Mason Program Admissions
Applicants to the MC/MPA program who hold citizenship from a developing, newly industrialized, or transitional economy country must apply through the Mason Program.
Please visit the website of the Office of Admissions for application deadlines.
Mason Program Requirements
- Citizenship from a developing or transitional economy, or newly industrialized country.
- Minimum of seven (7) years of full-time relevant work experience by June 30 of year of enrollment. Competitive candidates for the Mason Program typically 14 years or more of work experience.
- Minimum TOEFL score of 600 for the paper-based test (PBT) or 100—with a score of at least 25 in each section—for the internet-based test (iBT). For those taking the IELTS, a minimum band score of 7 is required with a score of at least 7 in each section. Only applicants whose four-year undergraduate degree was conducted fully in English, or whose native language is English, are exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement. Please note that there is no exemption for applicants who have completed a Masters degree or PhD in English.
- Some applicants may be asked to participate in an interview with a professor or officer from the School.
The formal application includes:
- an online application form;
- payment of the $100 application fee;
- several essays;
- three letters of recommendation;
- official transcripts from all the universities you have attended;
- TOEFL or IELTS scores (the Office of Admissions does not need to receive official score reports by the application deadline. Applicants should enter their own test registration and score information on the application. The Office of Admissions requires that official test scores be sent directly from the testing agencies prior to enrollment of admitted candidates. The deadline for receipt will be provided to candidates after they have been notified of admission.)
Applications are evaluated on a variety of criteria including the quality of each candidate’s professional experience, prior academic performance, potential for influencing public decisions, and evidence of English language proficiency.
Please refer to the instructions included with the online application for complete details on application requirements.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
The Mason Program is not a financial fellowship program. Most Mason Program students at the Harvard Kennedy School are supported by fellowships through their employers, governments, or grant agencies, with these funds supplemented by personal and family resources. Please visit the Student Financial Services website for information on scholarships and financial aid. For information on tuition and fees, please visit the Tuition & Financial Aid section of our website.
All previous applicants who want to re-apply to the program must submit a new application, including:
- Completed Application for Admission;
- $100 application fee;
- Updated Essay 1 (CV/Resume) and Essay 3 (please see online application); and
- At least one new recommendation letter
Previous applicants who have applied within the last three years may re-use the following:
- Essay 4 (Essay 2 is optional);
- TOEFL or IELTS scores (Please note that TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years only.)