Your Decision

Deciding where to attend graduate school can be difficult. In choosing the right school, students must carefully consider many factors. Here are a few of the elements you might consider in evaluating if NYU Wagner is the right fit for you:

Programs & Faculty

NYU Wagner is dedicated to preparing students to address the serious issues facing society today. The academic programs emphasize a mix of theory and practice, so that students can build a portfolio based on their curriculum and real-world experience in their specific area of interest. Our programs also take a multifaceted approach, one that crosses boundaries by design. Locating specific programs in a general school of public service exposes students to a broad curriculum, facilitating nuanced views often lacking from narrower approaches.

Please use the following links to explore NYU Wagner's various degree programs, including requirements, sample schedules, course descriptions and more.

A faculty's interests can be an important deciding factor when choosing a program. At NYU Wagner, our faculty is diverse, active and accessible. They are as dedicated to making a difference in their field as they are to their students.

The Wagner faculty is composed of a blend of full-time,  clinical/research/visiting and adjunct professors. We have 38 full-time, clinical/research/visiting faculty members who come from a variety of disciplines, including economics, finance, sociology, political science, law, and planning. Faculty focus on issues that are important to our local and global community, such as international development, housing, health care, arts and education. Both domestically and globally, their research examines issues of public importance with an eye to making a difference.

Our adjunct professors bring a different element to the classroom: real-world experience. They are the consultants, policy analysts, policy makers, directors and researchers who are changing the shape of public service through their practice. They hold senior level positions at places like the United Nations, the City of New York, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, Foreign Policy in Focus Think Tank, Safe Horizon, Interhemispheric Resource Center and the National Institute for Dispute Resolution.

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Customizing Your Program

While all NYU Wagner students must take required core courses, NYU and the Robert F. Wagner School encourage an interdisciplinary approach to learning, so that students may fine-tune their curriculum in order to meet their specific interests and needs. They may focus on a particular area in class projects and take courses across programs and schools. Students may take classes in any NYU graduate school, including the NYU School of Law, Stern School of Business, Steinhardt School of EducationNYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social Work, and Tisch School of the Arts.

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The Value of a NYU Wagner Degree

Within the MPA degree tracks, a student may specialize in management of public and nonprofit organizations, financial management and public finance or public policy analysis. The MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with a specialization in policy is generally comparable to a Masters in Public Policy degree taken at another institution. Wagner students have the added option of pursuing much more focused study in finance or management than students pursuing an MPP.

Many programs in health policy and management are housed within schools of public health (awarding the MPH) or schools of business (awarding the MHA or MBA). Basically, the course content for a MPA will be comparable for degrees awarded at business schools, however the Wagner School's focus on nonprofit and public institutions will provide a different grounding from a traditional business perspective. While business programs tend to focus on stock market issues, for example, Wagner's health program focuses on understanding the health care system and how management techniques relate directly to that system.

A traditional MPH curriculum will differ from ours mainly in its primary starting point, which is the study of the spread and containment of disease. While epidemiology is the groundwork for the MPH; management, finance and policy analysis ground Wagner's MPA degree focus.

NYU Wagner offers an international specialization. Within the specialization, students will gain a solid understanding of policy analysis, management or finance, and may choose to concentrate on one of these areas. A student who wishes to pursue an international career path following graduation will find that these sets of skills will prepare them well for a variety of settings. An international specialization combined with internships and study abroad can provide a healthy international perspective.

The international specialization is now offered in all three of our two-year degree programs: MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, MPA in Health Policy and Management, and Master of Urban Planning. One of the school's curriculum initiatives involves the creation of new and expanded offerings in the area of international development policy and administration. In addition, NYU Wagner also offers an Executive MPA degree focusing on managing international public service organizations. Intended for professionals wishing to hone their skills, this Executive MPA program was launched in the spring 2000 semester. Other helpful pages are:

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Part-Time & Full-Time Options

NYU Wagner admits full-time and part-time students. Students are permitted to switch their status at any time throughout their Wagner education, and the same programs and curriculum applies to both full-time and part-time students. Because some students want the option of working full-time, NYU Wagner offers numerous classes in the evening, but part-time students should expect to take at least one course that begins at 4:55 p.m., which might require an adjustment to a work schedule. Most full-time students also hold part-time jobs or internships. Since the Wagner School emphasizes a blend of theory and practice, we feel that jobs and internships held while at Wagner are essential to enrich the learning experience

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The Student Body

The student population is rich with diversity and experience. At NYU Wagner, we embrace this diversity as an essential component of our commitment to public service. Better solutions to public issues, we believe, are found by joining people from different backgrounds. Students are able to take classes, work together, discuss issues and solve problems in groups that reflect the multicultural composition of communities of the future, and of cities like New York today.
Our students stay active in the community and the school through events hosted by our many Wagner student groups.

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Wagner's International Students

Wagner's international students currently come from: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Ghana, India, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, P R China, Philippines, Poland, Republic Of Korea, Russia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

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How Long Does it Take To Finish?

The length of time required to finish a degree is dependent upon how many credits a student takes each semester. The academic year consists of a fall and spring semester. In addition, students, unless required, have the option of taking summer courses. Taking summer courses may speed along the completion of coursework, however, depending on the degree program it may not shorten the length of time necessary to complete the degree.

Generally, full-time students take 12-16 credits (3-4 courses) each semester while part-time students take 8 credits (two courses). Below is an estimated time frame for completing the various degree programs offered at NYU Wagner:




Degree Full-Time Part-Time
MPA or MUP 2 years* 3-4 years
PhD 4-5 years 6-7 years**
EMPA 1-1.5 years 2-3 years
Advanced Professional Certificate 1 year 1+years
BA/MPA or BA/MUP 5 years (4 undergraduate & 1 graduate) 6 years (4 undergraduate & 2 graduate)
JD/MPA or JD/MUP 4 years n/a
MBA/MPA 3 years n/a
MSW/EMPA 2 years including summers 3+years
MD/MPA(MD portion is full time only 5 years including summers n/a

*Students who enter the MPA or MUP program in the Spring semester will require an extra semester to complete the degree due to the timing of the Capstone class.

**Please note that special permission is needed to enroll in the doctoral program on a part time basis.

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