Last minute resources—links, tips, and more.

Dec 13 2022
Graduate Admissions Office

As we head into our December 15th application deadline, please let us express our gratitude to all who have expressed an interest in our community and to all who have already applied. Thank you. And to those who will submit shortly: We look forward to receiving your application. Good luck!

Our application deadline is December 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There are no extensions. Please submit by the deadline. The application portal can be found at this link.

What do we look for + pro tips - 2021. This link contains links on our 2021 pro tip series that includes posts on: showcasing your commitment to public service, the statement of purpose, our supplemental essay, letters of recommendation, how to write an impactful policy memo, our English language testing policy, and reapplication. In addition to the links contained in the previous link, please find two additional blogs for background and advice on our supplemental essay and policy memo.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SPIA.
Landing page. DEI central to public service and to SPIA.

Career development at SPIA.
Landing page, services offered, examples of first destinations for MPA, MPP and PhD grads.  

Current students at SPIA.
MPA biographical profiles. MPP biographical profiles. PhD biographical profiles.

Curriculum and requirements
MPA curriculum and requirements. MPP curriculum and requirements. PhD curriculum and requirements.

Our students provide their takes on our fields of concentration—MPA and MPP.
Field I – International Relations. Another student perspective on Field I.
Field II – International Development. Field II, take II – another point of view.
Field III – Domestic Policy. Field III – another perspective.
Field IV – Economics and Public Policy. A different Field IV viewpoint.

STEP PhD guide to picking courses.
FAQs on the STEP PhD – from faculty.

Additional student perspectives.
Student perspective – all are welcome here.
Student perspective – MPP cohort.
Student perspective – policy student government.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a prospective student considering the School? Many thanks to Alex (Newton, Massachusetts), Fran (Santiago, Chile), Harrison (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), Henri (Nyack, New York), and Taylor (Troy, Michigan) for their thoughtful contributions to this question.

  • I would encourage everyone interested in public service to apply! It has the flexibility to accommodate different interests while maintaining a small size - this gives you unique access to professors, speakers, and resources to develop your policy skills. I would also recommend talking with current students or alumni to get a better sense of the program. This was definitely informative for my application process. Over the past two years, I’ve met a lot of prospective students, and I’d be happy to speak with others (especialmente de latinoamérica!).
  • Come if you like thinking about the world in a carefully structured way and find academic research interesting. 
  • Do your research! Look over the website, find syllabi, and most importantly, talk with current and former students. All schools will be happy to put you in touch with people that are in your field and you'll definitely want to grill them about the positives and negatives of each option. You want to come into grad school with eyes wide open and make a decision that's best for you. 
  • First off, apply! If you don’t apply, you have no chance of getting in. I almost didn’t submit my application because I didn’t think I was going to be accepted; that would have been the biggest mistake of my adult life! Second, try and connect with alumni/ae who can tell you about their experiences. Every school has its own culture and hearing from alums or current students is the best way to know if it will be a good fit.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply to Princeton! A lot of prospective students are too intimidated to apply. But I’m telling you, applying is half the battle. 

Your website says I need work experience to apply? How much? What does that mean? Do my summer internships count? 
We highly recommend full-time professional work experience after completion of a Bachelor’s degree for all of our programs. We believe you will get more out of our graduate programs. You will also add more to the community after serving in the workforce for a few years. There are always exceptions, but for most of you please take some time between your undergraduate and graduate degrees to explore your public service passions. The MPP degree requires a minimum of seven years full-time professional work experience (after graduating college). Many come with more. Check out the viewbook for the exact statistics. MPP candidates should be rising leaders within their field, organizations, or issue areas. The MPA degree is typically for individuals earlier in their professional careers; however, the vast majority of our students come to us with prior full-time professional work experience. Please see the viewbook for the averages. Internships and volunteer experience is important, and we do consider these efforts as a part of our application review. Help us understand your impact in all your professional and volunteer pursuits. 

SPIA faculty.
We will highlight the four faculty who joined SPIA’s open house this fall (thumbnail picture). We will use these four to highlight some key aspects of SPIA and our degree programs.

Finally, for any last-minute questions that may arise, please see some key emails below. Please do not send the same email to multiple addresses.