2014-15 Catalogs

MPPM in Public Policy & Management

The Public Policy & Management (PPM) program prepares graduates for leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. The program provides each student with a strong, multi-disciplinary foundation of skills and knowledge and the opportunity to apply both to contemporary issues of public concern to strengthen communities and develop effective public leaders.

Mission Statement

The Public Policy & Management program at the Muskie School offers graduate-level education and training for those seeking a career in the public and nonprofit sectors. Educational experiences are multi-disciplinary and problem focused, with flexible delivery through traditional classes and distance technologies. PPM faculty, staff, and students engage in rigorous inquiry about the complex challenges of democratic governance in our diverse communities, states, and nation.


To educate students to have the ability to:

  1. Lead and manage in public governance and nonprofit organizations;
  2. Participate in and contribute to the policy process;
  3. Analyze and develop public policy;
  4. Solve problems and make decisions;
  5. Articulate and apply a public service perspective;
  6. Communicate and interact effectively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry

Click on the "Learn More" tab below to read about our flexible course offerings, career advancement opportunities, and the impact our graduates make within the state and nation. 

For More Information

For more information about the Public Policy and Management program, please contact the Muskie Student Affairs Office at (207) 780-4864.

A total of 39 credits are required to earn the master’s degree in public policy and management. The curriculum is based on core of six courses, a track of study selected to reflect career goals and shaped to enhance competencies and build depth of knowledge, elective coursework, and a culminating capstone project. The curriculum provides students with numerous opportunities to apply developing skills to real world issues and decision-making situations.

The Core Curriculum

A core curriculum of 21 credits including a 3 credit capstone assures an understanding of public policy making, management of public and community services, basic principles of economics, public finance and budgeting, design of policy and organizational research, and applying and communicating statistics and data analysis to study public service issues, answer questions and make decisions. Students who come to the Public Policy and Management Program without significant public service experience are required to complete a zero-credit field experience, or what is more commonly referred to as an internship. The field experience helps students understand and build public service values and gain experience.

The integrative capstone project is taken near the end of the program of study. Capstone efforts take many forms, for example: a piece of policy research, development of a strategic plan for a public or nonprofit agency, an organizational or human resource analysis, a case study, a survey, or a financial or budgetary study. Projects often are undertaken by small teams working with a faculty member. With instructor permission, a capstone may be done by an individual student under the guidance of a capstone advisor. Regardless of topic or whether done as a team or individual project, the capstone provides students an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member to apply knowledge and skills to a matter of current significance in public policy and management.

Accelerated Admissions Option.  Students with undergraduate degrees in public administration from the University of Maine or the University of Maine Augusta who have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and GPA of 3.0 or higher in Public Administration courses will have the following two courses waived and the total credits required for the degree reduced to 33 credits:

Core Curriculum Requirements

Tracks of Study

To build upon skills and competencies gained through core courses, students elect a track of study composed of 12 credits of coursework. Track study enhances competencies and builds depth of knowledge and skills. Tracks are built using a range of designated courses that may change as student interests and program initiatives vary.

Policy Analysis Track

The policy analysis track is appropriate for students who are interested in analyzing and improving public policies. Students in this track learn to use policy analysis frameworks and research techniques and statistical methods for policy advising, research, and evaluation. Through careful selection of electives, students may complete a dual track in policy analysis and either financial resources management or organizational management.

Select six credits from the following methods courses:

Select three credits from the above methods courses or from the following set:

Public and Nonprofit Management Track

Students selecting the  Public and Nonprofit Management Track choose an emphasis in organizational management or financial resources management:

  • Organizational Management is appropriate for students who are interested in leading in state and local government, managing public and nonprofit organizations and foundations, working with people to achieve goals, and designing innovation and implementing changes.
  • Financial Resources Management is appropriate for students who are interested in the analysis of finances states and local governments or nonprofit organizations, analysis of state fiscal initiatives and policies, managing localities for fiscal health, economic development, regional solutions, and policy issues in state and local finance.    

Organizational Management Emphasis

Required Course:

Select six credits from the following set of core management competencies:

Select three credits from the following courses:

Financial Resources Management Emphasis

Select three credits from the following set of foundation knowledge courses:

Select six credits from the above foundation knowledge courses or from the following set:

Select three credits from the above foundation knowledge courses, core competency courses, or from the following choices:


Beyond the core and track requirements, students take six credits of electives of their choice that may include further courses from the tracks, courses relevant to a certificate, or courses of interest to them. Careful selection of electives often permits students to complete a dual track of study. The Program Chair and academic advisors help students with choices and academic planning.

Please see the USM Graduate Admissions website for information on the admissions process.

Upon entering the first semester, students will be given academic planning sheets they and their advisors should use to plan their courses for the duration of their degree. 

Course Sequencing

Students should consult with their advisors each semester about sequencing coures, pre-requisites for courses, when courses are likely to be offered, and how course choices may be used to promote career plans.