MPA Admissions Process
The Master of Public Administration program accepts applications on a year-round basis. Students are admitted to the MPA program annually and begin their program of study each Fall term. Exceptions, although rare, may be considered upon request on a case-by-case basis for applicants with a compelling reason to begin their MPA program of study at other times during the academic year. Admission decisions are made by a committee of MPA faculty and are based on the applicant's undergraduate grade point average, three signed letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with graduate studies and the applicant’s ability to succeed in a graduate degree program, and a 400-word essay that explains how the MPA degree serves the applicant’s personal and professional goals.
All MPA application materials are initially submitted to the WSU Graduate School. The Graduate School forwards a copy of the completed applicant's file to the MPA Program Director. The MPA Admissions Committee then reviews the applicant's file and renders an admission decision. The admission process is typically completed within four weeks after the completed application file is received by the MPA program.
The preferred application deadline for the MPA program is March 31. Prospective students submitting completed applications by this date will receive first consideration. Applicants seeking financial assistance from the MPA program must have their applications completed and submitted by this date. Completed applications received after March 31 will receive consideration on a space-available basis.
MPA Admissions Criteria
Applicants must have earned a Bachelor degree prior to matriculation in the MPA program. Students who earned an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 may be granted Regular admission status. Those with an undergraduate GPA lower than 3.0 but at least 2.7 may be granted Conditional admission status.
Promising MPA applicants who do not meet the requirements for Regular or Conditional admission to the MPA program may apply for Non-degree status through the WSU Graduate School. However, Non-degree status does not guarantee future admission to the MPA program. MPA applicants in Non-degree status must be accepted by the WSU Graduate School and complete nine credit hours (three semester courses) of approved MPA coursework with a minimum grade of at least 3.0 (B) in each course. When students in Non-degree status meet these requirements, they should apply or petition for admission to the MPA program..
These admissions criteria provide an opportunity to admit students who have a strong record of academic performance as well as those students whose past academic performance may not accurately reflect their capacity to succeed in graduate studies. However, for all students, the MPA program incorporates a rigorous set of standards and expectations that demand high levels of commitment and performance to successfully complete the degree requirements.
MPA Application Materials
Prospective MPA students may obtain application materials in several ways. Requests to have an MPA information packet sent via US mail may be made by contacting the Department of Urban Affairs and Geography by telephone at (937)-775-4451 or by sending a request for program information and application materials via email to the MPA Program Director.
Applicants may electronically submit an application to the MPA program via the WSU School of Graduate Studies online application process.
The following documents are required to apply to the MPA program:
- WSU Application for Admission to Graduate Status form;
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended (except WSU)
- Three (3) signed letters of recommendation, on letterhead stationary, from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic achievements and/or ability to meet the rigorous requirements of graduate studies; and
- A 400-word essay that explains how the MPA degree serves the applicant’s personal and professional goals.
MPA applicants are not required to take a standardized admissions test such as the GRE or GMAT. However, applicants who have taken such standardized tests may choose to submit their scores as additional evidence of their academic preparation for graduate school.
Additional information and policies may be found on the WSU Graduate School website.
International students will find useful information on the WSU University Center for International Education website.