Sociology + Public Policy (3+1)

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.

Students sitting in class

You care deeply about people and populations

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 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

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

Fall Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
BOS 101The Boston Course4
SIM 101Simmons Explore2
SOCI 101Principles of Sociology4
UG course 4
Language 4
Spring Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
LDR 102The Leadership Course4
POLS 217American Public Policy4
POLS 101Intro to American Politics4
SOCI elective 4
Language 4
Summer Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
UG course or AP credits 4

Year Two

Fall Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
SJ 220Working for Social Justice4
SOCI 249Inequalities4
SOCI Elective 4
UG course/ 3D 4
UG course/ 3D 4
Spring Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
SIM 201Simmons Experience1
MATH 118Introductory Statistics4
SOCI 268Applications of Sociological Theory4
UG POLS Course 4
SOCI elective 4
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
SOCI 239Introduction to Social Research4
ECON 241Business Competition and Antitrust Policy4
POLS 213 OR POLS 218Politics in the Republic-Congress and the Presidency OR Parties and Elections4
SOCI Elective 4
Spring Term  
Course #Course TitleCredits
SOCI 222Introduction to Transnational Studies4
ECON 236 OR ECON 247Public Economics OR Environmental Economics4
*SOCI 370/570Internship8
UG 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 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 or Valerie Leiter.

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.

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