Commitment to Country
There is something exceptional to be said about dedicating your life and career to the benefit of your country or community. This commitment can take many different forms depending on a person’s interests, skills and opportunities. Some people who are dedicated to their country choose to express this by joining the nation’s armed forces. Others pursue careers within public policy, which is the amalgamation of various government initiatives taken to change conditions that affect the nation. The state of New Jersey is home to one of the best public policy schools in the nation, the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton University.
Origins of the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs
The Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, often shortened to the Woodrow Wilson School, is relatively new compared to the rest of Princeton University. The school was founded in 1930 as the School of Public and International Affairs. It sought to emulate Woodrow Wilson’s (a 1879 Princeton alumnus, the thirteenth president of Princeton University, and the 28th president of the United States) beliefs that students should be prepared as potential leaders in public and international affairs. The school originally awarded bachelor’s degrees until 1948 when the graduate professional program was added. During this time, the school was renamed in honor of Woodrow Wilson and became the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs.
Thirteen years later, the Woodrow Wilson School saw a large expansion as it received a $35 million grant from Charles (1926 Princeton alumnus) and Marie Robertson, the owners of the A&P grocery store chain. This donation allowed for the construction of Robertson Hall, where the school is currently housed.
The Woodrow Wilson School offers three degree granting programs and has an undergraduate program which allows students to major in a subject of their choice under the umbrella of the Woodrow Wilson School. The three degree-granting programs are:
- Master in Public Affairs (M.P.A.) – The M.P.A. program is a two-year full-time residential program for current bachelor’s degree holders. The program is highly committed to ensuring all students with the required credentials can earn this degree. More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid and more than half receive full scholarships. There are four fields of concentration available to every M.P.A. candidate, and those include international relations, development studies, domestic policy, and economics and public policy.
- Master in Public Policy (M.P.P.) – The M.P.P. program is a one year program intended for mid-career professionals who already have considerable work experience. The curriculums are tailored to students depending on their current careers. Different programs for lawyers, scientists, mid-career professionals and physicians are also available.
- Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs (Ph.D.) – The Ph.D. program at the Woodrow Wilson School is extremely selective as it seeks to admit and enroll a class of six students per year. They are given the tools to conduct pivotal research in public policy. Students select a field of concentration, called a ‘cluster’. There are five clusters offered including security studies, political economy, population and public policy, urban policy and science technology and environmental policy.