Degree Requirements

​​At Jacksonville University, the Master in Public Policy degree is a 48 credit program that includes core and elective courses, an internship, and a capstone research project.

​​Course Sequence​​

MPP students can enroll full-time or as part of our part-time evening program. 

Full-time Enrollment

Full time students can anticipate completing the MPP in two years, taking four courses per fall and spring semester, and interning during the summer.​

Download a typical full time course sequence.

Part-time Enrollment

Working students, mid-career professionals, Teach for America Corp members, public sector employees and others who wish to continue working or teaching while attaining the MPP degree can enroll part time in evening or daytime classes. The internship requirement may be waived for students with qualifying work experience. Part time students can anticipate completing the MPP degree in three years by taking two classes a semester, including summers.​

Download a typical part time course sequence.

Course Descriptions

Core Courses

Economics (6 credits)

PPOL 501: Microeconomics for Public Policy

This course reviews microeconomic theory and explains its applications to public policy. It emphasizes the role of economic analysis tools, such as cost-benefit analysis, in decision-making.

PPOL 502: Public Finance

Prerequisite: PPOL 501. This course examines the relationships between revenues and government spending with an emphasis on the theoretical basis for various types of taxes, subsidies, and related government policies. It also discusses the efficacy of commonly used practices and procedures and considers possible alternatives.

Political Institutions, Law and Public Policy (9 credits)

PPOL 511: Political Institutions, Processes and Public Policy

This course is an introduction to the political environment — the institutions and processes — that shape public policy. The basic legal context is defined by the Constitution with its articulation of separation of powers and federal structure of government. The political context involves the roles of public opinion, media, think tanks, political parties and interest groups. All these institutions interact with each other as the legislative and executive branches of government identify problem areas, articulate alternative solutions, adopt a policy through negotiations, bureaucratic routines are developed to implement and evaluate it, and the courts may review it.

PPOL 512: Ethics and Public Policy

This course will explore the relation between the individual and the state in ethical and political thought, so that students can better understand the ethical and political context of policy choices. After briefly considering ancient reflections on the close connection between ethics and politics we then proceed to consider modern social contract theory and its various critics in an attempt to arrive at a richer understanding of the ethical and conceptual articulations of the foundation of modern liberal democracy. Throughout we will consider the challenges that these theories pose for conceiving the proper role of public policy.

PPOL 513: Law and Public Policy.

This course examines the relationship between law and public policy, with an emphasis on local government law and policy. Students are also introduced to the basics of reading judicial opinions, the role of the courts, and sources of law. The legal authority and public policy consequences of City and County governance, including city-county consolidation, special districts, constitutional officers, boards, commissions and quasi-public bodies, are covered in the course. Related topics include federalism, separation of powers, and home rule. Substantive local government law and public policy issues are also covered, including collective bargaining and public pensions, municipal tort liability, procurement, operating and capital budgets, sunshine law, public records, and ethics.

Quantitative Methods and Reasoning (11 credits)

PPOL 521: Statistics and Research Methods in Public Policy

​​This course covers various types of data, empirical analysis, and introduces students to data analysis, strategies of data collection and principles for critically evaluating data collected by others. Topics include measurement reliability and validity, questionnaire design, sampling, research design and ethics, as well as descriptive statistics and hypothesis test techniques.

PPOL 531: Quantitative Methods and Analysis

Cross listed with DSIM 530. Prerequisite: College algebra and elementary statistics or DSIM (BUS) 500. Introduces students to a group of quantitative tools that assure high quality managerial decision-making. Topics to be covered are break-even analysis, linear programming, inventory control models (EOQ), waiting line models, decision theory, time series forecasting and project management (PERT and CPM).

PPOL 541: Public Policy Analysis

Prerequisites: PPOL 521 and PPOL 531. This course introduces a suite of basic principles and approaches (qualitative and quantitative) to understand policy problems, analyze policy outcomes, and suggest recommendations for policy makers. The goal is to prepare students to evaluate the performance of a variety of policy instruments such as regulations, subsidies, taxes, and markets. Topics such as the environment, transportation, and education will be used to illustrate the application of course elements.

