School of Public Service

Master of Science in Leadership and Policy Studies

The Master of Science in Leadership and Policy Studies (LPS) emphasizes field-based learning in public service to develop effective leaders in nonprofit and government professions. Students will develop public policy and leadership skills in the community through the School of Public Service curriculum—every course in the degree program integrates field study. LPS stresses ethics, problem-solving and research skills, and the ability to implement public policy. Electives give students the option of comparing policy issues in other cities and internationally in SPS one-week intensive courses.

Each year, three LPS students receive scholarship funding towards their studies in SPS. For more information about the scholarship and to apply, please visit: The Vincent DePaul Poverty and Policy Scholarship

There are currently 40 students enrolled in the LPS degree program.

Admisssion Requirements

  1. A completed online application
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended 
  3. Two-page personal statement describing your educational and career goals, relevant work or volunteer experience, and any special circumstances affecting past or prospective academic performance
  4. Current resume or curriculum vitae
  5. Qualified candidates will be selected for an admission interview with the degree chair

Current students may visit Campus Connection for current course information. Prospective students may log on as a guest. Once on Campus Connection please select Course Descriptions followed by the department.

Students complete a minimum of 52 credit hours of graduate credit. Each course carries four credit hours. Required core courses account for 44 credit hours and electives account for 8 credit hours.

Electronic portfolio requirement: Students are required to assemble an electronic portfolio that features notable papers and projects prepared in both required and elective courses. These portfolios, reviewed by a member of the faculty, provide an opportunity for the student to demonstrate expertise in a particular area of study while also supporting career goals.

Study abroad requirement: Students in the LPS program are required to take at least ONE course abroad. SPS offers programs in Columbia, Cuba, Ireland, Kenya, and India. These unique one to two weekstudy abroad trips allow both full-time and part-time students to participate.

Required Courses (44 credit hours)
MPS 500 Introduction to Public Service Management
MPS 501 Cross Sector Analysis
MPS 541 Economic Foundations
MPS 542 Policy Design and Analysis (pre-requisites: MPS 501 & MPS 541)
MPS 543 Policy Implementation
MPS 546 Advocacy and Lobbying
MPS 563 Law and Public Policy
MPS 586 Research Methods I, Introduction to Applied Research and Statistics (pre-requisites: MPS 501 & MPS 541)
MPS 587 Research Methods II, Advanced Applied Research and Statistics (pre-requisite: MPS 586)
MPS 593 Integrative Seminar (pre-requisites: MPS 586 & MPS 587)
MPS 594 Ethical Leadership in Public Service (pre-requisite: MPS 586)

Elective Courses
(8 credit hours)
Students must choose one course from each of the two elective groups below.

Urban Policy Group:
MPS 572 Urban Poverty Seminar
MPS 573 Urban and Community Analysis

Comparative Policy Group:
MPS 511 Sustainable Development and NGOs
MPS 575 Seminar in Administration: The European Union and Brussels
MPS 604 Special Topics: Comparative Field Study

Thesis Option
MPS 598 Thesis Research
(Students with a grade point average of 3.5 or above may choose the thesis option and replace MPS 593 with MPS 598)