Policy, Planning, and Management

Program Type
Master’s Program
Master of Policy, Planning, and Management (MPPM)
Mode of Study
In Person

Tuition per credit hour

In-state: $432.
Out-of-state tuition break: $734. See details and other costs

Credit hours

36 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship & fellowship opportunities. Explore aid


No application fee. No GRE required. Apply for fall, spring, or summer term. View application process & deadlines

Program Highlights

  • Earn your degree on your terms: Study full-time and finish in as few as 2 years or study part-time and finish in 3-4 years.
  • Take advantage of program flexibility — All courses are offered in the late-afternoon and evening to accommodate working professionals.
  • Explore robust experiential learning opportunities that will help you achieve MPPM competencies.
  • Tailor the degree to your interests and career goals: Choose to concentrate in Community Planning and Sustainable Development, or Public Policy and Public/Nonprofit Management.
  • Prepare for a professional leadership role in government, nonprofit and community organizations, and other public service settings.
  • Work closely with faculty advisors to plan your course sequence and work toward career goals.
Two students work in front of a whiteboard and discuss a problem.

Program requirements

Our program curriculum develops multi-disciplinary foundational knowledge and skills that will help you excel in the complex and interrelated fields of policy, planning, and management. Coursework focuses on conceptual learning and provides opportunities to apply learning to contemporary issues and challenges.

A construction worker and policy maker work together.

Career opportunities

The MPPM degree serves those who aspire to leadership roles and careers as managers, planners, researchers, analysts, or advocates in public service. Recent graduates are working in all levels of government and nonprofits.

The exterior of the Muskie School of Public Service. We see the school's name written on the side, along with a geometric metal sculpture.

Dedicated faculty

Our full-time faculty hold terminal degrees in the field and will work closely with you to help you work toward your career goals. Our part-time faculty are currently employed in the field, and many work in local, state, and federal governments.

A woman with long hair and a black shirt holds a black dry erase marker and talks with a student while they both stand in front of a whiteboard.

Experiential learning

Students have ample opportunities for hands-on learning. These include working with the Catherine Cutler Institute, completing internships in town management or food policy and sustainability, and publishing their work in academic journals.

Graduate students attend their orientation in a lecture hall, with a staff member speaking at a podium.

Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

Two women sit at a table and review paperwork together.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

A rocky river with mountains in the background and, bordered by tree with autumn-colored leaves.

Do you live in New England?

You may be eligible for a special reduced tuition rate, as part of the New England Regional Student Program (RSP).

A woman in a red sweater sits and works on a laptop.

Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

You may also be interested in…
Next Steps

Our helpful admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services. We also invite you to explore the many ways to visit campus or to engage with us through online experiences.

Students walk down the sidewalk by Wishcamper Center on the Portland campus on a sunny day.

Admission information: Policy, Planning, and Management, MPPM

Application deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them continuously.

Application deadlineFall term startSpring term startSummer term start
FinalAugust 1December 15April 15
International applicantsJune 1October 15Not available

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee: Waived for all applicants
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay: Submit a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reason for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.
  • Letters of Recommendation (2): Recommendations should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with your academic or professional work, to comment on your ability to undertake graduate study and your chosen profession. 

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address

Applications in progress

Check the status of your application