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. 

Review our How to Apply section for additional application requirements.

Master in Public Policy (MPP)
  • Bachelor’s degree. 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.
Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID)
  • Bachelor’s degree. We do not have a preferred undergraduate major, but we would like to see evidence of quantitative proficiency such as success in undergraduate-level economics, statistics, or calculus courses.
  • Minimum of 2-3 years of professional work experience strongly preferred. Work experience is important as it demonstrates commitment to the field of international development, allows the admissions committee to evaluate professional potential in the field, and enables a higher level of engagement in the classroom.
  • Prerequisite 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. These courses must be taken for credit and a grade either in person or online at an accredited institution. Statistics and linear algebra courses are desirable, but not required.

Email the MPA/ID Program directly with any questions about the program’s prerequisites.

Master in Public Administration (MPA)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Three years of professional work experience by the start of the academic year (September 1)
  • 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
Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA)