Policy, Planning, and Management

MPPM in Policy, Planning, and Management

The MPPM prepares students for leadership and management roles in government, nonprofit organizations, and private organizations serving the public and nonprofit sectors 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. 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, planners, or analysts in areas related to environment, sustainable development, and economic and social policy.

The goals of the program are to educate students to have the ability to:

  • Comprehend the fundamentals of public policy, planning, and management.
  • Identify and describe problems and solutions from diverse political, economic, and ethical perspectives.
  • Evaluate and synthesize problems and solutions quantitatively and qualitatively.
  • Design solutions and implementation strategies for organizations and communities.
  • Evaluate approaches to public, private, and non-profit organizational leadership and management.
  • Articulate strategies to engage and facilitate civic discourse, community participation, and public-private cooperation.
  • Communicate clearly, orally, graphically, and in writing, to inform, manage, and persuade.

 

The 36-credit degree program provides a rigorous core of six courses (18 credits) while allowing flexibility to tailor elective course work to meet professional goals. In addition to the core, students must complete 18 credits of electives, including a 3 credit public service internship, a 3 credit capstone project, or a non-credit portfolio to serve as evidence of the experience and expertise acquired during the course of completing the MPPM.  Working closely with a faculty advisor, students may choose an individualized course of study or complete a concentration in Public Policy; Sustainable Development and Geospatial Technologies; or, Public and Nonprofit Management.

Core Course Substitution Request

A student may request a waiver from a program requirement by demonstrating adequate mastery of the subject matter. Evidence may include the syllabus, undergraduate transcript or a graduate transcript, successful completion of an examination, submission of samples of work, or through other means acceptable to the faculty member teaching the course. Approval does not reduce the credit requirement for graduation; students take additional electives to meet the required credits. 

 

The Core Curriculum

A core curriculum of 18 credits assures an understanding of the basic principles of public policy, planning, and public and nonprofit management.

Core Curriculum Requirements

  • PPM 601 Quantitative Methods for Policy, Planning, and Management
  • PPM 610 Governance, Democracy, and Policymaking
  • PPM 611 Economics for Policy, Planning, and Management 
  • PPM 612 Sustainable Communities
  • PPM 615 Organizational Leadership
  • PPM 640 Public Finance and Budgeting

In addition to the core requirements, students take 18 credits of electives. Students must complete one of three options: a 3 credit public service internship, a 3 credit capstone, or a non-credit student portfolio*. Students without significant public service experience are advised to complete and internship. Students normally choose a concentration: Public Policy; Sustainable Development and Geospatial Technologies; or, Public and Nonprofit Management. As an alternative to choosing a concentration, students may choose courses from graduate programs across the university including Business, Education, Law, Public Health, and Social Work as well as electives in the program.

Concentrations

Public Policy Concentration

The Public Policy Concentration focuses on building skills in policy design and formulation and the methods of policy analysis, research, and evaluation. This concentration is appropriate for students seeking professional careers in policy think tanks and other organizations and businesses that generate public policy research, analysis, and advocacy as well as the public, nonprofit, and private sectors especially in areas of consulting and contracting support for governments and nonprofits.

The learning outcomes of students in the Public Policy Concentration include: 

  • Quantitatively and qualitatively analyze, synthesize, and evaluate public policies.
  • Identify and evaluate unintended effects and the distribution of problem and policy effects across affected populations.
  • Identify and articulate competing interests in public policy debates, including the influence of values, ethics, ideologies, and public opinion.
  • Analyze policies and assess their potential impact using empirical evidence, and articulate the strength of the evidence base.
  • Clearly articulate policy concepts and issues and the results of policy analysis and research, orally and in writing, to inform, manage and persuade.

Students completing the Public Policy Concentration complete  six credits of required courses and 12 credits of electives. Students must  complete one of three options:  a 3 credit public service internship, a 3 credit capstone, or a non-credit student portfolio*.

Public Policy Concentration - Required Courses:

  • PPM 622 Applied Policy Analysis
  • PPM 696 Public Service Internship or PPM 699 Capstone or a non-credit student portfolio*

Public Policy Concentration - Possible Electives

  • PPM 522 Introduction to ArcGIS
  • PPM 570 Argumentation and Advocacy
  • PPM 608 Dispute Management
  • PPM 616 Policy, Planning and Management Law
  • PPM 665 Transportation Planning and Policy
  • PPM 667 Housing Planning and Policy
  • PPM 672 Food Policy and Planning
  • PPM 676 Energy Policy and Planning
  • PPM 683 Environmental Law and Policy
  • PPM 695 Independent Study
  • PPM 696 Public Service Internship
  • PPM 699 Capstone
  • ECO 523 U.S.Labor and Employment Relations
  • ESP 521 Natural Resource Policy
  • ESP 526 Environmental Economics
  • ESP 527 Natural Resource Economics
  • ESP 540 Environmental Regulations
  • ESP 570 Solid Waste Planning and Policy
  • GEO 555 Gender, Race and Class in the City
  • MPH 525 American Health System
  • MPH 650 Applied Public Health Research and Evaluation
  • MPH 660 Health Policy**
  • MPH 690 Public Health Policy for Children and Families

*Students who complete a non-credit portfolio in lieu of a capstone or public service internsthip take an another elective course.

**Prerequisite for MPH 660 Health Policy is MPH 525 American Health Systems or permission of the instructor.

Other courses may be approved by your advisor upon request.

