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.
  • Applicants seeking merit-based aid are encouraged to complete the application early in the cycle as awarding 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.
  • We require you to certify that the essays you submit are entirely your own original work. Please be aware that if it is discovered that the submitted essays do not meet this requirement, we retain the right to revoke your admission.

Essay 1

The MSPP program is an intensive one-year degree that requires students to be enrolled from August to August, enabling them to complete the program within a single year. Why are you interested in completing a one-year program? Share examples of how you plan to excel in this accelerated learning format (eg.; academic or professional achievements, unique qualities, strengths, etc). Additionally, share how you plan to contribute to the cohort and community at Wagner during the program. (500 words)


Essay 2

The field of public policy is complicated, and issues are often interconnected. Discuss a public policy issue that is important to you. Share how your past experiences may have influenced your interest in this policy area and why you are interested in exploring this topic while in this program. (500 words)

You may submit an optional video essay, no longer than one (1) minute in length, that shares your unique perspective, skill set, or life experience. Articulate how it might benefit your classmates, enhance discourse in the classroom, and/or contribute to the NYU Wagner community.

Instructions on how to submit your Video Essay:

  • Please upload your video to an easily accessible website (such as YouTube).
  • Enter the URL for your video when prompted in the "Essay" section of your application.
  • 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 screenshot 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 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. 

Work experience is highly valued and preferred, but not mandatory for applying to our programs, with the exception of the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) program. 

If you do not have professional 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. A balance of academic and professional sources is preferred, but individual circumstances vary so use your best judgment in choosing references. 
  • 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?


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. 

  • You must provide the names and contact information of your recommenders when prompted in the application.
  • Your recommenders will receive a secure email notification from NYU with instructions for completing the recommendation. You may send reminders to your recommenders through the application portal if needed.
  • Please note you may submit your application while waiting for your recommenders to complete their letters of recommendation. However, we cannot begin the review of your application until all required documents 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.

Graduating Seniors may apply for admission to NYU Wagner prior to degree completion. If an offer of admission is made and accepted, you must submit your final transcript with all grades and the date of degree conferral prior to enrollment and by the deadline established by the NYU Registrar’s Office. 

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, transfer credits, continuing education, etc.
  • Unofficial transcripts are accepted for the review process.  All transcripts uploaded by the applicant are considered unofficial.
  • In order for a transcript to be considered official, it must be received directly from the institution or an official third-party transcript provider such as those available through eSCRIP-SAFE, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse, etc. 
  • 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.

International Credential Evaluation Requirement

If you received an undergraduate degree from an institution located outside of the United States or Canada, we require that you use a third-party international credential evaluation service to assess U.S. bachelor’s equivalency and evaluation of your grade point average. NYU Wagner will only accept international evaluation reports from NACES-approved agencies. You can find the full list here.

  • Applicants must select a course-by-course evaluation to be completed by one of the approved evaluation service providers.
  • When completing your NYU Wagner application, upload both unofficial transcripts from the degree-granting institution(s) and a copy of your international credential evaluation report from an approved evaluation service.
  • All applicants who are required to submit an international credential evaluation, are eligible to receive an application fee waiver to apply to NYU Wagner. Once your NYU Wagner application is submitted and the international credential evaluation is received, your application fee waiver will be waived. Do not pay the application before the waiver is applied, as we will not be able to issue a refund. 

International Credential Evaluation (ICE) Waivers

  • We only require applicants to have their undergraduate degree evaluated. If you earned a graduate-level degree from an institution outside of the US or Canada, this requirement is optional and not required. 

  • Students with degrees from institutions based in the United States that operate degree-granting branch campuses in another country are exempt from this requirement. 

  • We do not require an evaluation for a study abroad semester.

Please contact for questions or clarification. If you meet the criteria for an ICE waiver, this requirement will be waived upon submission of your application, no formal request is needed.

GRE or GMAT (optional)

Quantitative analysis is a core component of the MSPP program. If you do not currently have any evidence of quantitative proficiency that demonstrates your ability to succeed in the program represented in your previous academics or in your professional experience, we encourage you to submit GRE or GMAT scores.

  • Scores are valid for five years from the date that you took the test and must be valid at the time that you submit your application. You are responsible for including your test score on the online application and ensuring that Pearson VUE or ETS is able to release and send your official score report to NYU Wagner.
  • NYU Wagner has no minimum GRE or GMAT score requirement. For applicants who took the test more than once, the Admissions Committee considers only the test with the highest total score.
  • Please upload a copy of your score report into the online application before submission. We cannot accept test scores once your online application is submitted. 

GRE School Code: 2507

English Language Proficiency (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. A TOEFL score of at least 100 (We accept MyBest scores and our TOEFL School Code is 2507)

2. An IELTS score of at least 7.0 

3. A Duolingo score of 130

  • Scores must be less than two years old upon application submission. While official scores are required, an unofficial copy of your score report can be used to review your application and must be uploaded at the time of submission. If you submit a test score that does not meet the minimum requirements to apply, you will be contacted by the admissions committee and given the opportunity to retake the exam. 

  • 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 one of the required English Language Proficiency 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 or NYU Langone Employee
  18. NYU Alumni

If you qualify for an application fee waiver, please do not submit your payment. The Admissions Office will contact you regarding your fee waiver status. We can not refund payments once they have been received. 

International students may have additional application components. Please review the International Applicant checklist for a complete and comprehensive list

We encourage international students to apply earlier in the cycle so that admitted students have ample time to arrange student visas.