In so many ways, the past year has been historic. A global pandemic. Quarantines. Campus restructuring. Virtual classes. Working from home. Public health concerns. A contentious US presidential election. Communities in need. Even with all of this, we found reason to celebrate at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), not least because of the critically important work the SPIA community contributes to public service and policy development. In thinking of this, it gives us hope as we celebrate our alumni, current students, and future MPA, MPP and PhD community members.
This year, we also celebrate the historic interest in our graduate community. Across our three graduate programs, we received a very strong number of qualified applicants with an incredibly diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, and talents. Many have directly supported their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with work in local, state, and federal governments, non-profit and multilateral organizations, and across industries. What stood out amongst the applicant pools this year was the strong and demonstrated commitment to public service.
Our admissions committees always evaluate every file individually and holistically, with every application read and evaluated on its own merits. The respective admission committee thinks carefully about past academic and professional accomplishments and volunteer pursuits, future potential for leadership in public service, and possible perspectives each applicant might bring to the SPIA graduate community, among other things. We think carefully and intentionally about the composition of our community. Unfortunately for some, we again had far too many qualified applicants for the limited number of spots available.
For those offered admission, we congratulate you. Be confident in knowing our admissions committees reviewed your file carefully and are enthusiastic about what you will bring to our community. We hope you will join us.
For those not offered admission, please understand that this does not signify the end of the road. Many of you will go on to other policy or professional schools and succeed there. Nearly all of you will continue to contribute to your communities positively. For those who are convinced Princeton is the next right place for them, every year we receive a number of strong reapplicants. Those who succeed in the second attempt often work to strengthen their candidacy by solidifying their academic profile, possibly through additional quantitative coursework, accruing more professional responsibilities or leadership experience, and by continuing to lean in to their community impact. If you are keen on SPIA, consider the ways in which you might strengthen your profile for the next time you apply, and watch this space for a forthcoming blog on feedback.
On behalf of the Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs, the Graduate Admissions Office, and the Graduate Admissions Committees, we thank you for your interest in our community and appreciate the time you invested in your application.
Stay healthy and well!