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Columbia Southern University

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Liberty University

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Regent University

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Southern New Hampshire University

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Capella University

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Colorado Christian University

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Purdue University Global

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Grand Canyon University

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Online Public Policy Degree Programs

Online public policy degree programs teach you the skills to write public policy proposals and techniques for implementing or enforcing new public policies. Learn about degree programs and courses in this field.

What Will I Learn in an Online Public Policy Bachelor's Degree Program?

Online bachelor's degree programs in public policy train you to develop, implement and analyze public laws, regulations and programs. Many programs focus on specific areas of public policy, such as education or legal studies. Course topics common to many programs may include public policy governance and administration, conflict resolution in public policy, grant writing, public economics and constitutional law. Online bachelor's degree programs may be available primarily through for-profit institutions.

Online Degrees Bachelor's degree, master's degree
Common Courses Public policy governance and administration, conflict resolution, grant writing, public economics
Requirements Master's programs require a thesis or capstone project; internships may be available
Online Programs Coursework delivered using an online educational platform
Median Salary (2018) $117,570 (for all political scientists)  
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 5% growth (for all political scientists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Learn in an Online Master's Degree Program?

As a student in an online master's degree program, you'll learn about the many different individuals, institutions and societal factors that come together to form and implement public policies. You'll use research to recognize when new public legislative policies are needed or when current ones need reform. Courses will also teach you about the process of developing public policy proposals, including the solicitation of public or private funding. You'll also learn techniques for implementing or enforcing newly-formed public policies from political, legal, psychological and administrative standpoints.

Most programs at this level lead to Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Some institutions may combine their public policy graduate programs with a related area, like public administration, and grant Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees instead. In some programs, you can declare a concentration in the area of public policy that interests you most, such as city administration, environmental policy or education.

What Additional Requirements Might There Be in a Master's Degree Program?

As in most graduate programs, you'll need to complete some sort of applied studies requirement before graduating, generally a thesis or capstone project. You'll likely need to collaborate with fellow students, professors or both to complete either of these assignments. However, this can be done online and won't require you to come to campus. Some schools may also have a public or nonprofit administration internship requirement, which you can fulfill through a relevant organization near you with approval from your school.

How Do Online Programs Work?

Completion of an online public policy program will yield you the same education and degree you'd get from its on-campus counterpart. All courses and their accompanying materials are generally transmitted through online teaching and learning platforms, such as Moodle or Blackboard. You can use these interactive systems to view lecture notes or videos, download required readings, submit assignments, take exams and post mandatory responses to class discussions.