Overview

Leading social change.

Leading social change.

Public Policy and Administration Overview

More than half of the world’s humanity lives in urban areas. The United Nations reports that global urbanization will continue to increase; in the United States, the rate of urbanization already exceeds 80 percent. Research shows that urban residence is a predisposing factor for mental illness—yet through sound planning and public policy, governments can promote the well-being of their urban populations.

Unlike any other public policy program, our M.A. in Public Policy and Administration: Urban Mental Health Concentration is uniquely guided by the Adler School’s:

  • Hallmark focus on social change.
  • Nationally recognized work in urban mental health—work that links structures and systems shaped by public policy to the social, environmental, and economic determinants that affect population well-being and inclusion.

We prepare public policy leaders for advocacy in today’s rapidly changing society in three overarching areas: public policy development, analysis, and reform; government and non-profit administration; and public service in domestic and international settings. Students learn and apply core knowledge and skills in policy development and analysis, program evaluation, management, and politics. Through our focus on excellent communication skills, students learn to create, analyze, write, and campaign for policies at multiple levels of government.

Our rigorous preparation provides a critical foundation for work with national, state, and local governments; policy research centers; consulting firms; community-action groups; and direct-service providers in the United States and around the world. Graduates are prepared to work in positions of research and analysis; as leaders and advocates in community development, administration, or management; as program administrators; and in other positions influencing policy at every level of government.

We provide an immersive learning experience with a diverse faculty. Our professors are leading practitioners, scholars, and researchers. Learning takes place in small, intimate classes, and through the exceptional training opportunities we offer.

Through strong faculty support, a dedicated Training Department, and the School’s partnerships with hundreds of organizations and agencies, our students gain valuable practicum and field experience in a wide variety of settings working with populations at the local, regional, national, or international levels. 

Urban Mental Health Concentration

This concentration prepares policy professionals with an unusual, highly interdisciplinary, and increasingly in-demand set of skills, knowledge, and attitudes—all required to effectively develop and implement public policy and services that create individual and community mental health.

Our curriculum draws from areas of study including psychology, sociology, policy, administration, planning, public health, and economics. Students learn the social determinants necessary for positive mental health in urban areas—including affordable housing, economic development, available transportation, education, and access to healthy food options.

Through community-based learning, students work directly with policy and administrative development, reform, analysis, and more—participating in field work, projects, and research with outside organizations.

In addition to the required core curriculum, students in this concentration complete 9 credit hours of urban mental health courses.

One- and Two-Year Completion Options

This program is offered as:

  • An intensive full-time classroom program that can be completed in one year.
  • A flexible part-time program, with evening courses that can be completed in two years.

Our individualized advising helps students succeed both inside and outside the classroom during their Adler School experience.

Admission Requirements

  • At least a baccalaureate degree from a college or university regionally accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or an equivalent degree from an international college or university
  • A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • Completion of the following semester courses with grades of "C" or better: Introductory Microeconomics and a social science course in quantitative analysis such as Research methods, Statistics, or Reasoning.
  • Applicants who meet the admission standards will be invited for an interview with faculty