Integrated public policy program offers advanced degree options for undergrads

Accelerated integrated undergraduate/graduate master of public policy program options include health policy and administration, criminology, sociology, and political science

The Penn State School of Public Policy offers a number of Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Master of Public Policy degree programs. Photo taken at HUB-Robeson Center, November 2019. Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The coronavirus has reinforced the impact of public policy. Times of crisis can magnify how the success and failure of social, economic, foreign, information, and domestic policies shape both local and national responses. There is a need for people in the healthcare sector with data analysis, policy analysis, and program evaluation skills to help better prepare individuals and organizations for future emergencies.

The Penn State School of Public Policy is addressing this need with a new program that allows Penn State undergraduates to earn both their undergraduate and master’s degrees together in a compressed time frame.

The accelerated Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate (IUG) Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree program is available for students majoring in criminology and sociology (bachelor of science) or political science (bachelor of arts). There is also a new option available for health policy and administration bachelor of science students. The MPP IUG saves both time and money; students pay undergraduate tuition rates for the duration of their studies.

“The IUG program gives our students new opportunities to translate the knowledge and skills they learn in their undergraduate studies into positions where they can help develop solutions to key policy issues,” said Chris Witko, associate director of the School of Public Policy. “The MPP IUG program has been a great way for the new School of Public Policy to attract some of Penn State’s best and brightest into the graduate program.”

“Health policy knowledge and advocacy skills are particularly important in a time of crisis and transformation,” Witko continued. “Creating an accelerated master’s degree option in public policy with health policy and administration gives students the analytical, policy design, and assessment skills that will help them make a broad impact on populations and the health care system.”

Join a virtual information session to learn more

The Penn State School of Public Policy will host information sessions about the Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate (IUG) Master of Public Policy degree programs at noon on Thursday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 13.

A session focusing on the new IUG Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration – Master of Public Policy degree will take place at noon on Friday, Nov. 6. Advance registration is required for all sessions; guests will be sent a streaming link upon registration.

Students can also meet with their academic adviser to learn more or email Stephen Moczydlowski, School of Public Policy enrollment and advising manager. 

How the accelerated program works

Interested students should work with their academic adviser to determine how the program will meet their professional and personal goals and to determine their eligibility. Accepted students will work with their undergraduate adviser and the School of Public Policy to develop an academic plan.  

Students in the accelerated program will complete the undergraduate requirements for their bachelor’s degree as well as the credits required for the MPP degree. Several courses required for the undergraduate major will apply toward the master’s degree, saving time and money.

When and how do I apply for the accelerated program? 

Students are encouraged to meet with their academic adviser to discuss admissions requirements and their academic plan as early as possible. Qualified students can apply for the accelerated program during the semester in which they will complete 60 credits, which is typically the spring semester of their sophomore year. Students generally apply to the IUG program during their junior year. 

Admission is based on the criteria established by the School of Public Policy and each undergraduate department. Applicants must meet the minimum GPA requirements set by the undergraduate department associated with their IUG and submit faculty recommendations and a statement of purpose. 

Concurrent with application to the IUG program, students must apply to, and be accepted into, the Graduate School at Penn State. The IUG MPP program does not require GRE scores for applicants. 

To learn more about the Penn State Master of Public Policy program, visit or email


Last Updated November 06, 2020