Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Dear Prospective Student,

Do you want to study within a small school community yet have the unique advantages of interdisciplinary opportunities at a vibrant Ivy League university? Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) offers both masters and doctoral students a myriad of interdisciplinary opportunities. SP2 offers 11 dual degree programs for MSW students and all masters level candidates have the opportunity to enroll in elective courses throughout the university. PhD students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of course offerings across the University for their required six elective courses. I welcome you to explore the exciting interdisciplinary opportunities available at Penn SP2.


MSW Student Opportunities

SP2 students are permitted to take up to two free electives in other Penn schools and departments. Courses taken in other schools or departments may not be counted as practice electives. Courses must be approved by the student’s educational advisor as relevant to the student’s educational plan.

The School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) offers the following 11 exciting MSW dual degree programs in collaboration with other schools of the University of Pennsylvania:

MSSP Student Opportunities

The School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) offers the following four exciting MSP dual degree programs in collaboration with other schools of the University of Pennsylvania:

Penn's Master Program in Nonprofit Leadership

Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice offers a masters degree in the Leadership of Nonprofits Organizations.  This degree can be completed either full-time or part-time. This graduate program welcomes individuals who are bright, passionate and energized to be transformative thought leaders; social entrepreneurs; and innovators for social impact.

Our mission is to educate the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs who will help transform nonprofits, social enterprises, international NGOs, educational systems, social service agencies, art and cultural institutions, foundations, advocacy and volunteer organizations.  The world needs new thinking and approaches to address long-term challenges for real and sustainable social change.  Our students come to lay the foundation for their professional and civic journey to be collaborative agents of change.

Students enrolled in the Nonprofit Leadership Program take a total of ten (10) graduate courses: five required core courses, two of four core option courses and three electives.  Students work with the Senior Associate Director for academic advising and guidance in selecting their electives from an array of options offered by Penn’s diverse graduate and professional programs. Each student is encouraged to build the competencies they will need throughout their careers.

Visit the NPL website


PhD Student Opportunities

PhD students are strongly encouraged to take courses throughout the university. Out of 16 credits two are taken in sociology (statistics as required) and six additional are electives most of which are taken in other departments.

Currently, five of our doctoral students are working on research in other schools and their chairpersons are from these departments. One student is in the School of Medicine, two are in the School of Nursing, one is in the School of Arts and Sciences, and the last student is in the Graduate School of Education.  In our doctoral colloquium last year, we invited six faculty members from other schools to introduce them to our students and to encourage cross-school collaboration. In the PhD graduate group more than half of the members are from other schools. One required course (statistics) is taken in the School of Arts and Sciences and most of the six elective courses are taken in other schools rather than in the School of Social Policy and Practice.

Interdisciplinary Research and Special Projects

The Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research is a collaborative effort among SP2, Law, and Medicine.

The Masters Program in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership is a collaborative effort among SP2, the Wharton Business School, and the School of Arts and Sciences.

Through a collaboration with the Graduate School of Education, SP2 supports the Sadie Alexander School in West Philadelphia by providing a school social worker and social work interns. Sayre School Community Health Project, a collaborative endeavor among Penn Dental, Penn Medicine, Penn Nursing and SP2, has been providing health services to the West Philadelphia community since spring 2006.