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Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Established 1930
Type Private
Parent institution
Princeton University
Affiliation APSIA
Dean Cecilia Rouse
Academic staff
85 full-time faculty members and approximately 45 visiting professors, lecturers and practitioners
Students Approximately 300 undergraduate students and approximately 190 graduate students
Location Princeton, New Jersey, USA

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is a professional public policy school at Princeton University. The school offers undergraduate AB degrees, graduate Master of Public Affairs (MPA), Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Ph.D. degrees. Since 2012, Cecilia Rouse has been dean of the Woodrow Wilson School.


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
  • Robertson Hall 3
  • Centers and programs 4
  • Notable alumni 5
  • Faculty 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


In 1930, Princeton University established the School of Public and International Affairs, which was originally meant to serve as an interdisciplinary program for undergraduate students in Princeton’s liberal arts college. In 1948, the School added a graduate professional program and was renamed to honor Woodrow Wilson,[1] who was the 13th president of the University, governor of New Jersey and the 28th president of the United States. In two of Wilson’s speeches at the University – first during its 150th anniversary celebration in 1896 and again at his inauguration as the University’s president in 1902 – he mentioned “Princeton in the nation’s service.”[2] This was then expanded in the 1990s by then-President Harold T. Shapiro to “Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.”[3] This phrase serves as the School’s unofficial motto.[4]


The School stresses a multidisciplinary approach to policy studies, which includes a focus on politics, economics, sociology, psychology, physics, molecular biology, geosciences and health. Undergraduate students at the Wilson School take courses in at least four disciplines including economics, history, politics, psychology, sociology and science.[5] In their junior year, students must enroll in and complete a Policy Task Force, which addresses a specific public policy issue. Students conduct research, propose recommendations and issue final reports.[6] The two-year MPA program prepares students for international and domestic policy careers. All second-year MPA students must complete a Policy Workshop, which emphasizes policy implementation. Students conduct field-based research and present their research and recommendations to clients. The one-year MPP program is designed for mid-career professionals, Ph.D. research scientists, lawyers and physicians who are involved in international and domestic public policy. The Ph.D. in Public Affairs focuses on two research areas: security studies, and science, technology and environmental policy. The School works with other departments at the University to offer a Joint Degree Program that combines work in a social science with a multidisciplinary perspective on economics problems.[7] Graduate students also have the opportunity to pursue certificates in demography; health and health policy; science, technology and environmental policy; and urban policy/urban policy and planning.[8] In addition to the MPA, MPP and Ph.D. degrees,[9] the School offers a four-year MPA/J.D. program, and has formal joint degree arrangements with law schools at Columbia University,[10] New York University[11] and Stanford University.[12]

Robertson Hall

In 1961, Charles ’26 and Marie Robertson provided a gift to expand the graduate school. Their gift funded the construction of the School’s current home, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the World Trade Center.[13] In 2012,[14] the Princeton University Art Museum announced the installation of the “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” exhibit by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei[15] on Scudder Plaza.

Centers and programs

The Woodrow Wilson School has 19 unique centers and programs:[16]

  • Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW)
  • Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies (CACPS)
  • Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW)
  • Center for International Security Studies (CISS)
  • Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP)
  • China and the World Program (CWP)
  • Education Research Section (ERS)
  • Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance (JRC)
  • Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD)
  • Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance (NCGG)
  • Princeton Survey Research Center (SRC)
  • Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA)
  • Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP)
  • Program on Science and Global Security (SGS)
  • Research Program in Development Studies (RPDS)
  • Research Program in Political Economy (RPPE)

Notable alumni


Nearly all full-time Woodrow Wilson School faculty members have dual appointments with other departments at the University. The School also has visiting professors, lecturers and practitioners from the world of public and international affairs that teach. Faculty members at the School include Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and former ambassadors.[17] Nobel Laureates include Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Paul Krugman and Arthur Lewis.

See also


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External links

  • Official website
  • Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs's channel on YouTube

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