The application for the Evening Master’s Program (EMP)  cohort beginning in 2024 is still open! We sat down with Director of Student Recruitment Jessica Gagle to answer questions and share tips on how students can work through on their EMP application.

Learn more about application deadlines and quarter starts.

What can applicants do to prepare their application materials?

The EMP application is designed to be accessible for a busy working professional to complete and is comprised of the following elements:

  • Basic biographic information, education history, and work history
  • Motivation Statement: Why policy? Why Harris (300 words)
  • Resume (please note there is no page or word limit)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

Motivation Statement

The motivation prompt is Why policy? Why Harris? (300 words) You can start drafting your motivation statement now, check out this great blog post How to Write Essays That Elevate Your Application

*Please note, EMP applicants are only required to complete the motivation statement.  No other short essays are required to apply to this program.


The application will prompt you to upload your resume or CV, there is no word or page limit.  Review your resume now and be sure it reflects your most recent role and accomplishments.

Three Letters of Recommendation

The application will prompt you to enter names and contact information for three recommenders. Once their information is entered, the application system will send them a link to upload their recommendations.  You can proceed with submitting your application before your recommenders have uploaded their letters. For additional tips about your letters of recommendation, please visit Admissions FAQ: Reference Letters.

What should students do before starting their application in order to make sure they are submitting a strong application?

Since seating is limited in our programs, students are always eager to make sure they are submitting a strong application. I always encourage students to register for an info session. We host info sessions fairly regularly and students can visit the event website to register for an info session. When you attend an info session you will hear more about the details of our program, but we will also provide an opportunity for students to ask questions.

What are you looking for in the resume and work experience of EMP applicants?

We are looking for emerging leaders who are mid-career professionals interested in gaining a broader perspective on public policy and analytics to complement their professional experience and align with their career and personal goals. Your resume can focus on your professional roles and accomplishments, but if you are involved in volunteer or other leadership roles that you believe will strengthen your application please include this information.

Can students still apply if they do not have a background in policy?

Yes! Our students come from a variety of backgrounds. Students do not need to have experience in policy to apply for the EMP. While the EMP can help you further your current career, it can also be a helpful tool to switch careers. In fact, 66% of the 2021 EMP cohort seeking to pivot said they started a new job within a year of completing the EMP. One year after graduation, their salaries had increased an average of $23,000.00. You can learn more about the outcomes of our inaugural cohort in our Strengthening Leaders article.

Do I need to have a professional entrance exam such as a GRE or GMAT?

No, these exams are not required for this program.

If you would like to learn more about our EMP students I encourage you to learn about our alumni such as Erick Ferrer, and review the Program Overview.