Science, Technology and Public Policy Master of Science Degree

In this technology policy master's degree, you'll make significant contributions to the creation of effective public policy in areas that include the environment, transportation, science, and emerging technological and scientific developments.


Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates


The MS degree in science, technology, and public policy enables you to work at the intersection of engineering, science, technology, and public policy. The program builds on RIT’s strengths as a technological university, enabling students to interact with faculty and researchers who are working on scientific developments and technological innovations that drive new public policy considerations. This technology policy master's degree is interdisciplinary and draws significantly from disciplines and courses throughout RIT. It is geared toward producing graduates who will make significant contributions in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

A Technology Policy Master's Degree 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.

To effectively create public policy around issues impacted by technology and innovation, you must be knowledgeable of both the science and technology behind the issue as well as the system of laws, regulatory measures, and courses of action that guide the creation of effective public policy. 

In RIT's MS degree in science, technology, and public policy, students include those with science or engineering backgrounds seeking to broaden their career opportunities in government or business settings, as well as those with undergraduate degrees in the liberal arts (e.g., economics, public policy) who are interested in science, technology, and policy issues. 

Courses in Technology and Public Policy 

All students in the program complete a set of policy core courses that emphasize analysis, problem-solving, and interdisciplinary approaches. Students work with an adviser to choose electives that focus their policy studies in a particular area, such as environmental policy, climate change policy, health care policy, STEM education policy, telecommunications policy, or energy policy. The program consists of required core courses, elective courses, and the completion of a thesis or comprehensive exam. The thesis option allows students to work with a faculty adviser on an independent research project in their area of interest.

Elective courses are based on students' individual interests and career goals. Elective courses may be offered in various colleges throughout the university, including the colleges of Business, Engineering, Engineering Technology, and Science. Course selection is completed jointly with a faculty adviser and typically aims to develop a specialized area of interest for the student (e.g., biotechnology policy, environmental policy, energy policy, communications policy, etc.).

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


Careers and Experiential Learning

Typical Job Titles

Quality Assurance Specialist Healthcare Services Analyst
Advocacy Specialist Youth Development Professional
Government Relations Program Manager
Think Tank Associate

Salary and Career Information for Science, Technology and Public Policy MS

Cooperative Education and Internships

Cooperative education and internships are work experience in your field of study. And they set RIT graduates apart from their competitors. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. Cooperative education and internships are designed for your success.

Co-op is optional but strongly encouraged for graduate students in the MS in science, technology, and public policy.

Curriculum for Science, Technology and Public Policy MS

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.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in science, technology and public policy, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete an online graduate application. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for information on application deadlines, entry terms, and more.
  • Submit copies of official transcript(s) (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work, including any transfer credit earned.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or US equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Recommended minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of recommendations are required. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • Not all programs require the submission of scores from entrance exams (GMAT or GRE). Please refer to the Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements page for more information.
  • Submit two writing samples, one of which should be a statement of interest.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • Have completed course work in calculus and statistics. Students may be required to take a course in data analysis or statistics course and an introductory calculus course, if not taken previously.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. Students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for additional information on English requirements. International applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver. Refer to Additional Requirements for International Applicants to review waiver eligibility.

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

Latest News

  • April 1, 2019

    Side-by-side headshots of student and staff member.

    Bobby Moakley and James Myers to receive this year’s Alfred Davis awards

    A Rochester Institute of Technology graduating student leader who has been engaged in public service, Student Government and environmental stewardship, and a dedicated administrator who helped expand RIT’s global presence as well as being an active community volunteer locally and in Haiti, have been named winners of this year’s Alfred L. Davis Distinguished Public Service Awards.