ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

Eligibility:

  1. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent;
  2. Minimum 2 years of working experience. Fresh graduates and early career professionals are welcome to apply. Based on the Admissions Committee’s discretion applicants with work experience less than 2 years may also be considered if the applicant can demonstrate high academic performance of CGPA 4 out of 5, or 2.67 out of 4, or its equivalent.
  3. English proficiency: IELTS – minimum overall score 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in sub categories, or its TOEFL equivalent (compare your TOEFL score here).
    English language certifications are valid for 2 years prior to application deadline. At the discretion of the Admissions Committee applicants can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report if:
    – one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in a country with English as the language of official communication, academic instruction and daily life;
    – an undergraduate degree was earned in a program which was officially taught in English;
    – the applicant is a graduate of Nazarbayev University.

Criteria for Selection:

A successful candidate must demonstrate intellectual distinction (will be assessed by prior academic achievements, recommendations, essays) and leadership capabilities (will be assessed by prior achievements in extracurricular, civic or community activities, employment history, and recommendations).
Please note that meeting the minimum requirements do not imply automatic admission into the program.

Application process

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STEP 1. ONLINE APPLICATION

Please take 10 minutes of your time before you start the application process to read and follow the guidance which is given below.

The whole application process is done via Nazarbayev University online admissions portal. All the applications and the documents required have to be submitted through the online admissions portal: no application or document will be accepted by email.
To apply online, you will be asked to set up a user account using your email address, and you should use this email for all enquiries. All correspondence during the selection process will take place by email.

Press the “Sign up” button to set up your account (see picture 1).

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On the “Registration” page select “Masters” from the dropdown list, tick the program(s) you wish to apply for, fill in all the boxes below, and press the “Registration” button.
Attention! Make sure to provide accurate information (you must write your name in English as it appears in your passport) as this information will automatically appear in your application form.

In order to complete the registration process and activate your account you need to click the link that was sent to your email address. Once you activate your Nazarbayev University account, go to “My Application Forms” menu and choose the program you are going to apply to (Master in Public Policy or Master in Public Administration from).

Now you are able to open, complete and upload the application form (see picture 2).

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The application form will be opened in a separate tab/window. Fill it in and attach a passport size picture of yourself. The fields highlighted in yellow are mandatory fields.

Please make sure you provide accurate information for your two referees (you can provide only one email address for each referee). As soon as you press the “Submit” button on your personal page, an email will be generated automatically and sent to the referees’ email addresses you have provided.
In addition, please ensure that your referees reply to our request with the scanned copy of the reference letter to gspp_admissions@nu.edu.kz within 10 days of receiving the email.
Applicants are not permitted to view their reference letters. They are strictly confidential and will only be read by those people responsible for assessing your application.

After you press the “Upload” button, your application form will automatically appear on your personal page (refresh the page if necessary).

The next step is to attach all supporting documentation.

After you press the “Submit” button, the application will be sent to the Graduate School of Public Policy and you will not be able to make any further changes.
Once your application is submitted, a confirmation email will be sent to your email address.

You will be asked to pay an application fee at the time of submission.
KZT 10,000 – application fee for applicants from countries with low and average income (the Gross National Income per capita up to 14,000 US dollars) KZT 28,000 – application fee for applicants from countries with high income (from US 14,001 US dollars and above).

The fee can be paid online by credit card. Cash is not accepted. Your payment is non-refundable, even if you withdraw the application or if the application is denied. The fee can be applied only to the admission term indicated on your submitted application.

STEP 2. APPLICATION SCREENING

Once we get your application, fee, and supporting documentation, the NU Admissions Department will review your documents and contact you by email if additional information is needed. You will be notified if you are not eligible for the program. All eligible applications will be carefully reviewed and assessed by GSPP Admissions Committee members. Successful applicants will be invited to the interview.

GSPP Admissions Committee is composed of faculty members and/or senior administrative staff from GSPP and at least 1 representative from GSPP’s strategic partner.

STEP 3. INTERVIEW WITH THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE

Interview with the Admissions Committee members takes place on campus in Astana. Applicants may choose among 2 options: either to attend face-to-face interview or have it remotely (usually via skype). The interview lasts from 15 to 30 minutes. You will be asked questions about your background and your aspirations, and how the program you are applying to fits with your future career plans. We recommend that you prepare for this interview as you would for a job interview.
Before the interview starts every applicant is given 30 minutes to read, explore and resolve a case study. The case study is a specific public policy problem. Such approach allows the Admissions Committee to assess an applicant’s capacity to analyze, identify a problem, and find appropriate solution in an actual assignment.

