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#2022APPAM Spotlight: University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice


The #2022APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice.


What types of programs does your school offer?

The School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) offers 5 degree programs: the Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP), Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Nonprofit Leadership (NPL), PhD in Social Welfare, and a Doctorate in Clinical Social Work. The Master of Science in Social Policy program is particularly relevant for the APPAM community and has two tracks: a one-year, 11-month master’s degree in Social Policy and a 1.5-2 year degree in Social Policy with a Certificate in Data Analytics.

What would you list as your school's greatest accomplishments in the last 5-10 years?

The School of Social Policy & Practice has grown in the programs it offers and the diversity of the students who matriculate. We have added to our world class faculty, with a diverse group of outstanding scholars. We also have increased our commitment to financial aid. In 2021, SP2 established the first ever SP2 Social Justice Scholars Program, a full-tuition scholarship and uniquely focused fellowship program geared towards funding and fostering an eminent education for graduate students, preferably those graduating from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

Why should potential students choose your school or program?

SP2’s commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression, intersectionality, and social justice is at the core of everything we do. Our focus on social justice-oriented policy encourages our students to critically analyze and examine the social consequences and political institutions of all policies including (though not limited to) social welfare policy, education policy, health policy, homeless policy, economic policy, technology and data policy, climate change policy, and LGBTQ policy, among many others.

What is your teaching/research divide?

Our faculty teach two classes each semester, with the remaining time devoted primarily to research.

What is your undergraduate/graduate divide?

Faculty at SP2 teach at the graduate level and all of our students are graduates students. Our master’s degree programs offer sub-matriculation options for undergraduate students.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

For more than 110 years, SP2 has been a powerful force for good in the world, working towards social justice and social change through research and practice. SP2 contributes to the advancement of more effective, efficient, and humane human services through education, research, and civic engagement. The passionate pursuit of social innovation, impact, and justice is at the heart of the School’s knowledge-building activities. We welcome you to our work.

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