About the program
The Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree is a rigorous two-year program that prepares students both to understand complex problems and to craft concrete solutions. Through courses, exercises, and fieldwork students master an interdisciplinary conceptual toolkit that draws on the social sciences but is adapted for action. MPP candidates arrive at HKS committed to improving the world. They equip themselves to do so through broad-spectrum analytical competency. This defining feature of the MPP means intellectual honesty; a hunger for evidence; the capacity to extract answerable questions from the messy clutter of real-world public problems; familiarity with a wide range of analytic methods and the habit of picking the tool to fit the task.
The MPP Core curriculum features policy analysis, economics, management and leadership, empirical analysis, negotiation, ethics, and politics. The first year culminates in a Spring Policy Exercise that lets student teams try their hand at a real-world, real-time policy challenge. Most students spend the summer on a policy-oriented internship. The Policy Analysis Exercise—a client-driven, often team-based practicum—caps the second-year curriculum, in which students also pursue a range of electives at HKS and throughout Harvard.
Classes at the Harvard Kennedy School are taught by the case method, the more traditional lecture format, or a mixture of both. Students work together in small groups on projects and are aided by course assistants, teaching fellows, and faculty members in a collaborative and non-competitive working environment.
How to Apply
The application deadline for fall 2017 admission is Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 11:59 EST. Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions in spring 2017.
Applicants have opportunities to experience the HKS campus firsthand before submitting their applications by attending the school's open houses, information sessions, and campus tours. The Office of Admissions also arranges for applicants to meet with current students through the HKS Student Ambassadors Program. If you are interested in meeting with one of our students, please fill out a request form.
The Harvard Kennedy School admissions blog is another resource for applicants to learn more about our school and the admissions process, read about fellowship and other funding opportunities, and get fresh perspectives from HKS students, faculty, and alumni.
What we look for in MPP applicants
At Harvard Kennedy School, our mission is to educate exceptional public leaders and generate ideas that help solve public problems.
As a school that centers on leadership and public service, we look for applicants who demonstrate leadership experience and commitment to serve the public good. These are qualities often displayed through internships, professional experience and community or volunteer work.
MPP students must arrive at HKS with at least a bachelor’s degree and preferably some knowledge of undergraduate-level economics, calculus and statistics. Though students are not required to have professional experience, it is preferred that they accrue two to three years of real-world work experience before enrolling in the MPP Program.
Read more about the academic and work experience prerequisites to ensure that you meet the program’s requirements to be considered for admission. For specific questions related to admission to Harvard Kennedy School, please contact the Office of Admissions at email@example.com or (617) 495-1155.
Tuition and Fees
Pursuing a graduate degree is a valuable investment in yourself, your career, and your future. For many, it is also a significant financial undertaking.
Harvard Kennedy School generally expects students to fund their education through a combination of personal resources as well as government, corporate, or scholarship support. It is an individual process to research funding opportunities to finance your graduate education; however, the Student Financial Services (SFS) team is available to help guide you through your search.
Fellowships and scholarships
Harvard Kennedy School offers a limited number of competitive fellowships and scholarships each year to domestic and international students who meet certain eligibility criteria such as country of study area, country of citizenship, or gender. To be considered, applicants will need to apply for merit-based fellowships and need-based scholarships during the HKS admission process. There are very few opportunities for students to apply for fellowships and scholarships once they are admitted to HKS.
Learn more about HKS, HKS-affiliated, and Harvard University fellowships and scholarships for domestic and international students as well as work-study options, student loans, and how to apply for financial assistance.
HKS tuition and fees
SFS details the current tuition and fees for domestic and international students as well as dependent costs for international students with spouses, children, or both. The domestic and international student budgets provided help to explain the total costs associated with pursuing an MPP degree.
For specific questions related to financing your Harvard Kennedy School education, please contact the SFS office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-495-1155.
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