MS in Public Policy Application Checklist

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

Fill out your online application

Entry Term

Only offered for the Fall semester.

Application Deadline

Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on the day of the deadline. Any mailed application material must be postmarked by the deadline date.

We recommend submitting your application earlier in the cycle as admission becomes more competitive throughout the year.

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.

NYU Wagner essays provide an opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, background, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.

All essay responses should be written in full sentences within paragraph structure and should be no longer than the required word limit.
Your essays should be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be revoked if we find you did not write your essays.

Essay 1

This is a one year, cohort-based, intensive degree. Why do you want to study public policy analysis for an intensive year at Wagner rather than spreading out your coursework over two years? Finally, what will you add to our tight-knit, collaborative cohort? Please share additional information if this is a change in direction for you. (500 words)

Essay 2

The field of public policy is complicated and messy, and issues are often interconnected. Discuss a complex public policy issue you are interested in exploring. How will the Master of Science in Public Policy at NYU Wagner prepare you to address this issue? (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

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.

Please upload a resume or CV that includes your employment and professional history in reverse

Please provide us with an up-to-date resume that includes your education and employment history. Your resume should include your employment and professional history in reverse chronological order and should indicate the dates of attendance and degree(s) earned. 

Post-college work experience is not required to apply for NYU Wagner programs, with the exception of the Executive Master of Public Administration, which requires a minimum of eight years of work experience, with increasingly progressive management and leadership responsibilities.

If you do not have post-college work experience, please include information on any internships and part-time employment in your resume. If your employment status changes after you apply, you must provide an updated resume.

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.

Two letters of recommendation are required with your application. Do not submit more than your required number of letters of recommendation and please adhere to these guidelines:

  • Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application system. We do not accept mailed recommendations. 
  • The recommendation may be academic or professional in nature. We strongly prefer a balance of academic and professional sources. 
  • The recommendation should come from an individual who can objectively assess your performance and your potential for success in your NYU Wagner program of interest and in your future career.
  • We discourage recommendations from family members, family friends, and close friends.
  • Your recommender must have a valid email address.
  • Your recommenders will be asked to provide an answer to these questions:
    • How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity?
    • What do you consider the applicant's outstanding talents?
    • In which areas could the applicant exhibit growth or improvement?
    • What relevant insights can you offer regarding this candidate—particularly those that are not likely to be available from other sources?
    • What observations do you have of the character and integrity of the applicant?
  • Your recommenders may answer these questions by uploading a document.

Instructions for Submitting Recommendations

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. 

  • As part of the application process, you will input the names and contact information for your recommender.
  • Once you submit a recommender’s information, he or she will receive an email notification and instructions for completing the recommendation.
  • There are instructions in the application for sending reminders to your recommenders, if needed.
  • Please note all letters of recommendation do not need to be completed in order to submit an application. However, we will be unable to review your application until all required recommendations are received.

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.


GRE or GMAT are required for admission to the MS in Public Policy at NYU Wagner. 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

TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable)

Mastery of English is required for NYU Wagner programs. If your undergraduate or graduate degree was not taught in English, you must demonstrate your level of proficiency in English in one of the following ways:

1. You have a TOEFL score of at least 100

2. You have an IELTS score of at least 7 You must upload a copy of your TOEFL or IELTS score report into the online application before submission and ensure that your official score report can be released and sent to NYU Wagner. Only tests taken within the past two (2) years will be considered. Failure to complete this requirement may result in withdrawal of an application. While an official test score is required for a final decision, the Admissions Committee can begin the review of your application with an unofficial test score. TOEFL School Code: 2507.

For applicants who took the test more than once, the Admissions Committee considers only the test with the highest total score taken within two years of the application deadline for which you apply.

If you plan to retake the TOEFL or IELTS assessments after applying, you must inform the Admissions Committee of the date you intend to take the test via email to The Admissions Committee will proceed with the evaluation of your application using your submitted score, and may issue a decision prior to receiving additional test scores.

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

Pay by credit card 

When you arrive at the last step of the application process, choose "Pay by Credit Card." Then follow the instructions to complete your payment.

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. Current NYU Undergrad
  2. AmeriCorps Members
  3. Bonner Foundation Members
  4. City Year Members
  5. McNair Scholar Participants
  6. Peace Corps Volunteers
  7. Rangel Graduate Fellows
  8. Teach For America (TFA) Participants
  9. Truman Scholar Participants
  10. Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellows
  11. Pickering Fellow Recipients
  12. New York Police Department
  13. ICE Requirement
  14. Financial Hardship
  15. Military Affiliation
  16. HBCU or HSI
  17. NYU Employee
  18. NYU Alumni

Fall Admission

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