Earn your Bachelor's and Master's in Five Years

The Combined BA or BS and MPP degree program provides an opportunity for students of recognized abilities to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science in economics or political science and a Master of Public Policy in five years rather than the normal six years. This program enables students to complete their undergraduate education and prepare themselves, at the graduate level, for a career in public policy in a somewhat expedited time frame.

What are the advantages of a Combined BA or BS and MPP degree?

The purpose of the BA or BS and MPP combined degree is to enhance your knowledge of economics and/or political science with valuable training in public policy. It allows you to earn a Bachelor's and Master's degree in about five years, compared to the six or more years it would take if done separately.

What would I learn in the MPP program?

The MPP curriculum offers students a solid foundation in policy theory, analysis and evaluation as it prepares students for careers as policy analysts and leaders in private, non-profit or public organizations. Public policy is becoming increasingly challenging and complex. The need is greater than ever to educate and train leaders who can understand, analyze, and evaluate policy issues. MPP students choose one of the following specific policy-related areas for their emphasis:

  • Family and Social Welfare
  • Health
  • Community
  • Environmental
  • International Context
  • Education
  • Economics
  • Urban Affairs

How does the Combined Degree work?

During the first three years of your undergraduate education, you should complete all major and general studies requirements (Only major electives can be left for your senior year). You may apply for admission to the 5 year program during your junior year (or when 90 credit hours will be completed). Once admitted and during your senior year, you will take up to six graduate courses in the Public Policy Program. At the end of your fourth year, you should have completed all undergraduate requirements and receive your bachelor's degree. During your fifth year, you complete your graduate studies and receive the MPP degree. You complete the 40 semester hours required for the MPP degree (10 core courses and three elective courses).

How do you prepare for the BA or BS and MPP?

Take the prerequisite courses during your freshman, sophmore or junior years:

  • Introductory Statistics
  • Micoreconomics
  • U.S. National Government

Maintain a 3.5 cumulative grade point average or better

Complete all General and Major Requirements before your senior year (or at 90 hours). Only major electives can be left for your senior year.

Take the Graduate Record Exam during your junior year and apply the spring of your junior year

How Do You Get Into the Program?

Discuss the program with your undergraduate academic adviser and notify the MPP program of your intent to apply by contacting the MPP program manager (801-585-7834).

Apply to the MPP program by February 15 of your junior year. Application requirements include

  • Statement of Purpose essay
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • Resume
  • Application to the Graduate School with transcripts (Apply to The University of Utah Graduate School by March 1 of your senior year to obtain graduate student status for the following fall semester - your fifth year)

Note that most financial aid awards will not pay for undergraduates to take graduate level courses. If you are using financial aid or scholarships to pay for your undergraduate education, please seek the advise of the financial aid office or granting agency to ensure they will pay for graduate level courses as an undergraduate.

Sample Program of Study

In addition to the undergraduate semester hour requirements, students complete the MPP course requirements to earn a graduate degree.

Senior year

Fall Semester

PADMN 6320 - Public Policy Theory and Application – 3 semester hours
ECON 6300 - Public Finance – 3 semester hours
PADMN 6290 – Quantitative Analysis - 3 semester hours
Undergraduate courses as needed

Spring Semester

PADMN 6323 - Policy Analysis – 3 semester hours
ECON 6380 - Law and Economics – 3 semester hours
PUBPL 6900 – Public Policy Research – 3 semester hours
Undergraduate courses as needed

Summer Semester

MPP core or elective – 3 semester hours

Fifth Year

Fall Semester

PUBPL 6563 – Program and Policy Evaluation – 3 semester hours
PUBPL 6960 - Survey Research Methods - 3 semester hours
Policy emphasis elective – 3 semester hours

Spring Semester

PUBPL 6950 - Applied Policy Project – 4 semester hours
STAT 6003 - Survey of Statistical Computer Packages - 3 semester hours
Policy emphasis elective - 3 semester hours
Policy emphasis elective – 3 semester hours (if needed)

Note: students with limited work experience in the public policy arena will be encouraged to apply for and complete a paid or unpaid internship with a public, private or nonprofit agency. The internship counts toward fulfilling up to six hours of their graduate elective credit hours. 
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