Science, Technology and Public Policy Master of Science Degree

In this science, technology, and public policy ms, you'll have a significant impact on public policy affecting the environment, transportation, science, emerging technology, and scientific developments. 



Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates from this degree

Overview for Science, Technology and Public Policy MS

A Technical Master's in Public Policy For Today's Innovative World

Self-driving cars, cybersecurity threats, data protection and privacy, and artificial intelligence are just a few of the hot button topics in the rapidly evolving intersection of technology, innovation, and public policy. This master's in public policy enables you to work at the intersection of engineering, science, and technology while contributing to important policy issues in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Understanding how to create effective public policy takes both an awareness of the science and technology behind a topic as well as a grounding in the system of laws, regulatory measures, and courses of action that affect it.

RIT's Science, Technology, and Public Policy MS

With a focus on policy areas that have a strong science or technology element (energy, health systems, technology innovation, environment, and cybersecurity), our program builds on RIT’s strengths as a technological university and connects you with faculty and researchers who are actively working on scientific and technological innovations that drive new public policy needs.  

The science, technology, and public policy MS is equally ideal for those with undergraduate degrees in either:

  • a science or engineering, who seek to broaden their career opportunities in government or business settings, or
  • an area of liberal arts (e.g., economics, public policy), who are interested in pursuing an interest in science, technology and policy issues.

Courses in Technology and Public Policy

Public policy core courses emphasize analysis, problem-solving, and interdisciplinary approaches which are required in this program. 

Elective courses are selected with an advisor and allow you to focus studies in an interest or career area, such as environmental policy, climate change policy, health care policy, STEM education policy, telecommunications policy, biotechnology policy, environmental policy, communications policy, or energy policy. Electives are offered in various colleges throughout the university, including the colleges of Business, Engineering, Engineering Technology, and Science

In the thesis and capstone options, you will work with a faculty adviser on an independent research project in your area of interest.

Students are also interested in: Business Administration MBA, Environmental, Health and Safety Management MS


Careers and Experiential Learning

Typical Job Titles

Budget Analyst Energy Efficiency Program Manager
Government Relations Specialist Healthcare Services Analyst
Legislative Aid Market Researcher
Policy Analyst Regulatory Affairs Manager
Research Associate

Cooperative Education and Internships

What makes an RIT education exceptional? It’s the ability to complete relevant, hands-on career experience. At the graduate level, and paired with an advanced degree, cooperative education and internships give you the unparalleled credentials that truly set you apart. Learn more about graduate co-op and how it provides you with the career experience employers look for in their next top hires.

Co-ops and internships take your knowledge and turn it into know-how. A liberal arts co-op provides hands-on experience that enables you to apply your knowledge in professional settings while you make valuable connections between course work and real-world applications.

Co-ops and internships are optional but strongly encouraged for graduate students in the MS in science, technology, and public policy.

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Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Science, Technology and Public Policy MS

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Science, Technology and Public Policy, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Readings in Public Policy
An in-depth inquiry into key contemporary public policy issues. Students will be exposed to a wide range of important public policy texts, and will learn how to write a literature review in a policy area of their choosing. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Seminar (Fall).
Graduate Policy Analysis
This course provides graduate students with necessary tools to help them become effective policy analysts. The course places particular emphasis on understanding the policy process, the different approaches to policy analysis, and the application of quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluating public policies. Students will apply these tools to contemporary public policy decision making at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Graduate Decision Analysis
This course provides students with an introduction to decision science and analysis. The course focuses on several important tools for making good decisions, including decision trees, including forecasting, risk analysis, and multi-attribute decision making. Students will apply these tools to contemporary public policy decision making at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Evaluation and Research Design
The focus of this course is on evaluation of program outcomes and research design. Students will explore the questions and methodologies associated with meeting programmatic outcomes, secondary or unanticipated effects, and an analysis of alternative means for achieving program outcomes. Critique of evaluation research methodologies will also be considered. Seminar (Spring).
Graduate Science and Technology Policy Seminar †
Examines how federal and international policies are developed to influence research and development, innovation, and the transfer of technology in the United States and other selected nations. Students in the course will apply basic policy skills, concepts, and methods to contemporary science and technology policy topics. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Seminar (Fall).
Graduate Electives*
Second Year
Choose one of the following:
   Capstone Experience
The Public Policy Capstone Experience serves as a culminating experience for those MS in Science, Technology and Public Policy students who chose this option in the Public Policy Department. Over the course of the semester, students will have the opportunity to investigate and address contemporary topics in science and technology policy using analytic skills and theoretical knowledge learned over the course of their MS degree. Project 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   Public Policy Thesis
The master's thesis in science, technology, and public policy requires the student to select a thesis topic, advisor and committee; prepare a written thesis proposal for approval by the faculty; present and defend the thesis before a thesis committee; and submit a bound copy of the thesis to the library and to the program chair. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Thesis 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   Comprehensive Exam plus 2 Graduate Electives*
Total Semester Credit Hours

* Graduate Electives are chosen by students based on their professional interests. In consultation with their academic advisor, students will choose from graduate courses offered across the university to round out their coursework.

† PUBL 610 Technological Innovation and Public Policy can be taken as an alternative to STSO-710.

Admissions and Financial Aid

This program is available on-campus only.

Offered Admit Term(s) Application Deadline STEM Designated
Full‑time Fall or Spring Rolling No
Part‑time Fall or Spring Rolling No

Full-time study is 9+ semester credit hours. Part-time study is 1‑8 semester credit hours. International students requiring a visa to study at the RIT Rochester campus must study full‑time.

Application Details

To be considered for admission to the Science, Technology and Public Policy MS program, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

English Language Test Scores

International applicants whose native language is not English must submit one of the following official English language test scores. Some international applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver.

88 6.5 60

International students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Each program requires balanced sub-scores when determining an applicant’s need for additional English language courses.

How to Apply Start or Manage Your Application

Cost and Financial Aid

An RIT graduate degree is an investment with lifelong returns. Graduate tuition varies by degree, the number of credits taken per semester, and delivery method. View the general cost of attendance or estimate the cost of your graduate degree.

A combination of sources can help fund your graduate degree. Learn how to fund your degree

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