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 Political Science 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 political science. 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 will blend 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.

Program Requirements

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

Here's an example of how it will flow from start to finish:

Note: this chart represents a sample 3+1 curriculum including the majority of the all-college graduation requirements. Course scheduling is subject to change, and the summer course load can be flexible based on AP credits, courses taken elsewhere, etc. We will work with you individually to determine the best course sequence for your needs.

Year 1
Fall Term Spring Term
FYS 101  First-Year Seminar: "Simmons 101" Mode 1, 2, or 4
FYS 102  College Writing I FYS 103 College Writing II
POLS 101 Intro to American Politics POLS 217 American Public Policy
Mode 1, 2, or 4 ECON 100 Principles of Microeconomics
Foreign Language Foreign Language

UG Course
Year 2
Fall Term Spring Term
Mode 1, 2, or 4 Math 118 (Mode 3) Statistics
POLS 103 (Mode 6)  Nature of Politics POLS 104  Intro to Comparative Politics
Foreign Language ECON 236  Public Economics or ECON 247 Environmental Economics
POLS 102 Introduction to International Relations UG Political Science Course
ECON 101  Principles of Macroeconomics POLS 210N - National Politics Unplugged
UG Course
Year 3
Fall Term Spring Term
POLS 212 - Politics Unplugged ECON 236 Public Economics or ECON 247 Environmental Economics
POLS 213 Politics in the Republic:Congress and the Presidency or POLS 218 Parties and Elections UG POLS Course
POLS 390 - Senior Seminar UG Course
ECON 241 Business Competition and Anti-Trust Policy *POLS 370/570 Internship (8 Credits) (UG, BLEE, MPP)
UG Course

UG Course
Year 4
Fall Term Spring Term
*MPP 501 - Policy Analysis and Process *MPP 502 - Social Policy
*MPP 504 - Quantitative Analysis *MPP 503 - Economic Policy
MPP Elective MPP Elective
MPP Elective MPP Elective
MPP Elective *MPP 505 - Capstone

*Indicates a required core course in the MPP Program

    Ben Cole
    • Benjamin Cole
    • Associate Professor - POLS
    • Phone: 617-521-2494
    • Office: E203F
    Catherine Paden
    • Catherine Paden
    • Associate Provost and Dean of the Undergraduate Program
    • Phone: 617-521-2501
    • Office: C219
    Leanne Doherty
    • Leanne Doherty
    • Associate Professor, Political Science
    • Phone: 617-521-2581
    • Office: C313
    Zinnia Mukherjie
    • Zinnia Mukherjee
    • Assistant Professor of Economics
    • Phone: 617-521-2582
    • Office: E203J
All faculty ยป
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 politics.

Learn more about our political science and public policy programs. 

Associate Professor Leanne Doherty, PhD, oversees the 3+1 Public Policy Program. Catherine Paden, PhD, is chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations and the major advisor for students interested in the BA in Political Science 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 Catherine Paden 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
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.