Degree Requirements

The Master of Social Policy Evaluation (MSPE) is a 13-month, 30 credit, non-thesis master’s program. The coursework consists of 3 courses in the fall semester and four courses plus a lab in the spring semester, totaling 24 credits, and a 6 credit practicum completed over two six-week sessions in the summer. Classes are typically offered in the late afternoon and evenings to accommodate working professionals and students who wish to continue full or part-time employment while enrolled in the MSPE.

In addition, there is a non-credit bearing 3-week intensive statistics camp, before the start of the formal coursework, for those that do not have requisite prior coursework in


Course Name Credit Hours
SOPE 501: Introduction to Public Policy 3
SOPE 503: Quantitative Methods for Program Evaluation + Lab 5
SOPE 505: Microeconomics for Policy Evaluation 3
Total Credits 11


Course Name (choice of four courses) Credit Hours
SOPE 502: Applications of Program Evaluation - Criminal Justice 3
SOPE 504: Applications of Program Evaluation - Labor Markets 3
SOPE 506: Applications of Program Evaluation - Health 3
SOPE 508: Applications of Program Evaluation - Early Childhood Education 3
SOPE 510: Developing Research-Practice Partnerships 3
SOPE 512: Laboratory – Coding, Software, Data Collection Methods (*reqrd) 1
Total Credits 13


Course Name Credit Hours
SOPE 513: Practicum I 3
SOPE 514: Practicum II 3
Total Credits 6


The applied Social Policy Evaluation Practicum is offered in two summer sessions (MSPE 513 and MSPE 514). Students will be actively engaged in a current Texas Policy Lab (TPL) research center project to gain real-world, applied experience. The MSPE curriculum is specifically aligned with TPL major policy areas:

  • Criminal justice
  • Public Health
  • Early childhood education and youth development
  • Labor markets

The MSPE practicum experience enables the student to gain first-hand knowledge about the practice of policy evaluation. Therefore, the practicum is carefully integrated into the student’s overall academic tenure, building not only conceptual and practical knowledge but also testing skills developed in the classroom. Students will perform data analyses, create reports, and present their final projects to a panel of program faculty and practicum partner organizations.