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Admissions Blog

Basic Application Requirements

Policy Statement of Purpose & Personal History Statement

Two statements are required for the MPP application. (1) Policy Statement of Purpose and (1) Personal History Statement.

Policy Statement of Purpose (PSP) 

The PSP should address your past, present, and future from a professional prospective. Compared to the PHS, the PSP will be more likely to parallel or highlight experience(s) on your resume. When you address the past, we want to know what experiences (research papers, study groups, job responsibilities, policy or political projects) bear on your qualifications for the MPP program. How do these experiences connect to public policy and the MPP program? When discussing the present, be sure to address why an MPP program and why GSPP. We want to know how you will make the most of your time at GSPP. And finally, when writing about the future, tell us where you see yourself after graduation and how the MPP and GSPP will help you get there. We're also interested in learning about your long-range career objectives.

Technical FYI: The section in the application titled Statement of Purpose is a standard field on all UCB graduate applications that we're unable to edit, so we include the Policy Statement of Purpose field to include GSPP specific instructions. For GSPP, we ask that you upload the same essay for the Statement of Purpose and Policy Statement of Purpose fields.​

Length: 3-5 pages

Personal History Statement (PHS)

The PHS might include information we wouldn't readily know from your transcripts or resume. We want you to describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree at GSPP. You could include information about overcoming barriers to education or how you have come to understand barriers faced by others. This could also be an opportunity for you to include evidence of your service to or research of underserved populations. In the PHS, we want a sense of you as a person.

Length: There is no page length requirement for the PHS. However, this essay is generally 1-2 pages, double-spaced.

*Concurrent degree applicants, please be aware of special instructions for essays.