Leadership, Management and Administration (5 credits)

PPOL 550: Leading Organizations

Cross list MGT 550. Designed to help leaders build strategic, organizational and individual insights. Topics will address traditional and contemporary issues related to developing and motivating people and teams. Emphasis will be placed on building skill sets in designing and articulating a mission and vision in order to create and sustain high-performing organizations. Focus will be on the dynamic examination of managerial and leadership concepts of human behavior as they apply to individuals, groups and organizations. Credit cannot be awarded for both PPOL 550 and MGT 550.

One of the following:
PPOL 610: Strategic Human Resource Management

Cross list MGT 610. Prerequisite: PPOL 550. Based on the belief that employees are the organization's most important asset, this elective course exposes students to the management application of HR concepts that impact performance at all levels of the organization. Topics addressed in the course may include: legal aspects of HR, selection, training, performance evaluations, employee rights, and the management of diversity.

PPOL 611: Responsible Leadership

Cross list MGT 620. Prerequisite: PPOL 550. The concepts covered in this course include the nature of leadership, a study of leadership styles from classic, current and emerging leadership theories. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of ethics in decision making, leader character and integrity. This course additionally focuses on the links between theory and practice and the use of power and influence as they relate to leadership.

PPOL 612: Teamwork and Organizational Change

Cross list MGT 630. Prerequisite: PPOL 550. Students are introduced to organization concepts used in the design, development, and transformation of complex organizations. Particular focus will be placed on developing leadership teams capable of creating an optimal organizational structure and develop core processes that achieve strategic objectives and sustain high performance. The course emphasizes the role of the leader as a strategic change architect.​​​

Elective Courses

​​At Jacksonville University, we recognize that diverse elective coursework helps students develop expertise in their field of interest. That's why 12 credits of our MPP curriculum are elective. The Institute brings in subject matter experts to offer policy-based electives in education policy, strategic communication, political campaigning, and polling.

Public Policy (6-9 credits)

Students take at least two, and up to three, elective courses at Jacksonville University in diverse policy areas, including education, healthcare, economic development, and others. A sample of MPP elective courses is provided below.  

PPOL 618: COMPETING THROUGH INNOVATION & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Cross listed with DSIM 518. Provides an overview of business information technologies and their varied application across the value chain. Emphasis is placed on assessment of current technologies, technology trends and impact on business processes. Additional focus is on frameworks for management and control of IT within the firm and aligning IT strategy with organizational strategy. E-commerce and other effects of the IT-centric virtual marketplace on the firm are addressed. Students obtain an understanding of how business managers can leverage technology to enhance their companies' chances of success in the increasingly competitive global business environment. 

PPOL 620: ECONOMICS OF HIGH PERFORMANCE
Cross listed with ECON 520. Prerequisites: ECON 201, ECON 202 and MATH 140 or ECON 509. Designed to introduce MBA students to the application of macro-and microeconomic principles to managerial decision-making in the modern organization. Students discuss ways of directing scarce resources in an efficient manner to attain managerial goals and learn to strategically apply economic ideas, theories, and methodologies to sustain high corporate performance. Special emphasis is placed on the concepts of corporate responsibility, demand analysis, production and cost determination, pricing and profit analysis, as well as application of computer-based forecasting and model building. Cases and problems are used to understand economic tools and their potential for solving real-world problems. 

PPOL 651: SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC POLICY
A study of selected topics of major interest in Public Policy not covered in other course offerings. 

PPOL 652: ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS
This course explores the importance of strategic communications and effective public policy. A core theme is examining the role communication and media play in shaping public attitudes. Topics include, but are not limited to: crisis communications, public relations, media law, media ethics, speechwriting, persuasion, changing behavior through communication, media and public attitudes, and contemporary communication tools in the digital age. 

PPOL 661: INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Rational policy formulation is only part of the public policy process. It is tempered by economic constraints, political realities and personal preferences among the policy elites. Analyses include international, national and state levels of government, as well as the fragmented and multilayered city, county, special district and school district. Revenue forecasting, impact of inflation, taxation, pension funding and user fees will be surveyed as well as recruitment, performance evaluation and labor relations. Public administration is clearly differentiated from administration in the private sector. 

PPOL 662: POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS, GOVERNANCE AND PUBLIC POLICY INITIATIVES
Public Policy in the context of political campaigns (at the local, state and federal level), governance and public policy initiatives are examined in this course. The unique demands of political campaigns, and its consequences for public policy positions, and the requirements of effective governance are examined. Case studies of successful public policy initiatives are reviewed, including public initiatives on waterways, land preservation, early literacy, public safety, and infrastructure development. 

