Accelerated Graduate Pathways

Accelerated Graduate Pathway to Policy, Planning, and Management (MPPM)

For highly motivated undergraduate students who are already looking ahead to graduate school, USM offers an Accelerated Graduate Pathway to the MPPM program that allows you to begin graduate study while completing your bachelor's degree, saving you time and money -- which means you'll be ready for a career that much sooner, with your bachelor's and master’s degrees in hand.

In order to gain full admission into the MPPM, a student must meet the following admission standards:

  • Choose a major in Geography-Anthropology, Environmental Planning and Policy, Economics, or Political Science (Political Science track only).
  • Have an earned cumulative GPA of 3.0 at time of matriculation into graduate program.
  • Earn a B or better in a Statistics course that meets USM’s Quantitative Reasoning Core Requirement.
  • Submit to the director of the MPPM program a resume, and an essay that addresses how study in a professional master's program in policy, planning, and management will enhance your career outlook. The process may also require an interview at the request of the PPM faculty to confirm preparedness for professional studies at the graduate level.

Up to 12 credits of 500-level graduate courses may be taken while an undergraduate to fulfill both undergraduate and graduate requirements. The 12-credits must include at least 6 credits from the PPM courses listed below. The additional 6 credits may be selected from the PPM course list below or from 500-level graduate courses offered by the following departments: Geography-Anthropology (GYA), Environmental Planning and Policy (ESP), Economics (ECO), or Political Science (POS). Students may begin taking coursework in the PPM program in the summer after completion of their junior year. 

PPM Courses that may be taken while an undergraduate include the following:

  • PPM 501 Planning Theory
  • PPM 503 Applied Research Methods
  • PPM 507 Introduction to Community Planning
  • PPM 510 Governance, Democracy and Public Policy
  • PPM 512 Sustainable Communities
  • PPM 515 Organizational Leadership
  • PPM 522 Introduction to Arc/GIS
  • PPM 524 Social Justice and Public Policy
  • PPM 531 Measuring Performance in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
  • PPM 534 Managing Cities, Towns and Counties
  • PPM 535 Managing Government and Nonprofits
  • PPM 542 Policy Issues in Maine
  • PPM 545 Grant Writing and Development
  • PPM 550 State and Local Economic Development
  • PPM 553 Volunteer Engagement and Management
  • PPM 560 Crisis and Risk Management
  • PPM 564 Introduction to Town Design and SketchUp
  • PPM 565 Transportation Planning and Policy
  • PPM 570 Policy Argumentation and Advocacy
  • PPM 581 Global Planning Issues: Megacities and Megacity Regions

How to Apply:

  • On the Common App, select your preferred choice of major; then you will see the following option: “Please indicate your interest in one of the following accelerated pathway options at the University of Southern Maine” from which you can select a Pathway. 
  • On the University of Maine System application, select your First Choice Major; then you will see the following drop-down menu: Accelerated Graduate Degree Pathway (First Choice Major), from which you can select a Pathway.
  • If you are a Transfer or Continuing Student, please contact the University of Southern Maine Advising Office to meet with an academic advisor who can review your previous coursework and determine your eligibility for entering an Accelerated Graduate Pathway. Please call (207) 780-4040 or email usm.advising@maine.edu.