Graduate Bulletin

Fall 2020

Degree Requirements M.A. in Public Policy

Program Tracks

M.A. Track

This track requires the successful completion of 30 graduate course credits. 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 MAPP program assistant 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 Introduction to Statistics for Public Policy (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 for Public Policy (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 MAPP program staff 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 Master’s Paper (1-6 credits)


POL 599 Internship in Public Policy (1-6 credits)

Prior to taking the capstone course (or while enrolled in a capstone course), students should enroll in POL 598 Capstone Seminar, a course designed to prepare students for their capstone project or internship. POL 598 is typically considered to be a prerequisite for taking POL 597 or POL 599.

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 Internship (POL 599), the MA paper course (POL 597), 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 500) 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.