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Use data science to actively impact equity, equality, and social justice.

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World-Class Faculty

The MSSP program faculty are here to help you shape your own area of policy expertise, drawing on decades of scholarship, teaching, and experience in areas including education and social policy, homelessness, integrated database systems, the labor market, and technology, ethics, and social policy. The MSSP+DA program faculty are here to help you shape your own area of policy expertise, drawing on decades of scholarship, teaching, and experience. Their expertise spans areas as diverse as ontologies of computational and data analytics, the integration of administrative data for research, and the usage of interactive visual analytics systems.


Core Courses

  • MSSP 6280: Policy: Analysis of Issues, Strategy & Process
  • MSSP 6290: Research & Evaluation Design
  • MSSP 6310: Law and Social Policy
  • MSSP 6680: Economics for Social Policy
  • MSSP 7100: Democratizing Data? Critical Data Studies in Algorithmic Governance
  • MSSP 8970: Applied Linear Modeling and Lab
  • MSSP 6070: Practical Data Science
  • MSSP 6080: Practical Machine Learning
  • MSSP/SWRK 7300: Community Mapping
  • MSSP 6340 Capstone I: Telling Stories with Data (0.5 CU)
  • MSSP 6350 Capstone II: Policy Internship in Data Analytics (0.5 CU)
  • MSSP 6060: Data Equitable Justice Lab (non-credit)


You may choose two elective courses to maximize breadth in multiple substantive policy areas or to specialize your degree in an 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.

Social Policy Internship

The MSSP+DA provides students with competitive and cutting-edge opportunities to complete 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 internships is incorporated into the MSSP+DA Capstone Seminar, and students most often complete the internship in their final spring semester. The Data Analytics policy internship must consist of a minimum commitment of 150 hours.

Ready to join the MSSP+DA community?

Rebecca McGavin, MSSP+DA"18


Rebecca McGavin, MSSP+DA’18

“The MSSP+DA program allowed me to study, research, and find a way to combine my passions for data, visualization, and social policy. It was the people: my cohort, professors, and the administration who enabled me to thrive and pursue my passions while developing advanced quantitative and critical methods.”

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