MSSP/Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The MSSP/MPA program prepares students to assume positions of leadership in public, non-profit, and private organizations that develop, influence or implement policy. The MSSP and MPA degrees complement one another in content and approach, and the dual degree enhances the breadth and depth of policy and practical experience students explore during their studies. Through the MPA program, students gain significant practical experience in leadership and administration of public sector organization; through the MSSP program, students gain robust knowledge of social policy with a focus on equity. This combination gives graduates a competitive advantage in careers focused on policy and the social sector, locally and nationally.

To receive both degrees, students must complete the independent degree requirements of each program. MPA will accept two (2) prefix-MSSP courses toward the MPA, and MSSP will accept two (2) prefix-GAFL courses toward the MSSP, to bring the student to the minimum 15 CUs required for the MSSP/MPA dual degree program. This standard format reduces the typical CUs needed to complete the MSSP degree and MPA degree from 19 CUs to 15 CUs.

For the MPA

Students must complete a minimum of nine (9) course units (CUs), including seven (7) core course and two (2) elective course. Students in the dual degree program may count MSSP 629: Research & Evaluation in place of MPA core course GAFL 640 Program Evaluation and Data Analysis, and one (1) other graduate level MSSP course as an MPA elective, reducing the requirements to seven (7) CUs. Students may also complete an internship. The MPA internship may be fulfilled by the MSSP policy internship if it is determined to be appropriate by Fels faculty directors and program director, however these students are not eligible for internship funding from Fels.

For the MSSP

Students must complete a minimum of ten (10) course units (CUs), including seven (7) core course and three (3) elective course. Students in the dual degree program may count GAFL 611 Statistics for Public Policy in place of core course MSSP 630 Quantitative Reasoning, and GAFL 621 Public Economics in place of core course MSSP 668: Economics for Social Policy. Students must also complete a policy internship.


Students who wish to complete this dual degree should apply separately to the MSSP and MPA programs. Once accepted in both programs, students will work with their academic advisors to finalize their respective academic plans.

Year 1

GAFL 611: Statistics for Public PolicyGAFL 732: Public ManagementGAFL 799 Capstone
GAFL 621: Public EconomicsGAFL 651: Public Financial Management
GAFL 631: Public Law and Public ProcessMSSP Elective
GAFL Elective

Year 2

MSSP 628: Policy: Analysis of Issues, Strategy, and ProcessMSSP 631: Law and Social Policy
MSSP 629: Research & Evaluation DesignMSSP 897: Applied Linear Modeling
SP2 ElectiveMSSP 632: Capstone I: Policy Communications (0.5 CU)
SP2 ElectiveMSSP 633: Capstone II: Policy Internship (0.5 CU)


SP2 News

Cover of Tell Me How It Ends

Student Life

SP2 Announces Inaugural Race and Social Justice Fellows

Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) is pleased to announce the selection of two exemplary MSW students as...

Image of Mackenzie Fierceton

Student Life

SP2 Student Awarded Prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

University of Pennsylvania May graduate who is currently completing her master’s degree at Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice...

Faculty & Research

Associate Dean of Enrollment Management & Global Outreach Receives Years of Service Award

Mary Mazzola, MSW, EdD, associate dean for enrollment management and global outreach at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice...

Valeria Zeballos Doubinko, MSSP '21

Student Life

MSSP+DA Student Named 2020-21 Perry World House Graduate Associate

Valeria Zeballos Doubinko, MSSP ’21, has been selected to join the 2020-21 cohort of Perry World House Graduate Associates. A...

Discover More