MSP Paired Degree Program Applicants

Students who have previously earned a graduate or professional degree are eligible to pursue a Master of Social Policy with the Brown School’s paired-degree program.

The MSP paired-degree is a one-year, 43 credit hour course of study. 31 credits are completed at the Brown School. The remaining 12 credits must be transferred in (“paired”) from a previously conferred graduate-level degree. As part of the application process, students must demonstrate that these 12 credits have relevance to the field of social policy.

A range of graduate and professional degrees may be paired with the MSP.

Paired Program Credit Evaluation

Applicants must indicate their Paired Program Applicant status in the Program Information section of the application for admission to the MSP program.

In the Academic History section of the application, applicants will be asked to report 12-18 credit hours of previous graduate coursework for evaluation. A maximum of 12 credits will be paired into the MSP program.


  • While a range of courses may be proposed, each course must have a demonstrable link to social policy. Topics may include (but are not limited to): policy analysis, policy development; politics; management; leadership; research; economics; statistics; business development; and program development.
  • Credits must have been taken as part of a conferred graduate-level degree and earned in a regionally accredited U.S. school or program. Credits taken online or an international institutions will not be considered.
  • Final grade must be a “B” or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale).
  • Credit cannot be granted for life or work experiences.

Applicants will be required to provide the following information for each course proposed for credit:

  • Institution
  • Course name
  • Course number
  • Credits
  • Final grade
  • Brief description (1-3 sentences) of how the content of the course is relevant to the study of social policy

Courses are evaluated by the Admissions Committee in conjunction with the MSP Program Office and the Assistant Dean for Policy Initiatives. You may be asked to provide additional documentation, such as a course description and/or syllabus.

If granted admission, paired credits will be reflected on the student’s academic transcript as transfer credits.