Master of Public Policy

A Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree helps prepare students for a career in public service through the exclusive 4+1 program, open only to current Elizabethtown College students. This degree program provides students with the analytical skills needed to dissect problems, interpret data, and evaluate policy alternatives, all critically important in a changing world.

Why consider a Master of Public Policy at Elizabethtown College?

We offer the only Master of Public Policy program in south-central Pennsylvania, allowing our students to take advantage of internships and real-world experiences in state government. Our program allows students to earn both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in just five years. Students save a year of tuition and enter careers a year earlier than with other programs. Students are guaranteed to engage in tailored summer internship experiences with a government agency, lobbying firm, or nonprofit group, and our specialized courses focus on methods of policy analysis, ethics, public administration, and a range of policy areas. Students choose a general track or custom build their research with specific areas of study, such as the policy areas of healthcare, education, energy, and the environment.

After program completion, students will be prepared for action in the real world. The program culminates with a Master’s Thesis in an area of your choice, supervised by a full-time faculty member.

What can I do with a Master's in Public Policy

What can I do with a Master of Public Policy?

Graduates of the MPP program are qualified for careers in local, state and federal government, community service agencies, think tanks, lobbying firms, NGOs, and in the private sector. Graduates of public policy programs have found success in campaign management, policy formation, budgeting, advocacy, government relations, and nearly every area of government. By gaining practical experience and real-world knowledge, our graduates prepare themselves for success in the workforce.

program fit

Is this program right for me?

Public policy analysts are problem solvers who use their varied skills to evaluate policy alternatives and recommend the best course of action. If you care about public problems in education, healthcare, or the environment, among others, and want to help shape the policies and programs affecting your community, the MPP program might be right for you. 

Explore the curriculum of the MPP program.

Life in the Department

Vincent McGonigle

Vincent McGonigle ‘18

Master thesis: community policing and how to improve police relations

"I’m looking at the effects of community policing and whether or not material improvements (body cams, records, etc.) will decrease the crime rate and/or the rate of victimization in the general population," Vincent said. In addition to working on his Master's thesis, Vincent has taken an internship position at the Fraternal Order of Police's Steve Young Legislative Advocacy Center in Washington, D.C. In this position, he's focused on increasing safety in the lives of on-duty law enforcement officers through legislation.

Life in the Department

Jordan Fries

Jordan Fries ‘18

master thesis: opioid addiction

"My thesis topic is opioid addiction and how it is affecting Pennsylvania and what Pennsylvania can do as a state to counter, and hopefully end, the epidemic," Jordan said. While completing his thesis, Jordan is also serving as an intern at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. In his position, he works with the Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee in the House of Representatives.

Life in the Department

Luke Mackey

Luke Mackey ‘18

Master thesis: religious accommodation and equity in higher education

"I will be seeing if current Federal statutes, most notably, a provision in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if strictly enforced, are enough to provide equitable religious accommodation to students of minority religions in higher education," Luke said. Luke is also completing an internship in the Office of International Students and Scholars at Elizabethtown College. In this role, he's working to expand and revise the College’s current religious observance policy.


Life in the Department

Matthew Rucci

Matthew Rucci ‘18

maSter thesis: the role of the marcellus shale formation in pennsylvania politics

"My thesis topic focuses on better understanding the role of the Marcellus Shale Formation has within PA Politics. I intend on comparing state level date of all the states utilizing the Marcellus Shale Formation to discover how the Commonwealth ranks amongst them," Matthew said. In addition to pursuing his degree and completing his thesis, Matthew serves as an intern for the Scott Wagner for Governor campaign. While working on the gubernatorial campaign, he's learning different perspectives from policy makers, political activists and experts in the energy field. He's using this experience as a resource for his Master's thesis.

Life in the Department

Pareesa Zaman

Pareesa Zaman ‘18

master thesis: refugees in iceland

"I will be looking at how the arrival of Syrian refugees to Iceland, a country that has never had Muslims before, will affect their policies," Pareesa said. "I plan to travel to Iceland to observe the cultural differences and interview some of the refugees." Following with the topic of her thesis, Pareesa will be spending the summer completing an internship in Iceland. While in Iceland, she will interview Syrian refugees.

About Our Faculty

Our faculty are experts in the field of public policy and are dedicated to our students' success. Through their real-world experience, our faculty members connect educational excellence with practical application to address real challenges students will face. Not only will students study current issues and opportunities in public policy, but they'll also be learning from, and mentored by, professionals who have influenced some of the biggest policy changes in Pennsylvania. Learn more about some of our faculty members below:


Dr. April Kelly-Woessner

Professor of Political Science and Program Director | 717-361-1285

April Kelly-Woessner is Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies at Elizabethtown College. She is also Director of the Master’s in Public Policy program and a correspondent for the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal. Dr. Kelly-Woessner received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Ohio State University, specializing in public opinion, mass behavior, and political psychology.

