Heller Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Heller Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Heller Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

Of Interest

MPP Alum Chosen for Leadership Fellowship

Nicole Tishler, MPP/WGS 14, was recently hired by the State of Massachusetts for an executive branch position as part of the new Massachusetts Women's Leadership Fellowship. Nicole is the associate director of Title VI planning strategies for the Secretary of Transportation. Read more about the program.

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The Heller School’s MPP program at Brandeis University is an interdisciplinary two-year graduate program focusing exclusively on social policy. Located in a top ten school of social policy in the U.S., the Heller MPP empowers future social policy leaders to analyze and solve complex problems in diverse work environments at the national, state and local level.   

Heller students develop:

  • Critical thinking and communication skills through academic and hands-on experiences.
  • Expertise in critical policy areas (concentrations), including health, behavioral health, poverty alleviation, children, youth, and families, and aging.

Specialization Aligns with Heller Research Institutes

Each social policy concentration is aligned with one of Heller’s research institutes. This is a unique advantage as students access connections to networks and leaders in the field that lead to internship and research opportunities as well as career opportunities.

The flexibility exists to create your own concentration to provide a better fit with your career goals. With nine research institutes and centers, Heller offers great resources with which to do so.

The opportunity to work directly with faculty and senior researchers on a policy analysis capstone in the final semester is another great benefit of being a student in a policy research environment.

Social Change

The Heller MPP program draws students who are committed to social change, are open, bright and often experienced. The MPP program helps prepare graduates for advanced careers within government and non-governmental settings involving advocacy, philanthropy, policy research and analysis, policy implementation and community work.

With the Heller School’s rich tradition of being in the vanguard of critical public and social policy research, analysis and practice, the Heller MPP is specifically designed to help students maximize their career impact.


Working as senior policy analysts, executive directors, program managers, vice presidents, COOs, evaluation coordinators, advocates and researchers, Heller MPP graduates make a policy difference in the areas of children, youth and families, health, poverty alleviation and aging. With the help of a dedicated Career Development Center and an alumni network of 3,000+ professionals working around the world, Heller MPP graduates are able to launch careers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

See where some of our graduates are making a difference.

Lifelong Network

The Heller alumni network has more than three thousand members who often help each other with career moves and professional advice. Heller faculty members are deeply engaged in policy fields and share their connections and networks liberally with students and alumni.

The Heller School has helped launch countless careers dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable populations. We invite you to learn more about the Heller MPP to see if advancing social justice through social policy aligns with your career goals.

Engaged Students

MPP students are fully engaged with the program and in the life of the Heller School. Students are active through the MPP Student Association (MPPSA), which creates opportunities for current and former students to connect while building upon our shared knowledge of current policy issues. The MPPSA is committed to the academic and professional development of all Heller students interested in public policy and values the unique perspectives offered by the diverse backgrounds of the student body.  Through publications, networking opportunities, community partnerships, guest lectures and social events, the MPPSA helps students enhance their in-class experiences in the spirit of the Heller mission: knowledge advancing social justice.

The aim of the MPPSA is four-fold:

  • Professional and career development, with an emphasis on outside speakers and networking with alumni
  • Socialization among and between the two MPP classes in residence at Heller, and among all the graduate students in residence at Heller
  • Foster a culture of reflective, critical engagement with community problems and opportunities
  • Production of a student-run Journal

Visit Heller

Visit Heller

We offer a variety of opportunities to connect with us, including Visit Days, Virtual Events, and our annual Fall Open House, all of which enable you to learn about our program offerings and the admissions process. You can also meet us on the road, both in the US and at select international locations. Learn more and register online.

Jeanne Mansfield, MPP/MBA'15, at work with Boston Public Market

Jeanne Mansfield, MPP/MBA'15, at work with Boston Public Market

Pioneering HIV prevention strategies for transgender women

Pioneering HIV prevention strategies for transgender women

When dual degree candidate Emilia Dunham isn't juggling the demands of the Heller School's MPP and MBA programs, she's managing a professional career at Fenway Health, where she works as the project manager of an NIH-funded research study. With her colleagues at Fenway, Dunham tests whether a group intervention called LifeSkills can empower young transgender women to stop the spread of HIV.

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Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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