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Political Science: MA in Policy

  • Program Overview

    Public Policy

    Stony Brook University’s Master of Arts in Public Policy prepares students to take a wide variety of rewarding careers in the growing field of public policy. 

    Graduates of the MAPP program will gain the skills and experience to achieve success working in government or in organizations affected by government – local, state, national and international.  They may find employment as policy analysts and executives in government agencies, or in private, non-profit and advocacy organizations.  They may enter the front lines of politics as elected officials or members of their staffs.  They may influence public policy as journalists or leaders of civic organizations.  Those with an international background or an interest in global affairs may enter careers abroad or in international affairs.  For those looking to continue their professional or graduate studies, the MAPP provides a rigorous academic platform.

    For students entering the public policy field for the first time, the program offers training and credentials to launch their careers; for those already working in the field, the program will enhance their skills and credentials.  Graduates of the program will be joining a growing roster of alumni successfully working in public, private and non-profit organizations.  With our flourishing alumni organization, MAPP alumni will be available to assist graduates with employment and career counseling.

    Course of Study

    The MPP program combines rigorous instruction in key components of public policy development with detailed analysis of specific public policy issues and fieldwork.  After introducing students to the foundations of government action in philosophy, law and economics, the MAPP curriculum develops skills in political, economic, quantitative and organizational analysis, with a practical focus on solutions to complex public policy problems.  With this foundation, students take one or more courses in a specialized concentration and a related internship or research assignment.  The entire program of 31 credit hours can be completed in one calendar year by full-time students, and within two years by those attending part-time.

    Joint Degree Programs

    Combined MAPP/MPH

    With additional coursework, students interested in pursuing a career in the increasingly important field of health policy may elect to earn a Master of Public Health degree along with their MAPP in a combined and accelerated MAPP/MPH sequence.

    Combined MAPP/MBA

    With additional coursework, students interested in applying public policy concepts to the world of business may elect to earn a Master of Business Administration degree along with their MAPP in a combined and accelerated MAPP/MBA sequence.

    Accelerated BA/MAPP Program

    Stony Brook University undergraduates currently majoring in Political Science with a GPA of 3.0 or better are eligible to enroll in the five-year Accelerated BA/MAPP program, by taking up to six graduate credits while they fulfill the upper-level undergraduate elective requirements and completing the remaining graduate requirements in the fifth year of full-time study.

    The Students

    Students in the MPP program come from numerous academic backgrounds including undergraduate majors in the arts and sciences, health professions, engineering and architecture.  Many students come to the program with extensive prior experience in government or the professions.  The curriculum structure and scheduling of courses is designed to accommodate candidates with a broad range of interests and experiences, and to permit those that are working to earn their degree while continuing to pursue their current career.

    The Faculty

    The MPP program is housed in one of the country’s leading departments of political science, ranked among the topfive in research and publications, with a faculty comprised of nationally recognized scholars and highly experienced public policy professionals.  In addition, the program draws on faculty resources from other prestigious Stony Brook programs in health policy, business administration, economics, engineering, education and journalism.


    Political Science, M.A. in Public Policy


    Leonie Huddy, Ward Melville Social and Behavioral Sciences Building S-711

    Graduate Program Director

    Ryan Vander Wielen, Ward Melville Social and Behavioral Sciences Building S-727N-709 (631) 632-9021

    Graduate Program Coordinator

    Carri Horner, Ward Melville Social and Behavioral Sciences Building S-703 (631) 632-7667

    Degrees Awarded

    M.A. in Public Policy



  • Admissions

    Admission requirements of the Department of Political Science

    Admission Requirements

    Applicants must have an earned baccalaureate degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale), have taken the Graduate Record Examination or equivalent, and submit three  letters of recommendation from instructors, academic advisors or employers.  Consideration will also be given to relevant work experience.

    Tuition and Fees

    Tuition and fees, set by the State University of New York, are considerably below those of comparable programs in Long Island and the greater New York metropolitan region.  For current tuition and fee schedules, please consult the Stony Brook University website.

  • Degree Requirements

    Degree Requirements M.A. in Public Policy

    Program Tracks

    M.A. Track

    This track requires the successful completion of 31 graduate course credits and the completion of POL 596. In addition, the Graduate School policy regarding grade point averages (GPA) states that, “A student must achieve a 3.0 overall GPA in all graduate courses taken at Stony Brook to receive a degree.”

    Beyond those guidelines, there are no formal requirements. In particular, students should work with the  department Graduate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program Director to develop a course plan. There are two courses comprising 6 credits (3 credits each) that most students will take, subject to availability and scheduling:

    POL 501 Introductory Statistics (3 credits)

    POL 535 Public Policy Analysis & Evaluation (3 credits)

    Beyond the courses noted above, and contingent upon course availability, students will take additional courses (18 credits) offered by the Department of Political Science. Examples of courses offered toward the M.A. degree in Public Policy include the following:

    POL 502 Intermediate Statistics (3 credits)

    POL 509 Public Budgeting and Finance (3 credits)

    POL 510 Personnel Systems for Public Policy (3 credits)

    POL 530 Topics in Public Affairs (3 Credits)

    POL 531 Topics in Public Affairs (3 Credits)

