Curriculum

The standard ten-course, ten-credit MSSP curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge base and analytical skills needed to participate in policy analysis, creation, and evaluation.

The MSSP+DA curriculum provides students with the core MSSP policy training and skills in the 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.

MSSP Core Courses

MSSP 628: Policy: Analysis of Issues, Strategy and Process
MSSP 629: Research & Evaluation Design
MSSP 630: Quantitative Reasoning
MSSP 631: Law and Social Policy
MSSP 897: Applied Linear Modeling
MSSP 668: Economics for Social Policy
MSSP 632: Capstone I: Policy Communications
MSSP 633: Capstone II: Policy Internship

MSSP + DA Core Courses

MSSP 628: Policy: Analysis of Issues, Strategy & Process
MSSP 629: Research & Evaluation Design
MSSP 631: Law and Social Policy
MSSP 668: Economics for Social Policy*MSSP 897 Applied Linear Modeling + Lab
MSSP 710: Democratizing Data: Analytics for Social Change
MSSP 897: Applied Linear Modeling and Lab
STAT 974: Modern Regression for the Social, Behavioral and Biological Sciences
CIT 590: Programming Languages & Techniques
MSSP/SWRK 730: Community Mapping or MUSA 503 Modeling Geographic Objects
MUSA 507: Applications of Urban Spatial Analysis
CIS 519: Introduction to Machine Learning
CIS 545: Big Data Analytics
MSSP 634 Capstone I: Telling Stories with Data (0.5 CU)
MSSP 635 Capstone II: Policy Internship in Data Analytics (0.5 CU)
MSSP 606: Data Equitable Justice Lab (non-credit)

Social Policy Internships

Students in the MSSP program have the opportunity to practice their policy analysis skills and gain work experience through a required policy internship. The 6-8 week internship is structured on the basis of individual student interests and past social policy experience(s). When appropriate, students may complete the internship requirement at their current place of employment. Internships may occur anywhere in the United States or in another country best suited to the learning objectives of the student. In every case, the policy internship must consist of a minimum commitment of 150 hours. Credit for the internship is incorporated into the MSSP Capstone course.

The MSSP + DA provides students with competitive and cutting-edge opportunities for policy internships in data analytics that emphasize competency development in both policy analysis and data analytics. These parallel competencies position graduates to work in the fast growing and developing world of data analytics for social policy. Credit for the internship is incorporated into the MSSP + DA Capstone Seminar. The Data Analytics policy internship must consist of a minimum commitment of 150 hours.

Electives

Students in the MSSP program take three elective courses. Students in the MSSP + DA program take one elective course.

Elective courses offer students the opportunity to maximize breadth in multiple substantive policy areas or to choose a specialized area of social policy analysis and conduct further research.

Elective courses may be identified in SP2, the Fels Institute, Perelman School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Wharton School of Business, Graduate School of Education, departments in the School of Arts and Sciences, and other Penn Schools and departments for possible approval.

Waiver Exam

MSSP students are eligible to elect to take a waiver exam for MSSP 630: Quantitative Reasoning. Any student who passes the waiver exam must take an elective in its place, which may include, but is not limited to, a more advanced research methods course.

Course of Study

Course of Study

Course of Study

Sample grids are recommended courses of study.

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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

View the course descriptions for MSSP classes.

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Elective Courses

Elective Courses

Elective Courses

Elective courses offer students the opportunity to maximize breadth in multiple substantive policy areas or to choose a specialized area of social policy analysis and conduct further research.

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Certificate Program

Certificate Program

Certificate Program

MSSP students can pursue a Global Human Rights Certificate along with their regular course of study.

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Dual Degree Programs

Dual Degree Programs

Dual Degree Programs

MSSP students can pursue four dual degree programs.

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Internships

Internships

Internships

Internships provide a unique opportunity to participate in the professional work environment while still learning and developing the skills needed for successful employment.

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SP2 News

Faculty & Research, Global Engagement

International Experts Assemble to Examine, Investigate Public Health and Epidemics

On May 13 and 14, Jennifer Prah Ruger, PhD, and other international scholars and public health experts will assemble in...

Students from the MSSP 797 course in Havana, with instructor Azahara Palomeque

Student Life, Global Engagement

Social Issues Through a Global Lens: SP2 Students Reflect on Their Immersion Experience in Cuba

For students in the Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), having both a...

Faculty & Research

National Survey Examines Emergency Department Management of Deliberate Self-Harm

How routinely do emergency room staff members properly provide help to individuals who present for self-harm? Do they appropriately assess...

SP2 Student Emily Berkowitz presents at the APPAM Student Conference

Student Life

Students Present Policy Research on Housing, Immigration, Harassment

Four students from the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) shared their research across a wide range of...

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