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Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

The Woodrow Wilson School was founded in 1930 as the School of Public and International Affairs and brings together teaching and research in economics, politics, sociology, psychology, several of the natural sciences, history and other disciplines within the University.

The school counts among its alumni a secretary of state, a secretary of defense, a secretary of the Treasury, several U.S. representatives, senators and governors, a chair of the Federal Reserve Board, U.S. and foreign government officials, ambassadors, leaders of nonprofit organizations and other policymakers.

The Woodrow Wilson School offers a multidisciplinary undergraduate liberal arts major for Princeton University students who are passionate about public policy. Students participate in policy workshops, which can include travel in the United States and abroad, and focus on subjects such as elections in fragile states, the Middle East peace process, health policy in India, the challenges facing the Affordable Care Act, and state-level policies on renewables in the energy sector.

The school’s graduate degree programs are designed to prepare students for careers in public service, and include a two-year Master in Public Affairs (M.P.A.) program, a one-year Master in Public Policy (M.P.P.) program for midcareer professionals, and a Ph.D. program that focuses either on Security Studies or Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP). An M.P.A./J.D. joint-degree program and five certificate programs expand the graduate curriculum.

The graduate program emphasizes policy-oriented research and teaching. M.P.A. candidates follow a core curriculum and then branch into one of four fields of concentration. They have the opportunity to gain real-world experience, completing a policy workshop for a real-world client. Recent workshops focused on subjects such as global poverty, human rights in China, the fight for democracy in the Western Balkans, and the challenges facing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Students also gain professional experience during a required summer internship between their first and second years of study.

The school’s “Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative,” launched in 2006, encourages the nation’s best and brightest students to pursue careers in public service. The core element of the program is a two-year SINSI-supported fellowship with an executive branch department or agency while enrolled in the M.P.A. program. This highly competitive scholarship program provides exceptional students both the academic training and the practical work experience in federal service needed to succeed in public policy careers.