other service-learning experiences.
Our exciting and challenging curriculum allows students to engage in an in-depth study of public policy research. You will also have the opportunity to complete a thesis alongside nationally renowned faculty through two thesis supervision courses, allowing you to complete a thesis. Your thesis will explore a specific issue, question or problem related to any aspect of public policy that interests you, including:
- Social Welfare
- Economic Development
- Environmental Sustainability
- Healthcare Policy
- Education Policy
- International Relations
If you’re a current undergraduate student at Saint Joseph’s University, you can begin earning credits toward a master’s degree in public policy during your senior year. Through Saint Joseph's 4+1 program, you can graduate with a bachelor's and master's degree in only five years, saving you time and money.
Students interested in this program should apply to the graduate program during their junior year and be conditionally accepted before completing their bachelor's degree. Interested students should also discuss this opportunity with their advisor and the public policy program director.
Requirements for Acceptance into the 4+1 Program:
- Students will need to major or minor in public policy (but may use graduate classes in place of undergraduate equivalents)
- Submit a complete undergraduate transcript, two letters of recommendation/reference, a resume and an essay describing your interests and goals of graduate education in public policy
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00
- 30 credit hours of coursework (3 courses (9 credit hours) can be completed during the student’s senior year. Students will typically take the remaining 7 courses (21 credit hours) during their +1 master’s degree year.)
What Can You Do With a Master’s in Public Policy?
Students who study public policy at Saint Joseph's University are well-prepared for a wide range of public policy careers, including:
- Political positions in local, state or federal legislator
- Non-political options within government or nonprofit sector
Graduates also often obtain public policy jobs such as:
- Public policy analyst
- Public relations specialist
- Legal analyst
- Advancement manager in nonprofit
Affordable tuition options start at $965 per credit.*
*This rate applies to all students accepted by Saint Joseph's University after June 1, 2023.
Tuition and fee rates for students accepted prior to June 1, 2023 differ. Pricing does not include room and board, health insurance or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our tuition & fees page or contact us for more information.
Financial aid may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our financial aid page.
Saint Joseph's alumni are eligible to receive 10% off the cost of this program through our alumni discount.
Have you completed a year or more of service with a recognized service organization? You may be eligible for our mission discount.
Check with your employer to see if they are an Edcor or a Bright Horizons EdAssist member, which may entitle you to a discount on graduate programs.
Note: discounts cannot be combined.
Saint Joseph’s University is approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, that assesses institutions for the highest available form of accreditation.
Graduate assistantships are offered on a limited basis. Full-time foreign language education MS students are eligible for graduate teaching assistantships that provide a stipend and scholarship for tuition. Qualified students may find employment as assistants in introductory laboratories. Please contact the program director for availability.
Saint Joseph’s University is a Yellow Ribbon School that accepts GI education benefits. Our Office of Veterans’ Services can help you access and understand your benefits.
Why Study Public Policy in Philadelphia?
One of the nation's largest cities, Philadelphia offers countless job opportunities in the field of public policy. Additionally, Saint Joseph's central Philadelphia location offers internships that connect you to the real-life experiences of government and nonprofits.
To be considered for admission you must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and have earned an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Apply online.
- Submit official college transcripts from all colleges attended.
- Submit a personal statement.
- Submit resume.
- Submit two letters of recommendation.
Visit our graduate admission information page to learn more about admission requirements, key deadlines, additional requirements for international students and how to submit your application.
Graduate applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. New students may enroll in courses during the fall, spring or summer semesters.
- Fall: August
- Spring: January
- Summer: May
If you’re applying as an international student, you must provide proof of English Language Proficiency and Certification of Finances along with your application. Check the graduate admission page for additional requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
The average annual salary of a Public Policy Manager in the U.S. is $142,910.
A master's thesis in public policy is expected to make an original contribution to the field. This could involve proposing new policy recommendations, analyzing existing policies, identifying gaps in current policy approaches or offering innovative solutions to pressing societal issues.
An important aspect of a public policy thesis involves discussing the practical implications of research findings. Typically 50 to 100 pages, the thesis should follow a logical progression, leading the reader from the introduction through the research methodology, findings, analysis and conclusion. The thesis serves as a way for you to demonstrate your research and analytical skills while contributing to the ongoing discussions and developments in the field of public policy.