Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy

Our graduate program produces leaders committed to public service who are prepared to go out in the world—and change it. Visit the Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy page at to learn about degree requirements, application information, program faculty, and the urban policy lab.

Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy Fact Sheet

Master of Science Public and Urban Policy
2020 Graduate Student Award Winners

MARIANA PEINADO | Jacob M. Kaplan Award

ELIZABETH A. HERR | Best Professional Decision Report (PDR) for “Educational Enrichment for All: Addressing Inequities in New York City Gifted and Talented Programs Through Schoolwide Enrichment”

2019 Graduate Student Award Winners

Angela Clare Butel | Jacob M. Kaplan Award

Emily Jane Oppenheimer | Best Professional Decision Report for “Designing Equitable and Sustainable Models for Microgrids”
Client: WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Nicholas Bohan Martin | Best Professional Decision Report for “Vacant Property Speculation and Vacant Property Registration in New York City”
Client: Picture the Homeless

Applied Hands-on Learning. Collaborative. Solution Focused.

Now more than ever, there is a need for sound public and urban policy that upholds our values of equity and social justice. Cities are where inclusive and innovative policies are tested and grown and we use these settings as laboratories for informing effective public policies that give back to the community.

Urban Policy Lab Responses to COVID-19

The coronavirus shutdown coincided with the second half of the Urban Policy Lab. In the Lab, students work in teams on two different issues for different clients. When it became clear that a second round of client projects was no longer possible, students were asked to produce a policy memo that would analyze an issue and offer recommendations to inform and guide a decision-maker. A number of students chose to address the many urgent crises that New York faces as a result of the coronavirus. These students turned constraints posed by the stay-at-home order into an opportunity to analyze, understand, and effectively respond to policy challenges posed by COVID-19.

In tackling coronavirus response strategy, students identified a range of topics, central policy issues, and recommendations.

Food Response to the Coronavirus and Corresponding Economic Downturn

COVID-19 Rapid Housing Strategy for NYC’s Shelter Population

Protection for Immigrant Agricultural Workers in New York State during COVID-19

Economic impact and recovery from COVID-19 Crisis on Freelancers/Gig Workers/Independent Contractors

Recent Urban Policy Lab Projects

Advanced Seminar Capstone Projects 

In their final semester of study, students work with a client to analyze and present solutions to real-world issues faced by practitioners in the field producing a professional decision report (PDR) as the final requirement to complete the MS degree. Recent Professional Decision Reports

U.S. News & World Report “2020 Best Graduate School” named the Milano School to the Top 100 Public Affairs Schools and #11 in the Urban Policy specialty area.

The Public and Urban Policy program is accredited by NASPAA, the membership association for graduate programs in public administration, public policy, and public affairs—the Global Standard in Public Service Education. Milano is the proud recipient of the NASPAA 2015 Social Equity Award.

*The Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy is the program formerly known as Urban Policy Analysis and Management.

Public and Urban Policy MS News

Hetrick-Martin Institute Welcomes Milano Alumn Joe Pressley as CEO at their LGBTQ+ youth organization

Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), the country’s oldest and largest organization serving LGBTQ+ youth of color has named Joe Pressley as Chief Executive Officer, effective December 3, 2020. Joe’s leadership record across nonprofits includes serving as Executive Director and Community Organizer of the New York AIDS Coalition; Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations for the Harlem United Community AIDS Center; Senior Aid to Councilmember and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; and Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department ofHomelessness, where he oversaw the Street Homeless Solutions Division. A champion of transformative change, Joe represents multi-generational perspectives and endorses inclusive leadership. “As ...
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The Covid-19 New York City Economy Three Months In: Reopening, and a Continuing Low-Wage Worker Recession

New York City is experiencing deep and enduring unemployment mostly by low-income workers of color and the city is facing a sluggish recovery with double-digit unemployment. While there was a net gain of 42,000 private jobs in May, total payroll jobs remained more than 19 percent (-892,000) below the pre-pandemic February level, and over 300,000 independent contractors have lost work. This abrupt 1.25 million total job loss since February marks by far the sharpest job decline seen in New York City since the 1930s. To a greater extent than in previous downturns, the Covid-19-related job losses are heavily concentrated among ...
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Police Violence Is a Public Health Crisis. Here’s How to End It.

