The Accelerated Master of Public Policy Degree

W&M Public Policy offers an option whereby 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 (sample research paper) with a faculty supervisor or a policy relevant internship 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
The Trice Fellowship program gives preference to projects/internships 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/internship, or both must be apparent.  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 apply for the five-year BA/MPP option in the junior year.  Admission is 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 with a 3.0 overall GPA (or a 3.3 junior year) and a 3.3 in their major by the end of the spring semester of their junior year to be eligible for the program.

The application consists of: 

  • Graduate Arts & Sciences application (application fee waived) including:
    • A current unofficial transcript from Banner,
    • A 250 word personal statement addressing the applicant's motivation for the proposed course of study,
    • A 250 word summary of the proposed summer research project or planned internship
    • 3 letters of recommendation (if a summer research project is proposed, then one of should be from the faculty member who has agreed to serve as the advisor)
    • A proposed class schedule for the fourth year that illustrates how the student will complete his or her undergraduate degree (college and major requirements), and comply with the scheduling requirements of the joint program (as detailed below). We recommend meeting with Public Policy staff before applying in order to review academic requirements and assess the proposed class schedule - email to set up an appointment.
    • Current resume or CV.

Application materials may be emailed to or delivered in hard copy to Tyler 412. 

The annual deadline for applications is February 1 and students will be informed of their acceptance into the program by March 15. After February 1, applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis - contact for more information. 

  • At this time, 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 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.    
  • Students must also prepare and sit for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in the summer following their junior year.
  • 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 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 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 (graduate courses of B or higher), 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 W&M Public Policy 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.