Master of Social Policy | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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The MSP dual-degree builds critical advanced skills and knowledge for the next generation of leaders to advance equity through policy.

Brown School student collaboration

Learn to leverage the power of policy.

The next generation of global leaders must understand the substance of social issues as well as how to design, manage and evaluate social policy. The Master of Social Policy dual-degree program enriches your training with advanced knowledge and skills in social policy analysis, evaluation, management and leadership.

MSP coursework can be completed in one academic year, or can be completed in two years on a part-time basis for students who already hold a master’s degree. The program is designed to bring together individuals from a variety of backgrounds to advance equity through policy. Discover the program pathway that is right for you by visiting the MSP Application Information page.


Master of Social Policy

Tuition & Expenses
Student Support

Our curriculum is designed to help you develop the skills and experience necessary to advance social and health equity, and to develop and implement innovative policy approaches.

The Master of Social Policy dual-degree program involves 31 new credit hours completed at the Brown School, along with 12 credit hours applied from your additional master’s-level program.

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Students complete full-time (360 hour, 3-credit) internships with a variety of leading non-profit organizations, government agencies, policy think tanks and legislative offices. The MSP internship is typically completed the summer after courses are complete, May through August. Through real-world experience, students put knowledge into action through significant  opportunities for policy analysis, implementation, and/or practice. 

The MSP program, in close partnership with the Office of Field Education, engages with policy partner organizations and affiliated sites. Students research, apply for, and finalize their placement with support from field education faculty and program advisors. Students have completed their internships in St. Louis, Washington D.C., around the U.S. and globally. Internship placements range in policy issue areas (healthcare, housing, education, disability, criminal justice, etc.) and the policy skills and capacities that students can expect to apply and grow during their experience: analysis and evaluation, drafting legislation, advocacy, research, media and communications, community organizing, strategy and leadership, grant writing and development, statistics, and data analysis.

MSP Tuition and Fees for the 2023-24 Academic Year:

Required Cost

Annual tuition (divided between fall and spring semesters)


Mandatory fees (Health & Wellness, Student Activity)


Estimated Costs

Housing & Food (room, board, groceries)


Books/supplies (reading materials, laptop, etc.)


Transportation (gas, ride services, car repairs)


Professional costs (practicum, LMSW exam, CPH exam, etc.)




University Health Insurance** (See details at Student Health Services.) Subject to change for the 2023-24 academic year, pending state approval.


Yellow Zone 3 Parking Permit, 2023-24.** See many easy alternative transportation options here.


*Tuition and fees are subject to change each year.
**Not included in overall cost of attendance estimate.

Aside from tuition and fees, the amounts displayed are simply estimates to help you gauge your approximate cost of attendance (COA). We understand that everyone’s financial situation varies and you should avoid borrowing more than you can comfortably repay.

The maximum a student can borrow is $76,956. This amount includes tuition, fees, and estimated living expenses as shown above ($76,956 total COA – $46,840 tuition = $30,116 for cost of living and miscellaneous expenses).

For additional information about student loans: Federal Financial Aid

Please schedule a time with Brown School Office of Student Financial Services representative to discuss your individual borrowing needs.

Note: All Washington University students are required to carry health insurance. Full-time graduate students on the Danforth Campus are automatically enrolled in (and billed for) the basic student health insurance plan unless proof of comparable coverage is provided. International students are not eligible to waive out of the insurance plan. For details about available plans or waiving options, visit Student Health Services.


To apply for loans, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It takes around ten days for the school to receive the FAFSA report. It is the student’s responsibility to complete all necessary documents and meet required deadlines.

The FAFSA code for Washington University in St. Louis is 002520.

Tuition Policies

Students considering withdrawing from the Brown School are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor to discuss all options and assess the possible consequences to their academic record. They should contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs, as well as the Brown School Office of Financial Services. The timing of a withdrawal may have an impact on both academic credits and tuition charges. To withdraw, a formal procedure is required:

  1. Complete the Request to Withdraw form on the Brown School Hub. The effective date of withdrawal will determine the student's grades and any tuition refund.
  2. Meet with the assistant director of the Brown School Office of Financial Services, who will advise the student regarding tuition and financial aid implications.

Students who withdraw after the tenth week of the semester must be approved by either Student Health Services or the Habif Health and Wellness Center. Withdrawals, if approved, will be determined by the Brown School Office of Financial Services.

If you have any questions about financial aid, contact the Brown School Office of Student Financial Services.

Our welcoming, student-centered community will guide you in your academic, personal and professional growth, and we are dedicated to connecting each student with the resources they need to thrive.

An Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion fosters an inclusive environment and promotes dialogue among all students. Our Communication Lab and Stat Lab offer support in critical areas of your academic work. The innovative Career Services team prepares you to navigate the job market successfully with one-on-one coaching, specialized workshops and networking events. In addition, our holistic advising system ensures you have faculty and administrative guidance throughout your program.

Students can also take advantage of programming specific to the MSP program, including lunch seminars, policy-related speakers, as well as social events to build community within the MSP cohort and introduce new students to the St. Louis area.

Learn More

Brown School considers each applicant holistically. Our students come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Although we welcome students with an undergraduate degree in social work, it is not a requirement for the MSP program. Admissions and scholarship decisions are based primarily on a review of the following:

  • Commitment to the mission of the Brown School
  • Undergraduate GPA
  • Additional academic work
  • Specialized training relevant to the program
  • Human service-related experience
  • Leadership experience or potential
  • Ability to think critically
  • Recommendations from academic and professional references

The MSP program is open to applicants who meet certain eligibility requirements. Learn more about these requirements and application specifics at the link below.

More Information

"At the Brown School, I really appreciated being around people who understand making policy change is hard work … People who value being strategic and advocating for a change that is achievable and makes sense."

- Melanie Goldring, MSW/MSP '19
DREAM Project Fellow, Dominican Republic

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Amplify your impact with the MSP.

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