Admission Criteria

Admission to the MPA and MAIR programs at the Maxwell School is highly selective. We are looking for students who demonstrate:

  • a strong commitment to the public good,
  • an understanding of the professional nature of the field with clearly identified career goals aligned with our schools mission, and
  • an ability to handle graduate level coursework.

Our graduates seek careers which have meaningful impact in their community (no matter how narrowly or broadly they define "community").  This public service ethos is an exceptionally important aspect of our Maxwell community.

Toward both ends, we value work experience, internships, and volunteerism in relevant fields. These are solid indicators of success in our program.

The median age of students beginning our programs is 26. Roughly 80 percent of them have two years or more of professional work experience.  Those who do not have work experience have participated in internships or volunteer experiences related to their career goals and have a solid understanding of the professional nature of these fields.

Students admitted over the past three years have had median GPAs above 3.5 and GRE test scores of 580/158-V, 700/155-Q and 4.5- AW.  Median TOEFL scores of those admitted over the past three years have been above 105.