WWS Blog

Meet John Templeton, the man behind graduate admissions

Mar 19, 2013
Published by:
WWS Admissions
John Templeton

John Templeton is the Associate Dean, Director of Graduate Admission at the Woodrow Wilson School. He has worked at Princeton University since 1988 and has been recognized for his commitment to increasing access to higher education for groups that have been historically underrepresented.

Name: John Templeton
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
Alma Mater: Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA
Title: Associate Dean, Director of Graduate Admission
Role: Manage admission process for 3 degree programs and PPIA/JSI Summer Institute
Years working at Princeton: 25
Favorite part of my job: Getting to know the students and staying in touch with alumni
Ask me about: My 8 grandchildren, what I don’t know (limitless), Maine, Boston Red Sox, A Man for All Seasons, Bob Dylan

On the admission process: Going through an admission process is never a perfect science, but we do invest considerable human capital given the number of faculty, administrators and students who read applications and reach decisions by consensus. This most recent cycle, 14 people served on the MPA committee, 8 on the MPP and 8 on the PhD.

The choices are numerous and the slots are few.  We regret having to say no to a great number of equally compelling candidates and being able to say yes to so few.  I have been on the “no” side of admission decisions and for employment opportunities, so my empathy goes out to anyone who ends up in that situation. For those of you who have the option of Princeton or any other graduate school, please be mindful of those less fortunate, especially those who will never have the opportunity to pursue graduate school or even a college education.