2024 Guide to the Online Master’s in Public Policy
Find top-ranked online MPP programs that work with your busy schedule, explore curriculum details, and learn about career opportunities after graduation.
A former practicing attorney, Michael Hoffman has years of experience as a freelance journalist specializing in the research and writing of higher education content – from online learning to financial aid, and everything in between. Michael is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara College of Law. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael practiced for several years as a civil litigator in Los Angeles and worked in Santa Monica, California as a development executive for a major film producer.
The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is an excellent degree for anyone seeking a career analyzing and developing service-based policy in the public and non-profit sectors. Students looking for study convenience and flexibility should consider one of the many fully-accredited online MPP programs.
Finding the right program takes time and effort, though. This guide provides the details and advice needed to locate, get admitted to, and succeed in an online master’s in public policy program. It also provides information on careers in public service focused on research, analytics, and policy-based study.
Programs that might interest you:
Best Online Master’s Degrees in Public Policy for 2024
We’ve spotlighted below the best-in-class online MPP programs to start your program search. These programs were chosen based on how well they address several important factors, including affordability, convenience and flexibility in course access and program length, and accreditation. These programs are not the only ones worth considering, but they give an idea of what to expect from any program you choose. So, begin the search to find a school to meet your needs with our 2024 list of best online public policy master’s degree programs.
College Ranking Methodology
Generate List of Eligible Schools and Programs
To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
- Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
- Career placement and academic counseling services.
After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on their performance in a variety of key categories. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings, followed by online learning and academic quality metrics (equally weighted).
- Number of online programs in subject area self-reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.
- Percentage of graduate students at the school taking at least one class online.
- Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on in-state tuition for graduate students per academic year.
- Student-to-faculty ratio: Schools with lower ratios ranked higher.
- Percentage of students admitted. More selective schools ranked higher.
About Our Data
All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: August 2023
Students who aspire to make a difference in government, politics, and policy creation can further their careers with a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Liberty University. In addition to learning critical concepts in political philosophy, students tailor their master's degree to their interests by choosing from eight concentrations—General Studies, Campaigns and Elections, Chinese Affairs, International Affairs, Leadership, Middle East Affairs, Policy Studies, and Public Administration. To provide students with maximum convenience and flexibility while pursuing their degrees, Liberty makes all courses available entirely online. Additionally, each course is presented in an eight-week format, meaning students can graduate with their master's in as few as 18 months.
Master of Arts in Public Policy
- Credits: 36
- Length: 1.5 years
- Cost: $565/credit
- Mode: 100% online
- Accreditation: SACSCOC
At DePaul University, students can earn a master's degree in public policy entirely online in just two years. This program focuses on approaching policy from an ethics-based perspective, teaching students how to put forth policies that prioritize the well-being of urban communities and marginalized populations. During their time in the program, students learn about law and public policy, advocacy and lobbying, and the economics of public service. To provide students with flexible learning options that fit busy lifestyles, DePaul offers courses in this master's program in an online format as well as during the evenings at their Chicago campus.
Master's in Public Policy
- Credits: 52
- Length: 2 years
- Cost: $758/credit
- Mode: 100% online
- Accreditation: HLC
Cedar Falls, Iowa
The Master of Public Policy at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is an ideal choice for students who want to impact policy on the local to global level. With this program, which was designed with working professionals in mind, students can graduate with a master's in the field in just two years. UNI promotes peer connection by admitting limited groups of students to the program as a defined cohort. Once assigned to a cohort, a student progresses through the entire graduate program with this group of peers. Live remote classes take place each Tuesday evening, with courses taught on an accelerated schedule. For example, fall and spring semester courses are eight weeks long, while summer courses are just six weeks long.
Master of Public Policy
- Credits: 37
- Length: 2 years
- Cost: $558/credit
- Mode: 100% online
- Accreditation: NASPAA