Harvard Kennedy School?

Hi! I’m currently an incoming freshman at George Washington University majoring in political science and minoring in international affairs. I’m considering graduate school after college for a multitude of reasons and I’m really interested in the Kennedy School. I just wanted to ask what do you guys think I should do in college specifically in order to promote my chances of getting accepted to the Kennedy School? I understand having experience in my field after graduation is important but I want to take this step by step and know what I should do going into college. Does anyone have any advice GPA wise, extracurricular wise, rec letters wise, or just a general outline for preparing for grad school? Thank you!

This would be a good conversation to have with your advisor and other professors in your department.

In addition to what happy mom said, take some Quant courses. Per the Kennedy website:

However, there are several highly ranked public policy programs in addition to Kennedy, so open your field view.

e.g., Columbia.


Takng specific coursework mentioned above along with demonstrated interest in public affairs are good ways to prepare for a good MPP program. Also investigate other programs as well as the Kennedy School. For example, Princeton’s program is smaller and has offered more funding in recent years - I had heard that Princeton offered funding to all of their MPP students. A life of public service may not pay that well so funding should be considered.

There are lots of programs at the Kennedy School - 4 master’s and 4 doctoral - so the answer is going to vary depending on which one you want.

Other than that, HKS has lots of general information on their website about these issues.

Courses: Here (https://www.hks.harvard.edu/admissions-aid/masters-program-admissions/how-apply/degree-program-prerequisites). Each program has its own required/recommended courses.

Letters of recommendation:

*If you are an undergraduate or have less than two years of work experience, we encourage you to submit two letters of recommendation from university faculty members—one from your departmental major—and the third from your immediate supervisor from a professional work environment or internship.

If you have more than two years of work experience, two of your three letters of recommendation should be from current or previous work colleagues, including a supervisor. We encourage you to also submit an academic reference.*

CheddarcheeseMN is right in that all Princeton Woodrow Wilson MPP students get tuition remission and a stipend; however, that program is a mid-career MPP, and they require at least 7 years of work experience in the public sector.