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
2019 Graduate Student Award Winners

Angela Clare Butel | Jacob M. Kaplan Award
Angela Butel focused her studies in the Public and Urban Policy program around quantitative methods and design strategies; her capstone project looked at implementation of service design initiatives in city government. Outside the classroom, she worked as a research assistant at the Center for New York City Affairs, contributing to reports on child care, child welfare, and the City and State budgets. This summer, Angela is moving to Portland, OR, to begin a fellowship with the City Budget Office with the City of Portland.


Emily Jane Oppenheimer | Best Professional Decision Report: “Designing Equitable and Sustainable Models for Microgrids” for WE ACT for Environmental Justice
In May 2019, Emily Oppenheimer earned an MS in Public and Urban Policy from the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment. Her final project was a Professional Decision Report for the Harlem-based nonprofit WE ACT for Environmental Justice entitled “Designing Equitable and Sustainable Economic Models for Microgrids.” Her report focused on New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” strategy, which is a set of resolutions aimed to incentivize utilities to embrace new roles in the energy market that enable them to better and more fairly incorporate distributed renewables like rooftop solar and wind. It includes a full analysis of the implications of this strategy for microgrid development, increased incorporation of distributed renewables into the central grid system, and the potential for low-income communities and communities of color to leverage new technologies and policy tools to increase their own capacity for local, democratic planning around energy use and resiliency. She plans to pursue work in the fields of environmental, climate, and energy policy. 

Nicholas Bohan Martin | Best Professional Decision Report: “Vacant Property Speculation and Vacant Property Registration in New York City” for 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 | Featured Projects

The Urban Policy Lab course taken in the second semester of the first year is an applied policy-analysis experience in which students work together in small teams to resolve a policy issue for a public or nonprofit decision-maker. 

Workforce Development in the Food Sector 

Urban Policy Lab Student Team: Keri Springett, Angela Butel, Eben Fenton, Hugo Fausto Torres-Fetsco, Alix Scherer

Client: Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration)

Central Policy Issue: How can Restoration offer opportunities for career advancement in the food sector?

Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the nation’s first Community Development organization, asked the student team to enhance their workforce development program and increase retention. The team focused on the food industry, concentrating their research on institutional dining, catering, inventory management, and grocery. In their analysis of these areas of the food sector, the team considered such criteria as the number of job openings, opportunities for career advancement, and training costs, and recommended that Restoration concentrate their efforts on the grocery industry. The team presented their recommendations in an oral briefing and subsequent report. They recommended that Restoration build targeted partnerships within the grocery industry, close the skills gap with training, and add programs to assist with employment retention. 

Improving Lease-Up Rates for Housing Choice Voucher Holders 

Urban Policy Lab Student Team: Heather Beck, St. Clair Logan, Antonio Parisi, Alix Scherer

Client: NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

Central Policy Issue: How can HPD improve lease-up rates for Housing Choice Voucher holders?

Housing Choice Vouchers help low-income households pay for housing in the private market. “Leasing-up” refers to the ability of voucher recipients to find an apartment and sign a lease. Lease-up rates have decreased in recent years and HPD asked the students for ideas on how to reverse this trend.  The team explored what cities around the country are doing to address the issue in order to determine how New York City can improve lease-up rates. Drawing on academic literature, interviews with housing expects and program administrators, the team identified several barriers to leasing up, and compared several ways of addressing these barriers. Their analysis led to the following recommendations: modify the process for inspecting apartments prior to lease up; enhance tenant supports; and build landlord outreach.

Recent Urban Policy Lab Projects

Advanced Seminar Capstone Projects | Professional Decision Reports

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.

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

Oscar Sosa López on transportation policy, urban mobility, and citizenship

Oscar Sosa López is teaching a course on Transportation Planning and the Politics of Urban Mobility this fall. We sat down with him to talk about transportation policy, urban mobility, and citizenship. You’ve done a lot of research focused on understanding the relationship between sustainable transportation policy, urban mobility, and citizenship. What made you so interested in this area of study?   I’­m a planner and my core interest is urban citizenship. I’m concerned with the different formal and informal processes through which resources are distributed in cities. These processes produce unequal regimes in which some have access to services and ...

Alumna Sherin Bennett ’11 #100WordsOrLess

The New School is #100YearsNew: 1919-2019. This is our inspiration for asking Milano community members to answer the question (in 100 words or less): “So, what’s new with you?” Here’s what alum Sherin Bennett responded in exactly 100 words. Sherin Bennett Policy, MS 2011 Senior Housing Finance Consultant  California Housing Partnership  Before Milano, I shifted from engineering to theatre to academia. At Milano, the economy crumbled as I sat in my first econ class. How can finance be used for good? Affordable housing. Found my love of teaching as a TA, tackled big questions in CDFL and Policy lab. Post-Milano, ...

