We know that choosing the right degree is complex. One particularly important factor in this process is determining the financial commitment you will have to make to complete a program, and which one gives you the best return on your investment once you graduate. Of course, it's also essential to investigate scholarships and financial aid to offset tuition. Here are the typical costs for a public policy degree:

average yearly tuition as per the most recent US census data
$ 12,128 per year
Average in-state tuition in 2017

44% above average compared to other degrees

$ 31,993 per year
Average out-of-state tuition in 2017

59% above average compared to other degrees

$ 49,717 per year
Average private tuition in 2017

54% above average compared to other degrees

What do public policy graduates earn?

Public policy students make an average of $93,426 per year after graduation. This is 40% above average compared to other undergraduate degrees.

$ 93,426 per year
Average graduate salary in 2017

Top 91% of degrees

% of people underpaid in 2019

0% above average compared to other degrees

Tuition costs for popular public policy schools in the US

There are 186 schools in the US that offer a public policy degree. The public policy schools in the nation with the highest enrollment are University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-Irvine and University of California-Berkeley. Here's a breakdown of tuition costs for the schools that award the most degrees in public policy per year:

School NameIn-State Tuition
University of California-Los Angeles$13,261
University of California-Irvine$13,738
University of California-Berkeley$14,170
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor$14,826
University of Southern California$54,259
Northeastern University$49,497
The University of Texas at Austin$10,398
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo$9,432
Ohio State University-Main Campus$10,592
Cornell University$52,853

Top US schools for a public policy degree

The following chart lists the most prestigious schools offering public policy degrees, along with their average acceptance rate and tuition costs:

School NameAcceptance RateIn-State Tuition
Stanford University5%$49,617
Harvard University5%$48,949
Princeton University6%$47,140
Pomona College8%$51,075
Brown University8%$53,419
University of Chicago9%$56,034
Northwestern University9%$52,678
University of Pennsylvania9%$53,534
Duke University10%$53,500
Claremont McKenna College10%$52,825

Cheapest US schools for a public policy degree

Of the schools in the US that offer a public policy degree, the following have the lowest tuition costs:

School NameTuition
Bristol Community College$4,656
Brigham Young University-Provo$5,460
University of North Carolina at Charlotte$6,832
American Public University System$6,880
SUNY Empire State College$7,185
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma$7,200
Boise State University$7,326
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley$7,587
University of Nevada-Las Vegas$7,665
Tennessee State University$7,776


Find out how happy the average public policy student is.

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