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Frequently Asked Questions

Bruce Owen Award Winner Angela Gong with Greg Rosston

Bruce Owen Award Winnter Angela Gong with Faculty Director Greg Rosston at Commencement 2019

Chris Alleyne-Levy

"I like the interdisciplinary approach and the freedom of the program. You can choose to take a very quantitative approach or more policy-oriented approach. I also liked that you could take Law School and Business School courses." - Benji Nguyen, MPP, Class of 2017


Q. What is the application deadline for the Master of Public Policy program?

A. Stanford alumni who have graduated within the past 5 years and current Stanford seniors wishing to apply to the MPP program must submit completed applications and all supplementary materials by April 7, 2020. Visit the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions for more info.

Q. Are there prerequisite courses required for the MPP program?

A. Yes. Graduate students in Public Policy are expected to be literate in mathematics and microeconomics at a level equivalent to MATH 51: Linear Algebra and Differential Calculus of Several Variables and ECON 50: Economic Analysis I before beginning the Public Policy curriculum. Alternatively, you could be literate in mathematics at a level equivalent to MATH 21: Calculus plus commit to taking the autumn boot camp refresher course. A no-credit refresher course in mathematics and economics is offered in the two weeks preceding the start of Autumn Quarter. See the Bootcamp page for more info.

Q. Do I have to take all the required Public Policy courses, even if I have taken similar courses previously?

A. No. Public Policy students are never required to repeat a course which duplicates material they have already mastered. Students may, by petition, substitute a different course for a core requirement whose material would be duplicative. This flexibility does not reduce the unit requirements for any degree. See the Forms page for more details.

Q. Is the GRE required for current graduate students applying to the Public Policy program?

A. Current Stanford graduate students should submit scores for whichever test they took to be admitted to their current graduate program (for example, the GMAT, MCAT, GRE, or LSAT exam).

Q. Is the GRE required for Stanford seniors or alumni applying to the MPP program?

A. Yes, the GRE is required for Stanford seniors and alumni. There is no minimum score.

Q. Is it possible to have the GRE fee waived?

A. Yes. For information on different types of fee waivers (including the GRE fee), please visit:

Q. Can I still apply for the MPP or the MA Program even if I’m not a current Stanford student or a Stanford alumni?

A. At this time, we are only able to accept applications from current Stanford graduate students, graduating Stanford seniors, and Stanford alumni who have graduated within the past 5 years. Exceptions cannot be made. 

Q. I’d like to apply for a joint MBA/MPP degree or the joint JD/MPP degree. How does that process work?

A. Applicants interested in any of the Public Policy joint degree programs must first submit their application and be admitted to the other program before being considered for the Public Policy degree. For example, to apply for the MBA/MPP degree, you must first submit your application to the Business School based on their application criteria and deadlines.

Q. Who should write my recommendation letters?

A. At least two letters of recommendation should be from Stanford faculty members who can attest to your strengths as a student (one if you are a current Stanford graduate student). In addition, you should also provide at least one letter from an employer if you have work experience that is relevant to the MPP degree program.

Q. As a Stanford senior/alumni, how do I check the status of my application?

A. The online application system allows applicants to see the status of their applications, including a checklist of required application components. Once the application deadline has passed, the Public Policy Program will begin reviewing applications for completeness. It takes at least two weeks for us to review all applications. Applicants can then log into the accounts created when they submitted their applications to check the status of their applications and see whether any items are missing.

Q. When will I be informed of the admissions decision?

A. The admissions committee will review applications for at least two weeks after the January 28th deadline, and notification letters will be sent by April 1. Please do not call the Public Policy office to inquire about whether you have been offered admission to the program, as this information cannot be given over the phone.

Q. As a current graduate student, how do I accept my offer of admission?

A. If admitted, graduate students will submit a Graduate Authorization Petition through Axess and a Tuition Agreement for Students with Multiple Programs Form to the Registrar. A $125 fee is charged by the University when the Grad Auth Petition is submitted and approved.

Q. How much is tuition?

A. The 2020-2021 academic year tuition rate for full time (meaning 11 to 18 units/qtr) study is $18,105 per quarter. For more information on tuition rates please visit:

Q. Does the Public Policy Program provide funding?

A. The Public Policy Program currently offers limited financial assistance to MPP students. For information on student loans and other sources of support, please consult the Stanford Financial Aid Office. Students who enter public service employment with local, state, or federal agencies, schools, or certain not-for-profit organizations may obtain forgiveness for educational loans, based on years of public service employment. Please visit the Graduate Resources page for more info. 

Stanford also offers the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world's greatest challenges. The program awards up to 100 high-achieving students every year with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including the MA and MPP in Public Policy.

Q. Are Teaching Assistantships available for MPP students?

A. Yes, there are a limited number of TAships available for students during the second year of their degree program. Please contact the program for more details.

Q. Where can I find information about student housing?

A. Complete information about housing, including cost, location, and application instructions, can be found on the Student Housing website. Graduate students can live in Escondido Village, Rains and Munger. Additionally, there are housing options for couples and families.

Q. When do I need to arrive on campus to start the program?

A. Please review the academic calendar for important dates. Public Policy offers a math and economics refresher course (called "boot camp"), held during the two weeks prior to the start of Autumn Quarter. It is highly recommended that all incoming students attend bootcamp. There is also a mandatory orientation for all incoming students held the Friday before Autumn Quarter begins. If you are moving into university housing, be sure to select the correct move-in date when you apply.