Here in the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid, we’re hard at work preparing the application for the next admissions cycle. For those applying to HKS for the 2023-2024 academic year, we expect the application to be available in September—stay tuned for more information.

If you are considering applying to an HKS master’s degree program, you may still be asking yourself which degree program is the right fit. This is ultimately a personal decision that hinges on your personal preferences, educational background, and professional goals.

Prospective applicants should keep in mind that it is only possible to apply to one master’s program per application cycle, so determining the right program for you is important from the beginning of the application process. Below you will find some information that may help guide you to the degree program that is right for you.

The Master in Public Policy (MPP) program may be the right fit if you…

  • Like the idea of a structured core curriculum—at the heart of the program is a core curriculum that will expose you to a range of subject areas including economics, ethics, financial management, leadership, negotiation, politics, policy design and delivery, and quantitative analysis.
  • Have the potential to excel in multiple forms of analysis and can demonstrate evidence of quantitative proficiency such as success in undergraduate-level economics, statistics, or calculus courses.
  • Have at least two years of full-time professional employment—while professional experience is not a requirement for application, the strongest MPP candidates have at least two to three years of experience.

The Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) program may be the right fit if you…

  • Have a commitment to the economic, social, and political advancement of developing and transitional economy countries.
  • Currently work in the development field, whether in government, central or regional banks, international development institutions, nonprofits, research organizations, or the private sector.
  • Are looking for an economics-centered program that combines rigorous training in analytical and quantitative methods with an emphasis on policy and practice.
  • Have a strong academic record, including university-level coursework in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and calculus.

The Master in Public Administration (MPA) program may be the right fit if you…

  • Are interested in a flexible curriculum that allows you to create a study plan that reflects your academic interests and focuses on your personal and professional aspirations across disciplines.
  • Have an interest in pursuing a concurrent degree in business, law, medicine, or other professional fields.
  • Have a minimum of three years of full-time professional experience and have completed at least four qualifying graduate-level courses similar to those in the Master in Public Policy core curriculum (including at least two courses that are quantitative in nature) or a relevant graduate degree.

The Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA) program may be the right fit if you…

  • Are an established professional looking to take the next step in your career or transition to a leadership role—be it in government or any sector where public-minded leaders are making a difference.
  • Want a program that gives you the freedom to pursue your intellectual interests, develop new capabilities, expose yourself to new approaches and methods, and advance your career.
  • Have at least seven years of full-time, relevant employment—competitive candidates typically have about 12 years of professional experience.
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