You care deeply about people and populations. And you want to use your vision, compassion, and intelligence to improve their lives. The 3+1 Public Policy Program will uniquely position you to make a difference - at local, national, and global levels.

Combining a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Master of Arts in Public Policy, this highly interdisciplinary program is built on the belief that the political process can bring about social change.

Coursework in the first three years draws on Simmons's vigorous liberal arts curriculum to provide an excellent foundation in sociology. Master's level coursework in public policy begins by the end of the third year and culminates in an intense and practical Capstone Project in Public Policy.

Using Boston's vibrant legislative, nonprofit, and advocacy resources as its classroom, the Capstone blends the outstanding internships that distinguish Simmons with the opportunity to address real policy issues in a substantial written work.

You'll graduate with a command of public policy analysis and a deep understanding of the different contexts in which public policy is developed and implemented. You'll head out prepared to affect public good.

    Leanne Doherty
    • Leanne Doherty
    • Associate Professor, Political Science
    • Phone: 617-521-2581
    • Office: L307
    Valerie Leiter
    Donna Cole
    • Donna Cole
    • Assistant Professor of Sociology, Affiliate Faculty of Public Health
    • Phone: 617-521-2557
    • Office: C205D
    Jyoti Puri
    • Jyoti Puri
    • Professor of Sociology
    • Phone: 617-521-2593
    • Office: C205G
    Saher Selod
    • Saher Selod
    • Associate Professor of Sociology
    • Phone: 617-521-2542
    • Office: C205A
    Becky Thompson
    • Becky Thompson
    • Professor of Sociology
    • Phone: 617-521-2592
    • Office: Sociology suite, C205B
Is the 3+1 Right for You?

The 3+1 Public Policy Program is designed for highly motivated students who are interested in running for public office, working in legislative offices on legislative policy, becoming involved in advocacy or nonprofit work, or pursuing a PhD or law degree. You should enjoy analyzing complex problems and have strong interest in sociology.

Learn more about our sociology and public policy programs.

Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Leanne Doherty, PhD, oversees the 3+1 Public Policy Program. Valerie Leiter, PhD, is co-director of the program in Public Health and the major advisor for students interested in the BA in Sociology to MA in Public Policy track.

Close mentorship is vital to 3+1 success. You'll work one on one with your advisor throughout the program to ensure your progress and to meet your personal and professional goals.

To find out more about the program, contact Leanne Doherty at or Valerie Leiter at


The career outlook for graduates with advanced degrees in public policy is bright. The MPP degree qualifies you to work in many different capacities within government, as well as the nonprofit and private sectors.

Careers that Change the World

There are many rewarding routes you can take with this degree combination. Some possibilities include:

  • Policy analyst for government or the private sector
  • Legislative aide
  • National, state, or local policymaker
  • Budget analyst
  • Research associate at a think tank, policy institute, or other organizations that conduct research and engage in advocacy
  • Policy specialist at an advocacy organization, direct services agency, or other community resource that offers support and services
Program Requirements

You will complete the 128 credits required for a BA, including the courses required for Sociology, in your first three years. The Master in Public Policy degree requires 36 credits (12 courses).

Course Requirements by Year
  • *Indicates a required course in the MPP Program
  • See "Simmons PLAN & Graduation Requirements" worksheet for all-college requirements.

Year One

Course # Course Title Credits
BOS 101 The Boston Course 4
SIM 101 Simmons Explore 2
SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology 4
UG course 4
Language 4
LDR 102 The Leadership Course 4
POLS 217 American Public Policy 4
POLS 101 Intro to American Politics 4
SOCI elective 4
Language 4
UG course or AP credits 4

Year Two

Course # Course Title Credits
SJ 220 Working for Social Justice 4
SOCI 249 Inequalities 4
SOCI Elective 4
UG course/ 3D 4
UG course/ 3D 4
SIM 201 Simmons Experience 1
MATH 118 Introductory Statistics 4
SOCI 268 Applications of Sociological Theory 4
UG POLS Course 4
SOCI elective 4
UG course/ 3D 4
UG course or AP credits 4

Year Three

Course # Course Title Credits
SIM 301 Simmons Excel 1
POLS 212 Politics Unplugged 4
SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research 4
ECON 241 Business Competition and Antitrust Policy 4
POLS 213 OR POLS 218 Politics in the Republic-Congress and the Presidency OR Parties and Elections 4
SOCI Elective 4
SOCI 222 Introduction to Transnational Studies 4
ECON 236 OR ECON 247 Public Economics OR Environmental Economics 4
*SOCI 370/570 Internship 8
UG Course 4
UG course or AP credits 4

Year Four

Course # Course Title Credits
*MPP 501 Policy Analysis & Process 3
*MPP 504 Quantitative Analysis 3
MPP Elective 3
MPP Elective 3
MPP Elective 3
*MPP 502 Social Policy 3
*MPP 503 Economic Policy 3
MPP Elective 3
MPP Elective 3
*MPP 505 Capstone 3
How to Apply
So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.