Harvard MPP

The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University offers a two-year MPP program designed to prepare future public leaders for successful careers in public service. The Harvard MPP program is consistently ranked among the top public policy programs by U.S. News & World Report, placing second in the 2012 ranking.

The auspicious beginning for the Harvard Kennedy School was a $2 million gift from alumnus Lucius N. Littauer in 1936, which at that time was the single largest gift ever made to a university. Originally named the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration, the School was renamed for President John F. Kennedy in 1966. During the 1960s, the school began to develop the public policy course curriculum that would become the Harvard MPP program.

The Harvard Kennedy School strives to stay at the vanguard of public policy research and the education and training of policy practitioners. In addition to offering more than 30 executive education and degree programs, the school is home to 15 research centers and institutes. The Harvard Kennedy School’s distinguished faculty includes renowned scholars as well as public policy practitioners who are actively involved in global public affairs.

The Harvard MPP program includes core requirements that provide a foundation in analysis, management and leadership, helping students build their knowledge base while sharpening their analytical powers. Students in the program develop the skills needed to form effective solutions for complex public problems and to build consensus in support of their solutions. They also learn how to identify and utilize available resources, and to monitor and adjust policy implementations.
Harvard MPP students include experienced legislators, nonprofit executives and policy entrepreneurs as well as aspiring leaders. They represent diverse ages and backgrounds, arriving at the school from all over the world. They come together to share their knowledge and experience, frequently working together in small groups in a collaborative environment. Students leave the program fully prepared to effect positive public change.

Classes in the Harvard MPP program are taught with a combination of traditional lecture format and case method. The Harvard Kennedy School’s Case Program is a source and repository for more than 2,000 case studies in public policy. These cases provide detailed information about the formation and management of public policy, facilitating discussion-based learning. The cases are used by the Harvard MPP program as well as by colleges, universities, government agencies and private training programs from around the world.

There are about 500 students enrolled as first-year and second-year MPP students at the Harvard Kennedy School. Academic prerequisites for the program include a bachelor’s degree. Knowledge of college-level economics, statistics and calculus is preferred, along with two to three years of professional experience. For more information about enrolling, visit the Harvard Kennedy School Registrar website.