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Application Process

The Laney Graduate School (LGS) is no longer accepting applications for admission to the Master's in Development Practice (MDP) for the 2017-2018 academic year. The application for admission for the 2018-2019 academic year will open by September 10, 2017.

However you should continue monitoring this page for the announcement of the next application deadline. We strongly encourage applicants to submit their applications as early as possible to take advantage of the early application fee waiver and to receive consideration for tuition scholarships.  Please note that letters of recommendation letters are automatically requested for 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

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 must be uploaded as a separate document. 

Statement of Purpose

We are interested in how your experiences outside the classroom have prepared you for this course of study. One of our goals is to develop a rich and diverse learning community that includes students with a variety of life and work experiences. 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, and start the response to each question on a new page.


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. 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. 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).

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.

Early Application Fee Waiver: the $75 application fee will be automatically waived for all applications received on or before midnight (U.S. Pacific time) on Monday, October 31, 2017. 

Qualified Applicants Fee Waiver:  If you have attended or participated in one or more of the programs designed to prepare students for graduate study, LGS will automatically waive the application fee. Simply check the boxes that apply on page 9 of the application form. 

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