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

The combined BA or BS and MPP degree provides an opportunity for students to earn a Bachelor in economics or political science and a Master of Public Policy in five years rather than 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 an 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 five years, compared to the six 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.  It prepares students for careers as policy analysts and leaders in private, non-profit, or public organizations.  MPP students choose one of the following areas for their emphasis:

  • Family and Social Welfare Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Community Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • International Context of Public Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Economics Policy
  • Urban Affairs Policy
  • Food Policy
  • Transportation Policy
  • Land Use Policy
  • Business Policy Regulations

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 during 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 complete all undergraduate requirements and receive your Bachelor's degree.  Then in your fifth year, you will complete your graduate studies and receive the MPP degree.  

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

  • Take the prerequisite courses during your freshman, sophmore, or junior years.  These courses are:
    • Applied Statistics
    • Microeconomics
    • 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 by 90 credit hours).  Only major electives can be left during your senior year.
  • Take the Graduate Record Exam your junior year and apply to the MPP program during 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.

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

  • Statement of purpose 
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • Resume
  • Application to the Graduate School with transcripts (You must apply to University of Utah's Graduate School by March 1 of your senior year to obtain graduate student status for the following fall semester; which would be your fifth year).

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

Senior year

Fall Semester

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

Spring Semester

PUBPL 6563 - Program and Policy Evaluation – 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 elective – 3 semester hours

Fifth Year

Fall Semester

PUBPL 6960 - Applied Capstone Prep – 1 semester hour
STAT 6003 - Survey of Statistical Computer Packages - 3 semester hours
PUBPL 6560 - Survey Research – 3 semester hours
Policy emphasis elective – 3 semester hours 

Spring Semester

PUBPL 6950 - Applied Policy Project – 3 semester hours
PADMN 6323 - Policy Analysis – 3 semester hours
Policy emphasis elective – 3 semester hours 

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 can count towards six hours of their graduate elective credits. 
Contact us with questions or to make an appointment.

Last Updated: 4/1/21