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

In the 3 + 1 program in Sociology and Public Policy, students complete the Sociology major in three years and an interdisciplinary MA in Public Policy in the fourth year. Success in the program will require close collaboration with a faculty advisor, who will guide the student in careful course selection and scheduling. Students wishing to pursue this program should consult with Professor Valerie Leiter.

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