MPA@UNC offers a convenient online application process. To complete the application, students will need to submit:
- Online application, including a statement of purpose and resume
- Unofficial transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended, including graduate studies (official transcripts will be required upon admission)
- Three letters of recommendation from references who can evaluate the applicant's qualifications for our program
- Official scores for the GRE, LSAT, or GMAT (submitted by ETS, LSAC, or GMAC) no more than five years old (requirement might be waived for applicants who have completed an advanced degree. Access the standardized test waiver application here.)
- English language proficiency scores from TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic (required for applicants without English as a native language or if their undergraduate degree was completed in a country where English is not the primary language of instruction)
- Non-refundable application fee of $85 (see below for fee waiver eligibility)
Detailed instructions for submitting the required documents can be found in the online application, and are also outlined in the information below.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
In the online application, prospective students will be asked to provide a statement of purpose responding to the question, “Why do you want to earn an MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill?” In one to two pages, applicants should address their professional goals, experiences leading them to consider a career in public service, and why MPA@UNC would be ideal for them.
Prospective students will need to upload unofficial copies of their transcripts from all institutions they have attended into their application. If applicants do not have unofficial transcripts, they will need to request copies of their transcripts from the school(s) to be sent directly to them. They can then upload them into the application or scan them and email them to their admissions counselor.
RESUME OR CURRICULA VITAE (CV)
Applicants will be asked to upload a current resume or CV, listing any relevant professional and academic experience, including volunteer work and honors and awards received.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Applicants will need to provide contact information for three persons qualified to evaluate their academic and professional qualifications. These should be individuals familiar with their academic achievement who can address their potential for success in this particular academic setting. If an applicant has been out of school for a number of years and is unable to provide contact information for former professors, they may identify other individuals who can address their achievement and potential. We advise against personal references or generic letters of recommendation such as those provided by campus career planning and placement offices. Again, although work experience in a public service profession will enhance an application, it is not a requirement for admission to MPA@UNC.
The references you identify will be sent an e-mail with instructions for submitting your recommendations online.
A three-credit course in American Government and Policy is required. While students may be granted conditional admission without the course, they must complete it prior to their first MPA@UNC class. If you have not taken this course at any point in your academic history, please review these options for information on institutions where you can complete a valid course, including a self-paced online version.
TEST SCORES AND TRANSCRIPTS
Applicants must submit scores from the GRE, LSAT, or the GMAT. Test requirement might be waived for applicants who have completed an advanced degree. MPA@UNC's reporting code for the GRE is 0664; our reporting code for the GMAT is D40-55-95. The unofficial scores are required for an application, and official scores are required if/once enrolled. Standardized test scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which the applicant tested (July 1-June 30).
Applicants whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree was completed in a country where English is not the primary language of instruction, will also need to submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic.
The standardized test requirement (GRE/GMAT/LSAT) might be waived for applicants who have completed an advanced degree. Applicants must complete the standardized test waiver application and upload their unofficial transcript to show that the degree has been conferred.
A faculty interview may be required at the discretion of the admissions committee. A brief interview will also be conducted and recorded by a senior admissions counselor for faculty review as part of the application process.
The application fee for MPA@UNC is $85.00, which is non-refundable.
APPLICATION FEE WAIVER
Prospective students may qualify for a waiver of the application fee if they are:
- A full-time, permanent employee of UNC Chapel Hill.
- A current McNair Scholar who is proceeding directly from undergraduate study to graduate school without a break in enrollment
- A U.S. citizen meeting certain need-based eligibility requirements
- A participant in the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP) who is proceeding directly from undergraduate to graduate school without a break in enrollment
Please note that applicants must submit the waiver request as part of the online application process. Upon receipt of the request, the Admissions Office will review the materials and mark the application as “paid” or contact the applicant for additional information/payment. If you are requesting a waiver, please do not submit an application fee pending the outcome of your request, as UNC cannot reimburse application fees once paid.
For more information on qualifying for a waiver and submitting the appropriate documentation, please visit the Application Fee Waivers webpage.