What factors does the admissions committee consider when deciding whether to admit an applicant?
The main criteria considered are:

  • A commitment to public service;
  • Demonstrated leadership or leadership potential; and
  • An academic background that indicates an ability to be successful in a rigorous social science program that promotes critical thinking and is writing intensive.

Enhancing factors include:

  • Service involvement in leadership positions;
  • Professional work experience in the public or nonprofit sector. Here, professional work is defined as having responsibility for service or program management, policy creation or implementation, or providing leadership for a section or unit.
  • First generation graduate student;
  • Bringing diverse experiences or perspectives to the classroom.

Can I apply as a non-degree seeking student?

Non-degree seeking (NDS) students can take unlimited courses as NDS but, per university policies, only 9 graduate-level credits are eligible to be counted toward degree if they choose to matriculate at a later date.
University Admission Requirements:  The standard requirements for NDS applicants are (1) proof of bachelor’s degree and (2) proof of English proficiency.
Application Requirements:

  • Completed non-degree seeking graduate application and submission fee of $30
  • Current resume
  • Statement of purpose describing background, current or previous experience in public service, course/s you are interested in and how they will aid your current and future professional goals, etc.
  • Official, degree-conferred transcripts and official transcripts of baccalaureate and any post-baccalaureate course work

Application Review: Completed NDS applications will be evaluated by the MPA Committee & Program Manager for reference, but do not require a full review.
Application Deadlines: 
The deadline is the 1st of the month prior to the start of each semester. 

The non-degree application process can be found on the Graduate Admissions site. The application fee for non-degree seeking students is $30.

Can I transfer courses that I have taken at another college or university?
Consult with an advisor if you would like to have courses evaluated for transfer credit. Masters students may transfer in nine hours of course credit. All transfer credits must be approved for relevance and must be transferred in prior to a student’s final semester in the program.

Are there scholarship funds or financial aid available?
Scholarships are available for students accepted into the City Management Fellowship. A few additional scholarships are also available. A helpful financial resource is the Office of Graduate Studies' Costs and Aids webpage.