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.

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.