BA-BS in BSOS with MPP in School of Public Policy

The College of Behavioral & Social Sciences (BSOS), in collaboration with the School of Public Policy, has developed a joint bachelors/master (Bach/MPP) degree program for undergraduate students. The dual bachelor's with a Master of Public Policy allows you to earn both degrees in less time and is more cost-effective than if you pursued them independently.  Students in this program will benefit from the in-depth and multi-lens understanding of society and the policy world that is explored in our bachelor's program, and gain the analytical and professional tools in our master's program that you need to launch a career solving pressing policy challenges. Take advantage of our location in the Washington, D.C. region to engage directly in local, national and international policymaking. 


  • Earn a bachelor's and master's degree in as few as five years and at lower cost by double-counting up to 18 pre-approved credits toward both degrees
  • Combine the disciplinary breadth of your undergraduate program with the specialized skills of a master's degree to be an effective and capable policy professional 

Program Structure

The dual degree program allows you to double-count 18 credits of graduate course work toward your undergraduate degree, with these credits taken as an undergraduate student at undergraduate tuition rates (saving you 18 credits of graduate-level tuition rates). The remaining 30 credits required to earn the Master's degree are taken as a graduate student, and can be completed in one year by taking 12 credits in both the fall and spring semesters and 6 credits in the summer or winter terms. By double-counting credits as an undergraduate student, and taking some courses during the summer or winter terms, you are able to complete the Master's degree with only one additional year of school.

Eligible Courses

Students are able to take up to 18 credit pre-approved eligible courses. Four of the 3-credit courses are from the core governance and quantitative skills sequence. 

Governance Sequence
  • PLCY630: Governance: Normative and Political Dimensions (3 credits)
  • PLCY631: Governance: Leadership, Management, and Accountability (3 credits)
  • PLCY680: Examining Social Identity and Pluralism in Public Policy (3 credits)
Practice Skills Sequence
  • PLCY690: Policy Engagement Project (3 credits)

When taking the courses as an undergrad there is a preferred order for students to take each course. Students may take courses beginning the first semester of acceptance or wait until the following semester. It is advised that students take PLCY630 first followed with quantitative skills sequence course PLCY610. When taking PLCY631 it is recommended that students take PLCY640.

Graduate electives that are counted in your 18 credits may have a preferred sequence depending on the specialization. Specializations are not required for students pursuing an MPP, however, electives are required to fulfill the 48 credits of the MPP program.

Read more about our specializations offerings. Each specialization has a preferred sequence with core foundational courses and electives. We recommend checking out the info of the specialization and choosing the core specialization courses to start off with as a Bachelor's/MPP student.


Criteria to Apply for the Program:  It is recommended that students schedule a meeting with their major advisor to discuss their program course of study before applying.

  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to public service
  • Have declared a major in an approved BSOS major
  • Shown academic success in core courses to respective major 
  • Students are first eligible to apply when they are within two months of completing at least 60 credits with a cumulative 3.5 GPA (you may apply later)
  • Have a combined SAT score of at least 1200 (Verbal + Math)
  • Students are required to take ECON 200 AND STAT 100 with a grade of C or better or equivalent before registering for graduate-level PLCY courses
  • A minimum of 3.5 cumulative grade point average

Please Note:  

  • BSOS students are limited to only 3 PLCY grad courses per semester.
  • While enrolled in the Bach/MPP Program, students are ineligible to participate in any other joint program offered by the University of Maryland.


Application Process & Admissions Deadlines

Please submit the following documents in an email to Graduate Student Affairs at Recommendations can be provided electronically.

  • A completed application
  • Statement of purpose essay—submit a statement approximately two typed, double-spaced pages explaining your interest in the field of public policy and examples of any relevant experience
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation from faculty or teaching assistants (preferably in BSOS whose course you have taken. 
  • Transcript (unoffical is okay for the initial application process) . Official transcripts will be needed at the time of enrolling into the MPP  program full time. 
  • SAT Scores (1200 combined math and verbal) or GRE Scores
  • Resume - current copy of your resume and include all relevant work, volunteer, and leadership experience.
  • U.achieve Audit (a PDF version is acceptable and may be sent directly by the student)

Admissions Deadlines

Fall Admission:

  • Early: April 15
  • Final: July 1 

Spring Admission:

  •   Early: December 1
  •   Final: January 7


Undergraduate Requirements: 

  • Statistics: STAT 100 or Equivalent (required prior to enrolling in graduate policy courses)

  • Economics: ECON 200 (required prior to enrolling in graduate policy courses)

  • Once a student is admitted to the Bach/MPP program they are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the remainder of their undergraduate curriculum.


Tips for Successful Admission:

  • Completion of STAT 100 and ECON 200 is recommended prior to applying to the Bach/MPP program.
  • Although a grade of a “C” or higher will satisfy the requirement for each of these two courses (STAT 100 and ECON 200), a strong application would include a “B” grade or better in each course.
  • Students interested in applying to this program and those enrolled are recommended to complete ECON 201 with a grade of “B” or better.
  • You should earn a minimum of 15 credits each fall and spring semester prior to applying to the program.
  • Your coursework should demonstrate academic rigor and your intellectual ability.

Completion of these tips does not guarantee admission under any circumstance. 


For general questions and advisement related to the program and how it coordinates with the undergraduate curriculum, please contact: 


Emily Sessa
2148 Tydings Hall
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences 
Appointments available: Schedule an Advising Appointment

For specific questions related to the admission process, academics and coursework, please contact: 

Taryn Faulkner
Assistant Director, Admissions & Student Affairs School of Public Policy