PPOL 671: EDUCATION AND PUBLIC POLICY
The course engages in an overview of current issues in K-12 education policy at the local, state and federal levels. Students shall develop a broad range of inquiry skills as policies are examined that pursue to adjust and improve the current education system or aim to reform K-12 education through external/market-based approaches. Policy topics will include accountability, school choice, national standards, early childhood education, school finance, teacher recruitment and labor relations, and achievement gaps. 

PPOL 681: ORGANIZATION, DELIVERY AND POLICY IN HEALTHCARE
Cross listed with NUR 512. The purpose of this course is to discuss concepts related to healthcare organization and delivery both in the United States and abroad. A major focus of this course will be ecological and socioeconomic determinants of population-based health outcomes. The Nurse's role as an advocate for healthcare policy and educator on health promotion topics will be explored.

PPOL 682: NURSING LEADERSHIP AND THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Cross listed with NUR 532. Students will explore and analyze the role of the nurse leader as it relates to the healthcare system. Included in this analysis is the delivery of safe, effective, and efficient patient care. Topics will include the healthcare environment, federal and state laws/regulations, and oversight of the magnet status journey. 

PPOL 683: ETHICS IN CLINICAL PRACTICE
Cross listed with NUR 660. Ethical theories and principles will be analyzed and applied to complex nursing issues. Students will examine professional values, moral obligations and sound ethical decision making to resolve dilemmas faced in advanced clinical nursing practice. 

PPOL 684: LEADERSHIP AND HEALTH POLICY
Cross listed with NUR 670. Sociopolitical and economic trends affecting advanced clinical nursing practice and healthcare policy will be analyzed. Students will apply effective methods to improve health outcomes and quality of care with a special emphasis placed upon reducing health disparities in vulnerable populations. Various leadership theories, applicable to complex healthcare issues will be deconstructed. 

PPOL 690: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN MARINE SCIENCE
Cross listed with MSC 690. One to six credit lecture and/or laboratory per week. Course will be on selected topics and current issues in marine science. Course can be offered on an as-needed basis for topics not included in the curriculum when faculty availability or opportunities occur. May be repeated for credit when topics change, but no more than six credits count towards degree requirement. 

PPOL 691: OCEAN & COASTAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
Cross listed with MSC 610. Course will examine a number of emerging ocean and coastal policy issues. Among the policy issues are those relating to oil, gas, and alternative energy facilities and equipment in coastal or ocean waters, the privatization of public waters, the impact of rising sea levels upon ocean beaches and estuarine shorelines, beach nourishment and shoreline protection, development setback lines, the use of ocean outfalls to dispose of wastewater, and the future role of the Coastal Resources Commission. Course will examine these and other emerging policy issues and governing state and federal legal regime. 

Law (3-6 credits)

In addition, all MPP students take at least one (up to two) policy oriented law school elective. Offered through a unique partnership between Jacksonville University and Florida Coastal School of Law, MPP students take at least one course at the law school during their last year of MPP study. Students must receive a grade of “C” or better for credit toward the MPP degree, but the law school grade will not be counted in the MPP GPA. View a list of elective course optio​ns ​at Florida Coastal School of Law.

Internship

Students complete an internship following completion of the first year Core. Placement is made either through the Institute's Internship Partners or through an outside provider. Internship is a commitment by both the placement partner and the student to complete a minimum 10 week, 200 hours policy project or substantive policy work.

For more information about our internship program and partners, click here

Capstone

Prior to graduation, MPP students complete a six credit Capstone Policy Project. Students choose between working in a small group with a faculty advisor on a policy problem for a real world client organization (Client Policy Project) or working individually with a faculty advisor on a research thesis on a policy question of their choosing (Research Policy Thesis).

  • Either the Client Policy Project:
    • PPOL 695: Capstone Project: Client Policy Project I
    • PPOL 696: Capstone Project: Client Policy Project II
  • Or the Research Policy Thesis:
    • PPOL 697: Capstone Project: Research Policy Thesis I
    • PPOL 698: Capstone Project: Research Policy Thesis II
  • Or the Capstone Intensive: 
    • PPOL 699: Capstone Project: Intensive

Further information about the capstone requirement and completed capstone projects may be found here

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