Rice University’s Master of Social Policy

With demand for evidence-based social policy growing rapidly at every level of government, Rice University is launching a new full-time Master of Social Policy Evaluation (MSPE) program in fall 2021.

Housed in Rice’s School of Social Sciences, the 13-month, 30-credit-hour program will be open to 20 students the first year and will eventually grow to accommodate 30 students. The interdisciplinary program will draw its course content from the fields of psychology, political science, economics and sociology.

Students will learn to conduct independent policy evaluations using various statistical methods. The curriculum will give students the chance to develop and refine their analytical skills by studying different methodological and empirical approaches. They will learn the skills they need to design and conduct policy evaluations personalized for specific situations with varying degrees of available data.

“The MSPE is designed to engage students in unparalleled classroom experiences offered by leading experts and to provide the opportunity to put learned skills into practice,” said Margaret Beier, professor of psychology and the faculty director for the program. “We are confident that our graduates will have the skills needed to positively affect how government works through effective policy evaluation.”


The program will also provide students a unique hands-on experience by drawing upon real-world policy evaluations conducted at the Texas Policy Lab and other research centers at Rice, including the Houston Education Research Consortium and the Local Elections in America Project. Policy study areas will include criminal justice, public health, early childhood development and education, and labor markets, among others.

Applicants for the program are encouraged to may apply Early Decision by February 1st or Regular Decision by April 30th.  

For more information, visit https://socialpolicy.rice.edu/.

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