Joint MPP in Social Policy and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

What is a dual degree?

Students in dual degree programs fulfill the complete requirements for each degree, earning degrees for both programs.

What is a joint degree?

Joint degree programs are created by special agreement between programs, allowing students to fulfill a modified set of requirements. Please note that students in joint degree programs earn only one degree.


The Joint Degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Public Policy is designed to provide a strong grounding in discipline-specific public policy studies, along with an interdisciplinary education in the theories, methods, and scholarship of women's, gender, and sexuality studies.  This intersectional lens will help researchers and practitioners recognize the role that race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigrant status, socioeconomic status, ability and nationality play, and students will learn how to develop and evaluate existing policies to improve equality and opportunity and decrease disparities across gender classes.

Program Description

Requirements Include:

Students must fulfill all core requirements for the MPP as well as the following:

A. WMGS 205a, the foundational course in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

B. One course in feminist research methodologies (WMGS 208b or the Feminist Inquiry course offered through the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies).

C. Two elective graduate courses in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (one inside the Heller School and one outside the Heller School). Normally, only one of these courses may be a Directed Reading course.

D. Completion of a Master's research paper of professional quality and length (normally twenty-five to forty pages) on a topic related to the joint degree. The MPP Capstone policy paper can fulfill this requirement as long as it is on a topic related to the joint degree. The paper will be read by two faculty members, at least one of whom is a member of the Heller School faculty, and at least one of whom is a member of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies core or affiliate faculty.

E. Additional courses in both programs can be reviewed to determine which would satisfy the requirements for both programs.


Students follow the following curriculum sequence: