May 28, 2022  
2020-21 Graduate Bulletin 
2020-21 Graduate Bulletin Archived

Public Administration, M.P.A.

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Admission Requirements

In order to apply for the M.P.A. graduate program, the applicant must meet these requirements:

  • Submit official transcripts from each college/university attended to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at least 30 days before entering.
  • Research and Graduate Studies requires prospective students to have an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and a 2.8 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
  • Submit GRE scores to Research and Graduate Studies. SFA does not have a minimum GRE score, but the score is evaluated when making admission decisions. The GRE only is required if the student’s overall GPA is below 3.0.
  • Complete the application available at An application fee of $50 is required when applying.
  • Submit the following items to the M.P.A. program director:
    • a professional résumé
    • two letters of reference
    • and a 500 to 1500 word essay describing professional and/or educational accomplishments and motivation to earn a professional M.P.A.

Clear Admission

Clear admission will be granted to any applicant with an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. No GRE is required for applicants whose overall undergraduate GPA is 3.0 of higher. In the case of an applicant whose overall undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0, the acceptance decision is based on a combination of undergraduate GPA and GRE score where clear admission will be granted to an applicant who scores at least 600 points using the formula: overall undergraduate GPA x 100 + GRE verbal score + GRE quantitative score.

Probationary Admission

If the resulting aforementioned formula score is less than 600, and applicants have an undergraduate GPA of 2.8 or more overall or during their last 60 hours, or a combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of more than 300, the director may forward the application materials to the department’s graduate student selection committee for review. The committee, on a case-by-case basis, will determine if the formula score and the application materials are sufficient for probationary admission. Applicants admitted probationally are required to achieve final grades of “B” or better in each of their first two courses to be granted clear admission to the program. Failure to obtain a “B” or better in each course will result in termination from the program.

Admission for Participants in Five-Year Overlap Program

Admission requirements vary for applicants who are participating in the five-year overlap program. For more information, please contact the M.P.A. program director.

Special Requirements for Students Transferring from Other Graduate Programs

Students seeking to enter the M.P.A. program with clear admission from other graduate programs (whether at this institution or not) are generally required to have a graduate GPA of 3.0 with no grade below C in any graduate-level coursework for clear admission to the M.P.A. program. If these conditions are met, transfer students will not have to take the GRE.

Program Requirements

The course of study requires 36 hours of coursework.  Before completing 12 graduate hours, students must file a degree plan and have it approved by the program director and the department chair. The degree plan is an agreement between the university and the student that a specific completion of a set of courses will partially fulfill the M.P.A. requirements.

Before completing 24 graduate hours, each student should identify an M.P.A. faculty member to serve as chair of the capstone committee. The committee chair will direct and facilitate the preparation and completion of a capstone project and paper. The student will work with her/his chair in selecting appropriate faculty members to serve on the capstone committee. There must be a minimum of two additional tenured/tenure-track faculty serving with the chair on the capstone committee. At least one additional committee member must be part of the M.P.A. program faculty. The student with consent of the chair may select one faculty member from outside the M.P.A. program faculty.

Each M.P.A. student is required to successfully complete a written comprehensive examination. This examination must be completed after a student has completed all courses or is enrolled and past the mid-term in all courses.

Students wishing to register for any graduate courses offered in the Department of Government  must be advised by the assigned faculty advisor or the M.P.A. program director. The faculty advisor or the M.P.A. program director will notify the department’s administrative assistant of the advised selections, who will permit the student to take the courses approved during advising. Self-registration is not available for graduate courses.

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