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: C313
    Valerie Leiter
    • Valerie Leiter
    • Department Chair and Professor of Sociology, Affiliate Faculty of Public Health
    • Phone: 617-521-2217
    Donna Cole
    • Donna Cole
    • Assistant Professor of Sociology, Affiliate Faculty of Public Health
    • Phone: 617-521-2557
    • Office: C205C
    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: 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).

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

Note: this chart represents a sample 3+1 curriculum. 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
SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology POLS 217 American Public Policy
Mode 1, 2, or 4 Sociology elective
Foreign Language Foreign Language
UG Course
Year 2
Fall Term Spring Term
SJ 220 Working for Social Justice Math 118 Statistics
SOCI 249 Inequality SOCI 268 Applications of Sociological Theory
ECON 100  Principles of Microeconomics ECON 101 Principles of Macroeconomics
Sociology Elective UG Course
Foreign Language POLS 210N - National Politics Unplugged
UG Course
Year 3
Fall Term Spring Term
SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research ECON 236 Public Economics or ECON 247 Environmental Economics
Sociology Elective SOCI 222 Introducion to Transnational Studies
POLS 212 Politics Unplugged UG Course
ECON 241 Business Competition and Anti-Trust Policy *SOCI 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
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.