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BA-MPA Dual Degree FAQ

What is the BA-MPA dual degree?

The Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service have created a dual-degree program to enable students to earn both a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Gallatin's Individualized Major and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in either Wagner's Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy Program (PNP), or its Health Policy and Management Program (HPAM) in less time than it would take to complete the programs separately. This dual degree is designed for students with a strong commitment to public leadership, and will allow such students to enhance and focus their opportunities for learning, while helping them to build a meaningful career in public service. 

How many credits will it take to complete both degrees?

Taken separately, a student would need to complete 173 credits to earn both degrees in four years of study at Gallatin and two years of study at Wagner. The BA-MPA dual degree will allow a Gallatin student to complete both degrees in as few as 152 credits. The dual degree permits Gallatin students to accelerate their progress toward the MPA by earning a maximum of 21 credits toward the Wagner MPA as part of their Gallatin program and BA. Through the BA-MPA dual degree, a Gallatin student could complete both degrees in as few as five years of study.

What would a timeline to complete the dual degree look like?

See the timeline table.

Are there any recommended courses for me to take before I am eligible to participate in the dual degree?

First-year and sophomore students should consider taking UPADM-GP 101 The Politics of Public Policy to get a broad sense of Wagner. (This course is also part of the equivalency agreement explained above in the BA-MPA Equivalency Chart, but students need not take the course to be eligible to participate in the dual degree.) You also may want to look at Wagner's undergraduate course offerings, especially the core sequence for the Major in Public Policy.

While I am enrolled in Gallatin, what courses may I take that will count toward both the BA and the MPA?

Gallatin students may complete a maximum of seven courses required for the Wagner MPA while still working on the BA. (Note that seven courses is a maximum. You may take fewer than seven courses, but this will likely result in a less accelerated timeline toward completion of the dual degree.) These seven courses typically comprise five Wagner core courses, and two courses chosen from your anticipated area of specialization. Only courses in which students earn a B or better will count toward the MPA degree.  

If I take graduate courses at Wagner before I have been accepted into the BA-MPA dual degree, will they be counted towards the degree?

You are welcome to take Wagner graduate courses prior to applying to the BA-MPA dual degree as they may help you decide whether to apply. Eligible courses (courses that count as core or specialization courses) can be counted towards the MPA degree after you are successfully admitted to Wagner.

I understand that I must complete an additional year of full-time professional experience before matriculating at Wagner. Can I get assistance in fulfilling this requirement?

After completing the BA degree in Gallatin but before matriculating at Wagner as a graduate student, BA-MPA students will be expected to acquire at least one additional year of full-time professional experience relevant to their anticipated field of study. After being accepted by Wagner, BA-MPA students will have full access to the services offered by Wagner's Office of Career Services including individual advisement sessions, a wide variety of career-related events and programming, and Wagner's extensive Career Directory, an on-line database of internship, fellowship, and job postings, as well as a database of employers in government, nonprofits, health care organizations, urban planning agencies, international programs, academic institutions and private companies with a public sector focus. Additionally, students are encouraged to utilize the assortment of services offered through NYU's Wasserman Center for Career Development throughout their undergraduate program. 

Will financial aid from Gallatin carry over past completion of the B.A. degree?

No. You must apply for financial aid for the MPA degree separately. Applications received by the Wagner scholarship deadline in early January will be given complete consideration for merit-based scholarships by the Wagner Admissions Committee. You must also submit your FAFSA form and contact NYU's Office of Financial Aid to discuss loans and other forms of government and private financial aid. 

What are the Wagner areas of specialization?

Students in the Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy Program (PNP) may specialize in Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations, Public Policy Analysis, Financial Management and Public FinanceInternational Policy and Management or Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment.

Students in the Health Policy and Management Program (HPAM) may specialize in Health Services Management, Health Policy Analysis, Health Finance, or International Health. In addition, the Health Finance specialization has two sub-specialization areas: Health Services Financial Management and Health Care Public Finance.

What are the five Wagner core courses that can be taken while enrolled in Gallatin?

1. Statistical Methods (CORE-GP 1011)

2. Microeconomics (CORE-GP 1018)

3. Managing Public Service Organizations (UPADM-GP 103)

4. Financial Management (CORE-GP 1021)

5. Introduction to Public Policy (CORE-GP 1022

Are there any course equivalents for these Wagner core courses?

Yes. Please see the course equivalency chart. (Only courses in which students earn a B or better will count toward the MPA degree.) 

Do courses that count towards the undergraduate major or minor at Wagner also count towards the MPA?

