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Admission Requirements

The University of Utah Master of Public Administration Program seeks a diverse pool of applicants trained in a wide range of undergraduate disciplines. No specific background or major is required. Admission is selective, and decisions are based on a multifaceted evaluation of applicants' overall academic and professional record, including undergraduate transcripts, graduate entrance exam scores, three letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, and a resume describing relevant work, community, and extracurricular experiences. The program typically admits 60-80% of applicants, depending upon the size and quality of the application pool.

For more information on the program and how to apply contact the Program Coordinator, Claudia Canales. (

Appy Yourself Applicant Portal

The University of Utah has implemented an online application system called Apply Yourself. All materials required by Graduate Admissions and the MPA Program for applying must be uploaded to this system. The system is user friendly.  You will also enter e-mail addresses for your letter of recommendation authors in Apply Yourself (please let the letter authors know an e-mail from Hobsons will be coming their way). 



Dual Degrees

If you are applying for a dual degree, please be sure to complete an application for each program in Apply Yourself (you will need to use an original e-mail for each application). There is not a joint option so it is important to complete the application and upload all requirements for each program to review.  You will be notified of acceptance or denial by each program.

Dual Degrees and Certificates


Application Deadline

The priority deadline for acceptance into the program is February 15th.

Applications for domestic students are accepted through June 30th*
Applications for international students are accepted through March 30th*

All MPA program application materials must be completed by the priority deadline of February 15 to be eligible for department scholarships and assistantships. Please note that the MPA program accepts applications for Fall Semester only.

*Please note that applications submitted after the priority deadline may be subject to a late application fee.



Application Checklist

Letter of Intent

The personal letter of intent is a crucial part of your application because it is the primary way that the admissions committee will get to know you as an applicant. We recommend applicants format their letter as they would a cover letter (with a salutation addressed to the admissions committee and a sign-off).

Applicants should consider the following questions when writing their letter:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What is your academic background?
  3. What is your professional background?
  4. Why are you interested in earning a Master of Public Administration?
  5. What unique professional and personal experiences would you bring to the program?
  6. What are your future goals, and how the MPA Program will help you achieve them?

The letter of intent should be a minimum of two pages in length, and no longer than 3 pages. Please include your name and contact information in the heading at the top of each page.


Your resume should include relevant work, internship and volunteer experiences, as well as academic or research highlights.


Upload an unofficial copy of all of your transcripts to your application. You will be required to provide an official copy of your transcripts, sent directly from your previous school to the Graduate Admissions office at:

Admissions Office
The University of Utah
201 S 1460 E
Room 250 S SSB
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Transcripts submitted for admission become the University of Utah property and cannot be returned to the applicant. Failure to list all schools previously attended or making false or misleading statements on the application may result in loss of credit and/or cancellation of admission status.

Letters of Recommendation

Please submit three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic and professional abilities. At least one letter should be from an academic reference, preferably a former professor. Please follow the instructions in Apply Yourself for submission of these letters.

You will enter the e-mail addresses of three reference letter authors. The Apply Yourself system will then send an e-mail request asking authors to upload their letters (please let the letter authors know an e-mail from Hobsons will be coming their way). If you finished a degree (undergrad or grad) within the past two years, one of your three letters must be from an undergraduate professor or instructor.

Graduate Entrance Exam Scores (Optional)

No graduate entrance exam is required to apply to the Master of Public Administration program. If you wish to include a score, it will be considered. Please note that it is not required for entrance into this program. It may be helpful to include a score if you have a low GPA or if you would like to bolster your application. We will consider scores from the GRE, MAT, LSAT, and GMAT. 

American Government Pre-requisite

Applicants must complete a pre-requisite course in introductory American government before the first day of class. POLS 1100 at the University of Utah or an equivalent course from an accredited university (syllabus required),  are accepteable.  Must complete with a "C" or better, a "PASS" if taken pass-fail, or a 50 or above if taken as a CLEP exam (printed score required.) Alternatively, the program offers a pass-fail short course for this pre-requisite at the end of July each year. Advanced Placement American Government satisfies the pre-requisite so long as a transcript verifies the receipt of academic for the AP course. Brigham Young University's American Heritage course is not accepted as a pre-requisite. 

Undergraduate GPA

Applicants must have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher. Some exceptions will be made based on career experience and length of time between undergraduate degree and MPA application.

English Language Requirement 

Applicants for whom English is a second language must also submit a TOEFL score. The TOEFL requirement for the MPA Program is 580 paper-based or 92 internet-based. English proficiency is not required of permanent residents who have had the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) for over five years. Applicants with a Permanent Resident Card issued less than five years ago must still submit proof of English proficiency. 

Please visit the International Students website for more information.


Helpful Links

Last Updated: 6/14/22