Master of Social Policy Program Expands, Adds Partners

Community Engagement; Diversity; Policy; Social Work

The Master of Social Policy (MSP) dual-degree program offered by the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis continues to grow, amplifying the ability of students to make a lasting impact on social and health equity during their academic and professional careers.

Building on the success of the program since launching in 2015, arrangements were made during the fall to open the program to three new universities in China, which are among the most highly respected institutions in the country: Peking University, Nankai University, and East China University for Sciences and Technology. 

In addition, graduate students from the School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University of China, a current program partner, will now have the opportunity to apply.

Shenyang Guo, who serves as Washington University’s assistant vice chancellor for international affairs – Greater China and is the Frank J. Bruno Distinguished Professor of Social Work Research at the Brown School, led the MSP program expansion efforts in collaboration with the Office of Global Programs.

Further expanding the scope and impact of the program, current Brown School students in the Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health programs are now also able to add the Master of Social Policy as a dual-degree. Discussions are also underway to make the MSP dual-degree opportunity available at top universities in Israel, further strengthening the global reach of the program and expanding the range of experience and perspectives of its students. 

“The MSP program approach develops dynamic and versatile global leaders who understand the substance of social issues as well as how to design, manage and evaluate social policy,” said Michal Grinstein-Weiss, associate dean for policy initiatives at the Brown School.

During the fall semester, Carolyn Lesorogol, associate dean for global strategy and programs, and Linyun Fu, MSP program coordinator, traveled to China to finalize the new partnerships and publicize the MSP dual-degree opportunity to students.

The MSP program combines training in a specific discipline (such as social work, public health, sociology, gerontology, or social medicine) with advanced knowledge and skills in social policy analysis, evaluation, management and leadership. 

“The curriculum is designed to help students develop the skills and experience necessary to advance social welfare,” Fu said, “through the development and implementation of innovative policy approaches.”

The first newly expanded MSP cohort will begin in Fall 2018, with the dual-degree providing current Brown School students with unique and valuable policy-focused coursework, skills and networking. The expansion with new university partners in China and current Brown School students continues to combine the strengths of top global universities with the advanced social welfare and policy education at the Brown School.

Since the first dual-degree collaboration launched in 2015, the program’s alumni have gone on to top PhD programs, policy research positions, and global and community-level policy work with organizations such as UNICEF. The list of global partner universities now includes:

  • East China University for Sciences and Technology
  • Fudan University
  • Nankai University
  • Peking University
  • Renmin University of China, School of Public Administration and Policy
  • Renmin University of China, School of Sociology and Population Studies
  • Xi’an Jiaotong University

Learn more about the Master of Social Policy program.