Policy Analysis

Earn an O'Neill MPA with a policy analysis concentration

The Policy Analysis concentration prepares students to improve decision-making and address complex issues. The policy analysis student will be well versed in the nature of the policy process from the design to the evaluation stages and use that knowledge to produce solid analysis and apply it effectively.

Students will learn to use a skills-based approach to help organizations analyze and structure complex policy situations and then break them down to understandable components and critical features. The concentration is often more technical and quantitative than other concentrations, which prospective employers greatly value. But it’s not just about numbers. Students learn skills such as using mapping software, statistical software, and other ways to communicate data to inform policy choices and public affairs management practices.

Fellowships open doors to a career in government

The Indiana Statehouse dome

In addition to gaining the analytical skills necessary to evaluate policies and programs, policy analysis students are uniquely positioned to apply for graduate fellowships that provide valuable work experience with city and state government. Peterson Fellows complete a three-semester public service internship in the mayor's office, while Borst Fellows are placed in the Statehouse where they research fiscal policy issues for lawmakers.

Required courses (18 credit hours)

Analysis of concepts, methods, and procedures involved in managing public organizations. Problems of organization, planning, decision making, performance evaluation, and management of human resources are considered. Cases are drawn from a variety of public services found at federal, state, and local levels of government.

Focus on analytical models and their use in solving problems and making decisions in the public sector. Discussion of standard approaches to modeling and estimation of parameters.

An examination of the role of public affairs professionals in policy processes. Focuses on relationships with political actors in various policy areas.

This course focuses on applications of the principles and concepts of intermediate microeconomic theory and managerial economics to public sector management decisions and policy analysis. The course utilizes case studies to give students opportunities to recognize the economic dimensions inherent in the public policy problems and to develop an analytical problem-solving orientation.

The fiscal role of government in a mixed economy; sources of public revenue and credit; administrative, political, and institutional aspects of the budget and the budgetary process; problems and trends in intergovernmental fiscal relations.

An introduction to the field of policy analysis. Includes discussion of different models, approaches, conceptual foundations of the field, and the basic issues surrounding application. Students without appropriate previous coursework are expected to do extra reading under the guidance of their instructor or choose the audit existing masters courses.

Policy Analysis students will also take two 3-credit-hour electives to complete the degree requirements.

Solve problems at the crossroads of policy, management, and science.