The Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University offers a two-year Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree that is ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The full-time residential program prepares candidates for a career in public service, providing analytical skills that can be used to address complex policy problems. The MPA program curriculum includes five required core courses that address the study of public policy. Each student in the MPA program also chooses a policy field for specialization. Four fields are available: International Relations, Domestic Policy, Development Studies, and Economics and Public Policy. Students may add a supplementary concentration in a second field or complete coursework that will lead to a joint degree in Public Affairs and Law (MPA/J.D.). The MPA/J.D. is offered in cooperation with the law schools of Stanford University, Columbia University, Yale Law School and other institutions. Additional joint degrees are available by special request.
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The program can be completed in as few as 24 months. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply.
The Woodrow Wilson School encourages students to gain professional work experience in public affairs that will complement its program curriculum. A required summer internship allows students to gain hands-on experience. Summer internships are typically completed within a public affairs organization with a local, state, national or international focus. Assistance in obtaining relevant summer employment and work-study internships during the academic year is provided by the school.
Students are required to enroll in a policy workshop during the fall semester of their second year. The workshop provides students with a unique opportunity to apply their skills to a collaborative project that is driven by client requirements. Workshop topics address pressing domestic or international issues. The culmination of each workshop is the presentation of a report to a panel of public policy professionals. In a typical year, there are 140 students in the Woodrow Wilson School MPA program. The school is committed to preparing a diverse group of students for global leadership. To this end, more than 90 percent of MPA students receive some form of financial aid; more than half of students are given full scholarships and living stipends.
In addition, the school works to encourage women, people of all races and international students to apply for its graduate programs. The goal of the Woodrow Wilson School is to train students to create, implement, analyze, and interpret both domestic and international public policy. The school sponsors more than 20 research centers that focus on health, law, science, technology and public affairs. The research produced by these centers influences domestic and international policy, as well as adding depth to the teaching program. The Woodrow Wilson School’s facilities include the Robertson, Wallace and Bendheim Halls, and the Donald E. Stokes Library on the Princeton University campus in Princeton, New Jersey. Robertson Hall, a striking contemporary structure that echoes the design of a Greek temple, is the School’s headquarters. The building is named for Charles and Marie Robertson, owners of the A&P grocery chain, who donated a $35 million grant that provided the base of the school’s $800 million endowment.