WWS Blog

Are You a Competitive Applicant for Graduate Study at the Woodrow Wilson School?

Nov 22, 2013
Published by:
WWS Admissions
Robertson Hall in autumn

We take a holistic approach in evaluating candidates for admission.  Here are key qualities we seek in competitive applicants to our Masters programs at the Woodrow Wilson School.


  • We seek to enroll students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service
  • We weigh the depth of commitment to a career of public service by evaluating both volunteer and professional accomplishments
  • Your personal statement should clearly state why you are applying by focusing on your accomplishments, leadership, and career goals


  • Candidates should plan to work in either the public or non-profit sectors for at least two years prior to applying
  • A significant emphasis is placed on careers in public and non-profit sectors, therefore, the trajectory of your career in those fields should be clearly articulated
  • We are seeking those who demonstrate leadership in terms of the impact on policy, sustainability, and contribution to the public good


  • Applicants should demonstrate preparation for the core curriculum by excelling in mathematics, statistics, and economics
  • The quantitative section of the GRE is important in relation to your preparation for these courses
  • Strong writing skills are also important


  • The variety of work experience, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, gender, and numerous other dimensions enhances the quality of the educational experiences of all of our students, and supports our goal of creating diversity among public policy professionals
  • Over 75% of our applicants, and over 90% of enrolled students, have two or more years of work experience
  • 23% of our enrolled students are international student, representing 13 countries, and 34% are students of color
  • Over 30 different undergraduate degrees represented
  • Over 90% of our students are fully funded by the Woodrow Wilson School


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