Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
MPA

Admissions FAQs

How do I apply?

The application for admission to the class of 2020 will be open September 1, 2018. Fill out the online application and submit the following:

  • Transcripts from all post-secondary education
  • 3 letters of recommendation (at least one academic if you are a current undergraduate)
  • Updated resume
  • GRE scores (no waivers, GMAT not accepted)
  • Personal statement: Please give your reasons for deciding to do graduate work in the field you have chosen. Include in your statement any past work (study and research) in your chosen field, your plans for study at Brown, including issues and problems you want to address, and your professional goals.
  • International students not having completed schooling in US are also required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. The TOEFL code for Brown is 3094. Find more information about language proficiency requirements, including how to submit IELTS scores, on Brown's Graduate School website.
  • Application fee of $75.

Current Brown students: see this page for application requirements.

Are there any academic prerequisites?

No. However, prior exposure to courses in economics and statistics are of great benefit to incoming students.

When are applications due?

We will begin accepting applications for the class of 2020 in September. Application deadlines have not yet been announced.

Is there funding available?

For full consideration for merit-based financial awards, your application must be complete, including all supplemental materials (unofficial transcripts, GRE and TOEFL scores).

Nearly all matriculated students receive some level of merit aid. Student loans are also available through our Office of Financial Aid to eligible applicants who submit the FAFSA by April 15. 


Other common questions

My GRE (or TOEFL) scores are not showing up in my application file. When will they appear?

It can take four or more weeks for scores to transmit from ETS and to be uploaded into the Graduate School application system. It is best to order your scores to be sent to Brown well before the application deadline.

How does merit aid work?

Merit based funding starts with a student's admission file. The admissions committee will read a student's entire file and grant a merit-based financial award based on that information. There isn't any additional paperwork to fill out.

I am an international student and I completed my undergraduate degree at an English-speaking institution. Why does my application file say that it is incomplete because I need to submit TOEFL scores?

Our system is not "smart" enough to realize you don't need TOEFL scores — it flags all non-U.S. applicants as requiring TOEFL or IELTS scores. If that is all that is "missing" in your application file, your application is complete. You would be contacted if any additional materials are needed.

The MPA vs. MPP?

Look around at MPP and MPA programs and you will find many variations. Even MPA degrees exist as master of “public affairs” or “public administration” degrees. At Brown, we have synthesized the most vital curricula related to policy and leadership into our one-year Master of Public Affairs degree. Students interested in gaining further quantitative training may use elective courses and professional workshops to acquire those skills. Currently the program does not offer an MPP degree.

Still have a question?

If you have a question that isn't answered here, feel free to contact us at watsonmpa@brown.edu, or call us at 401-863-2201.