Admission to the Ph.D. Program in Public and Social Policy

In order to be admitted into the Ph.D. in Public and Social Policy, applicants must already hold a master's degree in the social sciences or a related professional degree. For relevant SLU master's degrees, click here.

Candidates may apply for full-time or part-time admission. Which is right for you? [More information]

Requirements for admission:

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale
  • An M.A. in a social science or related discipline or a professional degree (M.B.A., M.P.A., J.D., M.S.W., etc.) with a GPA of at least 3.4. (Lower GPA's accepted for law schools where grading is on a forced mean.)
  • A completed application and fee. Find the application here.
  • Verbal and analytic GRE scores of at least 150
  • Three strong letters of recommendation, at least two of them from faculty in the applicant's master's program
  • A personal statement of purpose
  • An analytical writing sample that shows promise of the ability to conduct professional research and convey the results
  • An in-person or video-conference interview
  • For international students, paper-based TOEFL (PBT) score of at least 550, an 80 on the computer-based TOEFL (iBT), a 6.5 on the IELTS, and a 4+ on SLU's own Writing Exam.


  • At least 9 hours of undergraduate or graduate social science theory or methods classes
  • Undergraduate microeconomics
  • For students planning to take courses in economics, calculus is required
  • A graduate-level research methods course
  • All students will be given a diagnostic quiz to determine if they need to audit an Intermediate inferential statistics class

If pre-requisites have not been met before arrival at SLU, students may fulfill the pre-requisites at SLU, but the courses will not count toward the Ph.D. program.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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