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What Makes a Strong Application?

Students in our MPP program come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. No particular undergraduate major or prior professional experience is required or encouraged. Still, addressing the issues and guiding questions below should help illustrate the sorts of things your application file should address. 

windowDemonstrate self-awareness

Graduate school is a means to an end, typically to help launch one’s career, advance within a current field, or perhaps even change fields altogether so applicants should have a deep understanding of their own trajectories.

  • Why are you seeking an MPP?
  • What strengths would you bring to the program?
  • What gaps exist in your current skills or knowledge, and why would earning an MPP help you address them? 
Convey an appetite for mastering quantitative methods

Our program emphasizes  quantitative and analytical thinking, which means the strongest applicants clearly explain why they are eager to pursue that sort of training and work.poster

  • Can you highlight previous success in courses on calculus, statistics, and microeconomics?
  • If your background lacks training in quantitative or economic skills and concepts, could you explain why and illustrate why you now recognize a need to learn these things?
  • Are there examples of how you’ve used quantitative skills in previous experiences such as independent or collaborative research projects, or in previous jobs or internships?
dialogueProvide evidence of high-level verbal and writing ability

 The MPP curriculum sets high standards for student writing, class discussion, and communication in more formal settings, meaning applicants conveying an aptitude for these things will stand out.

  • Have you written a clear, well-organized, and compelling personal statement that is free of errors of grammar, spelling, and usage?
  • Have you previously made high marks in writing-intensive courses?
  • Are there examples from other learning experiences or past jobs and internships that demonstrate your strong communication skills?
  • If you are an applicant for whom English is not your native language, have you earned high TOEFL scores (100 or above; 25 or higher for each section) or an IELTS score of at least 7.5?
seminarDescribe how your previous experiences would enrich your graduate cohort

Graduate students regularly report that they learn much in their courses, but also from their fellow students, which means that describing your interesting life or professional experiences can help us understand how you would help enrich your graduate cohort?

  • Why about your personal background or experiences would allow you to make strong contributions to the learning of your fellow students?
  • What example could you share from school or the working world that demonstrates your ability to contribute to the success of a group?