Master of Arts in Public Policy | New England College
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Master of Arts in Public Policy

Public Policy Analysis 

This course covers the analytical basis of how public policy decisions are analyzed, including planning, forecasting, cost-benefit analysis, political analysis, and impact assessment on individuals and groups. Case studies of policy formulation and implementation in the United States regarding current public policy issues will be discussed and analyzed.  4 cr

Origins of American Democracy 

This course will investigate the intellectual and practical beginnings of democracy in America. It will analyze the bedrock documents that guide our government, and examine the history of electoral politics in the United States. 4 cr

Research Methods 

This course will study research methods, research strategies, and statistical analysis skills necessary to both produce and critically analyze research reports and data compilations used in forming public policy. Students will participate in the design, construction, and interpretation of a poll. 4 cr

State and Local Politics and Advocacy

This course examines the role of state and local governments within the system of federalism in the United States. Specific attention will be paid to the relationship between localities and state government and the role that agencies and nonprofits play in the policy realm. 4 cr

Public Budgeting and Taxation

Public Budgeting and Taxation is an intensive study of the institutions, processes, politics, and social and economic impact of public taxation and expenditures. The class will explore historical and contemporary issues surrounding governmental spending and taxation policies at the federal, state, and local levels. In-depth analysis will focus on state-level issues in the areas of budgeting, spending, and taxation. This course will look at the practical effect of public policies enacted in these areas and their impact on present day fiscal challenges occurring at the federal and state levels. 4 cr

Campaigns and Elections

This course is a study of the election process, including positioning of candidates, interaction with the media, campaign finance and law, party politics, and building a voter base of support. Students will develop practical experience in managing elements of a hypothetical campaign or public advocacy group. Guest presentations by candidates, campaign staffers, and others involved in interest groups will be a central focus of the course. 4 cr.

Environmental Politics and Policy

Are we facing an unprecedented environmental crisis or are environmental problems exaggerated? Has political discourse helped to shape sound environmental policies in the public interest or mainly served as an arena for a battle of special interests? What has been the role of environmental organizations and other institutions in environmental politics? What environmental issues are most likely to receive more attention in political debate and how might this debate unfold? 4 cr

Economic Analysis

This course is an analysis of economic phenomena (prices, taxation, market values) from the perspectives of economic institutions (government, markets) and the decisions that they make. Topics covered will include the role of government and markets in advancing the public good, effects and limitations of government economic policies, and analysis of the effects of economic decisions on the institution and the public. 4 cr

Class, Race, and Poverty in America

This course is a study of the persistent issues of class, poverty and race in America and how they compromise the pursuit of the “American Dream” of equality and opportunity. The “War on Poverty,” the Civil Rights Movement, welfare reform and educational inequalities will be examined. 4 cr


Each student will undertake a major investigation of a real and substantial challenge that exists either in the workplace or as a matter of public policy. The project may be related to the student’s own experience or in a field in which the student hopes to secure employment. Developed in a problem-and-solution format, the student is expected to use extensive research into best practices and associated methodologies. The product of this work is a comprehensive written plan for implementing the solution. 4 cr