The Joint Degree Program in Social Policy ("JDP") is a collaborative effort of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the departments of Politics, Psychology, Population Studies, Sociology, and Economics. The JDP follows a "discipline plus" structure. The "discipline" means that all students complete a Ph.D. in a basic social science, and the "plus" means that they will deeply engage with multidisciplinary perspectives on the problems of economic insecurity and inequality in advanced post-industrial societies and the developing world. JDP students will be awarded doctoral degrees in Politics and Social Policy, Psychology and Social Policy, Population Studies and Social Policy, and Sociology and Social Policy. These titles reflect a fundamental characteristic of the program: students are simultaneously full members of their disciplinary departments and participants in an inter-disciplinary community. For graduate students in Economics, we also offer a special (non-degree bearing) fellowship to be completed in the third or fourth years of graduate school.
The JDP exposes students to the substantive contributions and methodological approaches the various disciplines have made to the study of insecurity and inequality – from the micro-elements of interpersonal perception, judgment and decision-making to the broader institutional contexts of family structure, neighborhoods, schools, labor markets and political institutions.
The program is designed to appeal to students who want to pursue academic careers in a traditional discipline but who see themselves as committed to the study of social issues of public importance. The program in social policy addresses some of the most pressing problems we face in the U.S. and other parts of the world where inequality is generating conflict, poverty, and prejudice; diminishing political participation; and reducing opportunities for social mobility. We seek to bring the most rigorous tools of social science to bear on these important social questions.
We look forward to your participation!
Sara McLanahan, Co-Director Joint Degree Programs in Social Policy
Devah Pager, Co-Director, Joint Degree Programs in Social Policy