Master of Public Administration Application Checklist

Please note: Application checklist items listed below are applicable to the Fall 2022 intake only. This page will be updated for the Fall 2023 intake when the application reopens in September 2022

Please follow these steps to complete your application. If you have any questions, contact

Entry Term

Offered in the Fall semester and the Spring Semester

Application Deadline

The online application is due at 11:59pm Eastern Time on the deadline date. You may complete and submit your online application at any time before the deadline. Save your work before moving to the next page and print a copy for your own records. Please note that all required fields are marked with an asterisk (*). 

Incomplete Applications

Applicants are required to submit all parts of the application by the deadline. Incomplete applications are reviewed as-is.

Late Applications

Applications submitted after the published deadlines are reviewed at the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee.

We are interested in learning more about your commitment to public service and how you bring your experiences to bear to make an impact on the communities and organizations you aspire to serve.

Essay 1

Our school's namesake, Robert F. Wagner (Mayor of NYC, 1953-1965), once remarked, "Public service is the highest good, and, when done honorably and well, the most rewarding." What fuels your interest in a public service career? What are your short- and long-term professional goals? How does the decision to pursue graduate study at NYU Wagner move you towards the achievement of your goals? (500 words)

Essay 2

Public service professionals face tremendous challenges both in and out of the workplace. Resilience and strength of character are vital characteristics for success in any facet of public service. Describe a challenge you encountered in your personal, professional, or academic life. How were you tested? What actions did you take to overcome the challenge? (500 words)

Members of the NYU Wagner community—our students, faculty, and staff—are passionate about public service. Create a video of no longer than one (1) minute in length that describes a unique perspective, skill set, or life experience you have. Articulate how it might benefit your classmates, enhance discourse in the classroom, and/or contribute to the NYU Wagner community. Please note that the video must be of the applicant. A webcam video is perfectly acceptable

Video: Some tips from the admissions team!

Instructions on how to submit your Video Essay:

  • Please upload your video to an easily accessible website (such as YouTube).
  • Record the URL in the designated area in the online application and provide access information in the space provided.
  • Please note, it is the applicant's responsibility to correctly configure the security and access settings for the video. We recommend that the applicant use the strongest privacy settings available while still allowing access to NYU Wagner. For instance, if using YouTube, we suggest using the "Unlisted Video" setting so that only individuals who have the URL can view it. Alternatively, you may password protect it and provide the password in the designated section of the application. The applicant is also responsible for adhering to the terms and conditions of the website used to share the video essay.
  • For admitted applicants who attend the program, NYU Wagner will retain a short excerpt or screen shot of the video as a part of the official student record.
  • We are unable to watch videos that come in any form other than a URL link. We will not accept videos sent by email or on DVD through the mail.
  • As a reminder, a webcam video is perfectly acceptable

Please upload a resume or CV that includes your employment and professional history in reverse chronological order, with titles, dates, and whether you worked part-time or full-time. Your educational record should also be in reverse chronological order and should indicate dates of attendance and degree(s) earned. We encourage you to include information about the following additional activities:

  • Volunteer, public service, political, and/or civic work you have done;
  • Academic and professional honors, honorary societies, leadership and service awards;
  • Other professional activities;
  • Relevant publications; and/or
  • Extracurricular activities.

Please submit two (2) letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak best to your academic and professional achievements and potential. We strongly prefer a balance of academic and professional sources. Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application system. We do not accept mailed recommendations. Please note that both letters of recommendation do NOT need to be included in your application or received by Admissions in order to submit an application. We simply recommend that applicants encourage their recommenders to submit their letters as close to when the application is being submitted as possible. Recommenders are required to complete the online evaluation form. Their response to the recommendation questions may be in either letter or short answer format and should not exceed two pages each. 

Video: What makes for a good reference letter? 

Students entering an NYU Wagner master's program are required to hold a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an equivalent degree from a foreign country.

If you submit your application prior to the conferral of your bachelor's degree or equivalent, we will accept and evaluate your application with the understanding that your degree completion is in progress. If an offer of admission is made, it will be contingent upon receiving your degree conferral prior to enrollment.

Transcripts submitted through the online application must meet the following criteria:

  • Unofficial transcripts are required from all colleges or universities attended in which you earned grades and/or academic credits at the college-level, including undergraduate, study abroad, transfer credits, continuing education, etc.
  • Uploaded files must be scanned copies of transcript(s) received from the college/university registrar OR electronic transcripts (such as those available through eSCRIP-SAFE, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse).
  • Transcripts must show all courses taken, all credits earned, and all grades received.
  • Transcripts must include your full legal name and the name of the college or university attended.
  • Transcripts must be written in English.
  • Word documents and HTML documents are not acceptable.

Transcripts for institutions located outside of the United States

If you received a graduate or undergraduate degree from an institution located outside of the United States, we require that you use a third party international credential evaluation service to assess U.S. bachelor’s equivalency and obtain a course-by-course evaluation of your grade point average.  In limited cases, NYU Wagner can assist with an international credential evaluation upon request from the student. 

Students who completed degrees in the United States and studied abroad for a semester are exempt from this requirement. Likewise, waivers may be granted for institutions in Canada (or elsewhere) that have grading systems similar to the United States. Please contact for questions or clarification.

Applications should include both unofficial transcript(s) from the degree-granting institution(s) and a copy of your international credential evaluation report from an approved evaluation service.


While standardized test scores such as the GRE or GMAT are not required for admission to NYU Wagner, we strongly recommend that applicants submit scores as part of their application. Please upload a copy of your score report into the online application before submission. Once your online application is submitted, we will not allow replacement of your test scores. Only tests taken within the past five (5) years will be considered. GRE School Code: 2507

Video: The admissions team weighs in on the optional GRE/GMAT!


The TOEFL or the IELTS is required for applicants that speak English as a second language who did not attend an undergraduate institution where the sole language of instruction was English.

You must upload a copy of your TOEFL or IELTS score report into the online application before submission. Once your online application is submitted, we will not allow replacement of your test scores. Only tests taken within the past two (2) years will be considered. Failure to complete this requirement may result in withdrawal of an application. TOEFL School Code: 2507

An $85 application fee is required to process your application for admission.

Pay by credit card

When you arrive at the Application Status page after you submit your application, you will see the option to submit a credit card payment. Follow the instructions to complete your payment.

Pay by check or money order 

Mail a check or money order in the amount of $85—payable to "New York University"—to NYU Wagner Admissions, 295 Lafayette Street 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10012.

Fee waiver eligibility

Please review the items below and indicate if any of the following apply to you.

Fee waivers are granted for the following:

  1. Submitted International Credential Evaluation
  2. Financial Circumstances
  3. AmeriCorps Members
  4. City Year Members
  5. Peace Corps Volunteers
  6. Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellows
  7. Teach For America (TFA) Participants
  8. Rangel Graduate Fellows
  9. NYPD/U.S. Military/National Guard Active or Former Members
  10. Bonner Foundation Members
  11. McNair Scholar Participants

NYU Wagner does not accept supplemental materials to our application.

Fall 2022 Admission

We encourage international students to apply by the priority deadline so that admitted students have ample time to arrange student visas. 

Spring 2021 Admission

The MPA program culminates with a yearlong Capstone project, typically occurring over the Fall and Spring semesters. Therefore full-time students who matriculate in the Spring will usually take 2.5 years to complete the degree.

International students are welcome to apply for Spring admission but should be aware of this potential time commitment.