BA/MPP Accelerated Program


The BA/MPP Accelerated Program is an opportunity for certain exceptional students in defined undergraduate majors to earn both their undergraduate degrees and Master of Public Policy (MPP) in a shortened five year period. Currently the program is available to students in the following departments:

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Program Description

The BA/MPP accelerated program offers exceptional undergraduate students the opportunity to complete both a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) in an accelerated 5-year program. 

Students who meet eligibility criteria apply to the program in the second semester of their second year on a full-time schedule.  Successful applicants are provisionally accepted into the program, allowing those students to take POL500 in their first semester of their junior year on a full-time basis. Students who successfully achieve a 3.0 (B) or higher in the POL500 course and maintain a minimum overall gpa of 3.2 are fully matriculated into the BA/MPP accelerated program. Students who fail to achieve a 3.0 or higher in POL500 and do not maintain an overall 3.2 gpa are generally not matriculated into the accelerated program.

Matriculated students complete a specified course sequence of MPP courses in their junior and senior years in addition to courses prescribed for their specific undergraduate program. The student receives credit for the POL courses in both the undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MPP) programs.  Upon successful completion of undergraduate requirements after four years of full-time study (accumulation of 120 credits with all undergraduate course requirements met), the student receives an undergraduate degree.  If the student has followed the prescribed schedule of courses, they will have one additional year of full-time study in the MPP program to complete the additional requirements and receive a Master in Public Policy. This sequence allows the student to complete their undergraduate and MPP degrees in 5 years of full-time study, rather than the normal 6 years of full-time study it would take to complete both programs.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants must meet the following admission criteria to apply to the program:

  • Have completed a minimum of 45 credits of towards their undergraduate degree prior to the semester in which they plan to begin the accelerated program. Students should normally be in their second semester of their sophomore year of full-time study when applying to the program.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 in the credits being used to meet the 45-credit minimum described above.
  • Have a letter of support from a sponsoring faculty member from their home department detailing the student’s fit for the program and recommending the student to the program.
  • Have a personal statement outlining the reason(s) the student is applying to the program, their career goals, and explaining how the Master of Public Policy degree with specified concentration (education, environment, public management) can help to achieve their career goals.

Application Process/Timeline

  • Students who meet the above admissions criteria apply to the program directly through the Graduate Admissions Office (GAO). Deadline for submitting complete applications will be March 1 of each calendar year.
  • The GAO will assemble all admissions information and forward complete applications to the Department of Public Policy for review. Applicants will be notified of their application status no later than April 1 of each calendar year
  • Successful applicants will be invited to take POL500 the following Fall semester.  Applicants receiving a minimum of a 3.0 or higher in POL500 and maintaining a minimum of a 3.2 overall gpa will receive full admittance into the BA/MPP Accelerated Program and will begin taking courses in the MPP program in Spring of the following semester according to the prescribed course schedule. Students admitted into the program are guaranteed a space in MPP designated courses in subsequent semesters.

Note on Minimum Grade Requirements on MPP Courses

Students who take POL designated MPP courses must maintain a minimum grade in each course of 3.0 or higher in order for that course to count towards the MPP degree. However, POL courses with a 1.7 (C-) or higher will be acceptable if that course is being counted towards the undergraduate degree requirements. Students should speak with advisors to understand the impact of grades in individual courses in the accelerated program.

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Example Course Sequencing

Below are examples of the course sequence a student would follow to complete the BA/MPP program with an undergradaute major in sociology and political science (download the image here: 4 Plus 1 Sequencing).

Disclaimer: These examples provide an overview of how a student might take public policy graduate courses to satisfy undergraduate requirements. Actual graduate courses taken and allowed for the undergraduate degree will be worked out between the student and their undergraduate advisor. It may be that students complete fewer than six graduate courses while in their undergraduate program, extending the time needed to complete the MPP once matriculated as a graduate student. Students should work closely with their undergraduate advisor to maximize the number of graduate MPP courses capable of being taken towards their undergraduate degree. No more than six (6) graduate MPP courses can be used to satisfy the undergraduate degree requirements.

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Contacts for further information: