Policy Analysis

Inform the decisions that change lives

With a concentration in Policy Analysis, you’ll be prepared to tackle tough problems and improve the decision-making needed to address them. You’ll learn which research methods are appropriate for various situations, how to design applied studies, and how to develop action-oriented plans and guidelines. We’re ranked #2 in the nation in this area by U.S. News & World Report

How to apply

Put the content into context

In addition to qualitative and quantitative skills, you’ll gain the contextual knowledge needed for effective analysis. This concentration will prepare you to properly conduct, communicate, and consume accurate and actionable research.

53MPA Policy Analysis Students (Spring 2021)

1:6Faculty:Student ratio (2021)

89%All O’Neill MPA Placement Rate (2020)

A broad base, plus depth and detail

Youll begin by mastering the fundamentals reflected in our MPA programcore competencies. These five courses (15 credit hours) will give you well-developed analytical skills and a broad understanding of policy issues and government processes. In addition to these highly transferable core skills, the Policy Analysis concentration includes a required course, Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (P 507), and two of the following three skills courses:

  • Management Science for Public Affairs (P 539)
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P 541)
  • Public Program Evaluation (P 562)

The remainder of the coursework comes in a wide range of elective courses. These will allow you to tailor your Policy Analysis program to your own specific interests. Working with your advisor, you'll be able to select from many elective options related to the policy field.

This is not an exhaustive list. To see all options, go to course descriptions, below.

  • Public Policy and the Arts (AADM-Y 559)
  • International Economic Strategies and Trade Policy (D 577)
  • Conflict and Development (D 583)
  • Economic Development, Globalization, and Entrepreneurship (D 669)
  • International Environmental Policy (E 535)
  • Energy Systems (E574)
  • Seminar in Government Budget and Program Analysis (F 610)
  • Seminar in Public Capital and Debt Theory (F 667)
  • Health Policy (H 549)
  • Management of Urban Government Services (L 568)
  • Seminar in Urban Economic Development (L 622)
  • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution for Public Affairs (M 547)
  • The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector (N 521)
  • Civil Society and Public Policy (N 523)
  • Management Science for Public Affairs (P 539)
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P 541)
  • Environmental Economics and Policy (R 625)
  • Natural Resource Management and Policy (R 643)
  • Poverty and Social Welfare Policy (V 550)

Combining your Policy Analysis concentration with another MPA concentration—such as Economic Development or Information Systems—may offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career. As they help you design your program, our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests.

How to apply

The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

See course descriptions in the Graduate Bulletin

Experiential learning

Our MPA program offers far more than traditional lectures and lessons. You'll also get the benefit of experiential learning—typically through an approved internship. What's more, your concentrations course work will culminate in a project-oriented course—a Capstone—that lets you apply the knowledge you gained throughout the program.

  • IUB - Office of Sustainability
  • Center for Resource Solutions
  • U.S. Executive Office of the President - EOP - US White House - Council on Environmental Quality
  • U.S. Government Accountability Office – GAO
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Trans-Atlantic Business Council
  • U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC)
  • U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Environmental Policy & Compliance
  • Seoul Metropolitan Government
  • NextEra Energy Resources

Learn from faculty with expertise and experience in policy analysis


Executive Associate Dean, Professor

(812) 855-9783

Rudy Professor Emeritus of Policy Analysis


Professor; Director, Ph.D. Programs in Public Affairs and Public Policy

(812) 856-7559

Distinguished Professor; Herman B Wells Endowed Professor; Paul O’Neill Chair; Associate Vice Provost for Health Sciences; Elected member, National Academy of Medicine; Editor, Journal of Health Economics

(812) 856-3850

Lauren Mosteller, MPA’17

Analyst, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, D.C.

“The wide breadth of quantitative and qualitative skills I gained studying Policy Analysis prepared me to meet the ever-changing demands of my position conducting evaluations for Congress.”


Cardell Johnson, MPA’06

Director of Quality Improvement and Enterprise Risk Management, U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of the Inspector General, Washington, D.C.

“The MPA program provided me with the specialized analytical skills and tools needed to start my career in public policy.”


John McCarthy, MPA’94

Founding Partner, Speire Healthcare Strategies, LLC

“The entire curriculum helped build critical thinking skills, which I still use every day.”

50 years at O'Neill