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For Current Graduate Students

Graduate student Ben Gillman and Professor David Crane at Commencement 2019


Chris Alleyne-Levy

Applying to Public Policy for Current Stanford Graduate Students

To ensure that your application to the MPP or MA in Public Policy is completed correctly, it is important that you thoroughly review the information below.

To be considered for matriculation beginning in the Autumn Quarter 2021, all application materials must be submitted no later than January 28, 2021. 

Cost of Application: If admitted, students will pay a $125 fee when submitting a Graduate Authorization Petition via Axess.

Questions about admissions should be directed to MPP Grad Admissions. Please be sure to review the FAQ first to make sure your questions haven't already been answered.

Application Requirements

Only complete applications will be reviewed. A complete application includes the following:

  • Application form
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a Stanford faculty member familiar with your academic work;
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts*
  • GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT test scores*
  • Statement of purpose, not to exceed two pages
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Preliminary program proposal
  • Pre-requisite completion statement, demonstrating completion of required prerequisite course work in multivariate calculus and intermediate microeconomics

If admitted, you will add the Public Policy degree program via the Graduate Authorization Petition.  For joint degree students, you will also need to submit the "Tuition Agreement for Students with Multiple Programs" in Axess. 

* Current graduate students may ask their home department to send their undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and test scores directly to Public Policy by emailing (For MBA students who wish to apply, please contact Jennifer Mason at to request documents to be sent.)


The Public Policy graduate curriculum assumes that students have completed the following: Microeconomics (Stanford equivalent: ECON 50) and either Multivariable Calculus (Stanford equivalent: MATH 51) or Calculus (Stanford equivalent: MATH 21) plus autumn bootcamp. While the prerequisites are not required to be completed at the time of application, they must be completed prior to matriculation. Students should have at least some background in economics and calculus. You may view the Stanford equivalents of these courses at the Explore Courses website. Additional information about the prerequisite courses can also be found on the application form and in the FAQ

Course Planning

Public Policy students are never required to repeat a course which duplicates or is closely related to material they have already mastered. Students may propose a course substitution by completing the Course Petition Form. This flexibility does not reduce the unit requirements for any degree.

All graduate degree candidates must submit a Master's Degree Program Proposal to the Public Policy office one quarter after beginning the degree and must amend this proposal formally if plans for meeting the degree requirements change.

Financial Aid

The Public Policy Program provides limited funding. Typically, students take out loans to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is utilized by some Public Policy graduate students. In some cases, usually in the second year of study, students may be able to obtain research or teaching assistantships to support their education. Additional information concerning fellowships and assistantships can be found in the FAQ. We also offer a limited number of summer fellowships for MPP students pursuing internships with various nonprofit and government organizations.

Decision Notification

Admission notifications will be sent to applicants by May 1st. Admitted students are required to respond to offers of admission by May 15th.

The selection of graduate students admitted to the Public Policy program is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant's academic record, the letters of recommendation, the scores on the GRE (or other graduate test), the statement of purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, and past accomplishments.