Time for a Real Look at How the New York State Workers’ Compensation System Treats Workers

By James Parrott and Nicholas B. Martin '19 Despite an early history as a national leader in safeguarding the interests of workers injured on the job, New York’s workers’ compensation system has eroded considerably over the years, as legislative and administrative changes have often focused on curtailing benefits rather than adapting to changes in the economy, workforce, and business practices. While legislative changes in 2007 and 2017 included some positive measures, for the most part changes significantly lessened the adequacy of worker benefits. The unfortunate result is that the focus of workers’ compensation in New York has shifted from fairly ...

Preparing for the Digital Decennial Census: Building Consent, Equity, and Safety into Digital Transition

The Digital Equity Lab released their report "Preparing For the Digital Decennial Census" which includes an analysis of risk, safety, and trust for the first-ever digital decennial census. As advocates for structural equity, the authors believe the digital transition of the census is understudied and requires both attention and investment at national scale in order to achieve a level of success sufficient for our emerging era of digital governance. In 2020, the United States will hold its first digital census. The Constitution mandates that every ten years the US government must count every household in the country. The demographic and ...

A Talk with Imani Darden ‘14, Host of the Forward 40 Podcast

Imani Darden ‘14 recently launched her podcast called Forward 40, which highlights the experiences of 40 women of color on the rise in the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors. We caught up with her to find out what she's been doing and how she got into podcasting.  What have you been doing since you left Milano? Immediately after Milano I joined the founding staff for the New York team of a college access nonprofit CollegeSpring. In that role, I developed and managed relationships with a variety of education partners including public, charter, community-based organizations, and higher education institutions to embed the ...

Surging Job Expansion Sets New Big Apple Records | by Thomas DiNapoli ’88

By Thomas P. DiNapoli Thomas P. DiNapoli is the Comptroller of the State of New York. He is a 1988 graduate of the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment at The New School. New York City is experiencing its largest and longest job expansion since the end of World War II. Not only is the city flourishing, it remains a beacon for immigrants from around the world seeking new beginnings and a better life. A report I released in April in my capacity as New York State Comptroller showed that the city added 820,400 jobs between 2009 and 2018, more ...

Congratulations, Spring 2019 Graduates!

Highlights from the Milano School Master’s, PhD, and Certificate Candidates Recognition Ceremony, May 16, 2019 2019 Milano School Recognition Ceremony   The Evening in Pictures:  Recognition Ceremony 2019 Slideshow 2019 Student Speaker  Grace Saraspi Peñaranda 2019 Student Awards Recipients of the Distinguished Student Award Hanin Haithan Khawaja Grace Saraspi Peñaranda Recipient of the John Clinton Outstanding Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management Student Award Caroline Thompson MS in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management Best Paper Award Maria C. Coello, Exploring the Impacts of Aerial Fumigation on Communities Near Banana Farms in the Province of Los Rios, Ecuador Recipient of the MS ...

Public and Urban Policy Student Angela Butel Co-Authors Two Center for New York City Affairs Reports

Human services aid from New York State helps localities pay for direct services, including public assistance and services provided through nonprofits. In this report we examine New York State, New York City and county budget data to understand how State funding trends affect localities across the state and New York City in particular. Since FY2011, most areas of state human services funding have suffered as a result of the Governor’s stringent budget policy. This is true throughout the state, particularly in the downstate suburbs. This human services budget austerity, at a time of increasing state revenue collections, has also had a profound adverse impact ...

Field Trip to the Museum of the City of New York

Milano’s Public and Urban Policy program organized a guided tour of the Museum of the City of New York. The three exhibits visited provide a glimpse into the City’s past, present, and future: Activist New York explores social activism in New York from the 17th century right up to the present; Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis provides a fascinating look at New York City’s battle against infectious disease; and Interior Lives: Contemporary Photographs of Chinese New Yorkers is an intimate portrait of an immigrant Chinese family through the years. Lunch in Harlem followed the tour.  The trip to the museum was ...

The New School + #SXSW: Mindy Fullilove Presents 400 Years of Inequality

2019 is the 400th anniversary of when the first Africans who were sold into bondage landed in North America. In recognition of this historic moment, Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Urban Policy and Health, along with other New School professors, are leading an effort to observe the anniversary, and use the attention to renew and strengthen the struggle for full emancipation, equity, and justice. Fullilove spoke about her important work during “400 Years of Inequality: A People’s Observance” at #SXSW, along with Jamie Bennett, Executive Director of ArtPlace America, and the artists Shaun Leonardo and Favianna Rodriguez, both of whom have ...