MPP Application

Application Timeline

Application Deadline: December 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m. ET
Application Deadline for Those Nominated by the U.S. Department of State: September 25, 2020
Application Fee: $90
Application Fee Waiver Information 
Admissions Decisions: March 15, 2021
Admitted Students Decision Deadline: April 15, 2021


In addition to the Princeton University graduate application, there are specific application requirements for our MPP program — including indicating a field of concentration: I - International Relations, II - International Development, III - Domestic Policy, or IV - Economics and Public Policy. MPP students do not have curriculum requirements and may take any eight courses from the four fields of concentration to complete their degree requirements.

A completed application includes:

The personal statement should explain the applicant’s commitment to a career in public service, showcase strengths, and provide an overview of background, goals, and academic and professional aspirations. Two to four pages, double spaced. Applicants wishing to address any weaknesses in the application should include a separate, succinct, fact-based addendum.

We want to get to know you on a more personal and individual basis. To do so, applicants must respond to this prompt: “We all come from somewhere and it shapes us — both in who we become and what we value. Tell us your story and what has shaped you.” One page, double spaced. 

Identify a problem in domestic or international affairs, discuss its complexity, and propose policy recommendations. The memo should demonstrate the ability to provide critical analysis of an issue, to write cogently, and offer reasonable and realistic recommendations. Four pages, double spaced.

List employment activities, community service, education, and academic and professional honors. Include a brief annotation of job responsibilities, leadership, and awards. The résumé should be presented in sufficient detail so that the admissions committee has an accurate picture of the applicant’s professional trajectory — such as promotions or job progression, leadership profile, and impact. There is no maximum length, but usually two or three pages is sufficient.

There is no prescribed undergraduate major for the MPP degree. The admissions committee evaluates all undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Transcripts can be unofficial.

The grade point average from each degree-granting education program must be provided. Applicants must convert their GPA to a 4.0 scale if needed here.

As a general rule, recommendations should include one professional, one academic, and one from someone able to comment on the applicant’s commitment to public service. References should understand the applicant’s reasons for applying to the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, as well as the person’s goals and strengths. Occasionally, MPP applicants are unable to submit an academic letter of recommendation given the time from undergraduate or graduate study.

Financial aid is need-blind and does not consider an applicant's financial resources, in conjunction with any external scholarships offered by partnerships with government agencies or other fellowships. Any dependents who will accompany the applicant while in residence should be noted.

Official results of the GRE general test are required of all applicants. Princeton’s GRE code is 2672; no departmental code is needed. Applicants should take the GRE in advance of the application deadline. While the test can be taken in December of the application year, it is not guaranteed that the application will be complete in time.

English language test scores are required for all nonnative English-speaking applicants unless they have studied a minimum of three years toward a bachelor’s degree or a Ph.D. in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or Anglophone Canada. Additional information about this Graduate School requirement is available at this site.

Meet WWS

Admissions Blog

Our admissions team provides application tips and tricks on our blog.
Add your voice to our conversation, and help change the world. How do you serve?