The education policy specialization allows students to gain a deeper understanding of issues in three main contexts: primary and secondary education in the United States, higher education, and international education.
CPPA graduates who specialize in educational policy may pursue careers in a range of institutions, including state and federal education authorities, education associations, foundations, institutions of higher education, and international organizations.
Courses that students may take in this specialization are offered in the School of Education's Department of Educational Policy, Research, and Administration
. Students also have the opportunity to participate in research and other projects undertaken by the UMass's Center for Education Policy
. In addition, there are a number of other courses relevant to this specialization offered in the departments of economics, legal studies and sociology.
Students who specialize in Environmental Policy are interested in contributing to the development of solutions to critical domestic and international environmental problems.
Graduates of the Center for Public Policy and Administration with an environmental policy specialization pursue careers in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, international organizations, and consulting firms. Alumni have worked in the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Tellus Institute, World Resources Institute, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
The UMass campus offers a rich diversity of environmental courses and programs, ranging from geosciences to resource economics to environmental design, all of which offer students a unique perspective on understanding and evaluating natural resource use and preservation.
The Food Science policy specialization
establishes a means to educate and train highly skilled scientists for careers in food science policy by providing them a strong foundation in public policy and administration.
This academic concentration aims to train scientists who can also be effective in the policymaking world. The specialization focuses on food science policy and regulation in both the domestic and international arenas.
CPPA allows two students each year in this formal specialization program. They will be admitted into the MPPA program and required to follow its curriculum, but will receive funding through the Department of Food Science
. CPPA electives will be replaced with a 12-credit thesis and two food science policy courses developed by the food science faculty.
Individuals interested in the food science policy program should contact Professor Fergus Clydesdale, Department of Food Sciences, at (413) 545-2276, or Satu Zoller, Center for Public Policy and Administration, (413) 545-2714.
The health policy specialization provides CPPA students with comprehensive, state-of-the-art training for professional careers as managers and policymakers in the changing health care system.
The management courses emphasize an aggressive yet ethical approach to institutional leadership in a complex period of mounting competition and shrinking resources. Health policy students acquire a solid understanding of the process of policy formation on the international, national, local and institutional levels.
Graduates of CPPA with a health policy specialization can pursue career opportunities in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, international organizations and consulting firms. Examples include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Health Care Financing Administration, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Alpha Center, the Alliance for Justice, Families USA, the National Rural Health Association, and the World Health Organization.
Students learn how to improve administrative practice, enhance the effectiveness of health service programs, and improve the health of the public through services that prevent disease and protect health. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, including understanding the social, economic, legal and political issues germane to national and local health policies; understanding the history, dynamics and function of the health care delivery system; applying concepts of administration to the management of health programs and institutions; planning and implementing research projects in collaboration with an agency or organization; and mastering skills in managerial problem solving and in oral and written communication.
The international/comparative policy specialization prepares students to take a comparative and international approach to public policy, including both comparative analyses of policy development and implementation, and analyses focused on international relations and foreign policy.
This specialization allows students to explore international and domestic institutions; political development and culture; political economy and policymaking; law; and social and political change. This specialization prepares students to contribute to the development of policy solutions of critical international problems such as labor issues, poverty, trade, environmental issues, security, human rights, immigration, and development.
Graduates of the Center for Public Policy and Administration with an international/comparative policy specialization can pursue career opportunities in government agencies, international organizations, educational institutions and consulting firms. Examples include the United Nations Development Program, the U.S. State Department, the Save the Children Federation, the International Labour Organization, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the International Monetary Fund.
CPPA-affiliated faculty members provide a contextualized global understanding of public policy. The interdisciplinary strengths of the center, drawing on faculty in economics, political science, sociology, legal studies, and several other disciplines, give students the tools to consider governance and policy from a global perspective. In addition, one of the leading centers for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies is housed in the UMass Economics Department, and courses and a graduate certificate program
are open to CPPA students.
Public & Nonprofit Management
Managers in the public and nonprofit sectors face different issues, political pressures and financial incentives than their private sector counterparts. The specialization in public and nonprofit management allows students to explore and understand the roles and activities of managers in these sectors.
Graduates of the Center for Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in public and nonprofit management can pursue career opportunities in federal, state or local government agencies, nonprofit organizations and international organizations. CPPA graduates have worked in a wide range of organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation; the Greater Worcester Community Foundation; the City of Chicago; the New England Medical Center; the Save the Children Federation; the Federal Transit Administration; Prince George's County, Md.; and many others.
CPPA and associated departments offer a number of courses that focus on various aspects of management, with content that includes organization theory; political and legal aspects of management; personnel management; managerial ethics; conflict resolution; and information technology development and management.
Science, Technology and Society
The science, technology and society specialization allows students to focus on the public understanding of science and the societal implications of science and technology.
CPPA graduates who specialize in science, technology and society will be prepared to pursue careers in a wide variety of government agencies and departments; nonprofits; consulting firms; and research institutions.
Courses for this specialization are offered through numerous departments and schools across campus including Community Health, Sociology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Philosophy, Anthropology, Management, and Food Sciences. Students will also have the opportunity to pursue individual interests through CPPA independent studies and will be supported by the newly formed Science, Technology, and Society Initiative
. More information on STS-related courses can be found here
Social policy encompasses a wide variety of public policies aimed at ameliorating hunger, poverty, ill health, homelessness and other forms of human distress.
Students concentrating in social policy explore the dynamics of these problems as well as public and private systems of social provision in the United States and abroad. Courses highlight historic and persisting dilemmas related to race, gender and inequality; structures of wealth and opportunity; the nature of civil and political rights; welfare state development; explanations of poverty and welfare use; and stigma and discrimination.
The social policy specialization prepares students for careers in government agencies, international organizations, consulting firms and research institutions. Program graduates have been placed in a variety of settings, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Social Security Administration; the Massachusetts departments of Housing and Community Development, Social Services, and Transitional Assistance; the Massachusetts Division of Health Care, Finance and Policy; the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute; Rural Health Centers of Maine, Inc.; the Chicago Department of Public Health; Greater Lawrence Community Action; Franklin Community Action Commission; Queens Independent Living Center; Literacy Volunteers; Family Planning Council; Retirement Security Alliance; Institute on Family Law and Policy; Health Research, Inc.; and the Barnard-Columbia Center for Urban Policy.
Many academic programs and departments on campus offer courses particularly relevant to investigating the social issues affecting citizens who receive social aid. Such departments include Afro-American studies; economics; landscape architecture and regional planning; political science; public health and health sciences; sociology; and women, gender, sexuality studies.