Master's Degree in Public Policy with a Concentration in Poverty and Inequality

The Center has developed an interdisciplinary honors program focused on poverty and inequality that will be built around three courses generously supported by The Elfenworks Foundation.

As poverty and inequality are increasingly understood as major social problems, graduate student interest in studying them has taken off, and there is, accordingly, much demand for a Stanford University degree in public policy, poverty, and inequality. The Center, in collaboration with the Department of Sociology, offers an interdisciplinary two-year Master's Degree in Public Policy (MPP) with a concentration in the analysis of poverty and inequality. The degree is granted by the School of Humanities and Sciences and administered by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) in conjunction with the undergraduate interdisciplinary Public Policy program.

Eligibility and Timing

The MPP program is principally intended for Stanford University students who have been admitted to a Ph.D. program. The joint MPP entails an additional year of courses that are taken mainly, but not entirely, in the second year at Stanford University. Although most additional coursework occurs in the second year, MPP students are also required to take a research practicum course in their third year.

Core Courses

The core MPP courses taken in the second year at Stanford University cover such topics as economics, benefit-cost analysis, organizations, econometrics, cognitive psychology, law and economics, and political philosophy.

Concentration Courses

In addition to completing these core courses, all MPP students must choose a concentration from among dozens of possible concentrations, one of which is in Poverty and Inequality. This concentration may be completed by taking three additional courses from among an approved list of electives. These additional courses will, for most students, count toward the MPP and Ph.D., meaning that taking them does not slow progress toward securing the Ph.D. [more].




  • SOC 249. The Urban Underclass
  • SOC 237. Homelessness: Its Causes, Consequences, and Policy Solutions
  • SOC 241A. Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, Health


Globalization, Development, and Inequality

  • ECON 106. World Food Economy
  • ECON 118. Development Economics
  • ECON 214. Development Economics: Microeconomic Issues
  • ECON 216. Development Economics and Growth: Macroeconomics
  • ICA 143. Nongovernmental Organizations and Development in Poor Countries
  • ICA 203. Issues in International Economics
  • POLISCI 140. Political Economy of Development
  • POLISCI 441. Politics of Development

Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality

  • SOC 342A. Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC 344. Changing Ideologies of Race in the U.S.
  • SOC 234. Seminar in Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC 244. Race and Crime in America
  • SOC 245. Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC 248. Racial Identity

Gender and Inequality

Schooling and Inequality

  • SOC 134. Education and the Status of Women: Comparative Perspective

Ethics, Justice, and Inequality