Things to Consider
Before applying to Maxwell or any graduate program it is important to consider carefully where you will thrive academically, professionally, and personally.
In part, you are looking for a good match between your own background and the admissions guidelines and curriculum of the school. Even more important is the match between your academic needs and future career goals and the overriding mission of the school and the strengths of its specific programs. Also investigate faculty research areas and co-curricular activities that can build upon classroom learning.
After exploring the academic resources, curriculum, and admissions requirements also consider such aspects as community, financial aid, and student services. Do the campus and surrounding communities comprise an environment in which you can thrive not only as a student, but as a budding public service professional? For some, a school's student community can be critically important.
The alumni network is a meaningful - and sometimes overlooked - aspect of your school selection. Attending any program should extend your opportunities for advice, practical experience, and employment options, all potentially gained from your new family of fellow graduates. Ask yourself: Are the alumni of this particular school/program in the kinds of positions that I aspire to for my career?
For more advice on preparing for and applying to top graduate programs in public administration, policy, and international affairs, download Making A Difference as a Public Affairs and Policy Professional, co-authored by PAIA's Director of Admissions Christine Omolino and a former colleague from Princeton University.