Increase equality. Promote equity. Forge policy change.

  • Penn JD MSSP Cohort 2018 poses

    Student Life

    Answering the Call for Social Change: MSSP/JD Degree Sees Significant Enrollment Increase

    Regardless of party affiliations, the current political climate in America can be characterized as a whirlwind – intense and unpredictable. The silver lining, however, comes in the form of our emerging policymakers and social change...

    Read More

  • Headshot of Andrea Taylor

    Academics

    Op-Ed on "Female lawmakers, candidates must be the voice for women worldwide" published in The Hill

    Recent MSSP alum Andrea Taylor says, “Female congressional candidates need to take action now if they want to change conditions & norms. . . . “ ...

    Read More

  • Students & faculty in La Habana during the MSSP 797 course

    Student Life

    Home in Havana: Two Weeks Teaching Social Policy to Penn Students

    The following chronicle was written by Azahara Palomeque, a poet, writer, and Associate Director of the Master of Science in Social Policy Program at Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2). Palomeque is also a...

    Read More

MSSP

The Master of Science in Social Policy Program (MSSP) program is an eleven-month, ten-course program that prepares professionals with knowledge and skills to use policy to increase equality, promote equity, and forge social change. MSSP graduates are prepared 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;
  • Bachelor’s degree recipients who wish to develop policy skills; and
  • Students pursuing other advanced degrees at Penn who wish to have a graduate degree in social policy. The MSSP may be combined with the following degrees: Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Public Health (MPH), and Juris Doctor (JD).

MSSP+DA

The MSSP program + Data Analytics for Social Policy Certificate (MSSP+DA) is a new 12-course, three-to-four-semester offering. MSSP+DA is a STEM-designated degree.

Despite the unquestionable relevance and powerful utility of the social analysis of digital data, there are currently not enough professionals trained in the substantive knowledge and skills of social policy analysis and data analytics. Data analytics developed as the multidisciplinary convergence of computer science, statistics, and cognitive sciences. Adding the discipline of social policy to this convergence, SP2’s Master of Science in Social Policy program plus the Data Analytics for Social Policy Certificate (MSSP + DA) is the first to train students explicitly in the use of data analytics for social policy analysis, research and evaluation. The MSSP + DA provides cutting edge training for the growing and highly needed professionals of data analytics for social policy.

The MSSP + DA curriculum provides students with core policy courses. The MSSP + DA curriculum also provides students with core training and skills in the conceptual foundations of data analytics, programming of data structures, applications of machine learning and predictive analytics, spatial analytics, and the data processing techniques for web scraping and data visualization for a broader public audience. Students will learn program languages such as SAS, R, Java, Python, GIS, and ArcGIS for the processing, cleaning, and analyzing of digital data for social policy.

Throughout the program, the data analytic material is taught in relationship with the various theories, approaches, and domains of social policy analysis. The MSSP + DA also provides students with competitive and cutting-edge opportunities for policy internships in data analytics, positioning graduates to work in the fast growing and developing world of data analytics for social policy.

The full-time course of study will be completed in three to four semesters, providing an intensive and competitive program and comprehensive skill training in data analytics for social policy. No variation or extension in the MSSP + DA is possible.

Faculty Policy Experts

Faculty Policy Experts

Faculty Policy Experts

Meet the MSSP program faculty experts.

Learn More
Admissions & Application

Admissions & Application

Admissions & Application

Review admissions requirements and tuition information for the MSSP and MSSP+DA.

Learn More
Curriculum

Curriculum

Curriculum

The MSSP and MSSP+DA curriculums are designed to provide students with the knowledge base and analytical skills to participate in policy analysis, creation, and evaluation.

Learn More
Readings for Incoming Students

Readings for Incoming Students

Readings for Incoming Students

Review the required reading list for incoming students.

Learn More
Contact Information

Contact Information

Contact Information

View contact information for Admissions and MSSP program staff.

Learn More
FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

View frequently asked questions about SP2's MSW program.

Learn More

SP2 News

Faculty & Research, Gifts & Giving

Achieving Great Social Impact with CHIP

The 2019 High Impact Giving Guide has been released, offering expert advice on how donors make the most change with philanthropic...

Kiasha Huling

Alumni Stories

SP2 Alumna to Drive Environmental Volunteerism as New Director of UC Green

Kiasha Huling, a 2008 graduate of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at the Penn School of Social Policy...

Child Maltreatment in Insular & Isolated Communities

Faculty & Research

CWLA and Penn Field Center Publish New Essay Collection: Child Maltreatment in Insular & Isolated Communities

A newly-released online essay collection, the result of a collaboration by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and the...

Alumni Stories

SP2 Celebrates Inaugural Inductees at Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony

It was an unseasonably cold afternoon in early November, but the space at Slought Foundation was filled with the warmth...

Discover More