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Social Policy, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
University rank #12 (WUR) , PA,
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 University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.On June 26, 2014, the Commission reaffirmed the University's accreditation, as reflected in the most recent Statement of Accreditation Status

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Policy: Analysis of Issues, Strategy and Process

  • Law and Social Policy

  • Quantitative Reasoning

  • Research & Evaluation Design

  • Applied Linear Modeling

  • Economics for Social Policy

  • Capstone Seminar and Internship (I and II)

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

Academic Requirements

  • 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.
  • GRE Scores
  • Application fee of $65
  • MSSP application essay
  • MSSP writing sample (preferably on a policy-related topic)
  • Financial Plan form
  • References (two academic and one employment)
  • Resume

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    7768 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7768 USD per module and a duration of 12 months.
  • National Applies to you

    7768 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7768 USD per module and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Philadelphia

  • 1313 - 2290 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


The Office of the Vice Provost for Research manages a number of internal funding opportunities on behalf of the University, including:

  • University Research Foundation (URF)
  • Provost Interdisciplinary Seminar Fund (PISF)
The Vice Provost for Research also leads large institutional funding opportunities, at times in conjunction with School leaders:
  • Limited Submission Opportunities
For Penn constituents interested in new sponsorship opportunities PennERA offers two services:
  • SMARTS provides daily email alerts of potential opportunities of interest to Penn investigators.
  • SPIN is a searchable database of funding opportunities from the US federal government and 1,700 other sources.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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