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The University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (SOM) in collaboration with the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) offers a dual Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP) and Master of Science in Public Health (MPH). The degree is designed to be completed in 2-years as a full time student.

The MSSP/MPH will prepare graduates for leadership position in:

  • Understanding how decisions about social and health policy issues are made, shaped and influenced at local, state, national and global levels;

  • Careers in health services research and health policy research in academic, government, community, and industry settings;

  • Formulating a social reform agenda that is evidence-based and aims at improving the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of health policy creation and implementation; and

  • Generating and considering a wide array of policy options to address social and health problems.

Application Process

Students apply to the MPH and the MSSP simultaneously fulfilling the application requirements for each degree program and indicating an interest in the MSSP/MPH. Upon acceptance into the MPH and MSSP the applicant will be admitted to the dual degree program. Students may use the same letters of recommendation providing the referees address the dual degree interests.

Degree Completion Requirements

In order for a student to receive both degrees, they must complete the independent degree requirements for each program for a total of 18 cu’s. For the MPH portion of the degree there are 14 cu’s required and students must complete the MPH core classes with 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 507, 508, 509, and a required fieldwork experience (125 hours). Students will take MSSP 629 in lieu of the core PUBH 506. The MPH program will accept 3 cu’s from the MSSP core as elective credit. Examples of courses which will be counted as MPH electives include: MSSP 628, MSSP 631, MSSP 668, MSSP 897. The remaining two MPH electives will be selected from the wide array of PUBH-prefix electives to fulfill a residency requirement of 10 cu’s taken within the MPH program.

For the MSSP students much complete 10 cu’s. PUBH 501 will be taken in the first semester in place of MSSP 630 to fulfill the quantitative reasoning requirement. PUBH 502 and PUBH 504 will count as elective credit toward the MSSP. Every effort will be made to identify a policy research internship which will also fulfill the MPH fieldwork requirements.

Tuition and Financial Aid

SP2 will be the home school for the first year of the dual degree. The home school designation will switch to the PSOM in the fall of the second year.

The MPH Program offers limited tuition scholarship or assistantship support for students while they are completing their MPH coursework.

The MSSP program also offers limited tuition scholarship support for meritorious students and accounts for financial need. SP2 makes funding decisions based solely on the information in the application for admission. Students are notified on funding decisions at the point of admission.  Awards will be applied in the first year when SP2 is the student’s home school.


Students with questions about the MPH/MSSP program can address them to the following persons:

Azahara Palomeque, PhD, MA

Associate Director, MS in Social Policy Program 



Moriah Hall, MPH

Associate Director, MPH Program