Political Science + Public Policy (3+1)

Combining 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.

Students studying in class

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.

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.

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).

Course Requirements by Year

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

Year One

Fall Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
BOS 101The Boston Course4
SIM 101Simmons Explore2
POLS 101Intro to American Politics4
UG course 4
Language 4
Spring Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
LDR 102The Leadership Course4
POLS 217American Public Policy4
ECON 100Principles of Microeconomics4
UG POLS Course 4
Language 4
Summer Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
UG course or AP credits 4

Year Two

Fall Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
POLS 102Intro to International Relations4
POLS 103Nature of Politics4
ECON 101Principles of Macroeconomics4
UG course/ 3D 4
UG course/ 3D 4
Spring Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
SIM 201Simmons Experience1
MATH 118Introductory Statistics4
POLS 104Intro to Comparative Politics4
UG POLS Course 4
ECON 236 OR ECON 247Public Economics OR Environmental Economics4
UG course/ 3D 4
Summer Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
UG course or AP credits 4

Year Three

Fall Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
SIM 301Simmons Excel1
POLS 212Politics Unplugged4
POLS 390Senior Seminar/ Capstone4
ECON 241Business Competition and Antitrust Policy4
POLS 213 OR POLS 218Politics in the Republic-Congress and the Presidency OR Parties and Elections4
UG POLS Course 4
Spring Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
ECON 236 OR ECON 247Public Economics OR Environmental Economics4
*POLS 370/570Internship8
UG course 4
UG POLS Course 4
Summer Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
UG course or AP credits 4

Year Four

Fall Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
*MPP 501Policy Analysis & Process3
*MPP 504Quantitative Analysis3
MPP Elective 3
MPP Elective 3
MPP Elective 3
Spring Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
*MPP 502Social Policy3
*MPP 503Economic Policy3
MPP Elective 3
MPP Elective 3
*MPP 505Capstone3

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 or Catherine Paden.

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

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

Our Faculty

Ben Cole photo

Benjamin Cole

  • Associate Professor and Director of the Division of Social Sciences, Education, and Public Health