Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply?

A:  Information about graduate study at Syracuse University can be found at the graduates admission website.  You must apply via an online application ().   

Supporting materials can be mailed to:  Graduate Enrollment Management Center of Syracuse University, Online Application Materials, P.O. Box 35060  Syracuse, NY  13235

Q:  Do you require GREs?

A:  No, degrees in Executive Education- the EMPA, EMIR and CAS- do not require GREs for admission.

Q: Is this an appropriate degree for people seeking to enter the public, NGO or nonprofit sector, or just for those already in those sectors?

A: Yes, this degree is for everyone including applicants seeking to enter these sectors.

Q: What exactly do you mean by 7 years of professional experience?

A: You must have at least 7 years of profession managerial or public policy experience by the time you begin your degree.

Q: What is the application deadline?

A: We will accept international and domestic applications for the Fall semester until June 1st.  We will accept international and domestic applications for the Spring semester until November 1st

Q. What TOEFL scores do you require?

A:  We look for minimum scores of 92 or higher (internet-based test); 580 (written test); or 237 (computer-based test) for unconditional admission.  There are options for those with scores below the minimum requirements:  Syracuse University English Language Institute or improving English skills in one’s own country before re-taking the TOEFL.

Q: What kind of flexibility is there for EMPA courses?

A: Quite a bit.  Courses include:  3 core course requirements and 3 additional PAI courses according to your area of interest. This leaves 4 courses which may be a combination of PAI and other Graduate Level courses in accordance to your study of interest. For more information, go to the EMPA Degree Programs page.

Q:  What kind of flexibility is there for EMIR courses?

A:  EMIR courses include:  2 core course requirements; 1 signature course; 3 career track courses; 1 regional course; 3 PAI elective courses. For more information, go to the EMIR Degree Programs page.

Q:  Does EMIR have different entry requirements than the EMPA?

A:  All International Relations students, including EMIR, must show proficiency in a second language. For more information, go to the language requirements page.

Q. What courses can I take for a Certificate of Advanced Study in Public Administration (CAS-PA)?

A:  CAS-PA is 12-credit stand-alone certificate and requires that all 12 credits (4 courses) be in Department of Public Administration and International Affairs (PAIA), or have the PAI prefix.  There is one required course. For more information, go to the public administration overview page.

Q:  What other stand-alone CAS options are available?

A:  Executive Education offers Certificates of Advanced Study  in Public Administration, Conflict Resolution, Health Services Management and Policy; and Leadership of Non-Governmental Organizations.  Each has its own requirements- consult the CAS page to learn more.

Q: Is there an opportunity to complement my Master’s degree with a Certificate of Advanced Study?

A:  Yes!  A concurrent Certificate of Advanced Study is a popular option with many students and a key feature in the flexibility of the Executive Education degree at the Maxwell School.  There are numerous options, look at the certificate overview page for concurrent CAS options.   Yes, during your first advisement session you can map out your program of study and complete the Internal Admission application process for a Certificate of Advanced Study.

Q: Is there flexibility of the timeframe to complete my Master’s degree?

A: Yes, you can enroll full-time, which usually takes 1 year to complete the degree, or you can enroll part-time (domestic students) and map out a program of study with your academic advisor to complete within 7 years.

Q: What is the class profile like?

A: Executive Education students are diverse – from 15-20 countries, 45-50% international, experienced in all 3 sectors (private, public, non-governmental), a mix of genders and generally between 30-55 years of age.

Q:  Where can I learn about Public Administration and International Affairs (PAIA) courses?

A:  Our handbooks of Public Administration (2017-2018 MAIR handbook   and International Relations page are quite comprehensive.

Q:  Where can I learn about Maxwell faculty?

A:  There are over 150 faculty members of the Maxwell School.  You can learn about each one on the Maxwell Faculty page.

Q: Is it mandatory to attend an Orientation prior to beginning coursework?

A: Yes. The Fall and Spring orientation usually takes place the week before classes begin. This serves as an introduction to the program, faculty, colleagues, department, and logistics for graduate Level coursework.

Q: Are there possibilities for funding?

A: We suggest for international students that they visit their American Embassy for possible scholarships, as well as funding for their region of the world. For domestic students we suggest applying for Graduate Assistantships.

Q: Do I have to pay the $75 application fee or can that be waived?

A: Yes, all applicants must pay the application fee, it cannot be waived.

Q:  What can I do to ensure receiving my visa documents in a timely manner?

A:   Include all information about funding for any dependents who will join you, as well as their name as written on their passport, each person’s city of birth, and country of birth.

Q:  How do I find housing in Syracuse?

A:  There is no University-sponsored housing for graduate students.  Consult these resources: 

Off Campus and Commuter Services

Orange Housing (NOT affiliated with Syracuse University)

Craig’s List   (NOT affiliated with Syracuse University)  

Plan to stay in temporary housing 2-3 days while searching for more permanent arrangements.

International students should refer to the Temporary Accommodation Information sent by the Slutzker Center for International ServicesWe strongly recommend that you do not sign a lease for any off campus housing without seeing the property first. 

Q: Do I need a Student ID before I arrive on campus?

A: No. Please visit Steele Hall, 106 once you arrive on campus to have a photo taken and they will print your ID right there.

Q: How do I get my books for classes?

A: Check your course syllabi for required textbooks.  Many textbooks, but not all, are available to order in advance at the Syracuse University Bookstore website. The website lists all books required for courses.  

Q: How do I order an official transcripts?

A: Please visit the student transcripts page for instructions and forms on how to order a transcript.