STEP 4. ADMISSIONS DECISION

After all interviews have been conducted, the Admissions Committee will invite top bright and talented applicants to join the program. Every applicant will be notified of the outcome by email.
Successful applicants are expected to confirm their intention of enrolment otherwise

APPLICATION DATES AND DEADLINES

Step 1. Online application 15 November – 20 April

Step 2. Application screening May

Step 3. Interview with the admissions committee May-June

Step 4. Admissions decision June-July

FINANCIAL AID

Annually the GSPP provides certain number of state educational grants (scholarships) for Kazakhstani citizens, covering:

  • tuition fees,
  • monthly stipend,

Monthly allowance

According to government regulation on state scholarships, the monthly allowance for Master’s degree students of Nazarbayev University who hold state grants is 100 000 tenge. Only students with “Excellent” grades (A and A-) and “Good” grades (B+, B, B-) for any module/course upon the semester results are eligible for this monthly allowance. The monthly allowance is not paid during academic leave except for medical leave reasons based on medical assessment (a conclusion by a medical board is needed).

Students who are on medical leave receive 50% of the monthly allowance amount; students with disabilities (hearing/vision) receive 75% of the monthly allowance amount. Students on maternity leave receive a monthly allowance on a pre-departure rate during the whole period according to Kazakhstan legislature. The monthly allowance is not paid during the childcare leave until the child reaches three years of age.

Transport compensation

According to the Government Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 736 dated 18 July 2005, Master’s students and state grant holders of the “youth” age category (under age 30) receive transportation compensation in the amount of 4-fold the monthly calculation index twice a year (in December and June).

MPP graduation rate: 92,5 % stat2

FAQ

August annually
Each cohort is around 30 students per program.
Students who are awarded a state grant and demonstrated good academic performance are paid a stipend of KZT100 000.
Housing is available for students of the MPP program, those who are awarded state grant and those who are not residents of Astana.
Applicants to the master’s programs are expected to have:
1) English language proficiency test results) (IELTS: at least 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each section; or TOEFL equivalent, check : https://www.ets.org/toefl/institutions/scores/compare/)

2) Working experience in public institutions, national companies, non-governmental and international organisations, foreign companies, and business entities that involve extensive interaction with the public sector:
MPP – at least two years*
MPA – at least three years

Although bright fresh graduates may be considered for the program, the candidate preferably should display interest and/or experience in a public service environment, non-profit organisations, and/or private sector positions that actively collaborates with public sector.

3) Bachelor’s degree (specialist)
Applicant is eligible for a state grant if previously has not received Master’s degree by state order, including “Bolashak” scholarship.
Full package of documents is accepted online. Applicants must register on the admission portal http://admissions.nu.edu.kz. Detailed instructions are provided here.
Yes. You will be asked to pay an application fee at the time of submission.
KZT 10,000 – application fee for applicants from countries with low and average income (the Gross National Income per capita up to 14,000 US dollars )
KZT 28,000 – application fee for applicants from countries with high income (from US 14,001 US dollars and above).

The fee can be paid online by credit card. Cash is not accepted. Your payment is non-refundable, even if you withdraw the application or if the application is denied. The fee can be applied only to the admission term indicated on your submitted application.
Required documents are:

1) Completed online application form, which includes three essays.

2) Two confidential letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to assess abilities of the applicant in a professional setting and are familiar with his/her achievements and future aspirations. One of the two recommendations should be written by current or previous employer (if applicable). The second referee may be chosen at the applicant’s discretion.

Letters of recommendation are automatically requested from the referees you have listed in the application form. Referee sends the letter of recommendation to GSPP address without applicant’s participation.

3) Resume/curriculum vitae;

4) Notarised copy (-ies) of Bachelor’s (specialist) degree diploma with transcript(s);
Applicants who obtained Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree diploma (or its equivalent) from foreign educational institutions must request their official transcript(s) to be sent to GSPP directly to following address:

Admissions Department
53 Kabanbay batyr ave.
Astana 010000
Kazakhstan

5) Academic English language proficiency test reports (IELTS or TOEFL) valid at the commencement of the program.

Applicants who have obtained their Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees (or their equivalents) at the educational institutions where English is the main language of instruction are excused of providing IELTS or TOEFL certificates.

6) Notarised copy of the applicant’s identity card or passport;

7) Notarised copy of the document that proves professional experience of the applicant (if applicable);

8) Valid GRE or GMAT Test Report (general test). Submission of GMAT or GRE certificates is not obligatory. However, it may strengthen an application.

Applicants are required to submit all the documents in English, or should provide notarised English translation.
For both programs the deadline of application process is April 20 annually.
Admissions committee includes the members of GSPP faculty and partner- Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy as well as administration of GSPP.
Applications: November – April
Consideration of applications: May-June
Interview: June-July
Invitation letters: July
Student enrollment: August
Yes, but only if you are enrolled to MPA program.

General Information

For inquiries about admissions please contact Admissions Department

gspp_admissions@nu.edu.kz
+7 7172 706143
+7 7172 706568