Accelerated Graduate Pathway - Economics 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 Master of Arts in Policy, Planning and Management, a student must meet the following admission standards:

  • Choose a major in Geography-Anthropology, Environmental Science and Policy, or Economics
  • Earn at least a B for all courses in these majors, as well as in any 500-level graduate courses taken at the undergraduate level
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at time of matriculation into graduate program.
  • Complete the following courses with grades of B or better: a course in Statistics that meets USM’s Quantitative Reasoning Core Requirement, a course in Microeconomics (or a course equivalent to ECO 102 or higher).

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.
  • In 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:


The Accelerated Graduate Pathway - Economics to MPPM prepares students for leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector by developing a strong, multi-disciplinary foundation of skills and knowledge in the fields of policy, planning, and management. Coursework focuses on conceptual learning and application through use of real-world data, case studies, and client- and community-based projects and assignments found in both upper level undergraduate and master’s level. The degree is designed for working professionals and pre-career students from diverse educational backgrounds who aspire to professional roles and careers as leaders, managers, advocates, activists, planners, or analysts in areas related to the environment, sustainable development, and economic and social policy.

Matriculated Eco-MPPM students with at least 84 undergraduate credits may take six of the following seven courses prior to completing their undergraduate degree:

CPD 502 Sustainable Communities and Sustainable Development (MPPM core requirement)
PPM 521 Social Justice Theory and Public Policy
ECO 523 US Labor and Employment Relations
ESP 526 Environmental Economics
ESP 527 Natural Resource Economics
GEO 502 Gender, Work and Space
GEO 503 Economic Geography

After completion of BA or BS in Economics, students would complete the MPPM core requirements by taking the following three courses:

PPM 610 Governance, Democracy, and Policymaking (MPPM core requirement)
PPM 615 Organizational Theory, Management, and Leadership (MPPM core requirement)
PPM 640 Public Financing and Budgeting (MPPM core requirement)

A final three classes could include completing a concentration in Public Policy (two additional classes, i.e. PPM 620 and 622).

PPM 620 Policy Analysis (Policy concentration requirement)
PPM 622 Applied Policy Analysis (Policy concentration requirement)

And a third course from among these electives to reach the required total of 36 credits:

CPD 672 Food Systems Policy and Planning
ESP 540 Environmental Regulations
GEO 608 GIS Applications I
GEO 618 GIS Applications II
MPH 525 The American Health System
SOC 526 Social Movements
SWO 504 Social Welfare Policy I
SWO 604 Social Welfare Policy II