How We Consider Applicants

The mission of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service is to educate leaders in the field of public service. During the admissions review process we look to identify individuals we believe will make contributions to the leadership of domestic and international nonprofit, social policy, health, urban planning and public organizations.

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

  • Academic history and aptitude, including previous grades received and/or relevant course work completed
  • Professional experience and development, including internships, volunteer work, full-time and part-time positions (doctoral level applicants should highlight their research experience instead)
  • Required Essays
  • Recommendations (two -with a preference for one professional and one academic-for all master's level candidates; three required for all doctoral level candidates)
  • Standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT scores are strongly recommended, but not required for master's level candidates. GRE or GMAT scores are required for all doctoral level candidates). If you are submitting GRE scores, please use ETS school code 2507 when reporting your scores. A department code is not required.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for applicants whose undergraduate (applicable to master's level applicants) or graduate education (applicable to all doctorate level applicants) was not in English. Our minimum TOEFL score is 100, IELTS score is 7.5.