Master of Arts in Social and Public Policy

The Master of Arts in social and public policy is designed for practitioners, managers and administrators in public and private, for-profit and nonprofit sectors who want to learn more about how to make either governmental or organizational policies more effective.

In this program, you build skills in policymaking, implementation and analysis and develop a greater understanding of the connections among federal, state, local and organizational policies and policy processes. Students can also incorporate an advanced certificate into their degree program and earn a second credential.

Program Design

Social and Public Policy is a 36-credit master’s degree program that includes 12 3-credit courses. There are four core courses, four electives and four research-related courses that conclude with a final project.

Required Courses

  • Policy Process
  • Social Policy Perspectives
  • Policy Implementation
  • Ethical Issues in Social Policy
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Research Methods
  • Final Project Design
  • Final Project

Electives and Final Project

Electives reflect individual interests and reinforce the focus of the degree. They can be independent studies or group studies online. Many students choose to incorporate one of the advanced certificates into their master’s degree as their focus area.

The final project focuses on a topic of your interest that draws upon your prior course work and allows for a meaningful contribution to your field of study and/or practice. The student has the option of doing either a professional project or an academic thesis

Advanced Certificate Options


We’re here to help.

SUNY Empire’s admissions and financial aid staff is ready to work with you to make earning your degree possible and affordable.


Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.