The Rappaport Urban Scholars Program provides full-tuition scholarships to elected and appointed officials from Greater Boston to attend the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA) program. The program began in 1981 with generous support from Jerome “Jerry” Lyle Rappaport, and to date has allowed more than 50 emerging public policy leaders in Greater Boston to attain a world-class education at the Harvard Kennedy School while gaining the knowledge, ability, and tools to take on issues facing the Greater Boston area.  

Meet Our Urban Scholars

This fall, two emerging Greater Boston leaders will join the Harvard Kennedy School as the 2022 Rappaport Urban Scholars. Read a Q&A with Massachusetts State Rep. Tram Nguyen and City of Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement Program Manager Carol Leon about what they hope to achieve during their time as Urban Scholars.

How to Apply

Read our FAQs below to learn about the application process and eligibility requirements. 

Urban Scholars Program FAQs

Elected officials from throughout Greater Boston, including all communities in Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, Essex, Franklin, Plymouth and Bristol counties, are eligible for the program, as are appointed officials currently working for the City of Boston. Preference will be given to full-time elected officials and those from communities inside of Route 128.

To participate, Rappaport Urban Scholars must apply and be accepted in the MC/MPA program and must demonstrate an interest in urban issues, a capacity for leadership, and a commitment to serving the Greater Boston area.  

First, apply for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mid-Career/Master’s in Public Administration program via the HKS Admissions website. Each program has a separate admissions procedure administered through the Admissions Office and you may only apply to one program in the same academic year. You must be accepted into the MC/MPA program to be eligible for the Urban Scholars Program. 

Once you are accepted into the MC/MPA program, you may email Rappaport Executive Director Kathryn Carlson to express your interest in the program. The Rappaport Institute selects up to two Urban Scholars each year. 

Elected officials have the option of attending the Kennedy School as part-time students for two years. Appointed officials must be full-time students and must have a letter from the Mayor of Boston granting them a sabbatical leave. After graduation, appointed officials must return to public service in the Greater Boston area for a minimum of two years after graduation.

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