An interview with Graduate Program Director Brent S. Steel

Why did OSU choose to add the Master of Public Policy degree online?

OSU chose to offer the program to provide an opportunity for place-bound (e.g., parents, rural, military) and full-time employed public and nonprofit employees to have access to graduate work and a graduate degree.

What makes this program unique?

The program is taught by leading tenure track and interdisciplinary faculty involved in cutting edge research. It is the only program run in the country with a rural policy concentration. Other concentrations also are offered including environmental policy with an emphasis in marine policy (one of the big strengths of OSU), social policy, and energy policy with coursework across the university.

Furthermore, this is one of the few online MPP programs accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA standards. NASPAA is the world’s leading professional accreditation organization that insures programs have quality curriculum and faculty.

Why would students want to study public policy online through Ecampus?

The Ecampus Master of Public Policy at Oregon State University (OSU) is offered for new and mid-career professionals in the public and nonprofit sectors who are interested in moving up in their positions or who are looking to transition from the private sector to a career in public service. Students can move through the program at their own pace and all coursework is available through OSU Ecampus.

Why would students want to study public policy online at Oregon State?

This is one of few MPP programs offered online nationally. OSU is home to world class scientists working on many issues significant to 21st century citizens. As populations continue to become more connected and interdependent, these issues promise to affect us more broadly, more quickly, and with more impact than ever before.

New forms of governance and problem solving are being tested and studied at OSU to address these issues. As an interdisciplinary program, the MPP is uniquely positioned to integrate groundbreaking science into emerging policies, practices and understandings of the world that will impact and influence local, regional and international policy decisions.

How will earning a master’s degree in public policy help a person gain a career advantage?

Many public and nonprofit organizations require a relevant master’s degree for advancement in the organization. The MPP is one such degree that can facilitate advancement in a wide variety of public and nonprofit organizations.

What backgrounds do the faculty have that will benefit students’ learning experiences?

The program has faculty members that are leading experts in a variety of policy fields. For example, Professor Hilary Boudet (PhD Stanford) is a leading expert on energy facility siting policy (including renewable energy); Professor Alison Johnston (PhD London School of Economics) is a leading expert on European Labor Policy; Professor Ana Spalding (PhD University of California, Santa Cruz) is a leading expert on marine and coastal policy theory; Professor Brett Burkhardt (PhD University of Wisconsin) is a leading expert in crime and justice policy.