How We Consider Applicants

We base our decision on a holistic review of all application components—your past academic history, work experience, written and video essays, test scores, and letters of reference. Because context matters, we consider how your background, experiences, aspirations, values, and accomplishments enable you to bring a unique perspective to the classroom and add to the diversity of the NYU Wagner community.


Strong Academic History

We carefully review your transcripts, test scores, and academic letter(s) of reference to assess your academic aptitude and overall preparedness for graduate study. We welcome students from all majors and backgrounds and look for some demonstration of aptitude for both quantitative and qualitative coursework.

Demonstrated Commitment to Public Service

We prepare public service leaders to translate ideas into actions that have an effective and lasting impact on the public good. Our most successful applicants demonstrate—through relevant coursework, work experience, internships, or research—a deep commitment to public service and a desire to tackle today’s most pressing challenges. We welcome career changers, and we look to see what other volunteer or pro bono work can serve as evidence of your commitment to doing work of public importance.

Potential for Impact

NYU Wagner’s curriculum and extracurricular activities are geared toward training and supporting the next generation of public service leaders. During the application process, we seek candidates who have demonstrated an ability to make a positive impact in their surroundings, no matter how big or small the scale.



Work Experience

We value professional experience from all sectors and fields. We believe that professional experience helps students ground their studies in real experiences, enriching discourse and learning in the classroom. In addition to full-time employment, we also consider part-time, internships, volunteer work, pro bono, and contract work, as part of your professional background. The average NYU Wagner student has two to five years of experience.


Strong Quantitative Ability

The MS in Public Policy (MSPP) is a full-time, intensive STEM-designated program open to applicants from a range of academic backgrounds. Due to the quantitative nature of this program, applicants should enter this program with some foundational proficiency in introductory statistics, economics, or first-year calculus. Submitting optional GRE/GMAT scores is strongly recommended if you do not have evidence of quantitative skills demonstrated on your transcripts.

Ability to Think Critically about Policy Issues

An ideal candidate for admission has the ability to bring logical, pragmatic thinking to bear in solving problems, as well as strong written and verbal communication skills. 


Work Experience Related to U.S. Healthcare System

The online MHA is a part-time program for working professionals looking to advance their careers. At least one year of full-time experience in a US healthcare-related role is strongly recommended.


Substantive Leadership and Managerial Experience

Executive MPA applicants are expected to have a minimum of seven years of work experience, with increasingly progressive management and leadership responsibility. EMPA students come from diverse backgrounds in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.


Significant Professional Experience and Demonstration of Leadership

The MS in Health Law and Strategy is a degree jointly conferred by NYU School of Law and NYU Wagner. To be admitted to the MS in Health Law and Strategy program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and at least eight years of relevant professional experience. Exceptional candidates with five years of relevant professional experience, including mid- or senior-level management experience, will be considered.