Why Michigan State University Master of Public Policy

The goal of the MPP is to provide high-quality graduate-level instruction in quantitative analysis, program development, policy implementation, public finance, and policy evaluation.

The MPP program is designed for students who want to pursue professional careers in policy analysis, program management, and policy advocacy with the public, private, or non-profit sectors.  The program teaches students to address complex societal problems, reconcile conflicting political and ethical values in policymaking, make informed decisions about program activities, and provide effective leadership in policy development and implementation.

Application into the Masters of Public Policy are accepted for Fall Semester ONLY.  The application deadline each year is JUNE 15.


Step One (Start): Apply online for admission here:  You may pay your application fee at this point.  This step initiates your application process by generating an applicant ID.

Step Two (Upload/Request): After starting your application at the above link, you will receive an e-mail with a login and password.  Go then to and login.  Here you will be prompted to upload the following support documents and request letters of recommendation.

Required supporting documents include:

  • Personal Statement: The personal statement focuses on your abilities and preparation to do graduate level work, your interests related to public policy, and your professional career goals.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required from individuals qualified to assess your promise of success in a graduate program (e.g. college or university faculty, individuals at research or other scholarly institutions, teaching assistants, etc.).  Please request letters of recommendation through the grad portal, instead of sending them directly to the department.  If you have difficulty with this or any further questions, please contact

Step Three (Send): Send (or have sent) official transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores to the Department of Political Science.

Department of Political Science
368 Farm Lane, S303 South Kedzie Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

A Complete application file must include the following:

  • Official Transcripts: Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study mailed the Department of Politial Science at the above address.
  • Official GRE Scores: The student must ensure that his/her official report of GRE scores are sent to Michigan State University.  Use the following codes to order scores: University code: 1465.  Department code: 1903 Public Policy.  The GRE must be recent (less than 5 years old).  You will enter your scores on the application if they are available, but you must also have the official report sent to MSU.  For information on the GRE refer to or
  • Test of English as Foreign Languate (TOEFL): This is applicable for non-native English speakers only.  Applicants whose native language is not English will be expected to submit scores from the TOEFL.  MSU’s minimum Internet based test (iBT) requirements are: no sub-score below 19 reading, listening, and speaking; no writing sub-score below 22; with a minimum average score of 80.  Since communication, verbal and written, is an important component of the MPP higher sub-scores in the TOEFL are most helpful for the application. See for score interpretation.

Information on Chinese Graduate Applications: During the application process, applicants submit certified copies (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all post-secondary transcripts, graduation certificates and degrees directly to the Department of Political Science.  MSU requires these documents in the original language (Chinese) as well as an official English translation.

Official transcripts should be sent directly to the Department of Political Science:

Michigan State University
Department of Political Science
368 Farm Lane, S303 South Kedzie Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Transcripts uploaded through the portal by the applicant are not considered official.

Effective Spring 2015, Michigan State University will require all incoming ADMITTED students pursuing degrees or who have earned degrees from universities in China to submit a verification report (English version) through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) for their final bachelor degree transcripts(大学成绩单) and bachelor degree (本科学位证书). All verification reports need to be sent to the MSU Office of Admissions directly by CDGDC.  For those Master degree granted students, we only need the undergraduate level verification report from CDGDC.

Linked BA/BS-MPP Applicants: to apply refer to the steps in the Linked BA/BS-MPP description at  You will generate an application form online as described in the steps above but you will only be required to submit two letters of recommendation.  Linked BA/BS-MPP students may apply under certain circumstances to Spring Semester.

Will come from Marty

The Master of Public Policy program has each year two competitive assistantships for incoming students.  The assistantships involve a stipend, a waiver of tuition and fees (for 9 credits each semester: Fall and Spring) and health insurance coverage.  In return, the assistantships require weekly work during the Fall and Spring semesters (10 hours if the quarter-time assistantship or 20 hours if the half-time assistantship) on research and teaching tasks that might involve assisting faculty on research projects or with their classes, or administrative assignments.  To apply, submit the normal application for admission and indicate your interest by February 15, 2019 by email to

IPPSR Fellows Program

Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) and the Master of Public Policy Program are now offering one competitive fellowship that provides research work opportunities and a full, two-year scholarship toward completion of a Master’s Degree in Public Policy.

The fellowships will be focused on research and writing on Michigan policy issues. Mid-career applicants who have worked in Michigan government or the policymaking community are especially encouraged to apply. Fellows will work 20 hours/week at IPPSR on research assistantships during their studies, receiving full pay and health benefits along with tuition and fees (thereby obtaining a Master’s Degree at no cost). Fellows will help apply research findings to Michigan public policy issues and compile information for policymakers and civic education efforts. Fellows will also be involved in event organizing and online publishing.

To apply for the fellowship, supply the normal application for admission and indicate an interest by May 4, 2019. For more information or to learn about the experiences of current fellows, please email IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann at Candidates considered for the fellowships will be emailed requests for further information and information about time for potential personal interviews.

How to Apply for Admission to the Linked BA/BS-MPP Program

About the Program:

The Departments of Political Science and Economics are delighted to announce the addition of new five-year Linked Bachelor’s and Master’s in Public Policy Degree Programs. The new Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s of Public Policy Programs are specifically designed for students who want to pursue professional careers in policy analysis, program management, and policy advocacy. These programs allow MSU undergraduates to apply up to 9 approved credits from the undergraduate level to their master’s degree requirements. As a result, undergraduates can get a jump start on their professional careers by earning both a Bachelor’s (BA or BS) degree and a Master’s of Public Policy (MPP) degree in a total of five years-one year early.

Program Admissions and Application Information:

Students will normally apply for the new Linked BA/BS-MPP programs option during the end of their junior year with the expectation of starting the program during their senior year.  To be admitted, students must do the following:

  • Apply online as described in the general application process to the MPP
  • Through the online application submit a Personal Statement describing interest in, and motivation for, pursuing a graduate degree in public policy.  More specifically in the statement you may describe why you would like to be admitted to the Linked Bachelor’s – Master’s of Public Policy program at Michigan State University.  Summarize your professional goals and how you believe this program will help you attain those goals.  List any special analytic or research skills you possess that may be useful in graduate study.  Also, list any substantive policy areas (i.e., education, the environment, health care) or specific policy problems (i.e., economic development, government regulation, state fiscal issues, etc.) of particular interest to you.  Your personal statement should be approximately 250 words in length.
  • Through the online application request TWO letters of recommendation from faculty members addressing the applicant’s potential for success in graduate study in public policy.
  • Provide current academic transcript(s).  Mail to: Department of Political Science, 368 Farm Lane, S303 South Kedzie Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.
  • An approved program of study (to be completed in consultation between the student, the student’s undergraduate advisor, and the Director of the MPP Program).

Linked programs are open to current Michigan State University undergraduates who are majoring in Political Science or Economics.  Admission to the new Linked Bachelor’s – Master’s of Public Policy Program is competitive.  Students should have strong academic backgrounds (i.e., undergraduate grade point averages of 3.50 or above); they should have done well in their political science, economics, and public policy courses; and they should have a clear desire to pursue a career in public policy.