UConn public policy students at Hartford City Hall. UConn Photo

The University of Connecticut has recently announced that a School of Public Policy (SPP) will now replace the Department of Public Policy (DPP).

Given its focus on graduate professional education and its location at UConn Hartford, DPP had been operating much like a school by providing its graduate students with various student and career services, and conducting engagement, outreach, and scholarly and applied research. The School of Public Policy will also house the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP).

The School’s graduate programs have been a major contributor of competent professionals to the public, nonprofit and private sectors in the State of Connecticut and the nation. This new designation will allow for the school to continue to positively impact the state of Connecticut for years to come.

A view of the Hartford skyline and UConn Hartford campus sign at dusk on Aug. 22, 2017. Peter Morenus / UConn Photo

The UConn School of Public Policy has been leading the way in public service education, research and service in Connecticut and the United States.

Boasting a 97% job placement rate within 6 months of graduation, a ranking of 8th nationally (1st in New England) among public finance and budget programs, and a ranking of 39th nationally (2nd in New England) among the 300 ranked public affairs programs, the School has been one of the go-to institutions in the state for those looking to advance their careers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

The School’s Master of Public Administration program has been preparing public servants for nearly 50 years.

The School of Public Policy offers master’s degrees in Public Administration, Public Policy, and Survey Research. The UConn School of Public Policy faculty members are nationally and internationally renowned as experts in their areas of research. Students learn from world class faculty actively pursuing research in public finance and budgeting, health policy, child and family policy, gun violence prevention, education policy, slavery reparations, gender equity, healthcare policy, sustainable procurement, energy policy, and racial and ethnic profiling.

“Our tradition has been to attract professors who are the best-of-creed and they bring into their classrooms a wealth of knowledge and a sincere drive for student success,” says Mohamad Alkadry, the inaugural Director of the UConn School of Public Policy.

The Master of Public Administration Program (MPA) introduces students to, and prepares them for, successful careers in the public and nonprofit sectors. It also has an executive Saturday cohort (MPA Fellows) to meet the needs of working professionals looking to advance their careers in the public and nonprofit sectors.

The UConn MPA is the only MPA degree in the State of Connecticut accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). This professional graduate degree provides current and future leaders with the critical analytic and management skills necessary for advancement in the public or nonprofit sectors.

Admission to the executive MPA Fellows cohort is only available to working professionals. Core courses are offered on Saturdays and the program allows students to complete their coursework mostly by taking one course at a time. The program follows a cohort model which allows students to network with their peers and professors alike.

UConn Photo

When asked about the Executive Track students, Professor and Director of Graduate Programs Dr. Eric Brunner said, “It’s always a pleasure to work with the Executive Track students. Their work experience, curiosity, and enthusiasm really make class discussions incredibly lively and interesting.”

The program’s curriculum, faculty, and student services meet the quality standards of NASPAA accreditation. The MPA program takes great pride in its quality that is accompanied with the highest standards of student support to ensure that students who are admitted have an excellent chance to graduate within two years.

The MPA Fellows cohorts have some of the highest two-year graduation rates in the nation, ranging from 95% to 100%.

The experience that each student in the Executive Track program brings is a key piece of what makes the program such a good choice for those interested in acquiring their MPA degree. Being able to network with professionals from across fields as classmates provides students with a unique environment to gain expertise, and opens them up to new perspectives within the public policy world.

The MPA Fellows as well as Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy students will have access to the School’s nine specialization or focus areas like nonprofit management, executive leadership, public financial management, urban planning, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, among other specializations.  Students may also design their own focus areas with the assistance of their advisors.

The School of Public Policy routinely hosts information sessions virtually for interested parties. Sessions typically last 30 minutes and offer information about the program as well as the opportunity to ask questions. Registration is available online, with more events being added regularly. Outreach Coordinator Luciano Lawrence is available via email to answer questions at Luciano.Lawrence@UConn.edu. Program faculty and staff are also available to speak one-on-one with interested students.