The College of Behavioral & Social Sciences (BSOS), in collaboration with the School of Public Policy, has developed a joint bachelors/master (BA/MPP) degree program for undergraduate students. This program allows qualified UMD undergraduate students to earn their bachelors degree in one of the many BSOS majors and their master degree in public policy.  

Once admitted to the program, students spend their junior year completing most of the undergraduate general education requirements and major requirements. Assuming they meet the requirements to progress, including maintaining at least a 3.5 undergraduate GPA, they take graduate-level public policy courses in the next two years. 

Up to 18 credits of these courses may count toward both the bachelors and master degrees. This is the maximum number of graduate level, public policy credits that can be taken by undergraduate students and be applied to the public policy graduate program. The remaining 30 credits of graduate course work must be taken as a graduate student. This allows students to complete both degrees in five years. 

Application Deadlines:

Spring admission: December 1 or January 1

Fall admission: April 15 or July 1

Criteria to Apply for the Program:

  • Plan to pursue a major in: African American Studies; Anthropology; Criminology & Criminal Justice; Economics; Geographical Sciences; Government & Politics; Psychology; Sociology
  • A minimum of 3.5 cumulative grade point average;
  • Are within the semester of completing at least 60 undergraduate credits;
  • A combined SAT score (verbal plus quantitative) of at least 1270; if SAT score is lower than a 1270 then a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score is necessary.

Students majoring in Environmental Science and Policy or Hearing & Speech Sciences are not eligible for this joint program due to the number of credits necessary to complete major requirements.

Application Requirements: 

  • A completed application
  • Statement of purpose essay—submit a statement approximately two - four typed, double-spaced pages explaining your interest in the field of public affairs and examples of any relevant experience
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation from faculty (preferably in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences) whose course you have taken
  • Most recent, official transcript
  • SAT scores (if not already on file with the University of Maryland, College Park)
  • Academic audits must be completed with the department(s) of your major(s) and the college advising center
  • GRE scores if SAT scores are below 1270
  • Resume

Undergraduate Requirements: 

  • As a student enrolled in this program you must complete MATH 140 or MATH 220 and ECON 200, each with a “C-” grade or better. Students who do not meet this requirement prior to their final 30 credits will be dismissed from the BA/MPP program.  Furthermore, MATH 140/MATH 220 and ECON 200 must be completed prior to registering for any graduate level public policy course.
  • Once a student is admitted to the BA/MPP program they are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the remainder of their undergraduate curriculum.

Tips for Successful Admission:

  • Completion of MATH 140/MATH 220 and ECON 200 is recommended prior to applying to the BA/MPP program.
  • Although a grade of a “C-” or higher will satisfy the requirement for each of these two courses (MATH 140/MATH 220 and ECON 200), a strong application would include a “B” grade or better in each course.
  • Students interested in applying to this program and those enrolled are recommended to complete ECON 201 with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Students may wish to enroll in other quantitative courses such as statistics so that they may become more competitive in the applicant pool.
  • You should earn a minimum of 15 credits each fall and spring semester prior to applying to the program.
  • Your coursework should demonstrate academic rigor and your intellectual ability.

Completion of these tips does not guarantee admission under any circumstance. 

For general questions and advisement related to the program and how it coordinates with the undergraduate curriculum, please contact: 

Lindsey Winter
Academic Advisor
2148 Tydings Hall
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
lmrodkey [at] umd [dot] edu
Appointments available:

For specific questions related to the admission process, please contact: 

Taryn Faulkner
Assistant Director, Admissions & Student Affairs School of Public Policy
faulkner [at] umd [dot] edu

For specific questions related to academics and coursework within the School of Public Policy, please contact: 

Fan Tsao 
Academic Advisor
School of Public Policy 
3111B Van Munching Hall