MSP Application Information | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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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 MSP as a dual-, joint-, or paired-degree program.

The MSP is a 43-credit-hour program. 31 credit hours are taken over the course of one year (three consecutive semesters in the MSP program). The additional 12 credit hours are earned in your primary degree program (e.g. MSW or MPH) and are applied toward the completion of the MSP degree.

Applicants to the MSP program must therefore meet one of the following criteria:

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

Application Instructions

Please review the following instructions carefully prior to beginning your application. Apply for the MSP here.

The Brown School promotes a self-managed application process; the applicant is responsible for the timely submission of all required materials. We will review your file once you submit your application online and all required supporting materials have been received.

Click on each type of supporting material to learn more.

Academic Transcripts

Applicants are required to demonstrate successful completion of a bachelor’s degree (or degree in-progress*) from a regionally accredited college or university.

Unofficial electronic or scanned student-issued copies of transcripts may 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.

Transcripts must provide the name of the institution, applicant name, dates of attendance, grades received for each course taken in all terms attended, degree conferred and the date of conferral (if applicable*), and transcript key or interpretation guide. Failure to upload unofficial copies of transcripts will cause your application to be considered incomplete until transcripts are received by the Brown School Office of Admissions & Recruitment.

Note: If coursework for study abroad/AP credit/summer courses is reflected on the transcript from the home academic institution, no additional transcripts are required for those courses.

*In-Progress transcripts: If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s degree at the time of application, please provide your unofficial transcripts showing the work you have completed to date. An admissions decision will be rendered, however 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 upon accepting their offer of admission. Official transcripts must be sent to the Brown School directly by the issuing institution or its authorized agent. Final transcripts are accepted in electronic or hard copy format.

Secure electronic delivery of official transcripts should be routed to
Official physical transcripts should be mailed to:
Brown School Admissions
MSC 1196-0251-46
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

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

Submit a short essay (approximately 500 words) that discusses significant factors influencing your decision to pursue the Master of Social Policy dual-degree. Your statement should speak to your specific interests in social policy and include any rewarding or challenging experiences involving social welfare policy and/or advocacy. Include how this degree will amplify your professional work.

Upload to the Application Materials section of the application.

Letter of Recommendation

The MSP application requires one (1) recommendation from a professional and/or academic reference.

You will be asked to provide contact information in the application. Your recommender will receive an email with instructions for completing the recommendation form and uploading a recommendation letter through our online system. Please note that if you elect to use one of the same recommendations that you are using for a concurrent application, your recommender will need to submit their recommendation for both applications.

It is preferred that recommenders provide their recommendation via this format, however if a recommender is unable to submit their recommendation online, they may contact our office to arrange for an alternate submission.

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 the MSW, MPH and MSP programs to complete a video interview for admission consideration. A personalized link to the online video interview platform, Kira Talent, will be located within the "Video Interview" section of your application. Learn more about the 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 (AI/AN) 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 application fee waivers for financial hardship or other extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis upon request.