WWS Blog

In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity - an interview with Dean Cecilia Elena Rouse

Oct 25, 2018
Published by:
Graduate Admissions Office
What’s unique about the Woodrow Wilson School’s approach to policy?
Our distinctive multidisciplinary course of study strikes a balance between theory and practice. Eighty-five full-time faculty members teach at the School, almost all of whom have dual appointments with other departments. Approximately 45 visiting professors, lecturers and practitioners from the world of public and international affairs also teach at the School. Our faculty conduct innovative research; provide policymakers, nonprofit organizations and research centers with expert, nonpartisan policy analysis; and provide Woodrow Wilson undergraduate and graduate students with the analytical tools and in-depth knowledge needed to tackle important policy issues.
How do Woodrow Wilson School students apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world policy challenges?
We believe that learning extends beyond the classroom, for undergraduates and graduate students alike. So we enrich formal course work with almost-daily public lectures and informal talks with policymakers and advocates working on the important issues of the day. We send students all over the world to learn in the field — summer work for graduate students, public service internships for undergraduates, or field work to supplement formal studies for undergraduate and graduate work. The result: Students are able to learn about any given policy topic from various vantage points.
How does the School support students’ career goals and objectives?
Many schools take the approach that students should invest in their own educations. At the Woodrow Wilson School, we take a different view — that the School should invest in the students. We do this in different ways: generous financial aid from the Woodrow Wilson School for MPA, MPP and Ph.D. students; financial support for travel to complement policy workshops; financial support for language training; financial support for summer internships; and a Career Services team dedicated to helping launch Woodrow Wilson School graduate students after graduation.
How does the Woodrow Wilson School engage in foreign affairs and foreign policy?
For a school our size, we offer remarkable depth and breadth in this regard. Our faculty and researchers study international relations, politics and economics, and our 20 centers and programs focus on policy issues ranging from climate change and forced migration to public policy and finance, health policy, education, law and public affairs and human rights. We are a home for the study and debate of national and international policy and support a variety of educational, research, enrichment and outreach activities. Opportunities abound for our students to gain the skills necessary to become the next generation of strategic thinkers and decision makers, including learning directly from incredibly accomplished individuals – including the likes of visiting diplomats Amb. Daniel Kurtzer and Amb. Ryan Crocker, both of whom have led decision- and policy-making in foreign affairs. We hope you will engage with us further!
Photo Credit: Egan Jimenez, Woodrow Wilson School (2018)
Additional Credit: B. Rose Kelly, Office of Public Affairs and Communications 



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