Mission Statement

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the Catholic University of America places the human person and the common good at the center of public policy design and implementation. We believe that our tradition calls us to rise above the political polarization of our day and go to the frontiers of social, scientific, and philosophical thought to present an integrated approach to public policy that is founded on a fuller vision of the human person as a social being made in the image of God. To accomplish this bold vision, the MPP program gathers expert faculty and practitioners from a wide range of fields and professions to engage in cutting edge research, to train and mentor students, and to actively participate in the development of public policy. We welcome potential students from all backgrounds who are passionate about the common good to join our community. Our principal goal is to equip our students to enter the professional world prepared to develop innovative and ethical public policy solutions to the major challenges of our time, all in service to the most vulnerable, the Church, the nation, and the world.

Guiding Values for Public Policy

  • The Human Person as a Social Being.

    At Catholic University, we see humans as social persons, and recognize that good economic and public policies aim to build and strengthen the human communities in which the individual finds a true home. The public policy professionals we educate treat those they encounter with the dignity and agency proper to the human person, understand when and how policies strengthen or weaken communities (families, local organizations, etc), and have the skills to design and evaluate policies that address the challenges of social persons embedded within communities.
  • Virtue as Essential.

    Public policy professionals should be firmly rooted in an ethical and moral framework and be equipped to design and evaluate policy that takes into account the internal, moral, and psychological factors that influence people’s behavior and supports the cultivation of virtue. At Catholic University, we believe that people are capable of good and evil and that a thriving society will be filled with virtuous people choosing the good.  Therefore, we must evaluate public policy not only in terms of short term effects, but also in terms of the moral habits it encourages or discourages. A good public policy achieves a discrete social goal and also encourages the practice of virtue. Professionals must seek to achieve the highest standards of objectivity, efficiency, accountability and transparency throughout their work and actively build the trust of all those influenced by that policy process.
  • Power in its Proper Place.

    At Catholic University, we believe that political power should serve the common good, and be exercised at the societal level that is most capable of addressing the existing challenges, honoring agency and voice to stakeholders appropriate to each level. Therefore, public policy professionals should understand the dynamics of political and economic power, and have the wisdom and skill to design policy that engages the most appropriate societal or governmental level to address challenges.
  • Stewardship for the Vulnerable.

    At Catholic University, we believe that the practice of public policy design, analysis, and implementation comes with a moral obligation to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable, including creation and the protection of our common home. Therefore, public policy professionals should understand the issues that drive poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, and other pressing issues and be equipped with the skills necessary to design and evaluate policy to address these challenges with a focus on the most vulnerable.
  • Excellence in the Integration of Knowledge.

    At Catholic University, we believe that effective engagement with public policy requires expertise from a wide range of fields and learning-by-doing. An integrated, holistic approach leads to more effective and efficient policy. A well trained public policy professional will have (1) a robust understanding of ethics and the nature of the human person informed by philosophy, theology, psychology, and neuroscience, (2) a strong grasp on social sciences including economics, politics, and sociology, (3) excellent technical skills including statistics, data analytics, and impact evaluation methodologies, (4) proficient written and oral communication skills, and (5) will gain these skills/understandings both inside the classroom and through real participation in the policy development / implementation / evaluation / analysis process with active professionals in the broad Catholic University network.