- Degrees offered:
- Public Policy & Management, Policy Analytics, Public Management, Information Security Policy & Management, Data Analytics, Health Care Policy, Health Care Analytics, Information Systems Management
- Study in Washington, DC:
- During the second year of the Public Policy & Management program, students have the option to serve as a Heinz Policy Fellow, working full-time for a government agency, NGO or private sector firm while completing evening courses.
- Annual Enrollment:
- 1,400 total students (school-wide master’s students across all programs); 250 policy students (with 125 new students entering the Public Policy programs each year)
- Average GPA:
- 3.5 (4.0 scale)
- Percent International:
- Work Experience:
- 1-3 years
A policy school unlike any in the world dedicated to solving the critical problems of our age at the nexus of people, policy, and technology.
Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College combines expertise in diverse fields including smart cities, data analytics, crime and drug policy, cybersecurity, health care, energy and the environment, labor economics, behavioral economics, and emerging technologies to provide graduates with expertise that simply cannot be matched by any other school of public affairs. We were the first public policy school to recognize technology as not only a management tool but also a significant policy complement. Management Science has been core to our curriculum for 50 years. Advanced analytics—like machine learning and artificial intelligence—were invented on our campus and are available to students in a policy context. And experiential project learning, while ubiquitous today, has been a requirement here from our early days, offering students rich opportunities for hands-on practice.
This frontier approach means you graduate ready to work, with skills that organizations are hungry for, and with significant real-world problem-solving already under your belt. Our innovative, professional master’s degree programs are offered through our campuses in Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and Adelaide, Australia, and are ideal for students who have a desire to employ evidence-based problem-solving strategies that acknowledge the complexity and implications of technological change in the 21st century. Heinz College is a recipient of the George D. Smith Prize from INFORMS and UPS, awarded to the world's top Analytics Education program.
To receive information directly from the Admissions Department, click here.
The next generation of public policy leaders and social entrepreneurs needs to understand current problems while equipping themselves with new and evolving skills to manage tumultuous environments. There is no better place to acquire and hone these skills than at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, giving graduates a competitive edge in the job market.
The University at the Forefront of Innovation
Carnegie Mellon University is a recognized world leader in technology and innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, autonomous vehicles, human-computer interaction, and cybersecurity. Innovation happens on our campus every day, and we are thrilled as new ideas meant to solve society’s problems become reality.
Heinz College at the Intersection of People, Policy, and Technology
We are intentional about understanding how these innovations affect people and policy. Students have myriad opportunities to engage these issues through coursework, capstone projects, and research opportunities. At Heinz College, we study, educate, and inform through leading research and action hubs, such as the Block Center and the Metro 21–Smart Cities Institute. We bring together innovators, academics, policymakers, and practitioners to study the impact of technology on society: how tech can disrupt in negative ways as well as how it can be used to improve equity and make our communities more prosperous and peaceful.
From Global to Local with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Carnegie Mellon University and Heinz College tackle issues that are both global and local. We are especially excited about opportunities to advance the SDGs that includes work with cities and next generation leaders in collaboration with a number of partners, including the International Youth Foundation and the City of Pittsburgh. Heinz students are on the leading edge of this work, with opportunities to create new initiatives on campus, including helping organizations that want to take action on the SDGs.
The Option to Launch Public Policy Careers in Washington, DC
Washington, DC offers students unique opportunities for professional work, engagement with leaders, building networks, and applying skills to current, critical policy problems. Our master’s Washington DC track provides a pathway to all that Washington has to offer. Students spend the first year of their program in Pittsburgh, completing our highly sought-after core curriculum and engaging experts there. In the second year, students move to Washington, DC, where they work in the federal government, for nonprofits, or for international organizations on Mondays through Thursdays as Heinz Policy Fellows, taking classes in the evenings and on Fridays.
This combination of classroom and experiential learning, with direct application centered on innovation and transformation, is what sets us apart. We encourage you to explore our program and hope you will join us.
What sets the Heinz College experience apart from other public policy programs?
In our Master of Science in Public Policy & Management (MSPPM) program, students acquire skills to solve complex problems wherever they exist. As the lines between issues that are considered global and local blur in the twenty-first century, our students are particularly well served.
Our curriculum has three layers: a technology layer, a data analytics layer, and a deployment layer (the skills of management, policy, and persuasion). More than ever, today’s changemakers need the technology layer to organize information, the data analytics skills to interpret the information and make decisions drawing on data, and the skills to deploy solutions that deliver maximum impact. That is what the Heinz College MSPPM degree delivers.
Our students acquire both quantitative and qualitative skills in coursework and through experiential learning—using those skills to solve real-world policy problems for clients in capstone projects. Some students choose the STEM data analytics pathway. Others apply to spend their second year in Washington, DC, as Heinz policy fellows. This select group works with nonprofits, international organizations, or the U.S. government. Many of these work experiences lead to full-time offers upon graduation.
What sets the Heinz faculty apart?
Students benefit from a world-class academic team of engaged and approachable leaders in their fields. We are deeply interdisciplinary and committed to solving societal problems. A great frame that captures the work of many faculty is striving for sustainable development, whether focused on reducing inequality, decreasing violence, addressing climate change, enabling decent work, improving health, reducing corruption, or advancing human rights and gender empowerment.
We are leaders on the development of smart cities and the future of work. This year, we launched the Block Center for Technology and Society, supporting research and convenings. In addition, I am leading an initiative focused on youth and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). We believe the SDGs have a particular appeal for today’s students who want to apply the skills they acquire at Heinz College to achieve the SDGs. These changemakers, whom I call Cohort 2030—the generation born roughly between 1980 and 2000—have the most to gain or lose from how the SDGs are implemented and are critical to their success.
Why Heinz, and why now?
Heinz College exists at the intersection of people, policy, and technology. We always have; the world has evolved in our direction.
Heinz College, as part of the larger Carnegie Mellon community, is a leader on the frontier of innovation and technology. As such, we are explicit in our understanding that technology can be disruptive in multiple ways. It has the power to increase societal conflict, including the disruption of democratic and other institutions or issues relating to privacy, but it can also play an instrumental role mitigating conflict, for example, by enabling rapid response to humanitarian disaster or helping to prevent mass atrocities.
Our students are emboldened by the opportunity to affect change around the issues they are passionate about as we head into the fourth industrial revolution, where technological innovation will be at the center of almost every policy issue and decision.