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2022 Charting a Career Path in Global Affairs

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Princeton University, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are Central to Public Service

In a world where diversity, equity, and inclusion have moved to the forefront of the global conversation, the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) has augmented its curriculum to give students the tools and training to lead on these issues with confidence.

SPIA has added a mandatory course on race, power, and inequality—its second such addition—in an effort to better equip graduates for a global policy landscape that is evolving. It is among the first courses that new students take when they arrive at SPIA.

“This allows students to develop the necessary context to think broadly about race, equity, and inclusion,” says Steven F. Petric, director of graduate admissions. “The goal is to provide a common baseline of understanding. We felt it was important to frame the beginning of the program with that baseline.”

SPIA offers three degrees: a PhD in Public Affairs (five years), a Master in Public Affairs (two years), and a mid-career Master in Public Policy (one year). Both master’s programs allow students to choose among four fields of concentration and three optional certificate programs.

“SPIA is distinguished by its commitment to public service. Service is central to everything we do.” –Steven F. Petric, Director of Graduate Admissions, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

SPIA offers a unique benefit: The school pays the full cost of tuition and health insurance for every admitted student. A generous stipend to cover living expenses is also 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.

SPIA is distinguished by its commitment to public service, Petric adds. “Service is central to everything we do.”

Because more than 85 percent of graduates choose public-sector jobs, they very likely will encounter structural inequities accompanying issues such as immigration, housing, and health care. SPIA added a course requirement on diversity, equity, and inclusion that allows students to choose from a menu of options, including classes on “Citizenship, Borders, and In/Exclusion,” “Racial Democracy in America,” and “International Migration: Challenges and Policy Responses.” Petric says the school will continue to think broadly about how to address these issues across its curriculum.

As he put it, “We are a community in conversation.”

Students Help Shape Education and Curriculum on Equity and Inclusion

As SPIA began to increase its course offerings in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), students and alumni were important participants in that process.
>>>Students Guillermo Herrera Nimmagadda (MPA ’22) and Yvette Ramirez (MPA ’21) served alongside faculty and administrators on a committee that recommends ways to make SPIA more inclusive.
>>>“The changes adopted by the school are an important step toward equipping students with the skills and knowledge to fully address inequities in and beyond the United States,” says Nimmagadda, 26, of Miami.
>>>Ramirez, 31, of San Francisco, agreed that the conversation must go global. “Students need support to understand DEI in other contexts and to unpack global inequities. Students with historically marginalized identities, like students of color, are often the first to identify gaps and injustices.”

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