Master's Degree Certificate Program

The Woodrow Wilson School offers two master’s degrees:  a 2-year Master in Public Affairs (MPA) and a 1-year mid-career Master in Public Policy (MPP). 

Students in either program track can earn a STEP certificate in addition to fulfilling the requirements for one of the four WWS fields of concentration. To earn the STEP certificate, candidates from the WWS must complete four approved courses ( graded B+ or better) and submit an approved policy paper.


First year MPAs with little or no background in natural science are encouraged take a science course as one of their four STEP approved courses. Those with a strong undergraduate science background may waive this recommendation, with faculty approval.

The following courses are approved for 2016-17. This is a partial list, please contact Chuck Crosby for the complete roster.

WWS 528d Public Management in the Age of Digital Technology, Steven Strauss
WWS 548 Weapons of Mass Destruction and International Security, Christopher Chyba
WWS 571c Topics in Devt: Global Challenges of Infection, Burden and Control, Adel Mahmoud and Bryan T. Grenfell
WWS 581c Topics in Economics: Energy Economics, Amy B. Craft
WWS 586d Topics in STEP:  Global Environmental Governance, Michael Oppenheimer
WWS 586f Topics in STEP: Information Technology and Public Policy, David P. Dobkin and Joanna N. Huey
WWS 591d Policy Workshop: State-Level Policies on Renewables in the Energy Sector, Anne E. Hoskins and Jeanne M. Fox


WWS 593n Topics in Policy Analysis: GIS for Public Policy, William G. Guthe and Tsering W. Shawa, Session II
WWS 594o Urbanization, Migration and Climate Change: Evidence and Policy, Deborah Balk, Session II
WWS 594q Environmental Decision-making, Elke Weber, Session II
WWS 594s Climate Change: Science and Policy, Denise L. Mauzerall, Session I

Paper Requirement:

All advanced policy papers submitted in fulfillment of the certificate requirements must be approved by the STEP chair. 

It is expected that most MPA and MPP candidates will write the advanced policy paper in the context of one of their STEP approved courses. Only papers receiving a grade of B+ or above will be eligible to satisfy this requirement. Students are urged to consult with STEP faculty in order to meet the standards of an approved science -policy paper.


Students interested in obtaining the STEP certificate should notify Denise Mauzerall, acting STEP faculty chair (Fall 2017 and Spring 2018) ; Charles C. Crosby, STEP administrator; and Ann Lengyel in the Graduate Program Office.