Joint Degree Program in Social Policy

The Joint Degree Program (JDP) in Social Policy is a collaborative effort of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Departments of Politics, Psychology, Population Studies, and Sociology that combines work in a basic social science with a multidisciplinary perspective on the problems of economic insecurity and inequality.

The program follows a “discipline-plus” structure in which all students complete a Ph.D. in a basic social science, and also study economic insecurity and inequality in advanced postindustrial societies and the developing world.

JDP students earn doctoral degrees in one of the following:

  • Politics and Social Policy
  • Psychology and Social Policy
  • Population Studies and Social Policy
  • Sociology and Social Policy

Students are both full members of their disciplinary departments and participants in this interdisciplinary community.

Application

Students in the JDP must be admitted by their home (disciplinary) department as well as by the multidisciplinary social policy faculty. For details about the application process for Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and Population Studies, refer to the appropriate department.

Financial Aid

JDP students receive funding equivalent to that provided by their home departments, consisting of tuition plus a need-based living stipend. For details about the application process for Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and Population Studies, refer to the appropriate department.

Curriculum & Requirements

JDP students must:

  • Complete 1.5 years of coursework, including the yearlong course: SPI 590a/590b/590c /590d: Issues in Inequality and Social Policy. This is followed by the one-semester course: SPI 590s: Advanced Empirical Workshop.
  • Complete an empirical paper for the Advanced Empirical Workshop. 
    • Students may count one of their home department papers toward this requirement.
  • Complete a general exam in social inequality or social policy.
    • This requirement applies to sociology and population studies students only. Students may count one of their home department exams toward this requirement.
  • Participate in the Monday lecture series, “Dilemmas of Inequality,” held each fall.