Degree Requirements

​​At Jacksonville University, the Master in Public Policy degree is a 2-year, 48 credit program that includes Core and Elective courses, Internship, and Capstone.

Core

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

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.

Law (3-6 credits)

Students take at least one, and up to two, policy-oriented elective course at Florida Coastal School of Law.

Internship

Students complete a two credit summer internship following completion of the first year Core. Placement is made either through the Institute's Internship Partners or through the intern. 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.

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).

  • PPOL 695 – Capstone Project: Client Policy Project I
  • PPOL 696 – Capstone Project: Client Policy Project II

     OR

  • PPOL 697 – Capstone Project: Research Policy Thesis I
  • PPOL 698 – Capstone Project: Research Policy Thesis II