Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences

MBDS students in class on Penn campus

Learn the theory, apply the tools, and make a difference

Penn’s Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences (MBDS) is informed by contemporary theories and research methods of behavioral economics, decision sciences, network analysis, and public policy. Our program equips students with theoretical and practical tools to address a variety of real-life problems, putting you ahead of the curve in a growing field of study.

Our interdisciplinary degree prepares you to understand how individuals and groups make decisions, and how to effect those decisions. Housed in the School of Arts and Sciences, the MBDS program is rooted in the social sciences—the skills we teach help you make a positive, sustainable impact in your area of interest.

Penn's MBDS program is a STEM-designated program, coded as 30.1701.

Please note: GRE test scores are required for applicants who have less than five years of professional experience.

Impact decisions and behaviors in a variety of fields

Hear from Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences Founding Director Cristina Bicchieri about how this unique theoretical and applied master’s degree provides the understanding and tools students need to enact behavioral change in individuals and in organizations.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, you can watch it on YouTube.

Exclusive industry opportunities

Exclusive projects and industry engagement

The Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences (MBDS) program at the University of Pennsylvania is a training ground for the next generation of applied behavioral scientists. Opportunities to engage with our industry affiliates—such as applied projects, skills-focused workshops, and industry-expert lectures and panels—open new perspectives and professional connections for our students.

Fast facts

Representing students in the 2023-2024 cohorts

Percentage of international students, representing 25 countries
Number of undergraduate majors represented
Percentage of women enrolled in this STEM graduate program

Upcoming application deadlines

The priority admission deadline for fall 2025 is December 1, 2024. The regular deadline is February 1, 2025.

MBDS information session

Meet our program team and hear more about the MBDS curriculum, application process, faculty, and more.

Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics

Led by MBDS Founding Director Cristina Bicchieri, this research center aims to support positive behaviors on a global scale.

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