Four Plus One Public Policy Degree Program

Advance your career. Enhance your community.

Careers in public policy include appointed public positions, consultancy roles and non-profit leadership positions that deal with budgeting and finance, economic development, environmental protection, public education, public health, social services and other policy fields. Temple alumni who already work in these fields provide important networks through which our graduates gain entrée into exciting and rewarding public policy jobs.

Upcoming Information Sessions

Main Campus - Sessions are from 11:40am – 12:30pm and from 12:40pm – 1:30pm.

Center City Campus - Sessions are from 5:00 -7:00pm. A full presentation begins at 5:40pm. If you prefer to attend via WebEx, please RSVP to mpp@temple.edu.


Frequently Asked Questions

This guide gives answers to many of the questions we receive about Temple’s MPP program that are not addressed elsewhere on our website. If your question isn’t included here, feel free to reach us at MPP@temple.edu. We will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Q: Do you offer MPP courses during the summer or on Saturdays? At this time, a limited number of elective courses are offered in the summer. As the program grows, we anticipate that more elective and required courses will be offered in the summer. We may also offer Saturday courses in the future if sufficient numbers of students indicate interest.

Q: When do Temple’s academic terms begin and end? Fall semesters generally begin at the end of August, the week before Labor Day and end in mid-December. Spring semesters begin in mid-January and end in the beginning of May. See the full academic calendar.

Q: What are the requirements for international students? International students who have not earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree from a U.S. institution must take a test of academic English. These scores are required if you were not born on American soil and were educated at an institution outside the United States. They are also required if you are a U.S. citizen with a degree earned abroad from an institution where the language of instruction was not in English. No photocopies of score reports tests are acceptable. Scores for the IELTS™, TOEFL® and PTE Academic™ must be reported by the testing service to Temple University within two years of the applicant’s test date. For the minimum acceptable scores on the English language exams and information about other requirements for international applicants, see Temple University’s Graduate School page.

Q: When should I expect to hear about admission decisions? We make admissions decisions only after we receive complete applications and the application fee is paid. When you apply, make sure you are in contact with the Assistant Director, Jeff Antsen, to make sure all your neccesary documents are accounted for. Once your file is complete, the MPP Director reviews your application and makes a recommendation to the College of Liberal Arts, which makes the final decision about admissions. Once the Director makes his recommendation, applicants usually receive an official letter within two weeks from the Graduate School.

Q: What should I do after I am admitted in order to register for classes? After you are admitted, the Assistant Director, Jeff Antsen, sends you a Matriculation Form. Return the form to the College of Liberal Arts admissions office, along with the $200 graduate course deposit (paid online or by check). Once we receive the deposit, you may register for courses using your password, Temple ID number and username. To ensure you register for the appropriate first semester courses, consult with the MPP Director. After consulting with the Director, register through the TUPortal for your courses. If you have problems with registration, contact Mr. Antsen or our Coordinator, Tanya Taylor.

Q: Can I take MPP courses before I apply for admission? Yes. You can take up to 9 credits as “non-matriculated” student. If you are admitted to the MPP program, the credits you already have completed count towards the degree. If you are considering taking MPP courses as a non-matriculated student, contact the MPP Director before registering for classes.

Q: Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation? If you are graduating soon or are a recent graduate, your letters should primarily come from professors who taught your courses, or other faculty at your institution with whom you have worked closely. If you have been out of school for a while, then supervisors or colleagues who can speak to your skills and experience are more appropriate for letters of recommendation. A mix of different types of references is always desirable.

Q: Can the 3.0 GPA requirement be waived? The 3.0 requirement is University policy and can be waived only under extraordinary circumstances, such as a clear pattern of academic improvement over the course of a rigorous undergraduate training, particularly in upper-level courses.

Q: Will you accept applications after scheduled deadlines? We may only be able to give full consideration to applications that we receive before these the important deadlines. Sometimes we are able to accept applications after the stated deadlines, but we cannot guarantee that late applications will be processed and evaluated in time for enrollment in your preferred semester.

Q: What are the MPP courses like? MPP required courses usually have 25 students or less and consist of a mixture of class discussion, lecture and in some cases, oral reports and presentations. Plan on doing significant reading before each course meeting. Most classes require a mix of individual and small group work.

