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Application Process for Current Stanford Graduate Students

Claw fountain

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 2024, all application materials must be submitted no later than January 23, 2025. Please send all materials to mppgradadmissions [at] (mppgradadmissions[at]stanford[dot]edu). Letters of recommendation should be sent to the same address.

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 mppgradadmissions [at] (MPP Grad Admissions). Please be sure to review the application requirements to make sure your questions haven't already been answered.

Note: The Public Policy Program recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.

Chris Alleyne-Levy

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 (email to mppgradadmissions [at]
  • 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 calculus and economics

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 mppgradadmissions [at] (mppgradadmissions[at]stanford[dot]edu). (For GSB students who wish to apply, please fill out the MBA form or MSx form to request that your test scores and transcript are sent to the Public Policy program.)


The Public Policy graduate curriculum assumes that students have completed the following: Principles of Economics (Stanford equivalent: ECON 1) and Calculus (Stanford equivalent: MATH 20.)  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 in the Stanford Bulletin. Additional information about the prerequisite courses can also be found on the application form and in the FAQ. A refresher bootcamp is offered for calculus and economics in the week prior to the autumn quarter for incoming students. 

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 is unable to provide 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 April 1st. Admitted students are required to respond to offers of admission by May 1st.

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. 

Students having class on the lawn

"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