Systems Synthesis Projects are a culminating experience for students in the Master of Science in Public Policy and Management (MSPPM), Washington DC program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. These projects, conducted in lieu of a thesis, provide students with hands-on experiences that parallel the activities and issues they will encounter in the workplace. Working with a client organization, groups of students spend a seven months (Oct – May) addressing an issue of importance to the client.
Under the guidance of a systems synthesis advisor, the students identify the issue, gather and analyze data, and prepare findings and recommendations for the client. It also allows students to integrate the skills learned from their coursework at Heinz--including economics, statistics, management science, financial analysis, organizational management, policy analysis, database management, oral and written communication skills and others—as they tackle important policy and management problems. The project provides students with “real-world” experience in teamwork, analysis, project management and client relations.
About Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon’s main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.