PhD/MPP Dual Degree Program

Program Overview

The University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy offer a dual degree program that leads to the completion of a PhD/MPP degrees in five to six years. There are a number of complementarities between the Education School’s PhD program and Batten’s Master of Public Policy program. They both seek high quality students with a commitment to improving policy outcomes, and there is extensive overlap in the coursework in both programs. The goal of a dual PhD/MPP program is to leverage the comparative advantage of both schools toward these mutual interests. 

The PhD/MPP program is particularly demanding, and unless the student is clearly able to see the applicability of both degrees to future career plans, he or she should not assume that the chance to complete both degrees on a shortened timeframe is in itself a persuasive rationale for this undertaking.


A student who wishes to be admitted into the dual degree program must apply to each school separately and be admitted to both the Education School and the Batten School through the normal admissions processes of each school. The fact that the student is a candidate for the dual program is not considered at this stage.

Students who have been admitted to both schools and who wish to undertake the dual program should notify the registrar of each school and apply to the faculty advisors for permission to do so. Admission requires approval of both the Education and Batten faculty advisors.

Application to one school may be made either prior to entrance to or while a first-year student at the other. No students will be admitted to the dual program after completing the first year of either Education or Batten.

Financial aid is available and will be coordinated by the two schools. Financial aid is not guaranteed and is subject to individual school and University availability and regulations. 


Unique to the PhD/MPP, and unlike Batten’s other dual-degree programs, at the conclusion of the two years of study primarily in the Batten School, students will receive their MPP degree. At the conclusion of the fifth or sixth year of the program, students who have completed at least 72 credits in the EducationSchool will receive the PhD in Education degree. The MPP/PhD candidate is obligated to take, as part of these credits, all of the required curriculum in both graduate public policy and education. The remaining credits will be elective credits and can be chosen from the respective public policy and education curricula after consultation with the program committee.

Change of Status

At any point in the program, the student may terminate plans for a dual degree and continue toward a single degree at either school. The student must then satisfy the normal requirements of the school elected, which may include credit for some of the work done in the other school, as determined by the appropriate officials of the school in question.

Grading Standards

Students are required to meet the session and cumulative grading standards of each school independently to remain in good standing.

Administration of the Program

The program is administered by a program committee composed of one member each from the Batten and Education faculties, as designated by the schools’ respective deans. The responsibilities of the program committee extend to admission to the joint program, coordination of curricula for the students involved, resolution of any problems that may arise, reconciliation of course and examination conflicts, and promotion of dual offerings by the two schools where feasible. The deans from each school will also appoint a faculty advisor to the program who may or may not also serve as the school representative to the program committee. The faculty advisor for this program is James Wyckoff.

Students who have been admitted independently to both schools and who wish to undertake the dual program should notify the registrar of both schools and apply to the program committee for permission to do so. Entrance to the PhD/MPP program will not be guaranteed by virtue of acceptance at both schools, but will be judged according to criteria, which is the responsibility of the program committee.

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.