College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Placement of Graduates

Career Paths


What can you do with a MPP?  The following are the positions held by some of the graduates of the Masters in

Public Policy Program at the University of Northern Iowa:


                     POSITION                                                            AGENCY OR FIRM

 Resource Development Director                    Family services agency (non-profit)               

 Coordinator                                                         Multi-county health agency council

 Director                                                                 County health department, mid-size  urban county

 Project Manager                                                  Human resources software development company

 Economic Development Director                    Economic development agency serving communities in a rural Iowa county

 Policy Analyst                                                      National housing research foundation

 Grants Administrator                                         State department of economic development

 Chief Economist and Vice President             National trade association

 Police Chief                                                         Mid-size suburban city, Missouri

 Planner and Neighborhood Liaison              City housing & community development agency

 Transportation Director                                    Regional council of governments

 Economic Development Consultant              University external services division

 Sales and Training Manager                           Security consulting firm

 Presidential Management Intern                     U.S. Department of the Interior

 Transportation Planner                                     Large Texas city

 Director                                                                Food Pantry and Community Garden Agency

 Supervisor                                                           National health association

 Market Analyst                                                     Publishing firm

 Manager                                                               Data analysis division, national trade association

 Health Planner                                                   Private health provider

 Ph.D. Candidate                                                Political science, major Midwestern university

 State Senator                                                     State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa


As the above list illustrates, a number of career paths are available to graduates of the MPP program. In general, they may be grouped into four categories:

  1. Employment in local, state or federal government agencies.

    In Iowa, approximately one sixth of the workforce is employed by local or state governments. Government requirements for policy analysis and evaluation have increased, as public policies have grown ever more complex and far reaching in their impact. Persons in managerial positions also face increasing demands to conduct systematic evaluation of the programs for which they are responsible. Economic development, environmental policy, health planning, and criminal justice are some of the areas that have experienced increasing attention from all levels of government and which require persons with professional training in policy analysis. MPP graduates have the opportunity to have a major impact on the choices that the public sector makes in these important areas.

  2. Employment in non-profit agencies.

    Non-profit organizations, often called the "third sector" because they are neither governmental nor private, for profit entities, have become increasingly important in the delivery of a wide range of services. Decentralization and devolution of authority in the areas of social welfare and housing, for example, have placed community based non-profits in a central role in delivering services to citizens in need. The management of these agencies increasingly requires professionals with knowledge of the policy process and with policy analysis and evaluation skills to help them deal effectively with their increasing responsibilities. MPP graduates have moved quickly into positions of responsibility in several non-profit organizations.

  3. Private sector employment.

    Because public policy greatly affects many of the decisions made by private, for-profit organizations, they often require the services of professional policy analysts. Teams of professionals, including policy analysts, may also help then in the areas of reporting, negotiation, and litigation. Finally, some local and state governments have turned to the private sector to implement policies and to provide policy analysis services. This creates further employment opportunities for MPP graduates.

  4. Further graduate education.

    The MPP provides a solid base of preparation for students who wish to advance to the doctoral level in a variety of fields related to public policy. MPP graduates have gone on to Ph. D. programs in political science, public policy, and urban studies. Persons with a public policy background are highly employable as faculty in a number of university programs or in research organizations.

  5. Training for advancement.

    Many persons already employed in the he public, non-profit, or private sectors find that pursuing an MPP helps them develop new skills and places them in a better position for advancement. The program is set up so that it may be pursued part-time, in the evening, in order to encourage participation by those already employed full time.

Placement Assistance

  1. The program works closely with the UNI Career Placement Office, which subscribes to several online listings of public and non-profit sector jobs.

  2. The program maintains contact with MPP graduates who may be aware of openings in their area.

  3. Many public policy faculty do consulting, contract research, and community service in Iowa and elsewhere, and may learn of job openings in this fashion.

  4. The internship may provide the student with contacts for relevant job openings.