Dr. Kelly-Woessner's research explores the intersection of politics and higher education. For example, her book (with Stanley Rothman and Matthew Woessner), The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power Politics and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011) examines the role of students, faculty, and administrators in shaping political dialogue on campus. She has published a number of articles on politics in higher education, which have appeared in The Journal of Political Science Education, PS: Political Science and Politics, and as chapters in edited volumes. Most recently, her research examines the decline in political tolerance among America's youth.

Professor Kelly-Woessner's previous research has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Science Magazine. Her opinion editorials have appeared in The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and The Harrisburg Patriot News.

april kelly woesneer

William Bova

Adjunct Professor
Senior Associate at Greenlee Partners 

William Bova is Senior Associate at Greenlee Partners, one of Pennsylvania's premier government affairs firms. He brings years of experience in management and political coverage to Greenlee, including extensive relationships with Pennsylvania’s elected officials, business leaders, and the media, giving him a broad and non-partisan view of the Commonwealth.

During his time at the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN), William opened offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, directed PCN’s use of new technology, and hosted Journalists Roundtable. He was the architect of the PCN programming format, which has become the nationwide model for state public affairs networks.

Bill has worked with government, business, and the media to create partnerships and develop opportunities for growth. He conceptualizes how public opinion affects legislative action and is a respected advisor to business leaders regarding their interaction with the media.

Donna Memmi Malpezzi

Adjunct Professor, Esquire
Former General Counsel to PA Senate Majority Caucus & 3 Majority Leaders 

Donna Memmi Malpezzi served as chief legal counsel to the Senate Majority Caucus and to three Majority Leaders over nearly three decades. She advised on strategy, major policy decisions and legislative initiatives. She provided guidance and direction regarding daily legislative action taken by the Senate of Pennsylvania, including the Senate Session Calendar, parliamentary inquiries and caucus activities. Donna supervised a staff of lawyers, legislative and administrative staff, as well as direct interaction with staff of other Senate Offices. She also participated and advised on negotiations between the Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the executive branch in the development and enactment of key legislation.

Donna also assisted with the development and passage of the annual State Budget regarding overall expenditures and revenues, with special emphasis on the Department of Human Services and various institutions funded through that department, including hospitals, nursing homes and other health care service providers as well as the Department of Education. She played a significant staff role in the development and drafting of various laws, including Child Protection, the reduction and prevention of healthcare-associated infections, PACE and PACENET, expanded children’s health insurance; the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act (MCARE) including creation of the Patient Safety Authority; the Hospital and MCO Assessment Acts and various programs established through the Tobacco Settlement Fund.

Prior to the Senate, served as a Deputy General Counsel to Governor Dick Thornburgh and attained experience in all three branches of state government. She also worked for the late House Speaker, Matthew J. Ryan.

Glenn Pasewicz

Adjunct Professor
Executive Director of the Joint State Government Commission

Glenn Pasewicz is the executive director of the Joint State Government Commission, the primary  public policy and legislative research agency of the Pennsylvania legislature. He began his career as a public policy analyst with the Commission in 1995. Prior to joining the agency, he spent a year as a statistical analyst with the Department of Banking after a one year internship with Office of Administration. Glenn graduated in 1993 with Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management from Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in Manheim Township with his wife and children.

Dr. Gabriel R. Ricci

Professor of Humanities | 717-361-1139

Gabriel R. Ricci, professor of humanities, completed his graduate research in 19th- and 20th-century German philosophy at Temple University and the University of Hamburg under the direction of Gerhard Spiegler, after which he taught at Temple University for 10 years. Previously he worked as a community organizer in Philadelphia after taking a graduate degree in community development and social policy at Temple University. He came to Elizabethtown in 1996 and served as chair of the History Department from 2004-2011. Now part of the Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies Department, he teaches political philosophy, applied ethics and a graduate seminar in public policy and ethics. His research has focused on time consciousness and phenomenology; his latest research appears in The Reception of Husserlian Phenomenology in North America (Springer, 2017). He is the editor of the series Religion and Public Life and Culture & Civilization (Routledge); volume 40, Natural Communions, Reflections on Ecospirituality of Religion and Public Life is forthcoming and volume 8, of Culture & Civilization, The Persistence of Critical Theory appeared in 2017.