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Social Policy

The PhD in Social Policy program is designed for individuals interested in economic inequality, neighborhood and special segregation, poverty, changing family structures, race and immigration, educational access and quality, political inequalities and participation, and comparative and institutional studies of social policy, particularly in the United States and Western Europe.

You will follow a discipline-plus model, where you are integrated into either the government (political science) or sociology departments.

The discipline-plus model provides you with greater exposure to a network of scholars outside your home discipline and to colleagues with applied policy interests that you might not experience in a single disciplinary department.

Students in the program have worked on an array of projects including the ways labor is divided in households; the inequality, fairness, and identity in American politics and US law; and race and social stratification.

Graduates of the program have gone on to positions as a research consultant at Vanderbilt University, deputy of education and workforce development for the Los Angeles County Supervisor, vice president of science at the Center for Policing Equity, and deputy director for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the PhD Program in Social Policy and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies.

Areas of Study

Social Policy and Government | Social Policy and Sociology

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the PhD Program in Social Policy.

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required as part of the application and should be a research paper approximately 20 pages in length. Additional requirements can be found on the Social Policy website.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Required
iBT TOEFL minimum score: 103
IELTS minimum score: 7

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Social Policy


See list of Social Policy faculty


Degrees Offered


Questions about the Program?