Sociology BS + Public Policy MS

Sociology BS + Public Policy MS

With only one additional year of study, Sociology majors working towards a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree can earn a Master’s degree in Public Policy through an integrated undergraduate-graduate (IUG) degree program offered by the School of Public Policy (SPP).

What is an integrated undergraduate-graduate (IUG) program?

An IUG is a program that connects undergraduate and graduate education seamlessly, with no break in-between. Students earn two degrees in a shorter time period than when similar degrees are done separately. Through careful course planning, an IUG allows students to double-count up to 12 credits during their senior year for both degrees. With just one additional year of coursework through the SPP, students earn a Master’s degree.

Why should I consider the IUG MPP program at Penn State?

The IUG MPP program provides specialized expertise that builds on your sociological background of research skills, critical thinking, and conceptual knowledge. You’ll learn state-of-the-art public policy knowledge in a specialized area, policy analysis, project management, and data analytics skills.

  • Students in the IUG MPP program save money since tuition costs remain at the undergraduate rate throughout the full course of study and the Master’s degree takes only one additional year instead of two.
  • A Master’s degree broadens career options, opening doors to work in government, consulting firms, nonprofits, private-sector organizations, think tanks, or lobbying firms.
  • A Master’s degree likely boosts future earning potential. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, MPP graduates earn an average of $19,000 more than their counterparts with bachelor’s degrees. Prodigy Finance reports that MPP grads can expect a 31% increase in salary.

Can I participate if I’m earning a B.A. in Sociology?

Not at this time. However, if you are early enough in your undergraduate career, you may be able to switch to the B.S. degree and become eligible. Speak with a Sociology Adviser about your interest.

Application Process

  • Meet with your Sociology adviser as soon as possible to discuss the IUG MPP, preferably during your sophomore year.
  • Make good progress in your undergraduate studies, maintaining a minimum overall GPA of 3.4.
  • Apply to the Penn State Graduate School during your junior year. (Application includes a two-page statement of purpose and two letters of faculty recommendation. No GRE required).
  • Begin taking IUG MPP classes your senior year.

For more information on the IUG program please visit To begin the application process, inquire with a Sociology Department Advisor or email