Q: Can I join this program if I may not be able to attend some seminars? We realize that many prospective MPP students work part-time or full-time and have many life obligations in addition to pursuing this degree. However, we expect that MPP students make attending all regularly scheduled course meetings a primary weekly priority.

Q: How many and what kinds of electives are offered? We usually offer two electives per semester at our Center City campus. Students who are able to travel to Main campus for courses that start at 5:30 pm, will have a greater number and variety of electives to choose from. The topics covered in each elective vary from semester to semester depending on faculty availability, student interests and our efforts to rotate course offerings.

Q: How much does the MPP curriculum emphasize statistics? Students are required to take only one standard graduate statistics course (PLCY 8001). If you want to gain additional competency in statistics, you can take more advanced statistics courses in fulfillment of your elective requirements. Note: Students should take statistics concurrently with or before taking the Policy Analysis course and before the Program Evaluation course.

Q: What are the specific internship requirements? You must register for PLCY 5085 and serve an internship of approximately 12-15 hours per week, on average, or 168-210 hours per semester/summer. The MPP program is flexible in regards to how many days or hours per week and how many weeks an intern serves in the internship as long as the aggregate number of hours are fulfilled. However, internship sites may require a particular minimum number of hours per week that they need the intern to work. Internship sites must verify that the intern has served the required number of hours. You must submit an internship journal once every two weeks and a paper on the organization in which you served at the end of the internship. The paper is supervised by the MPP Director or his designee.

Q: When can I serve my internship? Full-time students usually intern in the summer between the first and second years of the MPP program or in the Fall or Spring semester of the second year.

Q: How do I secure an internship? Depending on what specific policy issues or type of organizations (eg.executive branch, legislative body, non-profit agency, etc.) you are interested in, we assist you by reaching out to our professional contacts to help you set up your internship. Otherwise, you may find an organization that supports the kind of internship you are looking for on your own.

Q: Can I be exempted from the internship requirement? If you are employed in a for-profit, non-profit or public sector organization with direct relevance for public policy or public administration, your experience counts as a qualifying experience for an MPP internship. You may also substitute an internship completed during your undergraduate college experience as long as it was similiar in content and duration as regular MPP internships. NOTE: MPP students who are exempted from the normal internship requirement must still register for PLCY 5085, pay for the 3 internship credits and fulfill the same paper requirement as other MPP students. Exempt students are, in effect, using current or past positions as the experiential learning to fulfill the written internship requirements.

Q: How can I serve an internship if I work full-time in a non-public policy related job? If you work full-time in a non-policy or public administration-related job, you may face special challenges in fulfilling the internship requirement. Work with the MPP Director and your employer to come up with an arrangement that fulfills the internship requirement.

Q: How do I qualify for in-state tuition? To be eligible for in-state tuition, you must have resided in Pennsylvania in the 12 months prior to enrolling in the MPP program. If you list any out-of-state address on your application, you will be ineligible for in-state tuition. If ensuring in-state status is an important consideration for you, get in contact with Jeff Antsen to discuss your eligibility for in-state tuition.

Q: How should I decide which courses to take? Before registering for courses each semester, contact the MPP Director to discuss the courses you plan on taking. When starting the program, you should focus your schedule on taking required courses before taking electives or serving an internship. You should take the Statistics course (POLS or PLCY 8001) before or concurrently with the Policy Analysis and before the Program Evaluation courses. You should take Economics of the Public Sector (ECON 8122) before taking Policy Analysis (PLCY 8119) and Policy Analysis before taking Policy Analysis Project (PLCY 8127)

Q: Who can I talk to if I need help in my courses? All of our instructors are personable, helpful folks and are happy to work with students on an individual basis. If you have general questions about how to register for classes, find academic buildings or the like, you can ask Jeff Antsen, our Assistant Director.

Q: Is the MPP program accredited? The MPP Program is not currently accredited, because it is still a new program. Very few MPP programs are currently accredited. We may apply for accreditation with NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy and Administration) after we are eligible in a few years.

Graduate Resources

Undergraduate Resources