MS in Social Policy

Application Requirements

The following materials are required:

  • Applicants must submit transcripts detailing all undergraduate and postgraduate study. This includes coursework conducted at an applicant’s degree-granting institutions(s) as well as in study abroad programs and at institutions out of which an applicant may have transferred. Applicants should upload copies of their official transcripts (i.e. not screenshots from a student record or student grade system) that clearly displays their name, dates of enrollment, the names of all courses in which they enrolled, and the credits and grades awarded for each class. Applicants should not mail hard copies of transcripts to the School for purposes of application review.Applicants who are admitted are required to submit final, official copies of all transcripts prior to matriculation. Transcripts must provide confirmation of degrees conferred.

Please Note: Transcripts reflecting more than two semesters of study at institutions based outside of the United States must be evaluated on a course-by-course basis by a third-party evaluation service such as WES or Educational Perspectives. This applies even if the studies were conducted in English and even if the transcript is printed in English.

Applicants with these international transcripts should upload their university-issued transcripts into the online application and order their official, third-party evaluations sent to the School of Social Policy & Practice. Please note that these international transcripts cannot be considered official until they have been evaluated and that their respective applications cannot be reviewed until the evaluations have arrived in the Admissions Office.

  • For international applicants whose first language is not English, TOEFL score (Institutional Code 2926; Department Code 95) or IELTS score taken in the last two years;
  • GRE Scores (Institutional Code 2926; Department Code 5001) from the last five years. We also accept GMAT scores;
  • Application fee of $65 paid by credit card; if you apply by December 31st, the fee is reduced to $25;
  • MSSP application essay;
  • MSSP writing sample (preferably on a policy-related topic);
  • References (two academic and one employment);
  • Resume;
  • Indicated interest in social policy as well as previous experience and career goals aligned with the program’s mission.

MSSP Admissions Criteria

  • Completion of a formal application for admission;
  • Bachelor’s degree and grade point average that reflects strong academic ability;
  • An application essay;
  • Competitive scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)* that indicate the requisite verbal and analytic abilities;
  • In the case of international students whose first language is other than English, TOEFL scores at a level appropriate for advanced graduate work;
  • Three references (two academic and one employment or volunteer); and
  • A writing sample that demonstrates potential for policy analysis work. This is a product that was previously prepared and submitted. A writing sample could be: a previously submitted school written assignment, publication, brief, professional report, etc.

MSSP+DA Admissions Criteria

Applications must be made directly to the MSSP+DA certificate program. No variation or extension in the MSSP+DA is possible.

The MSSP+DA admissions criteria are the same as the criteria for the standard MSSP program. The required application essay should address the applicant’s particular interest in Data Analytics.

Applicants to the MSSP+DA may be eligible for and accepted into the MSSP (alone) even if they are not accepted into the MSSP+DA.

Application Deadline

MSSP applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Priority consideration is given to applications received by February 1st.

Tuition & Fees

SP2 News

Faculty & Research, Student Life

SP2 Task Force on Race and Social Justice

Earlier this year, Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) launched the SP2 Task Force on Race and Social...

SP2 alumna Xiaorui Hou

Alumni Stories

MSSP Alumna Shares United Nations Internship Experience

Ever since she was an undergraduate student, Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) alumna Xiaorui Hou, MSSP ‘19,...

School of Social Policy & Practice sign on the Caster Building seen with pink azaleas.

Faculty & Research

Two SP2 Faculty Members Receive Promotions

In recognition of their exemplary contributions to research and pedagogy, two standing faculty members from Penn’s School of Social Policy...

Rachael Neff

Alumni Stories

SP2 Alumna Named Southeast Division Representative of NASW-PA

Rachael Neff, a 2004 alumna of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy &...

Discover More