Woodrow Wilson School
The Woodrow Wilson School was founded in 1930 as the School of Public and International Affairs. It offers an undergraduate major and a professional school that brings together teaching and research in economics, politics, sociology, psychology, several of the natural sciences, history and other disciplines within the University to prepare talented women and men for careers in public service, particularly government service in the area of international affairs.
Its graduate degree programs include a two-year course of study leading to a master in public affairs (M.P.A.), a one-year program for midcareer professionals leading to a master in public policy (M.P.P.) and a Ph.D. program. The graduate program was added in 1948 when the school was named in honor of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. president, former governor of New Jersey and former president of the University. The graduate program was greatly strengthened in the 1960s through a $35 million gift from Marie Robertson, wife of Charles Robertson, a 1926 alumnus.
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.
Both undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience in domestic public policy or international affairs. Undergraduates participate in policy seminars, which can include travel in the United States and abroad. The undergraduate program underwent a restructuring in 2011 that opened the major — previously the University’s only competitive undergraduate major — to all students who meet prerequisite requirements, taking effect for the students who enrolled in fall 2011 as the Class of 2015.
In its graduate program, the school emphasizes policy-oriented research and teaching. M.P.A. candidates follow a core curriculum and then branch into one of four fields of concentration. An M.P.A./J.D. joint-degree program and five certificate programs expand the graduate curriculum.
Graduate students complete a policy workshop for a real-world client, with recent workshops focusing on subjects such as managing elections in fragile states like Myanmar, state policies on hydrofracking, shaping American policy in the Middle East, implementing the Affordable Care Act, harnessing the power of “nudges” and peace-building in conflict-affected countries.
Graduate 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 the U.S. federal government, especially in international relations. The six-year program, beginning in a Princeton student’s junior year, includes a summer federal government internship, two years of federal government service between the first and second year of the M.P.A. program, and graduation from the M.P.A. program.