MS in Social Policy  

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:

  • Photo credits: MSSP students Rachel Dungan and Mariam Ishaq
    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).
Online MSSP Info Sessions
  • None currently scheduled.

In-person MSSP Info Sessions

  • None currently scheduled.

Click here to register

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. Financial aid is allocated on a preferred basis to those whose applications are completed by or before March 15th.

Roberta Rehner Iversen, PhD
Faculty Director

Caroline Wong, MSW, LSW
Senior Associate Director


The Penn MSSP is a Member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.