Exploring the Public Policy Program at Emory University

July 5, 2023
By AdmissionSight
US Government and Politics

Exploring the Public Policy Program at Emory University

Are you interested in studying public policy? Emory University offers a renowned public policy program that trains students to be leaders in the field. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at Emory’s public policy program, from its history to its future direction.

What is Public Policy and Why It Matters

Public policy refers to the decisions and actions taken by the government to address public issues. It has a tremendous impact on our daily lives, from education to healthcare, transportation to environmental protection. Studying public policy enables one to develop the critical thinking and analytical skills necessary to evaluate and shape public policies that serve the common good.

Public policy is not only shaped by government officials, but also by various stakeholders such as interest groups, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. These groups can influence policy decisions through advocacy, lobbying, and public opinion. Understanding the role of these stakeholders in the policy-making process is crucial for effective policy analysis and implementation.

The History of Public Policy Education at Emory University

Emory University has a long history of excellence in public policy education. The school established its public policy program in 2002 and has since been offering a range of degree programs and research initiatives in the field. The program is housed in the Emory School of Law and draws on the interdisciplinary expertise of faculty from various departments.

Group of students walking in the campus.

One of the unique aspects of Emory’s public policy program is its emphasis on practical experience. Students have the opportunity to participate in internships, externships, and other hands-on learning opportunities that allow them to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations. This focus on experiential learning has helped to prepare graduates for successful careers in a variety of public policy fields.

In addition to its degree programs, Emory’s public policy program also offers a variety of research initiatives. Faculty members are engaged in cutting-edge research on a range of policy issues, from healthcare to environmental policy to international development. This research not only contributes to the academic community but also informs policy decisions at the local, state, and national levels.

Degree Programs Offered by Emory University’s Public Policy Department

Emory University’s public policy program offers several degree programs to meet the diverse needs and interests of students. The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program is the flagship program and provides students with a broad foundation in public policy analysis and management. The program also offers joint degree options with other schools, such as the Rollins School of Public Health and the School of Law.

In addition to the MPP program and joint degree options, Emory University’s public policy department also offers a Ph.D. program in Public Policy. This program is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in academia or research. The program provides students with advanced training in research methods, policy analysis, and public management. Graduates of the Ph.D. program are well-equipped to conduct independent research and contribute to the development of public policy.

Admission Requirements for Emory University’s Public Policy Program

To be considered for admission to Emory University’s public policy program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and submit official transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. International students must also submit TOEFL scores.

a TOEFL answer sheet

In addition to the above requirements, Emory University’s public policy program also values relevant work experience and a strong academic background in social sciences, economics, or political science. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may still be considered for admission but must provide additional evidence of their academic potential, such as relevant coursework or professional experience. The admissions committee also considers the applicant’s potential for leadership and contribution to the program’s diverse community.

Student Life and Resources at Emory University’s Public Policy Department

Students in Emory University’s public policy program enjoy a vibrant student life and have access to a range of resources. The school has various student organizations, such as the Emory Policy Association, that provide opportunities for networking and professional development. The program also offers a writing center, career development services, and internship opportunities.

Additionally, Emory University’s public policy department has a strong emphasis on community engagement and service. Students have the opportunity to participate in various community service projects and engage with local organizations to apply their policy knowledge in real-world settings. The department also hosts events and guest speakers that provide students with opportunities to learn from and network with professionals in the field.

Internship Opportunities for Students in Emory University’s Public Policy Program

Internships provide students with valuable opportunities to gain hands-on experience in public policy and develop professional skills. Emory University’s public policy program has partnerships with various organizations, such as government agencies, non-profits, and think tanks, that provide internship opportunities for students. The school also offers a competitive fellowship program that provides financial support to students pursuing public service internships.

group of diverse colleagues in formal clothing discussing ideas while gathering at table in modern office and working together

One of the benefits of participating in an internship through Emory’s public policy program is the opportunity to network with professionals in the field. Many students have been able to secure job offers or recommendations from their internship supervisors. Additionally, the program offers resources and support for students to reflect on their internship experiences and integrate them into their academic coursework.

Emory’s public policy program also prioritizes diversity and inclusion in its internship opportunities. The program actively seeks out partnerships with organizations that work on issues related to social justice and equity. Students from underrepresented backgrounds are encouraged to apply for internships and are provided with additional support and resources to ensure their success.

Research Initiatives and Centers at Emory University’s Public Policy Department

The public policy program at Emory University is committed to advancing knowledge and addressing critical policy issues through research. The program has several research initiatives and centers, such as the Center for Health and Aging Policy and the Center for Evaluation and Research for STEM Equity. The school also hosts various policy forums and conferences that bring together policymakers, scholars, and practitioners.

two female students holding a laptop and a phone

One of the newest research initiatives at Emory’s public policy department is the Center for Racial and Social Justice. This center focuses on researching and addressing issues related to racial and social justice, including police brutality, mass incarceration, and economic inequality. The center also provides resources and support for students and faculty interested in pursuing research in this area.

In addition to research initiatives and centers, Emory’s public policy program also offers a variety of experiential learning opportunities for students. These include internships with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector firms, as well as study abroad programs that allow students to explore policy issues in other countries. These hands-on experiences help students develop practical skills and gain a deeper understanding of the policy-making process.

Community Outreach and Engagement Activities of Emory University’s Public Policy Program

Emory University’s public policy program is committed to community outreach and engagement. The school has various initiatives, such as the Emory Impact Investing Group, that enable students to apply their policy skills in real-world settings and make a positive impact on the community. The program also offers opportunities for engagement with local and international communities, such as the Global Health Institute and the Domesti-PUPS program.

The Global Health Institute is a program within Emory’s public policy program that focuses on improving health outcomes in underserved communities around the world. Through partnerships with local organizations and governments, students have the opportunity to work on projects related to disease prevention, health education, and access to healthcare. This program not only provides valuable experience for students but also makes a significant impact on the health and well-being of communities in need.

The Domesti-PUPS program is another community outreach initiative of Emory’s public policy program. This program brings therapy dogs to local hospitals, nursing homes, and schools to provide comfort and support to patients and students. Students in the program are trained to handle and care for the dogs and also learn about the benefits of animal-assisted therapy. This program not only improves the lives of those who interact with the therapy dogs but also provides a unique learning opportunity for students interested in animal-assisted therapy and healthcare policy.

Future Directions of the Public Policy Program at Emory University

The public policy program at Emory University is always looking to the future and committed to continuous improvement. The school is expanding its partnerships with organizations, such as the Carter Center and the Atlanta Regional Commission, to provide more opportunities for students. The program is also exploring new areas of research and policy analysis, such as artificial intelligence and data science, that are shaping the future of public policy.

One of the new areas of research that the public policy program at Emory University is exploring is the intersection of public policy and environmental sustainability. With the increasing concern about climate change and its impact on society, the program is committed to training students to develop policies that promote sustainable development and protect the environment.

Another area of focus for the program is the use of technology in public policy. The program is partnering with leading technology companies to explore how emerging technologies, such as blockchain and machine learning, can be used to improve public policy decision-making and implementation.

In conclusion, Emory University’s public policy program provides students with a rigorous and interdisciplinary education that prepares them for impactful careers in public service. With its distinguished faculty, diverse degree programs, and commitment to research and community engagement, the program is at the forefront of public policy education. If you are interested in pursuing public policy, Emory University may be the perfect place to start.


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