Master of Public Policy (MPP)

MPP Degree Concentrations

Mary Brolin teaching

In addition to the MPP core curriculum, we require a minimum of three concentration-specific courses, allowing students to develop deeper knowledge in the specific language, literature and networks of a particular policy area.

The MPP program concentrations are linked to Heller’s renowned research institutes and centers. Our research activities provide students with new perspectives on how to impact social problems in a range of important areas, such as closing the racial wealth gap or fostering better inclusion into mainstream society for people with disabilities.

MPP Concentrations

MPP in Economic and Racial Equity

The Economic and Racial Equity (ERE) concentration for MPP students at the Heller School focuses on critiquing and addressing economic and racial inequities. Through quantitative and qualitative strategies, students evaluate social policies impacting marginalized communities, developing theoretical and empirical frameworks to understand and analyze wealth, power, opportunity, and social change.

MPP in Children, Youth and Families

The Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) concentration at the Heller School focuses on understanding the impact of multiple systems and policies on child and youth development, especially in the context of poverty and trauma. Graduates are prepared for leadership roles in organizations dedicated to fostering the healthy development of children, youth, and families, with career opportunities spanning nonprofit and for-profit sectors, government agencies, foundations, and NGOs. 

MPP in Health Policy

The Health Policy concentration at the Heller School delves into the complexities of the U.S. healthcare system, offering insights into public health, healthcare delivery, financing, and reform efforts. Through a blend of coursework, internships, and research projects, students gain essential research and analytical skills, applying them to critical issues such as health disparities, access, drug pricing, and pandemic response.

MPP in Women, Gender, and Sexuality

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) concentration at the Heller School analyzes the intricate interplay of gender, race, sexual identity, socioeconomic class, and culture. Through an intersectional approach, students explore LGBTQIA+ issues, women's social and economic positions, and evaluate policy initiatives aimed at reducing gender- and sexuality-based disparities arising from structural inequality.

MPP in Behavioral Health Policy

The Behavioral Health Policy concentration at the Heller School trains future leaders to address the widespread challenges of substance use and mental health issues in the U.S. Students gain comprehensive insights into the behavioral health care system, focusing on prevention, treatment, and harm reduction strategies.

MPP in General Social Policy

The social policy concentration is for students who wish to design a customized concentration in collaboration with an advisor. Under faculty supervision, students in this concentration select graduate courses from offerings at the Heller School, Brandeis University, and the Boston Consortium for Higher Education. The Heller School has cross-registration agreements with the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, the Graduate School of Business at Bentley University, Boston University, Boston College, and Tufts University. 

Students in this concentration also benefit from access to Heller’s many research institutes and centers.

MPP Program Research and Policy

The Heller School’s 10 research and policy institutes and centers are known for rigorous scholarship that improves the lives of vulnerable populations both locally and globally. A diverse portfolio of policy research is supported by over $20 million in government and private funding. Topics include:

The significant amount and quality of research is a rich resource for classroom experience and an opportunity for students working alongside faculty and researchers to be at the cutting edge.