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Joint Management of Science & Engineering MS/MPP Degree


Time required: 90 units, or approximately 2 years. The MS/MPP joint degree is regarded by the University as a distinct degree whose requirements may differ from either degree considered separately. The MS and the MPP degrees, earned independently, would require 3 years; because of overlapping curricula, the joint degree requires 2. Tuition for the first year of study is paid at the School of Engineering rate, the remaining time at the H&S rate.

Requirements for admission for the joint degree: Admission to and matriculation in the MS program of the Department of Management Science & Engineering (MS&E) of the Stanford school of Engineering. Consent of the Director of Graduate Study in the Department. Adequate preparation in mathematics and economics.

Students apply to the MS&E Department, indicating an interest in the joint program. There is one admissions application and one fee. When a decision is made by MS&E to admit such a student to the MS program, that student’s file is forwarded to the MPP program director. An admission decision, based on the information in the MS application, will be made promptly, and the Department will inform applicants of the decision.

Students may also apply after they are enrolled at the School of Engineering, by applying first to the MS&E Director of Graduate Study.

MS-MS&E applicants who wish to apply their analytical and management skills to the field of public policy can simultaneously pursue a master’s degree in the MS&E department and a master’s degree at the Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences, in the Graduate Program in Public Policy. The MPP is a two-year degree program, but MS-MS&E students who pursue the joint program can earn both degrees in a minimum of two years, depending on prior preparation and elective choices, by counting up to 45 quarter units of course work toward both degrees.

Students must apply to and be accepted into the M.S.-MS&E program prior to applying for the joint MS-MS&E/MPP. The MPP program has a core curriculum of 50 quarter units, including a 10-unit interdisciplinary practicum. MS&E students may count certain MS&E courses in microeconomics, quantitative methods, decision/risk and organizational behavior courses toward the MPP core requirements. The MPP also requires students to concentrate in one or more areas by taking additional units. Students in the joint MS-MS&E/MPP program can finish the joint program in two years.

Students in the joint program normally will spend most of their first year taking MS&E core courses. The second year is typically devoted to the MPP core, concentration, and practicum. Up to four units of the MPP practicum can be used to satisfy MS-MS&E project course requirement.

Depending on a student’s prior training and elective choices, including courses taken in the M.S.-MS&E program, the director of the Graduate Program in Public Policy may permit the substitution of more advanced or specialized courses for those offered in the MS&E core curriculum.

Advising: Each MS/MA student must have a faculty adviser, chosen from among the MPP-associated faculty.

Placement: Placement is primarily the responsibility of the MS&E program.

Background requirements

Students in the joint MS-MS&E/MPP program must complete at least 90 quarter units, or the equivalent, at Stanford; 45 of these 90 units have to satisfy the MS-MS&E requirement.

Students must have had or must take the following (or equivalent) courses before the MS in MSE degree is conferred: MATH 42, 42, 51 (15 units of calculus); CS 106A Programming Methodology, and an additional 15 units of engineering, mathematical sciences or natural sciences. These courses do not count towards the MS or the joint degree. Coursework below is subject to change as course content and attendant overlaps evolve.

Public Policy Core (PubPol Credit Only)

PP301B Cost-Benefit Analysis and Evaluation* 4
PP302B Economic Analysis of Law 4
PP303D Applied Econometrics* 4
PP305A Judgment and Decision-Making 4
PP306 Writing & Rhetoric for Policy Audiences* 4
PP307 Justice 4
PP308 Political Analysis for Policymakers 4
PP309 Practicum*** 10
PP311 Weekly Public Policy Colloquium 3
Policy Elective Units**** 4

Total M.P.P. credit only


Extended Core (Joint Credit )**

MS&E241 Economics* or 3
MS&E341 Economics*  
MS&E252 Decision Analysis 3
MS&E211 Optimization 4
MS&E220 Probability* 4
MS&E250A Risk Analysis 3
MS&E280 Organizations 4
MS&E201 Dynamics 4

Subtotal M.P.P. Extended Core (Joint Credit)


Concentrations (Joint Credit)

MS&E208 The Art of Mathematical Modeling 3
MS&E248 Natural Resources Economics 3
MS&E292 Health Policy 3
MS&E293 Technology & National Security 3
MS&E294 Climate Policy 4
MS&E296 Transportation Planning 3
Other elective units 11

Concentration/Elective Units (Joint Credit)



Total Units toward MPP Degree


Total Units toward MS&E MS Degree



* These courses must be completed prior to the Practicum.
** Select at least five courses from the extended Core for the MS&E MS Degree.
*** Four of the Practicum Units will count towards MSE Project Requirement.
**** Students may select any policy elective course that advances their knowledge of the tools of policy analysis or propose, by petition, a concentration elective course found on the Concentration Electives List.

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