The Application Process: A Step-By-Step Guide for Changing the World

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Join a Community Committed to Changing the World

If you have landed on this page, that means you are thinking of attending the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Applying for any program—whether it's a master's degree, doctoral degree, or a certificate—can be daunting. 

Which is why we're breaking down the process into seven steps:

Step One

Step One: Find the program that's right for you.

With six master's degrees, a doctoral degree, and six certificates, finding the right program for you can be a challenge. We recommend you start by downloading our Viewbook and Fast Facts documents. Then take an afternoon and peruse through the program pages in our website. Sound daunting? Don't worry, our admissions team is here to help at every step of this exciting new journey.

Step Two: Plan a visit or attend a virtual information session.

If you would like more information to decide if the Humphrey School is the right fit for you, plan a visit or attend a virtual information session. Ask our admissions team about other opportunities to learn about our community—from attending a class to setting up a call with a professor to coffee with a future classmate. We are excited to get to know you, and we hope you are excited to get to know our community.

Information Session


Step Three: Familiarize yourself with our application timelines. 

Putting together your application can take time. Make sure you are aware of our application deadlines. Decide which due date fits best with your schedule and then plan backward. Setting checkpoints along the way for yourself will ensure you finish your application with time to spare—not to mention half of the stress that comes with waiting until the last minute.

Note: There are benefits to applying early, such as financial aid and early admittance. If you have questions, chat with our admissions team.

Step Four: Review application requirements for your program.

Part of picking the best application deadline for your schedule is being familiar with each program's application requirements. Does the program require a GRE*? Leave yourself enough time to study and take the exam. Do you need to reach out to your network for letters of recommendation? Make sure you give the authors enough time to write you a glowing review without feeling the need to rush. And don't forget about that possible personal statement. Crafting the perfect opus about why you want to make a difference takes time.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Humphrey School has suspended the GRE requirement for all master's programs for the upcoming application cycle.

College Admissions Test

Financial Aid

Step Five: Learn about tuition and what financial aid is available.

The Humphrey School is committed to providing students a great education at a great value. Take time before applying to learn about the cost of your program and what financial aid may be available. Also, for those perusing a certificate or professional development opportunity, make sure to check with your employer about any assistance they may provide.

Step Six: Submit your application.

You've written your personal statements, gotten the recommendation letters, and obtained your desired GRE* score. Now it's time to submit your application. We promise, hitting "Send" is not as scary as it sounds. 

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Humphrey School has suspended the GRE requirement for all Master's Degree programs for the upcoming application cycle.

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Step Seven: Change the world.

OK, maybe this step is a little ambitious, but we believe in you.

Congrats on submitting your application. We'll be in touch.

In the meantime, why not peruse our collection of stories on all the incredible things our students and alumni are doing? We can't wait to share your story here soon.