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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)- Admission

What is the deadline for applying to the MPA program?

For fall semester 2018 admission, Evening and Executive program applications will be accepted through February 15, 2018.

How long does it take to complete the MPA program?
Students in the evening program typically finish in two-three years (6-8 semesters) depending on the number of classes taken each semester.  The average class load for a full-time professional is two courses.  Executive program students finish in just over two years.

How much does the MPA program cost?
Evening program students pay general graduate resident or non-resident tuition rates, plus a differential tuition rate on CORE classes only of $109.20/credit or $327.60 per class. Rates typically increase annually. Executive MPA students pay a higher set fee, which includes tuition, text books and parking, as well as administrative costs to oversee this type of program. Non-resident tuition is also considered for both programs. Tuition & Financial Aid

How large are the classes?
Most evening classes are capped at 30 students with the core classes typically filling. Evening elective classes range from 15-30 students. Executive cohorts (academic groups) are usually 15-25 students.

Do I have to take the GRE?
The MPA admissions committee accepts the GRE, MAT, GMAT and LSAT, and does not prefer one graduate entrance exam over another. Every evening and executive MPA applicant must submit official scores (no older than five years) from one of these exams. However, if an applicant already holds a graduate degree from an accredited institution the exam is waived.

What is the minimum test score I must have to apply to the program?
There is no minimum. The admissions committee looks at percentile ranks, rather than raw test scores. As a general rule, the committee is looking for test scores in the 50th percentile or above. However, this is only one component of the application so test scores falling below the 50th percentile do not automatically eliminate an applicant from consideration.

What is the minimum GPA I must have to apply to the program?
The MPA program looks for a minimum GPA of 3.2. However, exceptions are made based on work experience, number of years out of school and strength of letters of recommend, letter of intent and test score.

If my GPA is lower than a 3.2, what options do I have?
Students may apply for non-matriculated status (non-degree seeking) to take up to nine graduate credits. The MPA Program often makes this recommendation for students with lower GPAs, who have not been out of undergraduate coursework very long, and who do not have a lot of work experience to counter the GPA. This opportunity allows students to experience graduate courses, while also demonstrating to the MPA Program their academic abilities at the graduate level. Students must apply for non-matriculated status (non-degree seeking) through the Admissions Office.

Can my letters of nomination or recommendation be e-mailed to you?
No. Your references must submit their letters of recommendation via the Apply Yourself system.

Is there a form for my references to complete?
No.  Your references must submit their letter (typically no longer than one page) via the Apply Yourself system, discussing your academic and/or administrative strengths/potential, and why they are recommending the admissions committee accept you into the MPA program. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION LETTERS.

Is there a form for the letter of intent?
No. The letter should:

                    • be around 2-3 pages

                    • be typed, and in business letter format

                    have the salutation addressed to Admissions Committee

Some things to focus on in the letter:

                    • why you want an MPA degree

                    • your professional goals and how the MPA Program will help you achieve them

                    • what professional and personal experiences you will bring to the MPA Program

Are there any program pre-requisites?
Yes. MPA students are required to have taken U.S. Government (POLS 1100) and received a “C” or higher, pass if taken “Pass-Fail”, or 50 or higher if taking the CLEP exam.  Please contact the program manager to discuss non-credit options (three-day condensed class, CLEP exam, etc.). Some classes may substitute for this requirement, but the MPA office will need a syllabus/syllabi or other documentation from this course/courses. Please note we will not accept Advanced Placement courses, American Civilization, or BYU's American Heritage course.

May I transfer credits from another institution?
Yes. The University of Utah allows up to six graduate semester credit hours to be transferred from another accredited college or university. The class(es) must be approved by the MPA program manager or director, grades must be “B” or better, the coursework need not be older than four years when the student completes the MPA (students may seek an extension when appropriate) and the student fulfills the residency requirements of the University of Utah. Students seeking to transfer credit should supply the MPA office with the necessary supporting materials including syllabi, where possible, and catalog descriptions. Graduate Transfer Credit Authorization

Is there an internship requirement?
Yes. Evening students who do not have at least one year of administrative work (e.g., project coordination, policy development, budget reviews, employee management, etc.) experience in the public or nonprofit sector (undergraduate internships and volunteer work do not count toward this experience), must fulfill a three month part-time internship.

Students with applicable experience will be asked to apply for an internship waiver during their first semester. The program manager and director will decide if the waiver is sufficient. There is no internship requirement for Executive MPA students. Internships

How many students are accepted into the program? When will I be notified?
The program does not have a set number of students it accepts to the evening program every fall.  Rather this is based on the quality of the pool and program capacity. Up to 25 executive students are accepted every fall. All applicants are notified by e-mail about their acceptance status between one-two months after the application deadline.

Last Updated: 10/19/17