William & Mary

The Accelerated Master of Public Policy Degree Path

The details...once admitted to the BA/MPP:

  • During the Spring semester students should begin implementing preliminary work for the summer research project or finalizing details of the summer internship.  If a research project is considered, the project may earn up to six credits and should be conducted 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.  
  • During the summer following the junior year, students admitted to the program will have a professional development experience that helps to introduce them to the world of public policy beyond the traditional classroom.  These experiences could involve undertaking a collaborative research project (sample research paper) with a faculty supervisor, having a policy relevant internship, or some other related opportunity.  Students will work with W&M Public Policy faculty and staff to identify an appropriate summer experience that will help prepare them for the expectations associated with doing graduate-level course work.  Students will also, scheduled in coordination with the Public Policy Program office, take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) during that summer before starting fall classes.
  • In their fourth year, students must complete via coursework or placement the first year MPP curriculum (25 credits).  Students will take a minimum of 16 credits (an additional 9 credits may be accomplished through appropriate preparation from undergraduate coursework) in the MPP program.  One of these credits is associated with Public Policy 500, an intensive mathematics course that begins during the MPP orientation program 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 Public Policy 607 (Law and Public Policy) in the fall semester and Public Policy 606 (Benefit-Cost Analysis) and two 600-level Public Policy electives in the spring semester.  Nine of these credits may 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 may 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 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), Public Policy 612 (Public Management and Organization) and five 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.

For more information:
Elaine McBeth, Associate Director
Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy
221-2386, mcbeth@wm.edu