Curriculum at a glance

The Fulbright School MPP is a two-year program consisting of three full terms of course work in the first year, and two terms of guided research in the second year. Successful completion of a master’s thesis is a prerequisite for graduation.

The first year

The first year of the Fulbright School MPP equips students with the theoretical foundations and analytical framework for public policy studies.

The Fall term provides key prerequisites for the program, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, and quantitative methods. The introduction to public policy course familiarizes students with basic concepts and some of the key debates in the policystudies literature. The law and public policy course discusses the role of the legal system in making and implementing policies.

The Spring term consists of core policy analysis courses including development policy, public sector economics, and public governance. In addition, students will be able to choose between two specialized elective courses, namely financial analysis, and local and regional development. Courses in research methods and applied econometrics will help prepare students to conduct research and write their master’s theses in the second year of the program.

Courses to improve students’ English language proficiency will also be offered in the Fall and Spring terms.

In the Summer term, students will move beyond foundation and core policy analysis courses to acquire the management and leadership skills that public officials need to implement policy. They are public management and leadership. Students will also take advanced policy courses including appraisal of public investment, trade policy, and development finance.

The second year

The second year consists of policy seminars and completion of the master’s thesis.

The Fall term features seminars on specific aspects of policy analysis that are designed to assist students in the preparation of their theses. By the end of the Fall semester, all second-year students must submit a thesis outline. Once their thesis outline has been approved by the faculty, students may progress to the preparation of the thesis itself.

During the Spring term, students work with a faculty advisor to conduct research on their chosen topic and to write their master’s thesis. The master’s thesis may take the form of an extended academic study or a policy analysis exercise. Students are expected to meet regularly with their faculty advisors and to attend occasional workshops.

Over the course of the two-year program, coursework is supplemented by a range of enrichment activities. Classroom learning is supplemented by field trips, seminars, panel discussions, and intensive use of computer-based resources to access and analyze data. Through the Fulbright School guest lecturer program, leading Vietnamese and international scholars, policymakers, and executives speak to studentson key policy issues.