    POL 534 Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Delivery (3 credits)

    POL 536 Public Management and Organizational Behavior (3 credits)

    POL 537 Administrative Law for Policy Analysts (3 credits)

    POL 538 The Politics of Local Economic Development (3 credits)

    POL 540 Data Applications in Public Policy (3 Credits)

    POL 541 Survey Research for Public Policy (3 credits)

    POL 542 Regional Planning (3 credits)

    POL 543 Environmental Politics and Policy (3 credits)

    Some of the courses listed above may be repeated for credit (e.g., the POL 530/531 Special Topics courses or the two different versions of POL 509 budgeting), but students attempting to re-take a course with the same number should confirm their choices with the department Graduate Program Coordinator and the course catalog prior to enrolling. In addition, students may take other level graduate courses in POL (typically 500-level) with the approval of the MAPP Graduate Program Director. Students may take one course outside of Department of Political Science in place of a POL course.

    Finally, most students will take a capstone course to complete the M.A. in Public Policy. The capstone courses are:

    POL 597 Capstone Internship in Public Policy (1-6 credits)


    POL 598 Capstone Thesis Project in Public Policy (1-6 credits)

    Prior to taking the capstone course (or while enrolled in a capstone course), students should enroll in POL 596 Capstone Preparation Seminar, a course designed to prepare students for their capstone project or internship. POL 596 is a prerequisite for taking POL 597 or POL 598.

    Full-time students without past significant full-time public policy work experience are encouraged to take the Internship in Public Policy. Part-time students can fulfill their capstone requirement by the Capstone Internship (POL 597), the Capstone Thesis Project (POL 598), or two additional courses approved by the Graduate Program Director.

    B.A./M.A. Track

    In the accelerated B.A./M.A. in Public Policy, students complete the B.A. in Political Science and the M.A. in Public Policy in five years. To apply, students must be majors in political science at Stony Brook who have completed 60 credits toward their degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

    In the program, students take up to two master’s courses during their senior year which also count as electives toward the bachelor’s in political science. Generally, students should begin with fundamental courses such as policy analysis (POL 535) but with approval they can choose any master’s courses in public policy (POL 500 – POL 559). Students then complete the remaining master’s courses during the fifth year. 

  • Facilities

    Facilities of the Department of Political Science

    The department has extensive research facilities equal to any in the country, most located on the same floor with faculty and student offices. Students routinely use the conveniently located computer facilities for writing and analysis as part of their professional training. The Social and Behavioral Sciences Data Laboratory on our floor provides access to state-of-the-art personal computers tied to a local computer network and providing connections to all computers on campus. The Stony Brook Instructional Networked Computer site one floor below the department provides additional personal computers for classroom and research work. In addition, our data lab maintains a library of reference materials, holds classes on specific software packages, provides access to the extensive data archives available through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Resources, and employs computer consultants to help with student research projects. All of the resources of the data lab are available to graduate students.

    The laboratories for political psychology research are designed for the experimental study of political behavior. One set of labs contains computerized equipment to monitor, control, record, and analyze multiple responses from subjects. Much of the recent work focuses on information processing and decision-making—how citizens interpret, use, and recall political information. The other set of labs contains a large survey and experiment room equipped with computerized data collection stations . Students may also take advantage of our modern, fully equipped Survey Center for public opinion studies using computer-assisted, telephone interviewing.

  • Faculty

    Faculty of the Department of Political Science, Public Policy Program


    Huddy, Leonie: Professor. Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1988. Research & Teaching Interests: Political Attitudes; Groups and Politics; Socio-political Gerontology; Women and Politics; Survey Methodology.

    Stephanie Kelton: Professor. Ph.D. New School for Social Research, New York, 2001. Research & Teaching Interests: Macroeconomic Policy; International Economics; Government Finance, Student Debt, Social Security, and Employment Policy.

    Salins, Peter: University Professor. Ph.D., Syracuse University, 1969. Research & Teaching Interests: Higher Education Policy; Housing, Economic Development; Immigration; Urban and Regional Planning.

    Leading Professors

    Koppelman, Lee E., Emeritus, D.P.A., 1970, New York University: Comprehensive regional and urban planning; environmental policy; American federalism and intergovernmental relations; regional policy analysis; coastal zone planning.


    Kovesdy, Allen, MBA, Long Island University, 1972. Long Island Regional Planning Council; Former Director of Management and Research, Suffolk County Executive’s Office. Teaching Interests: Budgeting; Public Finance.

    Aginian, Anita, J.D., St. John’s University School of Law, 1987. Supervising Attorney, Feldman, Kramer and Monaco. Teaching Interests: Administrative Law.

    Murdocco, Richard J., MA, Stony Brook University, 2010. Public policy, real estate development, marketing, communications.

  • Contact

    Political Science, M.A. in Public Policy


    Leonie Huddy, Ward Melville Social and Behavioral Sciences Building S-711

    Graduate Program Director

    Ryan Vander Wielen, Ward Melville Social and Behavioral Sciences Building S-727N-709 (631) 632-9021

    Graduate Program Coordinator

    Carri Horner, Ward Melville Social and Behavioral Sciences Building S-703 (631) 632-7667

    Degrees Awarded

    M.A. in Public Policy