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We are delighted that you are considering applying for Emory’s Masters’ in Development Practice. The different sections of this page will walk you through applying to the program and joining us here in Atlanta. Please review the tabs below for explanations of the sections of the application to MDP.


Additional instructions for the online application process are available through the LGS Online Application here

Application Process and Deadlines

The application process for admission for the 2018-2019 academic year is now open. The MDP Program has the following application deadlines:

  • January 5, 2018: This is the application deadline for students interested in being considered for tuition assistance from Emory University.
  • February 5, 2018: This is the application deadline for admission to the MDP Program for the 2018-2019 academic year.

We strongly encourage applicants to submit their applications as early as possible to receive consideration for tuition scholarships.  Please note that requests for letters of recommendation are automatically made via online submission after you submit your application. 

Please contact our Graduate Program Administrator for additional information.


Unofficial copies of transcripts are acceptable and encouraged for the application process. Any transcripts that are not in English should be accompanied by notarized translation.

Standardized Test Scores

The Laney Graduate School (LGS) and MDP no longer require that students furnish GRE scores as part of their application. You are NOT required to submit GRE scores to apply to this program.

However, if you would like to submit GRE scores, they can be included in support of your application. Please contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to have your GRE scores sent directly to us. Emory's institutional code is 5187 (no department code is needed). If not available by the application deadline, we recommend that you arrange for the GRE scores to be sent to us as soon as they become available and let us know when we should expect to receive them. The Laney Graduate School will only accept scores that are less than five years old.

International applicants whose native language is other than English must show evidence of competence in the English language. A TOEFL minimum score of 570 on the paper test, 230 on the computer-based test or 88 on the internet-based test is required. MDP also accepts IELTS in lieu of TOEFL scores. A minimum score of 7.0 is required. Please note that TOEFL scores are entered into the fields provided on the application; IELTS scores may be uploaded on page 8 of the online application. 

Statement of Purpose

One of our goals is to develop a rich and diverse learning community that includes students with a variety of life and work experiences. We are interested in how your experiences outside the classroom have prepared you for this course of study. Please share with us what particular contributions or perspectives you will bring to the university. The Statement of Purpose should explain the following:

1.  How you became interested in development practice, and how your background, experiences, or competences prepare you for a future career in this field.

2.  Why you are interested in the program, and how you would focus your studies as an MDP student. 

3.  How you intend to use your MDP training after graduation.

Please submit a maximum of one single-spaced page per question. Each question should start a new page. Questions should not be combined into a single essay, but rather formatted as three separate questions. Each question is limited to one-page, which can be single or double-spaced. 


Your resume should include the following, detailing dates and places as relevant:

1.  Your education history, including any training that is related to the course of study.

2.  Your employment history, including relevant internships and volunteer work.

3.  Your collegiate or community activities, leadership positions, etc.

4.  Your publications, papers, presentations, etc.

5.  Foreign languages, computer literacy, and other relevant skills.

Letters of Recommendation

Please arrange for three letters of recommendation to be submitted through the Laney Graduate School online application process. We understand that many applicants may have been out of school for a few years, so letters can be from either professors or professionals (e.g. employers, supervisors, or colleagues). At least one of these letters must be from an individual who can speak to your experience with development-related activities, whether in the form of work, study abroad, internships, etc. One letter should be from an individual who can attest to your academic performance and ability to participate fully in a rigorous course of academic study.

It is your responsibility to make sure that your references meet the application deadline.

Federal legislation provides applicants with a right of access to recommendations, which may be waived. No school or person can require the applicant to waive this right. The letters of recommendation will be treated confidentially and will only be used by Emory University personnel as required by the application process.

Application Fee

The Laney Graduate School application fee is $75. The fee is payable by credit card as part of the online application process.

International Student Fee Waiver: Students with citizenship in low to middle income countries, as determined by World Bank rankings, are eligible for an application fee waiver from the MDP Program. Please review the World Bank Low and Middle Income list to determine if your country of citizenship qualifies you for one of these waivers. If so, entering your country of citizenship information on page 2 of the application form will provide the fee waiver. 

Qualified Applicants Fee Waiver: Students that have participated in certain graduate study preparation programs are eligible for an application fee waiver from the Laney Graduate School. Examples of these programs include (but are not limited to) the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MMUF) or the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE), among others. Please review the list on the Emory LGS webpage to determine if one of these waivers applies to you. If so, checking the applicable boxes on page 9 of the application form will provide the fee waiver. 

Application Fee Waiver Requests: the LGS will waive admission fee for applicants who demonstrate financial need. MDP applicants can submit such requests to the Graduate Program Administrator.