2021 Applying to Graduate School in International Affairs
THIS GUIDE IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. For the current FP Guide, click here.
Number 1 Admissions Priority is a Commitment to Public Service
What distinguishes the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) is that public service is central to everything it does. “Service leads our admissions process and everything we do at SPIA. The majority of our students and alumni serve their communities,” says Director of Graduate Admissions Steven F. Petric.
“Follow your passions because by doing work you love, you will excel,” Petric advises potential applicants. “We look for excellence and for committed, passionate individuals working on behalf of their communities and toward a more inclusive and equitable world.”
SPIA is committed to training policy professionals who will address the world’s most pressing policy challenges—today and tomorrow. The school offers a Master in Public Affairs (two years) and a mid-career Master in Public Policy (one year), both of which allow students to choose among four fields of concentration and three optional certificate programs.
SPIA added a mandatory course on race, power, and inequality this year—its second such addition—in an effort to better equip graduates for a policy landscape that is evolving. It will be the first course that new students take when they arrive at the school.
Furthermore, SPIA offers a unique benefit: the school pays the cost of tuition and health insurance for every admitted student. A need-based stipend to cover living expenses also is available. This practice helps make the school financially accessible to students from all communities. “We work very hard to provide financial packages that ensure students can focus on their studies while at SPIA and on their public service careers after graduation,” Petric says.
Prioritizing Diversity and Tenacity
SPIA values diverse backgrounds and lived experiences in its applicants—individuals who demonstrate a commitment to succeed in their careers despite personal or professional challenges or financial barriers.
)))“Our holistic approach to admissions considers multiple indicators of success beyond those measured on a transcript, to include creativity, tenacity, and perseverance,” Petric says. “A lot of first-generation or lower-income students, for example, don’t think that Princeton is a place for them. We want them to know we are committed to supporting all students.”
Graduate Degree Program Options
• Master in Public Affairs
• Master in Public Policy (for mid-career professionals)
• PhD in Public Affairs
Deadlines for Fall 2022
Application: December 1, 2021
Financial Aid/Scholarships: Princeton has one application deadline and one admissions cycle. All admitted students receive full financial support for tuition and required fees.
Standardized Exam Scores: The GRE is required for the MPA. The MPP and PhD programs are test-optional.
Recommendation Letters: Three are required.
Application Checklist: https://spia.princeton.edu/graduate-admissions
- 2021 Applying to Graduate School in International Affairs
- George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government
- American University, School of International Service
- Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
- Yale University, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
- Arizona State University, Thunderbird School of Global Management
- University of Notre Dame, Keough School of Global Affairs
- Texas A&M University, Bush School of Government & Public Service
- Princeton University, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
- Carnegie Mellon University, Institute for Politics and Strategy
- University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
- Temple University, Klein College of Media and Communication