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Admissions Blog

Posts from 2014

Fall 2014 MPP Admissions Events

Final On Campus Information Session

GSPP will host its final on campus information session for the MPP program on Wednesday, October 29, 2014. This is an opportunity for prospective students to speak with GSPP students, faculty, and staff to learn about admissions requirements, the MPP curriculum, life at GSPP, and more!

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 • 5:30pm–8:00pm  

Location: Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, 2607 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94720


5:30- 6:00  Refreshments/ Mingling

6:00- 6:30  Welcome/ Program Overview

6:30-7:15  Student/ Alumni Panel

7:15- 8:00  Admission/ Student Services Panel


Dean Henry Brady: What Makes GSPP Great

Admissions Info Session

For those that missed the September 30th Admissions Info Session, please be sure to check out Dean Henry Brady speak about the Master in Public Policy Program and what makes GSPP one of the nation’s premier graduate institutions for education and research on the most pressing contemporary policy problems in American society and throughout the world.

Student Profile

Anna Maier, MPP '15

Name: Anna Maier

Year: Second

Policy Area of Concentration: Education

GSPP Graduation Year: 2015

Undergraduate School(s): Carleton College, New College of California


Personal History: I’m a West Coaster through and through. I grew up in Seattle, and after a brief interlude in the Midwest where I attended college, I moved to Oakland and have been here ever since. I love the Bay Area, and intend to stay here after graduation.

What attracted you to GSPP? As I immersed myself in the world of public education, I became increasingly frustrated by policies that were often ineffective and at times damaging to the children and families I worked with. I found myself drawn to the prospect of advocating for change at a systemic level, and was delighted to discover that the top public policy school in the country was right in my backyard. Although the stellar reputation drew me to GSPP, it was the people that really sealed the deal. Through visits and email exchanges, I was consistently impressed by the welcoming and collaborative atmosphere, paired with a top notch academic experience.

Read more

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

Concurrent Degrees

“GSPP lists a few concurrent degree programs on the website, but are there other programs that can be done concurrently that are not listed?”

GSPP offers more concurrent degree programs than almost any other department or school at UC Berkeley, 12 in all. This includes partnerships with Berkeley Law School, School of Public Health, International and Area Studies, College of Engineering, Energy and Resources Group, and School of Social Welfare.

Every concurrent program we offer is listed on our website. If there is a program you're interested in for which we do not offer a concurrent degree, there are still opportunities for multidisciplinary study. Your MPP electives can be taken in any department or school anywhere at Berkeley. You may fulfill the required summer internship in any policy field. And finally, you pick your APA client, which can be in any policy area.

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

Does my AP Calculus or AP Statistics course fulfill the quant requirement?

“I know it is recommended to have some undergraduate coursework in Statistics.  If I took AP statistics in high school and received college undergraduate credit for it (granted it was 10 years ago), does that count?  Or do I need to retake a statistics class that I already technically have credit for?”

GSPP does not require prior quantitative training; however prior course work in introductory statistics, first-year calculus, and introductory economics is strongly recommended. We recommend these courses not just as an indicator of your current quantitative skills, but also as a gauge of your ability to handle the quantitative rigor once you're enrolled.

So, does an AP class “count”? It's not really a matter of counting, since there's no formal requirement. If you need to reach back to high school for evidence of your quantitative skills, though, it will be very difficult for the admissions committee to gauge your ability to handle core courses like Decision Analysis, Modeling and Quantitative Methods and The Economics of Public Policy Analysis. 

Further, if there's no grade associated with a quantitative course on your transcript, only credits, it's of limited use to the admissions committee when evaluating your quantitative skills.

The more evidence you show of success in a quantitative environment (transcripts, GRE, letters of recommendation from an employer, etc.), and the more recent that evidence, the more competitive you will be as an applicant, and the more prepared you will be as a student.

Note: If you have already received your bachelor's degree, don't fret. We encourage and welcome applicants who complete quantitative coursework after they graduate at a University, local community college, or online, as long as it is through an academic institution and a transcript is issued.