Combined MPP/PhD in Political Science Program

The GW Trachtenberg School's Master of Public Policy program and the Department of Political Science offer a dual MPP/PhD degree program. Students receive both an MPP and a PhD in Political Science within 72 credit hours — the same number of credit hours that would be normally required for a standalone PhD in Political Science.

Students who seek to earn the dual degree must apply to and be accepted by both the Public Policy and Political Science programs. (Students enrolled in the dual degree do not earn a master's in political science.) Students must meet all of the requirements for both programs.

Admissions Requirements

The admissions and curriculum requirements in the MPP program are the same for joint degree students as they are for other MPP students. For answers to questions regarding the PhD portion of the degree, please contact the director of the PhD program in political science. To pursue the MPP/PhD program, you must apply to both programs and be accepted by the admissions committees of both departments. 

Curriculum and Course of Study

The dual program works if students choose to take several courses that can be counted towards both degrees. To accomplish this, students must choose Public Policy Processes and Institutions as their policy field in the MPP program and Public Policy as their minor in the Political Science PhD program. Students choosing the Public Policy Processes and Institutions field as their MPP policy field would select three of these courses:

  • PSC 6228: Media and Politics (3 credits)
  • PSC 8210: American Political Processes (3 credits)
  • PSC 8211: Urban Politics (3 credits)
  • PSC 8213: Judicial Politics (3 credits)
  • PSC 8218: Legislative Politics (3 credits)
  • PSC 8219: Political Parties and Elections (3 credits)
  • PSC 8221: Interest Group Politics (3 credits)
  • PSC 8226: Politics and Organizations (3 credits)
  • PSC 8286: Special Topics *
  • PSC 8388: Special Topics *
  • PSC 8454: Special Topics *
  • PSC 8454: Advanced Theories: Foreign Policy and Decisionmaking (3 credits)

    * Special topics are taught when relevant and with advisor approval, e.g., a comparative public policy course when it is taught