MPPM in Public Policy & Management

Career Options

Students completing the master's degree are prepared for a wide range of careers. Recent graduates have accepted positions as legislative aids at the state and national level, local and regional planners and town managers, policy analysts in nonprofits and private corporations, directors of nonprofit agencies, and private consultants.

Learn more about PPM graduate Dianna Walters and her work effecting change for child welfare policy.

The Public Policy & Management (PPM) program prepares graduates for leadership positions in nonprofit organizations, government, 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.

Goals

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 e-mail Barbara Fraumeni, chair of the program, at bfraumeni@usm.maine.edu or (207) 228-8245.

A total of 39 credits is required to earn the master’s degree in public policy and management. A core curriculum of 21 credits assures an understanding of basic principles of political science, management, economics, public finance, and statistics. Following the core courses, students elect one of two tracks of study: policy analysis or public management. Each track requires a combination of required and elective courses totaling twelve credits.

Students who specialize in policy analysis examine the role of analysis in public policy making, and are taught the methods typically employed by analysts. The curriculum provides students with numerous opportunities to apply developing skills to real decision-making situations.

The track in public management allows students to focus on either organizational or financial aspects of public and nonprofit management. Organizational management provides students a greater understanding of how organizations and people work in the public sector, and the skills to improve the management of public and nonprofit organizations. Financial management builds skills in accounting, economics, and the financial management of public agencies and governments. Special attention is offered to the financial management problems confronting states and local governments.

After the core and track courses, students have six credits of electives to be used in any manner.  Electives are those courses listed in the “course description” section, but not required for the students’ chosen track. Typically, a student will either take an additional course in a track, or courses toward a certificate of graduate study.

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

Degree-seeking students may opt to complete certificates of graduate study while simultaneously completing their graduate degrees.

The Core Curriculum

At the center of the curriculum is a core of study in policy analysis and public management, providing a foundation of knowledge and skills for effective performance in public policy and management.

The core of study includes a course which integrates politics, management, and policy making, as well as courses which approach the study of public policy from the perspectives of economics, law and ethics, and courses in the theory and techniques of computing, statistics, management, research design, and public finance and budgeting.

Tracks of Study

After completion of the core courses, students select a twelve-credit track of study in either policy analysis or public management. The tracks are designed to provide more depth of knowledge in one of the two primary curriculum areas. Each track requires one or two courses, with the additional six or nine credits selected from a range of designated courses which may change over time as student interests and program initiatives vary.

Policy Analysis Track

Required Course:

Select six credits from the following set of methods courses:

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

Public and Nonprofit Management Track

Students selecting the  Public and Nonprofit Management Track must choose one emphasis:

  • Organizational Management, or
  • Financial Management

Students may choose to complete both tracks.

Organizational Management emphasis

Required Course:

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

Select three credits from the following set of management 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 set:

Beyond the core and track requirements, students take six credits of electives of their choice that may include further courses from the tracks, the beginnings of a certificate, or some other combination of courses.

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.  As these sheets are track-specific, students should begin their degrees with an idea of which tracks they wish to complete.  Students can change their tracks at any point during their degree, so the initial track selection is in no way binding.

Core Courses

Students should register for the following core courses during their first two (non-summer) semesters:

  • PPM 601
  • PPM 610
  • PPM 611
  • PPM 615
  • PPM 602 (should be taken during students' second or third semester)

The capstone project (PPM 699) is an integrating experience taken near the end of the master's program.

Electives

Students can take their two electives at any time, however priority should be given to core and track-specific courses.

Number of credit hours: see Requirements tab on current page

Length to degree: see Requirements tab on current page

List of dual degrees: see on Requirements tab on current page

List of specializations: see Requirements tab on current page

Fast-track info: see Requirements tab on current page, section regarding students with undergraduate Public Administration degrees from the University of Maine in Augusta.

Number of students

Internship placement

Completion rate

Alumni careers (2002-2013)


Advance Your Career

Applicants with prior public service experience will significantly broaden their skills and abilities, enabling them to advance within their profession, while students new to the sector will find the combination of formal training and practical experience ideal preparation for careers in such fields as social and health services, administration, education, policy formation, and legislation. No matter the student’s level of experience, the program’s flexible course delivery- with classroom-based courses in Portland and Augusta and an exciting variety of online and distance offerings- makes it possible to complete a degree while maintaining a full-time career.

In keeping with the school’s hand’s on approach to the educational process, the PPM program is problem-focused, with problem solving emphasized throughout the curriculum, especially those that place students in “decision-forcing” settings. Students are encouraged throughout their program to undertake field projects, often within organizations in which they are employed or serve as volunteers. Through faculty research and public service activities, as well as the school’s Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, students are also regularly involved in applied research projects that provide valuable professional experience.

Socially Relevant Curriculum

At the center of the curriculum is a core of study in policy analysis and public management, providing a foundation of knowledge and skills for effective performance in public policy and management.

The core of study includes a course which integrates politics, management, and policy making, as well as courses which approach the study of public policy from the perspectives of economics and ethics, and courses in the theory and techniques of computing, statistics, management, research design, and public finance and budgeting.

Engaged Faculty

Carolyn Ball, Ph.D.

Bruce Clary, Ph.D.

Charles Colgan, Ph.D.

Kate L. Forhan, Ph.D.

Barbara Fraumeni, Ph.D.

Mark Lapping, Ph.D.

Josie LaPlante, Ph.D.

Lisa Morris, Ph.D.