Effective March 2012, the Payson Center has temporarily suspended admissions to the Ph.D. program.  Please continue to check our Website for updates.


Students who wish to be considered for admission to the graduate program should apply to the Payson Center. Applicants applying for admission should meet the following deadlines: for Fall semesters, all completed applications are due no later than March 1 and for the Spring semester, all completed applications are due no later than October 1.

Degree program applicants who hold bachelor’s degrees from recognized institutions may be admitted to the Payson Center if their academic records and personal attributes indicate the ability to pursue advanced study successfully. Applicants must present evidence, to the satisfaction of the department or the program committee concerned, of adequate preparation for the subjects in which they seek to specialize.

A student admitted to the Payson Center in a degree program must be continuously registered during the academic year (exclusive of Summer Session) as full-time or part-time student. Under exceptional circumstances a student may be granted leave by the Academic Director of the Payson Center, and during such period of leave, a student will be considered in continuous registration without payment of fee.

The application requirements are as follows:

  1. $45 application fee;
  2. Completed application form;
  3. Three completed recommendation forms;
  4. Official transcripts of all undergraduate records and of any previous graduate work;
  5. A statement of purpose not to exceed 500 words; and
  6. Official record of scores on the Graduate Record Examination General (GRE) Test
    1. For the M.S. program, a minimum of 302 combined score with neither the verbal being lower than 153 nor the quantitative score being lower than 144.
    2. For the Ph.D. program, a minimum of 160 for Verbal and 148 for Quantitative is required.

To submit your GRE scores to the Payson Center use the Designated Institution code (5879).

  1. If you are a foreign student applying to the program, an official score report for the TOEFL exam with a minimum of 575 on the paper-based test or 90 on the computer-based test is required. Use the Payson Center's Designated Institution code (3717) when taking the TOEFL exam.

Please note that we will only accept fully completed applications for review.

Probationary admission may be granted upon conditions which the applicant must fulfill in the first semester or first year of graduate school enrollment in order to have the probationary status changed to regular degree status.

At this time the Payson Center does not accept online applications and all applications and supporting documents must be mailed to:

Sheila Favalora
Payson Center for International Development
Tulane University
6823 St. Charles Avenue
300 Hebert Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118

Any questions, comments, etc. regarding application for the graduate program should be sent to Sheila Favalora.

All transcripts and other documents and material required for application for admission become the property of Tulane University and are not returnable.

Rules and Regulations

Upon admission to the Payson Center, students are held responsible for compliance with the regulations of the Payson Center and of Tulane University as set forth in current or subsequent official statements. They should familiarize themselves with these regulations. The University reserves the right to change any of its courses and charges without advance notice and to make such changes applicable to students already registered as well as to new students

Standardized Test Requirement

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Applicants for admission must take at their own expense the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination. The test scores will be used, with other data, to determine eligibility for admission and to aid in counseling the applicant after admission. Students should register for the GRE at

Foreign Students

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Non-US citizens applying for admission must present satisfactory evidence of sufficient competence in English to read, write, speak and understand.  The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report is required for each applicant whose native language is not English or if English was not the language of instruction at the institution where the applicant received his or her degree(s).  Such applicants must meet the Payson Center's TOEFL requirements (575 on the paper test or 90 on the internet version).  The Internet based version of the TOEFL includes a writing section. Students taking the paper-based version of the TOEFL must also take the Test of Written English (TWE) and achieve a score of 3.5 or higher.  Payson Center accepts TOEFL scores for up to three years after the test administration.  The Payson Center's institution code for submitting TOEFL scores is 3717. A score on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) is requested but not required.  We also accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in lieu of the TOEFL examination.  Students must receive an IELTS band sore of 7 or higher. 

For information about these exams, go to

Foreign applicants are also required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Ph.D. Admission Criteria

This doctoral program in International Development is competency-based and is designed to be highly competitive. The program is designed with two types of students in mind:

  1. experienced professionals who want to update their theoretical and conceptual knowledge and analytical tools; and
  2. individuals with a more limited experience but who have demonstrated a strong interest in gaining a deeper understanding of the issues and who seek to formalize their thinking and enhance their knowledge, skills and competencies.

The faculty will only recommend for admission students who have shown strong potential to excel in a rigorous academic program and to function effectively in professional settings. Thus, students will be selected for admission into this doctoral program based on these criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to the field of development through past work or scholarly activities
  • GPA at undergraduate and graduate level (minimum GPA of 3.2)
  • Personal Statement of Career Goals
  • Recommendations
  • Standardized Test scores
  • Prior accomplishment in the field (not required, but helpful)

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