 

Public and Nonprofit Management Concentration

Public executives negotiate a constantly changing field to meet the demands of the citizens and communities in which they serve, all the while functioning in a transparent manner to keep and hold the public trust. The Public and Nonprofit Management concentration is designed for students already working or planning to work in government or nonprofits. Anyone without significant work experience should plan on an internship.  Those planning a career as a town or county manager or some other position in local government shoudl plan on completing PPM 534 Managing Cities, Towns and Counties.

The learning out comes of students in the Public and Nonprofit Management Concentration include: 

  • Develop leadership and management skills through engaging in problem- and project-based learning.
  • Understand and evaluate organizational dynamics and mobilize others in collaborative problem-solving and partnerships to address complex problems.
  • Utilize performance measurement systems in order to collect, analyze, interpret and present evidence using appropriate models and methods.
  • Develop the skills to work effectively in an arena of competing interests while being cognizant of the needs of the general community.
  • Communicate effectively and engage productively within a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry, community groups, and organizations.

Students seeking the Public and Nonprofit Management Concentration complete the six credits of Concentration required courses and 12 credits of electives.

Public and Nonprofit Management Concentration - Required Courses:

  • PPM 535 Managing in the Nonprofits
  • PPM 696 Public Service Internship or PPM 699 Capstone or a non credit student porfolio*

Public and Nonprofit Management Concentration - Possible Electives:

  • PPM 531 Measuring Performance in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
  • PPM 534 Managing Cities,Towns,and Counties
  • PPM 545 Grant Writing and Development
  • PPM 550 State and Regional Economic Development
  • PPM 570 Argumentation and Advocacy
  • PPM 608 Dispute Management
  • PPM 616 Policy, Planning and Management Law
  • PPM 632 Human Resource Management in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
  • PPM 633 Strategic Planning in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
  • PPM 695 Independent Study
  • PPM 696 Public Service Internship
  • PPM 699 Capstone
  • GEO 608 GIS Applications I
  • MPH 575 Health Systems Organization and Management
  • MPH 640 Health Finance**
  • MPH 655 Public Health Practice
  • MPH 675 Health Information Management  

*Students who complete a non-credit portfolio in lieu of a capstone or public service internsthip take an another elective course.

**Prerequisite for MPH 640 Health Finance is basic accounting or permission of the instructor.

Other courses may be approved by your advisor upon request.

 

Sustainable Development and Geospatial Technologies Concentration

The Sustainable Development and Geospatial Technologies concentration focuses on building skills in the methods and applications of sustainable community development and planning, including GIS and remote sensing, site planning and assessment, forecasting and modeling, and citizen engagement. Students may also select courses in environmental and sustainability science and theory, and energy and natural resource management and policy. Students will have the opportunity to produce professional-level projects focused on issues of planning and sustainable development. 

The learning outcomes of students in the Sustainable Development and Geospatial Technologies include: 

  • Demonstrate strong working knowledge of planning and development elements and standards.
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of the legal and political foundations of plan making and a background in planning and zoning law.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of industry-standard GIS and remote sensing software tools and techniques of analysis.
  • Apply geospatial technologies and spatial analysis approaches to address planning and sustainable community development issues.
  • Demonstrate ability to design, develop, research and communicate professional-level projects using GIS and/or remote sensing tools and focused on issues of planning and sustainable development.

Students seeking the Sustainable Development and Geospatial Technologies Concentration shall complete the nine credits of Concentration required courses and nine credits of electives. Through elective courses, students will have the option of developing advanced skills in environmental, land use, and energy management and policy.

Sustainable Development & Geospatial Technologies Concentration - Required Courses 

  • PPM 613 Sustainable Development Workshop
  • GEO 605 Remote Sensing or GEO 608 GIS Applications I or PPM 522 Introduction to ArcGIS
  • PPM 696 Public Service Internship or PPM 699 Capstone or a non credit student portfolio*

Sustainable Development & Geospatial Technologies Concentration – Possible Electives

  • PPM 501 Planning Theory
  • PPM 534 Managing Cities, Towns and Counties
  • PPM 550 State and Regional Economic Development
  • PPM 560 Crisis and Risk Management
  • PPM 581 Global Planning Issues: Megacities and Megacity Regions
  • PPM 607 Elements of Plan Making
  • PPM 608 Dispute Management
  • PPM 616 Policy, Planning, and Management Law
  • PPM 664 Introduction to Town Design and SketchUp
  • PPM 665 Transportation Planning and Policy
  • PPM 667 Housing Planning and Policy
  • PPM 672 Food Planning and Policy
  • PPM 676 Energy Policy and Planning
  • PPM 683 Environmental Law and Policy
  • PPM 695 Independent Study
  • PPM 696 Public Service Internship
  • PPM 699 Capstone
  • GEO 502 Urban Geography
  • GEO 503 Economic Geography
  • GEO 520 Conservation of Natural Resources
  • GEO 618 GIS Applications II
  • ANT 506 Public Archaeology
  • ANT 508 Environmental Archaeology
  • ANT 515 Ethnographic Methods: Ethics and Practice
  • ESP 517 Site Planning & Assessment for Sustainability
  • ESP 570 Solid Waste Planning and Policy

*Students who complete a non-credit portfolio in lieu of a capstone or public service internsthip take an another elective course.

Other courses may be approved by your advisor upon request.

Application Procedures and Required Materials

Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • Application: Online Application
  • Application fee: $65.00 paid through the online application.
  • 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.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
    • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
    • 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 (3): 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.  
    • Standardized test scores: - None required
    • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.

    International Applicants

    In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

    • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
    • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
    • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program

    Where to send transcripts and application materials

     

    Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

    Application Processing Center
    University of Maine System
    P.O. Box 412
    Bangor, ME 04402-0412

    Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

    For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.