Preparing leaders in public policy research and analysis, government, advocacy, policy implementation and community work
Knowledge Advancing Social Justice
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.
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.
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.
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
"The unemployment rate dropped. That's usually good news, but it dropped for all the wrong reasons. It dropped because people dropped out of the labor force."
Professor and Director, Sustainable International Development Programs
Professor Laurence Simon's career in world development spans 40 years and has taken him from hands-on antipoverty work in Sri Lanka to the halls of power and influence. Friends and colleagues recently lauded Simon’s dedication over the decades, including many who thanked Simon for his selfless mentoring.more
Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy and Director, Institute on Assets and Social Policy
"Even when African-Americans do everything right -- get an education and work hard at well-paying jobs -- they cannot achieve the wealth of their white peers in the workforce, and that translates into very different life chances."more
Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Disability Policy, Director, Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, and Associate Dean, Research
"What the country needs is a revolution in how we structure disability policy."more
Professor of the Practice; Director, PhD Program; Director, Institute for Global Health and Development
"The U.S. actually spends a very small proportion of its GDP on international assistance. Even so, the U.S. is the single largest financier of donor-to-global health in the world. I think this aid has been instrumental in dealing with major global health problems, such as maternal/infant mortality and AIDS, over time."more
Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Personnel
"Elders need help with both their everyday living and their health care, but the two systems are very separate." more
Alan B. Slifka Professor of Coexistence and Conflict Resolution
"My hope is to strengthen the peace profession, to provide practitioners with the knowledge and tools for effective conflict analysis and intervention."more
Scientist and Principal Investigator, Prescription Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center
Prescription drug abuse is rising at alarming rates. To combat the problem, prescription monitoring programs are becoming more sophisticated, aiming to put the brakes on abusers and, in some cases, incorporate rehabilitation programs. Scientist Peter Kreiner explains how the programs work and what they hope to accomplish.more
"Across years, disciplines, and continents, I have been involved in research that touches on all the concentrations in the PhD program."more
Professor and Director, Institute for Behavioral Health
"Health plan decisions can dramatically affect the lives of people with substance abuse and mental health conditions."more
Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's Studies
"I don't believe that you can have equality without first securing that place where you can live out your dreams and all the opportunities the country has to offer."more
Professor of International Development
"I fell in love with the Tsimane because they are sweet and peaceful. When you live in a small-scale society that practices cross-cousin marriage, the society ends up being a huge extended family and you have to learn how to manage your anger and get along."more
Jody Hoffer Gittell
Professor and Executive Director, Relational Coordination Research Collaborative
"Work is most effectively coordinated through relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect."more
"With more people covered by health insurance, it is imperative to measure the quality of care people receive, to create incentives for providing good care, and to implement programs focused on quality improvement."more
Assistant Professor and Director of the Master’s in Public Policy Program (MPP); Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum; Director of the Council for Health Care Economics and Policy
"My interests are at the intersection between political science and health services research."more
“One of the aspects of directing Heller’s MS Program that I truly enjoy is the interaction with students. I love to hear what they like about the program and what they think is important for their careers and I enjoy tailoring the curriculum to meet the students’ changing needs.”more
Scientist and Senior Lecturer; Associate Director, Master of Public Policy Program; Associate Director, Institute on Assets and Social Policy
"My work focuses on driving policy and practice to advance long-term economic opportunity."more
Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy
"What [my] book intends to do is to trace the history of U.S. attempts to create universal coverage, going back to Teddy Roosevelt." more