Apply for the Master of Social Policy Program

We’re glad you’re ready to take the next step towards joining the Brown School community!

The Master of Social Policy degree is completed in conjunction with another master’s degree program, either concurrently or following completion of the other degree. Students will pursue the one-year MSP program through one of the following pathways:  

  • MSP Dual-Degree pathway: students will pursue the MSP concurrently with the Brown School’s Master of Social Work or Master of Public Health, or the Juris Doctor with Washington University’s School of Law.  Important Note: Applicants not already enrolled in the MSW, MPH, or JD program at Washington University must apply separately in the same application term to both the MSP and the desired dual program. MSP applications will only be considered when the other program application is also complete. 
  • MSP Global Partner Program pathway: students in designated graduate programs at select global partner universities will come to the U.S. to pursue the MSP in conjunction with their current degree program. A list of MSP global partner universities can be found here.   
  • MSP Paired-Degree pathway: students who have a previously conferred graduate-level degree from an accredited U.S. college or university are eligible to pursue the MSP through our unique paired-degree program.   

Applicants will be required to select which MSP program pathway applies in the application for admission.

Applications are accepted on a modified rolling basis; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early. Read more about the admissions timeline.

Application Requirements

Please review all following instructions carefully prior to beginning your application. The Master of Social Policy application is available here through the Washington University Graduate Admissions portal

The Brown School promotes a self-managed application process; it is your responsibility to monitor the status of your application and ensure the timely submission of all required materials. Your submitted application will be considered fully complete and placed under review once all MSP application requirements are met.

Click on each application requirement to learn more.


Applicants are required to demonstrate successful completion of a bachelor’s degree (or degree in-progress*) from a regionally accredited college or university. Degrees earned outside the U.S. must be determined equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

Unofficial electronic or scanned student-issued copies of transcripts should be provided for application review. Record your academic institution(s) and upload your unofficial transcript(s) in the Academic History section of the application. You must report all institutions where 6 or more credit hours have been completed towards your primary undergraduate degree.

Unofficial transcripts must provide the institution name, applicant name, dates of attendance, grades received for each course taken in all terms attended, degree information, and transcript key or interpretation guide.

*In-Progress transcripts: If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s degree at the time of application, please provide unofficial transcripts showing the work you have completed to date. Any offer of admission is contingent upon successful completion of your degree.

Admitted students are required to provide a final official transcript from the institution that conferred the undergraduate degree. The Brown School reserves the right to revoke an offer of admission if discrepancies are found between your uploaded unofficial documents and official educational documents.

Personal Statement

Provide a personal statement that describes your interest in social policy and demonstrates your understanding of social policy concepts. Your essay should be one to two (1-2) pages single-spaced and should include the following:

  • Significant factors influencing your decision to pursue a Master of Social Policy degree.
  • Relevant experiences involving social welfare policy and/or advocacy.
  • Career goals and impression of how this degree will amplify your professional work.
  • Specific reasons the Brown School is a good fit for your educational and professional goals.

Upload to the Application Materials section of the application.

Letter of Recommendation

Two (2) letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic colleagues are required. You will be asked to provide contact information in the application. Your recommenders will receive an email with instructions for completing the recommendation form and uploading a recommendation letter through our online system.

Resume or CV

Submit a comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae highlighting your experiences, skills, awards and accomplishments.

Upload to the Application Materials section of the application.

Video Interview

The Brown School requires applicants to complete a brief video interview. You will access the interview through a personalized link to our video interview platform, Kira Talent. The link will be available in your application checklist once you submit your MSW application. Learn more about the interview process here.

$50 Non-Refundable Application Fee

The application fee can be paid by credit card in the online application. (Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted.)

MSP application fee waivers will be applied automatically for applicants meeting any of the following criteria, as demonstrated in the application:

  • Current Washington University students
  • Active duty, reservists, or veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Persons of American Indian or Alaska Native descent
  • Members of a national volunteer service corps organization (AmeriCorps, City Year, Peace Corps, TFA, etc.)
  • Participants in an academic pipeline to post-baccalaureate outreach program or scholars organization (Bonner Foundation, Coro Fellows, Fulbright, Gates Millennium Scholars, McNair Scholars, etc.)

The Brown School will consider MSP application fee waivers for financial hardship or other extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis upon request.

Scholarship Consideration Form

The Brown School offers a range of partial-tuition scholarships to assist students with funding their degree.

Students wishing to be considered for scholarship must complete the Brown School Scholarship Consideration Form within the Application Materials section of the application.

Please refer to the additional application instructions for the following groups: