Students interested in graduate work in public policy may now pursue a master’s degree at UCR as the School of Public Policy (SPP) announced that it would be accepting students for the 2014-15 school year. The school aims to admit 20 students in its inaugural year and admit 50 to 60 students every year afterward.

Public policy began at UCR as an interdisciplinary undergraduate major program in 2006 with just two students. In 2012, the school was established with the Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) program as the eventual endgoal. Now, in 2014, there are over 160 students in the major and the MPP is underway.

“The MPP will serve as the flagship program for the school,” said Mark Manalang, communications specialist for the school of public policy. Manalang added that there was an extensive approval system for this program before it was finally approved in April 2014 and that the program was delayed a couple of times by the economic crisis in 2008.

According to Manalang, the MPP program will be the least expensive professional program offered by UC system, costing $15,397 per year. He adds that the school is “working hard to secure scholarships for our students that may range from providing students anywhere from 10 to 100 percent of their tuition.”

UCR undergraduate public policy majors like Nicholas Paniagua are optimistic about what the new program could bring to UCR. “(The MPP) will increase the presence of the program on campus which will benefit the undergraduate department as well.”

The MPP program will offer a variety of policy areas of study such as: environmental and sustainable development policy, health policy, education policy and social policy. Interested students can research the program at