Successful public policy is as much about execution as theory.

That's why as a first-year MPP student, you must take part in the Spring Policy Exercise (API-500M). It gives you the chance to take the core tools and concepts you've studied all year and apply them in a setting that echoes professional reality. In many ways it's the bridge between your first-year core and your second-year Policy Analysis Exercise, which in turn leads to your subsequent professional work after graduation.

During the Exercise, you are assigned to a five-person team and asked to develop practical policy recommendations for a senior decision maker on a policy issue developed by the MPP teaching team. You'll conduct research, attend expert panels and presentations that link the topic to your core courses, and work with your team to develop potential solutions.

From Theory to Practice

At the end of the Exercise, you and your team will deliver a detailed, data-backed briefing and compile a briefing book for the senior decision maker in a simulated but realistic policy process. It's a great way to put into practice everything you've learned during the year.

Former topics include:

  • Better Schools for Boston
  • Haiti: The Way Forward
  • Sex Trafficking: Global Challenge, Local Solutions
  • Preparing for the Next Pandemic
The Spring Policy Exercise Experience
This immersive simulation replicates the constraints and fast pace of real-life public policy. MPP students apply the knowledge and tools they’ve acquired, working closely with their team to deliver a briefing about a major public policy challenge.