It depends on the course. If the course is an undergraduate equivalent to a graduate core or specialization course, such as the Politics of Public Policy, it can be counted. Contact Wagner Undergraduate Programs (wagner.undergraduate@nyu.edu) to find out more information or if you have another course in mind. 

What if I want to earn a Masters of Urban Planning from Wagner? Is there a dual degree for that?

No. The dual degree is only for completion of an MPA, although MPA students may take Urban Planning courses as part of their elective credits at Wagner. 

I'm ready to apply to the BA-MPA dual degree. How do I start?

1. Interested students should contact Cyd Cipolla at cyd.cipolla@nyu.edu to discuss the specifics of the program.

2. All students should discuss their plan to participate in the dual degree with their Gallatin faculty adviser.

3. After completing 72 credits toward the BA, students should complete the Gallatin-Wagner BA-MPA Dual Degree Pre-Application, which includes a one-page Statement of Purpose, and which also requires the faculty adviser's approval. (In the senior year, students must also apply for admission to the Wagner MPA program (see below).

What are the eligibility requirements for applying to the dual degree?

  1. You must have completed a total of 72 credits toward the BA, and 32 of these credits must have been completed while matriculated at Gallatin.
  2. You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 with no outstanding incomplete grades.
  3. You must write a one-page (single-spaced) Statement of Purpose, describing your interest in the BA-MPA dual degree and how you see this program fitting with your overall academic and career goals.

What is the deadline for submitting the Gallatin-Wagner BA-MPA Dual Degree Pre-Application?

Pre-applications are accepted twice a year, once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester. The fall deadline is October 1st, and the spring deadline is March 1st.

If I participate in the BA-MPA dual degree as a Gallatin student, am I guaranteed admission to the Wagner MPA degree?

Gallatin students participating in the BA-MPA dual degree are granted the opportunity to enroll in graduate coursework before completing the undergraduate degree, but this does not guarantee outright acceptance into the Wagner MPA program. If you wish to pursue the MPA degree, you must also complete a regular Wagner MPA Application for Admission during your senior year at Gallatin. Keep in mind that you will be expected to meet the same admissions standards as other Wagner applicants, which include strong academic qualifications and the equivalent of at least one year of relevant professional experience (i.e., internships, volunteer work, part-time jobs). Further, before matriculating in the Wagner School and after completing the BA degree in Gallatin, students admitted to Wagner's MPA program are required to complete at least one additional year of full-time professional experience relevant to their anticipated field of study for the Master of Public Administration degree. In short, Gallatin BA-MPA students must defer starting their MPA by at least one year after graduating from Gallatin. 

If participation in the BA-MPA dual degree as a Gallatin student does not guarantee admission to Wagner's MPA program, what else should I do to increase my chances of being accepted?

Wagner's admissions process seeks to identify individuals who have demonstrated potential for public service leadership through both relevant coursework and extracurricular work experience. Be aware that admission to any graduate program requires academic excellence and demonstrated commitment to your area of study. 

I understand that I need to apply for admission to the Wagner MPA program when I reach my senior year. How do I go about doing that?

Students who wish to pursue the Wagner MPA must complete the Wagner MPA Application for Admission, available at http://wagner.nyu.edu/admissions/. This application must be submitted before you graduate from Gallatin's B.A. program. Wagner Admissions strongly recommends that candidates apply by the scholarship deadline for full consideration. 

What kind of professional experience do I need for admission to the Wagner MPA program?

Prior to applying to the MPA portion of the BA-MPA program, students are expected to acquire the equivalent of at least one year of professional experience relevant to their intended path in public service. This should be accomplished through internships, volunteer work, and part-time jobs while still enrolled in the Gallatin BA program. 

Since I need to fulfill a year of full-time professional experience relevant to my anticipated field of study before matriculating at Wagner, how will this affect my admission?

Since you must acquire a year of full-time professional experience relevant to your anticipated field of study before matriculating at Wagner, you will have to defer your admission for one year, or two semesters. There is a $500 fee to defer admission, but this fee is credited back your account and is applied to your first semester of tuition and fees. (There is also a $500 deposit charge, which is also credited back to your account and is applied to your first semester of tuition and fees.)

Will financial aid from Gallatin carry over past completion of the B.A. degree?

No. You must apply for financial aid for the MPA degree separately. Applications received by the Wagner scholarship deadline in early January will be given complete consideration for merit-based scholarships by the Wagner Admissions Committee. You must also submit your FAFSA form and contact NYU's Office of Financial Aid to discuss loans and other forms of government and private financial aid. 

I still have questions. Where can I get more information?

  • Cyd Cipolla, Sophomore Class Adviser, Gallatin
  • Adrienne Smith, Student Services Administrator, Undergraduate Studies, Wagner

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