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MPA Admission Process

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program admits the best applicants on a competitive basis. Applicants are considered based on a total picture of their qualifications using the information submitted. Admission materials are reviewed for evidence of ability to successfully pursue graduate work.

Application Deadlines

Applicants may request admission to the MPA program in the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.

Fall and Summer admission deadline: April 1st

  • All application materials must be submitted by April 1st
  • Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision around April 15.

Spring admission deadline: October 15th

  • All application materials must be submitted by October 15th
  • Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision around October 31st.

Applications for admission may be considered after these deadlines on a space-available basis. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

How to Apply

  1. Complete Graduate Education Application and pay application fee.
  2. Send official transcripts of all colleges/universities previously attended to the Office of Graduate Admissions & Recruitment
  3. Upload the following to your online Graduate Application Packet:
    1. Two Recommendations. Recommendations should be requested through the online Graduate Application portal.
    2. Current Resume. Please list work experience, volunteer activities, internships, academic degrees and honors, and other accomplishments you feel the admissions committee should take into account in reviewing your application.
    3. Letter of Intent. Provide a letter of intent indicating your interest in a career in public service, what you hope to gain from the MPA program, and why WVU offers you the best opportunity for achieving your professional goals. Please note in the letter of intent if you are applying for a graduate exam waiver request in the application based on one of the exceptions noted below.
    4. Graduate Exam Scores (GRE, GMAT, or LSAT). Submit standardized test scores from one of the following Graduate Exams:
      * Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
      * Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)
      * Law School Admission Council Exam (LSAT)
    5. Official TOEFL Scores (for international students only).

EXCEPTIONS TO THE GRADUATE EXAM TEST REQUIREMENT

The requirement that applicants submit GRE, GMAT, or LSAT scores can be waived under the following circumstances:

Expedited Admission based on Undergraduate GPA: The applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in West Virginia and achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher are eligible to waive the GRE/GMAT/LSAT requirement to apply for the program. Please note in your letter of intent that you are applying for an expedited admission.

Evidence of Graduate Level Competence: Applicants who already hold a graduate degree or have successfully completed at least 18 semester hours in another accredited graduate program, may request a waiver of the GRE/GMAT/LSAT requirement. Please state in your letter of intent that you are requesting a waiver based on graduate level competence.

Significant Managerial Administrative Experience: Applicants with at least 5 years of managerial administrative experience after completing their undergraduate degree may request a waiver of the GRE/GMAT/LSAT requirement by providing a letter of intent about their verbal/written competency and quantitative competency. The letter of intent should provide specific examples of their ability to write effectively, analyze complex situations, and complete quantitative analysis.

TEST SCORE ALTERNATIVES

As noted above, in some instances applicants may substitute written statements for accepted standardized test scores, or lower test scores may need to be augmented with additional written statements. These written statements are described here:

1. Statement of Verbal & Analytical Competency
The ability to write effectively and to analyze complex situations is important in both the MPA degree program and in public service. Applicants should demonstrate verbal and analytical competency by providing the following two items:

  • A list and description of education, training, or preparation in writing, such as college courses, training workshops, research projects, publications, and professional experience.
  • A solely-authored writing sample, particularly a college paper which received a high grade or a professional report that demonstrates writing and analytical abilities.

2. Statement of Quantitative Competency
Strong quantitative ability will be required in MPA coursework, including financial management, public budgeting, statistics, and applied coursework taken with a significant quantitative element, as well as grades received in each research methods. Applicants should demonstrate quantitative competency by providing a list and description of experience with quantitative methods. This may include classroom experience and/or professional experience. A description of classroom experience should include a list of course. A description of professional experience may be supplemented with professional papers and/or projects with a significant quantitative element.

Decisions are based on an assessment of:

  • Professional experience and general preparation
  • Verbal, analytical, and quantitative ability
  • Community service
  • Accomplishments of the applicant

Students who lack preparation in some of these areas may be offered admission on a provisional basis, with instructions from the Admissions Committee regarding how to move from provisional to regular status.

Apply to the MPA Program

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