fbpx Degree Program Prerequisites | Harvard Kennedy School

Some of our degree programs have specific academic and professional prerequisites that you must meet either before or while you are applying to Harvard Kennedy School. These are listed below.

Email the HKS admissions office with questions about prerequisites for the MPP, MPA, MC/MPA, and MC/MPA Mason Fellows programs. For  questions about prerequisites for the MPA/ID program, email the MPA/ID program office.

Review our How to Apply section for additional application requirements.

MASTER IN PUBLIC POLICY
  • Bachelor’s degree with a strong academic record 
  • Regardless of your undergraduate major, we would like to see evidence of quantitative proficiency such as success in undergraduate-level economics, statistics, or calculus courses. 
  • Work experience preferred, but not required. Incoming MPP students typically have 2-3 years of professional work experience. 
  • Competitive GRE or GMAT scores (see standardized test score policy for exceptions)
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for non-native English speakers or for applicants who did not earn an undergraduate degree taught in English. Submission of satisfactory Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS, academic test only), or Cambridge English test scores satisfies this requirement.  
MASTER IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • Bachelor’s degree with a strong academic record, including good grades in economics and mathematics courses 
  • Completion of at least one university-level course each in microeconomics, macroeconomics and three university-level courses in calculus, which must include multivariable calculus. Statistics and linear algebra courses are desirable, but not required. 
  • Competitive GRE or GMAT scores, especially in the quantitative section. In general, you are most competitive for admission if you score in the 75th percentile and above on the GRE or GMAT quantitative section. We understand it may prove impossible for some applicants who have not already taken these standardized tests to take them under current pandemic conditions. If you think you are in this category, contact us with a brief explanation of your circumstances that preclude taking the test. 
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for non-native English speakers or for applicants who did not earn an undergraduate degree taught in English. Submission of satisfactory Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS, academic test only), or Cambridge English test scores satisfies this requirement. 
MASTER IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
  • Bachelor’s degree with a strong academic record 
  • Three years of professional work experience by September 1, 2021 
  • At least four graduate-level courses similar to those in the MPP core curriculum, including two courses that are quantitative in nature. Qualifying graduate-level courses may include: economics, financial management, international business, international development, management, mathematics, physical science involving math (chemistry or physics, for example), politics and advocacy, or quantitative analysis and statistics. Courses cannot have counted towards your undergraduate degree. 
  • If you already have a graduate degree, those that typically qualify for MPA consideration include:

- Master of Accountancy
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Finance
- Master of International Business
- Master of International Development
- Master of International Economics
- Master of Quantitative Methods
- Master of Science in Engineering

  • Competitive GRE or GMAT scores (see standardized test score policy for exceptions)
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for non-native English speakers or for applicants who did not earn an undergraduate degree taught in English. Submission of satisfactory Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS, academic test only), or Cambridge English test scores satisfies this requirement.
MID-CAREER MASTER IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
  • Bachelor’s degree with a strong academic record 
  • At least seven years of professional work experience by June 30, 2021 
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for non-native English speakers or for applicants who did not earn an undergraduate degree taught in English. Submission of satisfactory Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS, academic test only), or Cambridge English test scores satisfies this requirement. 
  • Applicants to the Mid-Career MPA/Edward S. Mason Program typically hold primary citizenship from one of the countries, territories, non-self-governing states, cities, or areas listed below. However, we recognize that some applicants who have spent the majority of their academic and/or professional lives in countries with industrialized economies do not feel as though the Edward S. Mason Fellows program fits their individual background. Therefore, applicants who are eligible to apply as a Mason Fellow may choose to opt-out of consideration for the Mason Fellows co-curricular programming.