The Accelerated Master of Public Policy Degree

A small number of current W&M undergraduates will be able to earn both a Bachelor's degree and a Master of Public Policy degree in a total of five years of coursework.  They will undertake a collaborative research project with a faculty supervisor in the summer following the junior year, and will be supported with a mix of tuition waivers, tuition reductions and research assistantships during the fifth year, when only MPP courses will be taken. 

Trice Fellowships

Exceptionally qualified students may be named Trice Fellows, and receive full tuition remission and generous stipend support for their postgraduate year in the program.

The details:
  • Students will apply for the five-year BA/MPP option in the junior year.  Admission will be highly competitive, and successful applicants will have done well in any Public Policy, Economics, and Government classes that they may have taken.  Applicants must reasonably expect to have earned at least 90 undergraduate credits by the end of the spring semester of their junior year to be eligible for the program.  The application consists of:
    • A current transcript,
    • A 250 word statement addressing the applicant's motivation for the proposed course of study,
    • A 250 word summary of the proposed summer research project,
    • A letter of support from a faculty member who has agreed to serve as the summer research project advisor, and
    • A proposed class schedule for the fourth year that illustrates how the student will complete his or her undergraduate degree (major requirements and GERs), and comply with the scheduling requirements of the joint program (as detailed below). 

    The Trice Fellowship program gives preference to projects addressing international issues.  Applicants for the Trice Fellowships should clearly state this in the application, and an international orientation in the course of study, the project, or both must be apparent.  

  • The deadline for applications is February 5 and students will be informed of their acceptance into the program by March 15.  At this time, students should begin implementing preliminary work for the summer research project. The project will earn six credits and can be conducted either full-time during one of the summer school sessions or half-time over the course of both summer school sessions. Students participating in the summer research program will be given a dormitory room for the summer, and each student's faculty advisor will be provided an honorarium of $2,000.  Students also are eligible to apply for a fellowship that will provide a summer stipend of $2,000.  Students requesting this funding should be sure to note it clearly on the application.  Applications will be judged purely on merit.  Requests for summer stipends will not affect the chance that an application is approved.    
  • In their fourth year, students will take a minimum of 16 credits in the MPP program.  One of these credits is associated with the Public Policy 500, an intensive mathematics course that begins the week prior to the official beginning of the undergraduate school year, and students admitted to this program should plan accordingly.  The other 15 credits include Public Policy 604 (Microeconomics of Public Policy) and 607 (Law and Public Policy) in the fall semester and Public Policy 606 (Benefit-Cost Analysis), 612 (Public Management and Organizational Behavior) and a 600-level Public Policy elective in the spring semester.  Nine of these credits will count as electives toward the student's undergraduate degree. Students who need additional undergraduate credits to complete the 120 credits required for the undergraduate major may take up to 15 additional credits in undergraduate classes. If the student has not yet taken Government 350, Economics 307, and Economics 308, these classes must be taken in the fourth year.  If a student does not need additional undergraduate classes (due to AP, IB, transfer or overload credit) they normally will enroll in some or all of the other first-year MPP graduate classes.  The BA or BS should be awarded at the end of the fourth year, and, conditional upon satisfactory completion of accelerated degree requirements, the student will be admitted formally to the graduate school.  
  • Students will participate in an MPP internship in the summer following the fourth year.  The Associate Director of the Jefferson Program must approve this internship in the spring of the fourth year.  As with all MPP students, students in the accelerated program may be eligible for supplemental summer funding if they accept unpaid or very low-paying summer internships.    
  • In the fifth year, students will enroll in the second-year MPP curriculum, consisting of Public Policy 610 (Policy Research Seminar), Public Policy 609 (Ethics and Public Policy), and six 600-level electives.  Most MPP students receive merit-based assistance, including tuition reductions, tuition credits, and graduate assistantships.  Exceptionally qualified applicants with international policy interests may be awarded Trice Fellowships, providing full tuition payment and a generous graduate assistantship award in the fifth year. Upon successful completion of degree requirements, the MPP will be awarded at the end of the fifth year.