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.
Career development at SPIA.
Landing page, services offered, examples of first destinations for MPA, MPP and PhD grads.
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.
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.
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.
- Seema Jayachandran. Twitter. Six questions with Prof. Jayachandran. Website. Prof. Jayachandran co-leads SPIA’s Research Program in Development Economics, one of SPIA’s 20 different centers and programs.
- Mark Watson. Website. Prof. Watson is jointly appointed with the Department of Economics and SPIA; this interdisciplinary scholarship is central to SPIA’s teaching and research mission. SPIA’s economics courses are taught by leading economists. (Same can be said for all the other disciplinary departments.) Prof. Watson teaches in SPIA’s core curriculum.
- Heather Howard. Website. Global Health at Princeton. Twitter. Prof. Howard focuses on health and health policy, and works closely with the Center for Health and Wellbeing and with SPIA students on our policy workshops, a key component of the MPA2 year. You can find past policy workshop reports here.
- Patricia Kirkland. Website. SPIA-CSDP website. Politics website. Prof. Kirkland is joint with the Politics department at SPIA. She also has an affiliation with the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, another of SPIA’s 20 centers and programs. Prof. Kirkland is also faculty director of our Urban Policy certificate, one of three certificates SPIA students can earn.
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.
- Technical difficulties with the online application should go to email@example.com
- General updates to applicant contact information should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unexpected and emergent events should go to email@example.com
- GRE and English-language (TOEFL or IELTS) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
- SPIA-specific questions should come to email@example.com