Leading public policy schools that tackle real-world problems
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In today’s world, public policy and public administration affect our daily lives.

For instance, the policy choices and decisions made by those in power can impact the public on nearly every subject — including education, healthcare, national security and immigration.

The world is currently under threat from the so-called Coronavirus.

Originating from Wuhan, China, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared the fast-spreading virus as a public health global emergency due to its rising death toll.

Therefore, global public administration and policy professionals are under pressure to act and advise.

In the US, health officials are racing to contain the confirmed cases of coronavirus, fearing it could travel across their states.

According to Northeastern University Master of Public Health Programme Professor, Neil Maniar, it is essential to properly educate people about this illness, and other viral illnesses, in order to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.

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“It’s important that we as public health professionals, when we respond to outbreaks, that we really focus on the science and we focus on best practices so that we’re taking the approaches that are ethical, that are humane, and the ones that we know will be effective,” says Maniar.

As well as providing the public with information about the coronavirus, countries like China and the US are taking immediate action by placing people who tested positive for the virus in a two-week quarantine.

However, Northeastern University Clinical Professor of Health Sciences, Dr. Shan Mohammed believes that more needs to be done to combat an infectious disease that will likely have social, political and economic impacts.

“I think [countries] are going to have to collaborate across industries and across sectors because there are multiple issues at hand here,” he says.

Therefore, to prevent the virus from worsening, public health professionals across the globe need to come together and address this real-world challenge. With more future-driven public policy or public administration professionals taking charge and containing deadly global threats, the better prepared we’ll be.

Here are four public policy schools that aim to combat real-world challenges…


At Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (part of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities) in Boston, graduate students apply the interdisciplinary thinking and problem solving skills necessary to address pressing local, state, national, and international issues.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) programme prepares tomorrow’s leaders to serve the public good through education and engagement in organisational management, public and non-profit finance, policy analysis, and ethics and accountability.

In this degree programme, students can pursue specialised interests in areas such urban analytics and nonprofit leadership and management. The university’s signature experiential approach enables students to take on career-oriented experiences through cooperative education (co-ops), small group projects and capstones, and other opportunities to interact with professionals in the field.

Source: Northeastern University

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme prepares students for analytical and research careers in the public and non-profit sectors. The MPP programme equips students to assess public problems, to develop appropriate policy responses, and to evaluate programme effectiveness, all while gaining valuable industry experience with the same opportunities as the MPA programme.

In addition, both programmes provide students various opportunities to work alongside faculty to conduct research in the School’s many centres, institutes, and labs.

Not only do Northeastern MPA and MPP students have the opportunity to undertake rigorous, investigative projects before they graduate, but they will also leave with an agile skill set that they can apply to dynamic challenges in local and global communities beyond campus.

If you want to inspire and effect change where you are or around the world, learn how an MPA or MPP can help by clicking here.


The Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) at the University of California is a graduate school that prepares students for public leadership careers.

At GSPP, the majority of students are enrolled in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme, which emphasises the applied and quantitative dimensions of policymaking.

This programme informs students about the practical and applied dimensions of policy-making and implementation, and encourages them to examine techniques for developing policy options.

Despite learning in small class sizes, the School places a great deal of attention on teamwork, cooperation and interaction among students and with the faculty.

Everyone on the MPP programme has the chance to branch out and work in groups on real policy problems for real clients under close faculty supervision.

While studying at GSPP, MPP students also benefit from a policy internship in the summer after completing their first year, a second-year policy analysis project, and a variety of elective courses.

By combining all these learning opportunities into one Master’s course, it’s clear to see that golden graduate prospects await every learner who applies to the Goldman School of Public Policy.


Referred to as an interdisciplinary hub for innovation and learning, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) at the University of British Columbia draws on the expertise of university institutes, research centres and faculties.

Source: University of British Columbia

For students that hope to gain expertise in development and social change, sustainability, and global governance, then they should take a look at UBC’s 20-month, professional Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA).

The unique MPPGA curriculum encourages creativity, innovation and collaboration by seamlessly integrating learning and practical experience.

It also equips future policymakers with a deep understanding of policy-making processes and the interconnectedness of global networks to address complex public policy challenges.

So if you want to become a public policy and global affairs leader with British Columbia, check out what this policy degree has to offer.


Founded in 1997, the Bush School of Government and Public Service offers four graduate programmes for students that want a public service career.

These degrees cover Public Service and Administration, International Affairs, International Policy, with one degree featuring online tuition (the Executive Master in Public Service and Administration).

In particular, the Master of Public Service and Administration (MPSA) programmes aims to develop principled leaders for the public and nonprofit sectors.

Through an interdisciplinary learning approach, the MPSA provides students with the tools and knowledge they need to perform effectively and ethically in a time where public servants face new and increased challenges.

MPSA students also have plenty of opportunities to engage in public service and to develop leadership skills outside the classroom through interaction with high-level public leaders, real-world consulting projects and the School’s Public Service Leadership Programme.

Hence why MPSA students leave the Bush School ready to make a difference in the world.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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