Excessive police violence has become an inescapable reality in the United States. Some of us have learned to scan the sidewalks and streets for officers from the moment we lock our door behind us to the moment we reach our destination. Some of us breathe a sigh of relief when friends and family make it home, unharmed by police. All of us have witnessed on our screens, frame by frame, day after day, the horrors of police killings of civilians who offered little or no threat to them. These horrors have been compounded by the repeated judicial exoneration of the ...
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After George Floyd: Naming the Pain, Finding a New Path.

By Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove Herbert Aptheker, the Marxist historian and author of American Negro Slave Revolts, was my professor in college and I often wrote to him in years after graduation to discuss things that were on my mind. One of these was how to name civil unrest. He always used words like "rebellion" to describe the events of the long, hot summers of the 1960s. As my studies of psychiatry progressed, I resisted such language. I thought that "riot" was a better description of the chaotic events that unfolded on the streets, as tempers boiled over and people took ...
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Expanding Housing Vouchers: A Covid-19 Prescription for Both Tenants and Landlords

By Kirk McClure and Alex Schwartz  Emergency relief for renters across America may protect them from the threat of eviction during the coronavirus crisis – but it won’t last for long.The economic shutdown necessitated by Covid-19 has undermined the ability of millions of families and individuals to pay their landlords. But current measures to alleviate their hardship will not last more than a few months, leaving the country at risk of a surge of evictions and homelessness when they expire.The current crisis also hits landlords, small ones especially, who may now struggle to meet mortgage payments, property taxes, and other essential expenses. Again, the measures ...
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"We will be thinking of you, one among a storied network of learners who graduated before you, reaching back for more than a century and forward into the future." —Mary Watson, Executive Dean, Schools of Public Engagement The Recognition Ceremony for the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment was held on Thursday, May 14, 2020. STUDENT SPEAKERAndrea Torres, Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management STUDENT AWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENTJOHN CLINTON OUTSTANDING STUDENT AWARDAndrea TorresBEST PROFESSIONAL DECISION REPORT (PDR)Koorosh Behrang, "Insights From Behavioral Sciences for Moving Towards Sustainable Forest Management in New York"BEST PAPER OF PUBLISHABLE QUALITY (PPQ)Christian David ...
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Milano Minute | Alum Jeff Lindor talks about having the entrepreneurial bug

Jeff Lindor (MS ‘15) is Founder and CEO of The Gentlemen's Factory, a coworking social club for men of color and a space where members encourage, engage, and support one another. What started while Jeff was earning a Master’s degree at Milano grew into an enterprise featured in The New York Times, The Daily News, and on FOX 5 New York ...
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If We Don’t Fight Inequality, Covid-19’s Effects Will Persist and Blight Our Future

By James A. Parrott and Lina Moe A crisis, either personal or social, can clarify what tasks are important, what choices really matter, and what values are essential. That’s certainly true of the crisis New Yorkers face because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because on the social and economic front, here’s a paramount challenge we clearly face: Defeating the new strain of inequality that the coronavirus has introduced into the life of the nation’s largest city. Accomplishing that must include creating new job protections and a new social safety net for the hundreds of thousands of dislocated workers, including undocumented immigrants, ...
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Milano Minute | Alum Sarah Fajardo talks about what it means to work in policy

Sarah Fajardo (MS ’13) serves as the Policy Director for the ACLU-NJ. She has worked with Asian American and immigrant-led organizations to improve language access and has analyzed the fiscal impact of budget bills on the NYC Department of Education. Today, Sarah is working on national, state, and local campaigns with the ACLU-NJ in an integrative model that relies heavily on policy analysis, grassroots organizing, legal analysis, and litigation. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Sarah about her Milano experience and the work she is doing now. What made you choose Milano? I was interested in the project-based ...
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