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The PAP program is open to students with a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Most students enter with master’s or law degrees, but the program also admits students without graduate degrees, especially if they have substantial professional experience in fields related to public affairs and policy.

Application for Admission

Doctoral students are admitted in the fall of each academic year; off-cycle admissions are rare. Review of applications begins on 15 January and those submitting complete files by that date will be notified of admission decisions by the end of February. Late applications are considered only in compelling cases and those contemplating a late application are en­couraged to contact the Director of the PAP Program before undertaking the effort.

Applicants submit two different packets of materials, one to the University’s Office of Ad­missions, Registration, and Records and the other to the PAP Program Office. Materials for the Admissions Office (P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751) are:

  • University Application for Graduate Admission.
  • $50 application fee (no cash).
  • One official transcript (in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution) from each college attended.
  • Official TOEFL scores if the applicant does not speak English as a native language and has not received a graduate or undergraduate degree in an English-speaking territory.

Note: You now have the option to submit your university application online:

Materials for the PAP Office (Public Affairs and Policy Program, Hatfield School of Government, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751) are:

  • Departmental Graduate Admission Application.
  • Application for Graduate Assistantship (optional).
  • One transcript (official or unofficial) from each college attended.
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants whose GRE scores are more than five years old are strongly encouraged to retake the exam. The school code for PSU is 4610, and the PAP department code is 1903.
  • TOEFL scores (official or unofficial) if required.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for success in the doctoral program.
  • Personal essay (about 500 words) addressing: career aspirations and pur­pose in the doctoral pro­gram; most substantial academic or professional accomplishments; intended areas of focus within PAP; and whether doctoral studies will be pursued on a full- or part-time basis.
  • Academic or policy-oriented writing sample.
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé.

Although the Admissions Office allows online submission of the University application form and online payment of the application fee, all other materials must be submitted in hardcopy.