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University of California Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy

During the late 1960s, educators nationwide recognized the need for a new kind of public leadership and a new type of graduate education, fostering the vision, knowledge, and practical skills to empower a new generation of policy makers.

About GSPP

GSPP, founded at the University of California, Berkeley in 1969, was one of the nation’s first graduate programs of its kind. Today it is ranked among the very top policy programs in the country and is recognized nationally and internationally as a source of incomparably qualified professionals in the field.

Embracing the realms of both domestic and international policy, the School prepares students for careers including policy analysis, program evaluation, and management and planning. GSPP graduates enjoy an outstanding rate of employment and career advancement, working in government, in the private and nonprofit sectors, in research organizations, and as consultants.

Master in Public Policy

The heart of GSPP is its two-year Master in Public Policy (MPP) program, with a core curriculum emphasizing practical and applied dimensions of policymaking. The curriculum includes core courses that provide a foundation in subjects ranging from political elements of the decision-making process and legal analysis to such specific analytic tools and concepts as microeconomic theory and statistical modeling. The curriculum also includes five electives, taken either at GSPP or elsewhere on the Berkeley campus, that allow students to focus on a particular policy area or a set of policy tools.

Because real public policy problems are often illdefined and resistant to straightforward application of formal analytic techniques, the curriculum includes substantial field work allowing students to apply their learning in the service of real-life policy clients. Students work at a summer policy internship between their first and second years and complete an analysis, in groups and individually, during the spring semester of each year. Students also benefit from frequent visits by local and nationally known policy professionals, many of whom are GSPP alumni, who provide perspective and guidance to students both individually and in group talks.

Given the relatively small class size, students enjoy a unique intimacy and camaraderie with one another and with the faculty. Teamwork rather than competition is encouraged informally and through group projects; the faculty believes that this approach develops skills in negotiation, cooperation, and consensus building, all essential to effective public leadership. GSPP also offers a Ph.D. program for a small number of students, drawn mostly from those in the MPP program, who seek careers in policy research with academic or research institutions. Doctoral students pursue highly individualized programs and work closely with several faculty members.

As part of GSPP’s multidisciplinary approach, the School’s faculty are drawn from the fields of economics, political science, law, sociology, social psychology, demography, and public policy. Faculty members work to coordinate assignments so that students’ course loads are well-integrated and well-paced. Most faculty members hold full-time appointments at the School and all share a commitment to maintain the quality of the overall program.

Life in Berkeley

Berkeley’s location provides easy access to the cultural and recreational offerings of northern California. San Francisco is a short drive across the Bay Bridge or a quick trip on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which has a station one block from campus. The scenic coastline of Carmel and Big Sur, the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties, and the lakes and forests of the Sierra Nevada are just a few hours away. The hills above the campus feature popular trails for hikers, runners and cyclists. A 10-minute drive will take you to Tilden Park, which is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system, a greenbelt extending 21 miles through the East Bay Hills.

The Bay Area climate is moderate year-round, with temperatures seldom dropping below 40°F in the winter and only rarely exceeding 77°F in the summer. The warmest months are September and October, when temperatures occasionally soar into the 90

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