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The mission of the Doctoral Program at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service is to prepare students for careers in research and teaching in the fields of public affairs and administration. Wagner offers students an array of educational opportunities to become scholars and researchers in policy, finance and management in the public, health and nonprofit sectors. The degree granted is a Ph.D. in Public Administration.

The admissions process is designed to review the overall potential of applicants in order to determine which students will succeed in their studies and their careers. Decisions are not based on one single indicator. An admission decision will include the following criteria:

  • Prior academic performance, including GPA
  • Relevant course work completed
  • Work experience (professional, research, publications, internships or volunteer)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Recommendations (three are required)
  • Standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT scores are required for all Doctoral Program applicants)
  • Personal interview, if requested by the Doctoral Admissions Committee
  • TOEFL and TWE scores (required for applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received a master's degree in an English-speaking institution)

In addition, applicants are encouraged to submit any documentation, especially writing samples, that they feel will allow the Admissions Committee to understand better their record of accomplishments and potential as a researcher. Applicants can do this by uploading supporting documentation via the online application system. Applicants should not feel constrained by the information requested in the application packet.