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

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 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 ...

U.S. News & World Report Names Milano to the “2020 Best Graduate Schools” List

This week, U.S. News & World Report released its “2020 Best Graduate Schools” and named the Milano School to the Top 100 Public Affairs Schools and #11 in the Urban Policy specialty area. The rankings of programs in public affairs specialty areas are based on ratings by educators at peer schools. The Milano School and its Center for New York City Affairs are known for research related to urban areas and the Master of Science program in Public and Urban Policy continues that commitment to urban policy innovation ...

Public and Urban Policy Brown Bag Talk | Census 2020

There is no function of government more central to democracy than the Census—from apportioning seats for public office to federal funding formulas and data for social scientists. The 2020 Census will be the first on-line Census. It is grossly underfunded and the federal administration in Washington has raised significant concerns for immigrants, legal residents and other vulnerable people. The New School’s Digital Equity Laboratory has been working on a project to support greater collaborative work between libraries, community leaders and city governments in the New York region to support a fair and safe Census. Maya Wiley, Henry Cohen Professor of Public and ...

The New School + #SXSW: Maya Wiley Believes Collaboration Between Cities Will Help Solve Problems and Bolster Innovation

If cities begin to collaborate on finding solutions for urgent problems, they will not only create benefits for citizens, but spur innovation and growth as well. That was the main takeaway from the “Unleashing Cities’ Collective Superpower” panel at #SXSW that featured Maya Wiley, Senior Vice President for Social Justice and Henry Cohen Professor of Urban Policy and Management at The New School. She was joined by moderator Nicole Flatow, editor of CityLab, Miguel Gamiño Jr., formerly the Chief Technology Officer of New York City and currently the EVP of Global Cities at Mastercard, and Ali al-Azzawi, City Experience Advisor ...

Interview with Professors Rachel Meltzer and Alex Schwartz, Authors of Policy Analysis as Problem Solving

We sat down with Rachel Meltzer, Chair of Milano’s Public and Urban Policy MS program, and Alex Schwartz, Professor of Urban Policy, to discuss their new book Policy Analysis as Problem Solving: A Flexible and Evidence-Based Framework (Routledge 2018). We invite you to read the interview and join the authors for a book launch and panel discussion on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm. You teach Milano’s course on policy analysis. Why write a book on it?  AS: I have taught policy analysis for about 25 years at the New School and was never fully satisfied with the texts ...

The School Diversity Advisory Group, co-chaired by Henry Cohen Professor Maya Wiley, Releases Its Report

The key recommendation of the newly released report, commissioned by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and titled Making the Grade: The Path to Real Integration and Equity for NYC Public School Students, is a call for the city to set diversity targets for all schools that reflect the diversity of the entire community. In a statement released to the New York Times, Maya Wiley said: “We look forward to the Chancellor’s and Mayor’s commitment to implementing these recommendations and will continue to make more recommendations to support schools that reflect who we are as a city.” The report is ...

A Q & A with Faculty Member Mindy Fullilove

Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Urban Policy and Health, sits down to talk about her teaching and her work with our Public and Urban Policy student ambassador.    ...

Public and Urban Policy Brown Bag | NYC’s Affordable Housing Plan Under de Blasio and the Limits of Local Initiative in Making Housing Affordable

In the spring of 2014 New York City’s newly elect, Mayor Bill de Blasio, launched an ambitious plan to build or preserve 200,000 housing units over 10 years—a goal that was subsequently raised to 300,000 over 12 years. Nearly five years later, the city is on pace to meet these goals. However, despite its accomplishments to date, advocates have criticized the plan for failing to provide housing that is affordable to most residents of low-income neighborhoods, and, perversely, for aggravating the affordable housing crisis by fostering gentrification. In this talk, Alex Schwartz, Professor of Urban Policy at Milano and author of, Housing Policy in the United States, ...