MPA Handbook : Admissions Information

Admission Requirements for Graduate Study in Public Administration

Admission to Graduate Study

All applicants must meet the minimum standards set by the School of Graduate Studies for admission to graduate study at ISU. Standards for admission to the MPA program, and to either of our certificate programs, are listed below.

Admission to the MPA Program

Admission for Post-Baccalaureate, Pre-Service MPA Applicants

Below are the admission requirements for all prospective MPA students who have earned a bachelors degree, but who have not yet had work experience either in the public sector or in the non-profit sector.

  1. Three letters of recommendation from former professors and other academics, employers, or colleagues. Referees are asked to assess the applicant’s interest in graduate study in public administration, and his or her likelihood of succeeding in a graduate program.
  2. An essay explaining the applicants interests and motivations in pursuing graduate study in public administration. The essay should be a page and a half to two pages long, double-spaced.
  3. Evidence of the award of a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited American university or from an international equivalent. We are looking for students with a minimum GPA of at least 2.75 in all undergraduate work.
  4. Acceptance into graduate study at ISU by the School of Graduate Studies.

Admission for In-Service or Mid-Career Applicants

  1. In addition to the requirements listed above, mid-career applicants are asked to supply evidence of that experience. Prospective students who have worked or are working in some area of public or of non-profit administration are asked to provide reasonable documentation that they have acquired at least three years experience working in an administrative or managerial capacity.
  2. There is no three credit-hour internship course requirement for students in this category.
  3. Mid-career students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on all undergraduate academic work

Admission for Applicants from Outside the US

All international students from non-English speaking countries are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and score at least 600 on the test. Students deficient in the English language and having a score of 600 on the TOEFL exam may be advised to join an English Language Institute to improve their competency in the language.

Conditional Admission to the MPA Program

Applicants who do not meet all program entrance requirements may be admitted conditionally to the MPA program. Students admitted conditionally will have to meet certain requirements set for them by the faculty before their status in the program is regularized. Requirements may include the attainment of a certain GPA, remedial coursework, or other similar requirements. Requirements to remove any admission condition must be accomplished within a time agreed upon by the student and the faculty.

Admission to the Certificate Programs in Public Administration and in Public Personnel Administration

Students may be admitted to either certificate program upon evidence of the following:

  1. Admission to graduate study at ISU by the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Evidence of the award of a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited American university, or an international equivalent, with a reasonably good GPA.
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