Increase equality. Promote equity. Forge policy change.

  • Walter Jean-Jacques speaks at podium

    Alumni Stories

    MSSP Alum Awarded 2020 Bank of America Fellowship

    “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question many can recall hearing throughout childhood. For some, the answer has likely changed several times over the years. Others, like Walter Jean-Jacques,... Read More

  • Rachel Dungan, MSSP'13

    Alumni Stories

    MSSP Alumna Named Fulbright Public Policy Fellow

    Widely recognized as a prestigious grant that facilitates global learning opportunities, the Fulbright Program is the largest international exchange program in the U.S. While the Fulbright is commonly associated with students and recent graduates, the... Read More

  • Maria Florencia Tejeda

    Student Life

    Fulbright Scholar Builds Data Skills for Social Change in MSSP+DA Program

    Each year, the prestigious Fulbright Program provides academic grants to around 8,000 students and scholars in 160 countries worldwide. A 2019 awardee of the highly competitive scholarship, Maria Florencia Tejeda, MSSP ‘20, recently relocated to... Read More

MSSP

The Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP) 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.

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Admissions & Application

Admissions & Application

Admissions & Application

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

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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.

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Readings for Incoming Students

Readings for Incoming Students

Readings for Incoming Students

Review the required reading list for incoming students.

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Contact Information

Contact Information

Contact Information

View contact information for Admissions and MSSP program staff.

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FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

View frequently asked questions about SP2's MSSP program.

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SP2 News

Image of Richard J. Gelles, PhD

Faculty & Research

Remembering Dr. Richard Gelles

It is with profound sadness that SP2 shares news of the passing of Dr. Richard Gelles. Dr. Gelles was diagnosed with...

Sayeeda Rashid

Alumni Stories

SP2 Grad Advocates for Philly’s LGBTQ Population

As policy fellow with Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, Sayeeda Rashid of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2)...

Caster building

Student Life

June 25, 2020 Message to the SP2 Community

Dear SP2 Students and Alumni, A group of students and alumni has circulated an open letter and petition addressed to me,...

Philadelphia skyline

Student Life

Philanthropy Class Provides $55K in Grants to Local Nonprofits Amid COVID-19 Crisis

As safety measures around the COVID-19 pandemic halted all on-campus activity at Penn, Doug Bauer and Greg Goldman— like many...

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