M.A. in Applied Policy Analysis

Transforming Data into Action: Using data analysis to drive real-world change. 

The purpose of the program is to provide students with a diverse data-analysis toolkit that can be applied to various forms of data and questions. Specifically, students will be trained to analyze, visualize, write about, and discuss real-world problems with a wider audience.

The overall vision of this program is that we want to train students to be versatile in numerous forms of data analysis and presentation. The goal is to provide an environment where the skills necessary to perform a host of data and policy analysis can be honed and then utilized in a variety of settings.

Why Choose This Program?

The goal of the program is to teach students how to apply various methodologies and advanced data-analysis techniques in order to provide insight to complex policy issues. Further, beyond being able to use this analytical toolkit, they will be trained in how to communicate their findings to a wide audience that includes both technical and non-technical persons. The major interdisciplinary portion of the program begins once students have navigated through some of the core courses, when they will be able to focus on different policy areas including health, education, environmental, and social policy.

This program will train you to:

  • Be able to use advanced analytical tools to answer a variety of data-related questions.
  • Be able to effectively communicate and visualize how data can be used to find potential solutions to contemporary issues to a wide audience.
  • Be able to decipher the proper methodology to use when presented with complex data-related problems.
  • Be able to collect, clean, analyze, and interpret data from various sources.
  • Be able to replicate and conduct original research centered around policy-related questions.

Program Details

  • Completing the degree requires you to take a total of 12 courses
  • Courses are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer
  • Can be completed 100% online
  • Need to have completed a course in Statistics to apply to the program

What Makes This Program Unique?

This program is not solely analysis focused or solely policy focused, it is a hybrid of the two—hence the name Applied Policy Analysis. The goal is to be use advanced analytical tools to answer a variety of data-related questions while also effectively communicating how data analysis can be used to find potential solutions to policy-related issues to a diverse audience. In other words, we will train people to do the analysis and communicate about the analysis—two things that do not always go together. Many programs teach the analysis without providing the training in communication to those who may or may not have the same level of technical training.

Also, given the hybrid nature of the program, it is highly interdisciplinary. Students take courses in economics, data analysis, public policy, data ethics, and behavioral analysis. This will provide students with a diverse toolkit of skills that can be applied to a wide variety of policy-related issues. The range of training that students receive will prepare them to apply that diverse toolkit in many ways to numerous settings.