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You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.


Chicago | Master of

Public Policy

Program Overview

Program Overview

Adler University’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) program allows students to channel their passion for public policy and social advocacy, and prepares them to become leaders in the field. Students learn how to effectively use policy to bring about positive social change in the community, with a focus on developing, implementing, and evaluating policy initiatives that promote not only health, but also political, social, and economic justice.

Students also select from four specialized concentrations – Community Health; Human Rights Advocacy; Sustainable Communities; and Criminal Justice – for professional development in the program that fits their passion and career goals.

Graduates can pursue a wide range of career opportunities in public policy, within national, state, and local governments; research centers; consulting firms; community action groups; and NGOs and direct service providers in the United States and around the world.



The Master of Public Policy: Community Health is a 36-credit hour program. Successful completion of this program includes the courses listed below.

Core Courses
  • Theories of Public Policy and Administration
  • Political Economy and Economic Analysis in Public Policy Development
  • Ethics in Public Service
  • Collaborative Policy Making and Civic Engagement
  • Social-Urban Policy and Development
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Business and Government Policy
Field Experience
  • Social Justice Practicum I
  • Social Justice Practicum II
  • Capstone Experience in Public Administration and Public Policy
Community Health Concentration Courses
  • Urban Health Determinants and Outcomes
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Topics in Urban Policy: Critical Urban Mental Health Issues
Human Rights Advocacy Concentration Courses
  • Human Rights Policies and Outcomes
  • Human Right to Health
  • Topics in Urban Policy: Contemporary Human Rights Issues

Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University Course Catalog here.



Students select from four specialized concentrations – Community Health; Human Rights Advocacy; Sustainable Communities; and Criminal Justice – for professional development in the program that fits their passion and career goals.

  • The Community Health concentration prepares graduates to lead government policy and advocacy efforts that advance positive social change in communities. With cities around the world facing unprecedented population growth, this concentration trains students to work toward creating urban environments that promote mental health and well-being. Students focus on the role of participatory governance and community collaboration to counter urban environmental risk factors and improve overall well-being.
  • In the Human Rights Advocacy concentration, students learn how to lead policy and advocacy efforts that foster human rights and social justice domestically and internationally. This concentration trains policy professionals to work in governmental, nonprofit, or private sectors applying established human rights standards, laws, and treaties. Students focus on broader social, economic, political, and environmental issues in a theoretical and historical context within our practice-based curriculum.
  • Sustainable Communities is for those who aspire to administration, leadership, and advocacy across a broad range of career opportunities in both the non-profit and public service sectors. Using Adlerian principles, you’ll learn the skills necessary to create sustainable economic development, environmental development and healthier communities at the local, state, national and international level.
  • The Criminal Justice concentration offers professional development in management and leadership within law enforcement and criminal justice for those seeking to improve crime prevention, reduce recidivism, and find solutions to community re-entry. By preparing public managers for leadership roles as change agents that bring together key stakeholders (i.e., community members, law enforcement and other criminal justice officials, and mental health professionals) in finding long-term, efficient, and compassionate solutions that support individual and community health and safety.
Social Justice Practicum

Social Justice Practicum

Doing is learning. A unique and proven program designed to give students real world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes

With Adler University, students go beyond the skill-based necessities and technicalities of creating policy, and delve into the spirit of how policy can make a difference at the local, state and national level. Adler University is also a recognized pioneer in graduate education, preparing socially responsible practitioners to be change agents at the community level.


The range of opportunities in public policy continues to grow, within national, state, and local governments; research centers; consulting firms; community action groups; and NGOs and direct service providers in the United States and around the world. Our program is designed to prepare you with the skills, knowledge, and experience for roles specializing in healthy communities, such as:

  • Policy analyst or researcher
  • Program administrator
  • Community organizer
  • Nonprofit or for-profit community service provider
  • Project manager
  • Advocacy and policy council strategist
  • Community development specialist
  • Municipal planning and development
  • Community leadership or advocacy
  • Government representative or legislator
Professional Development & Training

Working with the University’s network of hundreds of community partners, students get hands-on policy experience and cultivate the skills to become agents of positive social change. As part of the Master of Public Policy, students will participate in two experiences designed to apply classroom learnings to real-world settings.

Students complete an experiential Capstone project in their specific area of professional interest working with a governmental, community, advocacy, or nonprofit organization. During the Capstone, they will work individually or as part of a team to improve a public policy or service by using Adlerian principles to align with and advocate for social justice.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree earned from a college or university regionally accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or an equivalent degree from an international college or university.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and graduate coursework. Exceptions may be made for applicants who demonstrate outstanding academic performance or academic ability in other ways.
  • For approved applicants, an invitation is extended for a personal interview with the department’s Program Director as the final step in the application process.

Applicants are required to submit the following items to be considered for admission:

  • Application and application fee
  • Statement of Intent (2-3 pages, double-spaced) answering the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in your chosen field and program?
    • Why is Adler University’s program a good fit for you?
    • What are your career goals and interests?
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended (U.S and Canada)
    • Please have official transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions
    • Unofficial transcripts may be accepted for any schools in which a degree was not received
    • International transcripts must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service

Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview with faculty. Please submit all application materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.

Official transcripts should be sent to:

Adler University – Office of Admissions
17 N. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60602

Official electronic transcripts should be sent to [email protected].


For more information for International Applicants, click here.

Chicago Campus

Located in the heart of the city, the Adler Chicago campus was designed to provide and inspire the learning and living experience. To that end, we have created an environment that caters to your mental, emotional and intellectual growth. Our classrooms are bright and spacious with windows to the outside world. Our technology is the very latest and best. In our Library, you will find every resource you need to research, form and shape your journey. At Adler, we have made it our mission to create a space with more than enough room to share your thoughts and flex your intellect.

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Highlighting the Importance of Socially Just Public Policy

Adler University Chicago Campus professors, Joseph E. Troiani, Ph.D., and Valerie Werner, Ph.D., offer insight on how public policy affects citizens and communities—especially during a global health crisis.

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Chicago Graduate Calls on Class of 2019 to 'Create a More Diverse and Inclusive Reality'

The 2019 Adler University class of Chicago and Online Campus students graduated on October 20. Victoria Stewart, a graduate of the Master of Public Policy: Human Rights Advocacy Program in Chicago, spoke at the commencement ceremony at the Chicago Theatre.

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Igniting a Passion for Politics in the Next Generation of Women

Cymone King wants to encourage the next generation of women to take a seat at the political table. King is a student in the Master of Public Policy: Community Health Concentration in Chicago.

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