The odds of succeeding in the job market are better for professionals who have experience in their desired fields. To this end, NYU Wagner requires all MPA and MUP students to graduate with professional experience that is directly related to their degree program, specialization and career goals. Students can fulfill this requirement in one of two ways:
- Pre-Matriculation Waiver: Entering NYU Wagner with at least two years of full-time, degree-relevant, professional experience (which is evaluated during the application process) or
- Professional Experience Requirement: Taking on a degree-relevant job or internship while attending NYU Wagner and before enrollment in Capstone. (Students are required to commence the job or internship to be used for PER before starting Capstone, but it does not need to be completed before Capstone-- e.g., a student may start their PER position in July and complete it in October. See #3 below for more information.)
- How to determine if you are required to fulfill the PER
- What types of positions can be used to satisfy the PER
- How and when to register a PER position
- How and why to track hours for a PER Position
- How to get assistance with finding a PER position
- What if I believe I have fulfilled the experience requirement prior to enrollment in NYU Wagner
- For international students: As an F1 student, can I obtain authorization to accept an off-campus paid position to fulfill PER?
All MPA and MUP students who enter NYU Wagner with less than two years of full-time, degree relevant experience are required to fulfill the PER. If you are required to fulfill the PER, your NYU Wagner admission letter would have stated the following:
“After careful assessment of your application, the Admissions Review Committee has determined that you are required to fulfill the Professional Experience Requirement (PER) as a part of your degree program.”
If you are unable to find your admission letter/email, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm whether the PER is required for you.
To fulfill the PER, you must obtain and register an approved degree relevant position (job, internship, fellowship etc) while attending NYU Wagner and before enrollment in Capstone.
PLEASE NOTE: Students cannot fulfill the PER before their first semester at NYU Wagner. [up]
In order to fulfill the PER, a position must be directly relevant to your career goals as well as your degree program and/or specialization. To qualify as “relevant,” the position must provide opportunities to practically apply the skills and knowledge gained through your coursework and to gain the skills and knowledge needed to compete for employment in your field of interest.
For examples of internships that students have previously taken up to fulfill the PER, visit our Wagner in the Workplace page and see the Student Internships section. Full-time students typically work 20 hours per week during a semester or 40 hours per week in the summer, for example, in their PER roles. Part-time students typically work 40 hours per week in their PER roles.
If you are considering using a position for the PER and want to verify that it qualifies as “relevant” before accepting the position, email email@example.com with the following information:
- [Full Name] PER Pre-Approval Request
- First & Last Name
- N Number (University ID)
- Degree Program & Specialization
- Expected Capstone Enrollment Date
- Employer - Position Title - Summary of Career Goals (ideal industry and role)
- Summary of Position relevance (how this role will enable you to apply lessons learned through your coursework and how you will gain experience needed to be competitive in your field)
You will receive a response within 3-5 business days, so please allow enough lead time between your email and the date by which you need to accept your position offer. You can also visit walk-in-hours for broader questions about PER positions. [up]
Once you have secured a position that matches the above requirements, you must submit it for approval in the Career Directory by following these steps:
- Log-in to the Career Directory, go to your Profile tab
- In the PER box, click ‘Add New Experience’
- Complete the required fields for your PER position and click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the form. The status icon in your PER box will indicate that your form is Submitted.
- Please allow 5 business days for your position to be reviewed for approval by the Office of Career Services and Alumni Relations. Once approved, the status icon in your PER box will change to Approved. At this point, you will have successfully registered your PER Position and satisfied this degree requirement.
- Your Albert records will be updated to reflect your approval within 10 business days.
- If your position does not qualify for the PER, you will receive an email explaining why it was not approved. This will be sent to the email address you used to log in to the Career Directory.
- PER positions must be registered and started before a student starts Capstone. For example, a student may register a PER position for approval to start an internship that begins on July 15 and ends on October 1. This type of timeframe is acceptable since the position commences before the first day of Capstone. Alternatively, many students will begin their PER job or internship on May 15 and finish it on August 15, which is also acceptable. A student's PER must be shown as approved in the system in order to register for Capstone, so students should register their positions as soon as they begin.
- Students typically start PER in the summer before Capstone, while others may start PER in the spring semester before Capstone. When a student begins PER generally depends on the opportunity and its relevance.
Once your PER position has been approved in the Career Directory, you can track the hours you have completed using the ‘Track Hours’ icon which is located to the right of the status icon in your PER box.
There is no minimum hourly requirement for PER positions, though we encourage students to follow the best practices described in #2 above in order to maximize their positions. The Track Hours function will enable you to keep track of your progress while helping OCS collect data regarding the time that students devote to their PER positions. [up]
NYU Wagner’s OCS staff is available to advise you on strategies and resources for identifying degree relevant positions, submitting strong application materials, conducting successful interviews and other career development topics. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://wagner.nyu.edu/careers for more information about OCS resources.
PLEASE NOTE: NYU Wagner does not place students in jobs or internships for the PER. [up]
In order to fulfill the NYU Wagner experience requirement prior to enrollment, you must enter the program with at least two years of full-time, degree relevant professional experience. If you believe that your professional background meets this requirement, you can submit a PER Waiver Form to have your PER status reviewed. This form is located at the top right corner of this page. NYU Wagner staff will review your request and contact you directly (within twelve business days) to update you on the status of your PER.
PLEASE NOTE: Students must submit PER Waiver Forms within their first semester at NYU Wagner. Requests submitted after the first semester will not be considered. Incomplete forms will substantially delay response time. [up]
7. For international students: As an F1 student, can I obtain authorization to accept an off-campus paid position to fulfill PER?
Because PER is a degree requirement at NYU Wagner, with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) an F-1 international student may accept a paid, off-campus PER position. In order to qualify for CPT, students should complete one full academic year before accepting a paid internship or job. CPT is typically done on a part-time (up to 20 hours per week) basis during a semester or on a full-time basis during the summer.
Students may not begin CPT without prior authorization from the Office of Global Services (OGS). Retroactive authorization is not possible.
A CPT-authorized position that fulfills the PER degree requirement (see #3 for procedures), will therefore fulfill a student’s CPT allowance. (Students who wish to pursue off-campus paid positions in addition to the PER may consider Optional Practical Training (OPT) in consultation with NYU’s OGS). [up]