About the Program

The Master of Science in Social Policy Program (MSSP) is an eleven-month, ten-course program that prepares professionals for policy leadership positions in government, philanthropic foundations, research institutes, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, and other related settings, through:

  • Understanding the world views, assumptions, and philosophies underlying all policy solutions;
  • Understanding how decisions about social policy issues are made, shaped and influenced at local, state, national and global levels;
  • Formulating a social reform agenda that is evidence-based and aims at improving the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of policy creation and implementation; and
  • Generating and considering a wide array of policy options to address social problems.

The program is designed for:

  • Early and mid-career professionals engaged in policy work in a wide variety of organizational settings;
  • Recent recipients of a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences who wish to develop policy skills; and
  • Students pursuing other advanced degrees at Penn who wish a graduate degree in social policy may be able to combine the MSSP with the following degrees: Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Public Health (MPH), and Juris Doctor (JD).

In every case, the student’s progress in meeting the program’s requirements will be guided by a written Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) developed jointly by the student and the student’s academic advisor.

The MSSP program offers a rolling admission process until the class is filled. Priority consideration is granted to applications completed by or before March 15th.