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Admission to the PAM PhD program is based on academic merit and fit with the research strengths of the PAM faculty. It helps if you have a background in public policy or related social science disciplines such as economics, political science, and sociology and in research methods and statistics. Students are only admitted to start in the Fall term. Applications are due by January 15th. To apply, please visit our Admissions Procedures page.

Cornell University, like most prominent American graduate schools, is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States. As a member of this group, Cornell may not consider an acceptance (of admission and/or support) from a student to be binding until after April 15th. (The applicant may renege on acceptance of any school's offer in writing through April 15th.) Because early acceptance of an offer from a university is not binding on the student, we make most financial support offers by early March, but can continue to make financial support offers through April 15.

Financial Support

The Field of Policy Analysis and Management tries to provide financial support for all Ph.D. students in the form of research or teaching assistantships assigned by the Department or fellowships awarded by either the university or the college. Assistantships are for the academic year; they provide a tuition fellowship and carry a basic stipend; they require a work commitment of 15 hours per week. The number of assistantships is limited, although the field has been successful at providing funding to most students. Fellowship and scholarship awards are based primarily on scholastic ability and promise of achievement as a graduate student. Candidates for fellowships and scholarships are nominated by the fields, but the awards are made by the Fellowship Board of the Graduate School or the College Scholarship Committee.

Early application for other financial aid ensures consideration for assistantships and fellowships. A few summer graduate research assistantships are available. Support decisions for some students may be contingent upon the acceptances or rejections of those who have the initial support offers. The support market is very active between April 1st and April 25th. Applicants are advised to make certain we know how they can be reached quickly (by e-mail, fax or telephone) during that time. For more financial support information see the Graduate School site.

Foreign Applicants

The TOEFL examination is required of all applicants from countries where English is not the official native language, unless the applicant has been awarded an undergraduate degree from an American university. Accepted applicants may be required to take English courses if their English is deemed to be marginal in any oral, written or listening skills.

Non-native English speakers are strongly advised to get supplemental letters of reference from native English speakers if possible. These letters should address your likely "presentational skills" in English (e.g., potential for success as a teaching assistant). Often these letters are written by native English academic speakers visiting your university whom you have had contact with.

Those students awarded teaching assistantships for whom English is not their native language are generally required to come to Cornell in early August for additional training. Students with undergraduate degrees from countries where English is not the official language are required to take an oral examination prior to being employed as a TA. Depending upon the results of this examination, they may have additional training requirements designed for non-native English speakers.

According to Cornell Graduate School policy, foreign students must be prepared to provide full funding for the entire period of graduate study at Cornell University unless officially notified of Cornell fellowships awarded on a national basis by the American government and by private foundations. Many foreign governments offer support for students from their countries.

Other Resources

Cornell has numerous research programs and centers that are of interest to our students. These include Bronfenbrenner Life Course Institute, Center for the Study of Inequality, Center for Policy Research, Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program, Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research, Consumer and Pharmaceutical Policy and Health Program, and Population and Development Program. Other research facilities at Cornell include one of the leading university library collections and some of the best computer resources in the country. See Also: About the Department About Our College The Graduate School About Cornell About Ithaca

For further information contact:

PAM Graduate Field Office
2250A MVR Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853