Application Process for Stanford Seniors and Alumni

Public Policy Commencement reception 2018

To ensure that your application for the Stanford MA or MPP degree is completed correctly, it is important that you thoroughly review both the information below as well as that found on the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions website.

To be considered for matriculation beginning in the Autumn Quarter 2022, all application materials must be submitted no later than January 27, 2022. The online application for the MA and MPP will be available in mid-September.

To Apply: Complete the online application found on the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions website.

Cost of Application: The fee for all applicants is $125. We are unable to refund your application fee, so please refer to eligibility requirements before submitting your application.

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.

SIEPR courtyard with fountain

Application Requirements


  • Application  
  • Official Transcripts. Copies of your transcripts must bear the official seal of the institution and the signature of the registrar. Transcripts must be uploaded to the online application
  • GRE Scores
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three confidential letters of recommendation from a Stanford faculty member or an employer should be submitted electronically via the online application. Please see the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions website regarding letters of recommendation. At least two (2)  of the three letters must be from Stanford faculty members
  • Statement of purpose (not to exceed two pages; upload to the online application)
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (upload to the online application)
  • Pre-requisite completion statement, demonstrating completion of required prerequisite course work in multivariate calculus and intermediate microeconomics


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 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

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

Currently, the Public Policy Program is unable to offer 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 also be found in the FAQ. We offer a limited number of summer fellowships for MPP students pursuing internships with various nonprofit and government organizations.

Application Status

Check the status of your application (e.g., letter of recommendation, official transcripts, ETS scores, etc.), by logging into your application account Activity Log. 

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.