Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

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Robertson Hall, which houses the Woodrow Wilson School.

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


In 1930, Princeton established the School of Public and International Affairs, as it was originally named, in the spirit of Woodrow Wilson's interest in preparing students for leadership in public and international affairs.

The School's initial venture was an interdisciplinary program for undergraduates in Princeton's liberal arts college. In 1948, a graduate professional program was added, and the School was renamed to honor Woodrow Wilson, who served as the 13th president of Princeton University, governor of New Jersey and 28th president of the United States.

The phrase “Princeton in the Nation's Service” was the theme of two speeches Wilson gave at the University, first during its 150th anniversary celebration in 1896 and again at his inauguration as the University’s president in 1902. In the 1990s, the motto was expanded by then-President Harold T. Shapiro to read “Princeton in the Nation's Service and in the Service of All Nations.” It is a concept that Princeton and the Woodrow Wilson School regard as an educational mission.

In 1961, Charles ’26 and Marie Robertson provided a historic gift to expand and strengthen the graduate school as a place where men and women dedicated to public service could obtain the knowledge and skills needed to qualify them for careers in government service, particularly in the areas of international relations and affairs. The endowment and its proceeds provided the means to build Robertson Hall, greatly expand the number of graduate students in the MPA, MPP and Ph.D. programs, and build a world-class faculty in multiple disciplines.

Today, the School educates a wide range of students from all parts of the globe. It boasts a faculty of respected scholars and practitioners in disciplines that include politics, economics, sociology, psychology, physics, molecular biology and geosciences, who — individually and as members of world-class research centers and programs — influence the international and domestic environment through policy research and teaching.

The School has also grown physically over the years. The central building, Robertson Hall, and adjacent Scudder Plaza were designed by renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki in 1965 and first occupied in 1966. Also housing WWS faculty and centers are Wallace, Bendheim and Corwin halls, with additional faculty scattered in other University buildings.

As the School has grown in size and scope, Woodrow Wilson School graduates now pursue careers in all areas of public service — not only in all levels of government but also in multilateral organizations, nongovernmental organizations, foundations and policy and research institutes. Each generation that enters strives to meet President Wilson’s call to improve the world and remember that “errand.” [1]


Today, the School educates a wide range of students from the U.S. and around the world who seek to apply their knowledge and skills to the solution of vital public problems in both the domestic and international realms. It boasts a faculty of scholars and practitioners in disciplines that include politics, international affairs, economics, sociology, psychology, physics, molecular biology, and geosciences, who, individually and as members of a variety of world-class research centers and programs, react to and influence the international and domestic environment through policy research, which in turn adds depth and vitality to the teaching program.

Robertson Hall[edit]

A $35 million grant from Charles and Marie Robertson, the owners of the A&P grocery chain, funded the construction of the school's current home in Robertson Hall designed by Minoru Yamasaki. Their donation provided the base of its endowment, which stands at roughly $800 million.[citation needed]

MPA-MPP Funding[edit]

Following its tradition of preparing students for global public leadership, the Woodrow Wilson School provides more than ninety percent of its MPA and MPP students with some financial aid, and provides more than half with full tuition scholarships and living stipends.[citation needed] For approximately seventy MPAs and fifteen MPPs per year, this highly selective program allows graduates to complete their studies without incurring debt.


From 1951 to 2003 the Center of International Studies, a research institute that engaged in scholarship in international relations, international security, and related fields. In 2003, the center was merged with the university's regional studies programs to form the considerably larger Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.

Notable alumni[edit]


Woodrow Wilson School faculty conduct innovative research; provide policy makers, nonprofit organizations and research centers with expert, nonpartisan policy analysis; and provide Woodrow Wilson undergraduate and graduate students with the analytical tools and in-depth knowledge needed to tackle important policy issues. Eighty-five full-time faculty members teach at the School, almost all of whom have dual appointments with other departments. Approximately 45 visiting professors, lecturers and practitioners from the world of public and international affairs also teach at the School.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°20′54″N 74°39′17″W / 40.34835°N 74.65467°W / 40.34835; -74.65467