W&M Public Policy offers an Accelerated Master of Public Policy in which a small number of current W&M undergraduates may earn both a Bachelor's degree and a Master of Public Policy in a total of five years. Accelerated students 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 are eligible for merit-based financial support (including tuition waivers, tuition reductions, and research assistantships) during the fifth year when only MPP courses will be taken.
The Trice Fellowship program gives preference to projects/internships addressing international issues. Applicants for the Trice Fellowship 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.
Eligibility & How to Apply
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 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 if a recent transfer student) 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) plus the following supplemental documents:
- A current unofficial Banner transcript
- 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
- Current resume or CV
- 3 letters of recommendation (if a summer research project is proposed, then one 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 the undergraduate degree (college and major/minor requirements), and comply with the scheduling requirements of the first-year MPP curriculum (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 firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.
Students should email application materials to email@example.com or deliver a packet in hard copy to Tyler 412 in an envelope marked "Attention: Director of Admissions". Faculty recommenders should email their letters directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual deadline for applications is February 15 and decisions are typically sent out by March 15. After February 1, applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis - contact email@example.com for more information.
- Before applying, 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 be conducted for-credit or not-for-credit. If a student elects to conduct the project for-credit and the faculty advisor agrees to this, they may earn up to six credits and the project 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 are eligible for a dormitory room for the summer, and each student's faculty advisor is eligible for 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 admission to the program.
- If admitted, students must also prepare and sit for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in the summer following their junior year.
- In the fourth year BA/MPP students are required to participate in mandatory MPP Orientation, which begins the week prior to the official beginning of the undergraduate school year. Students should plan accordingly.
- In the fourth year, students must complete via coursework or placement the first year MPP curriculum (25 credits) in addition to completing any remaining undergraduate requirements (college and major/minor). Up to nine graduate credits may count as electives toward reaching the 120 credits required for the undergraduate degree.
- In the fourth year, BA/MPP students must also formally apply to the graduate program by the annual February 15 priority deadline (typically done before the end of the fall semester). The BA or BS should be awarded at the end of the fourth year, and, conditional upon satisfactory completion of accelerated degree requirements (graduate course grades of B or higher), the student will be formally admitted to the graduate program pending approval of the graduate application by the Dean of Graduate Arts & Sciences.
- Students will participate in an MPP internship in the summer following the fourth year. The Director of Graduate Studies 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.