MA in Public Policy

The Department of Public Policy (DPP) at Central European University (CEU) offers a one-year MA in Public Policy (one-year MAPP) degree program that seeks to provide students a solid foundation in theories, which contribute to our understanding of the design, development, and reform of public policies in different institutional contexts, and at various levels of governance.

The one-year MAPP program provides students with a solid grounding in key themes of public policy and policy analysis as well as practical and issue-oriented knowledge that will prepare students for their future roles as policy-makers, advisors, and analysts in governmental and non-governmental organizations. Through the courses included in the mandatory core curriculum, students will gain a detailed and systematic understanding of how policy-making processes are shaped and influenced by both actors and political institutions, and how public policies operate and interact from the global political economy through to national and local levels.

The principal learning goals of the one-year MAPP program are for students to achieve and demonstrate an advanced ability to:

  • critically analyze policy issues and develop holistic perspectives on domestic and global governance issues;
  • evaluate public policies and policy instruments using adequate qualitative and quantitative methods;
  • design and participate in the delivery of public policies in various sectors and institutional settings; and
  • undertake further studies in a self-directed and autonomous manner using reliable sources of information.

The program consists of a number of mandatory core courses in public policy analysis, economics, ethics, and methods. In addition to the mandatory core curriculum, students have the opportunity to develop thematic expertise by pursuing one of the following areas of specialization:

  • Development
  • Governance
  • Social Justice and Human Rights
  • Quantitative Policy Analysis 

To complete a specialization One-year MAPP students must
• earn a minimum of 6 course credits in the specialization they have selected and
• write their thesis (7 credits) on a topic related to the same specialization.

Along with the theoretical foundations, the program also seeks to engage students in applied policy work where theoretical concepts can be applied in practice. To fulfill the practice component of the one-year MAPP, students can choose to participate in the Policy Lab or complete an internship.

Program Requirements

One-year MAPP students are required to complete 30 CEU credits (22 course credits of mandatory, mandatory/elective and elective courses + 8 dissertation credits). At the end of the teaching terms, one-year MAPP students will write a research thesis under the guidance of a faculty member who will serve as the Thesis Supervisor. The one-year MAPP program also has a mandatory practice component that may be fulfilled via an internship or participation in the Policy Lab. Students must do one or the other.

All requests for core course substitution will be considered on an individual basis by the program director. Students requesting a course substitution for the mandatory economics course will need to demonstrate sufficient prior training in the subject (for example, taken graduate-level courses in economics or have majored in economics from a similar program). On approval from the program director, the student will be required to complete four credits of advanced mandatory coursework in economics, to graduate from the program.

Please note that language courses and computer courses are not part of the program curriculum and hence related credits will not count towards your degree.

MAPP students are allowed to enroll only in one Skills for Impact course. Exception: If their specialization is Quantitative Policy Anylasis, in which case they can join both related SFIs.

Find out more

For more information on the admissions procedure please visit our pages on the application process and financial aid or write to