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MPA Admission

Admission to the MPA Program

Admission to the program is competitive and is granted only to those who show ability for success in graduate study. The applicant must meet the University's general requirement, which is an overall grade point average of 2.8 on a four point scale. The decision to admit an applicant to the MPA program is based on a balanced review of the application package as submitted by the prospective student.

Please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions website for all application materials, http://odu.edu/admission/graduate

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the following:

  • Official transcripts of all previous college work.
  • A written statement describing how your experience in work and other settings and your choice of graduate study in public administration will lead to achieving your career goals. (1000 word maximum length.)
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation from academic sources and/or employment supervisors. Please do not provide letters from friends, co-workers, or family.
  • All applicants are required to submit an acceptable score on the GRE (or GMAT or LSAT) examinations. [See below about the GRE Waiver form.]
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The MPA program does not provide Conditional Admission pending a successful TOEFL result.

The requirement for the GRE may be waived for qualified applicants with at least three years of substantial supervisory, managerial or professional level experience in a local, regional, state, federal, military or nonprofit agency. Applicants who wish to be exempted from the GRE requirement should complete the Request for GRE Waiver form and submit it with their application package for review by the admissions committee. The decision to waive the GRE is the responsibility of the Graduate Program Director whose decision is final. If a waiver request is denied, applicants must complete the requirement for the GRE. Denial of a waiver request is not denial of admission to the MPA, and those denied waivers are encouraged to complete their application requirements. Note: please read the waiver requirements carefully; consideration of your application will be delayed if you are not eligible.

Application Dates
Fall Spring Summer
Domestic July 15 November 15 April 15
International April 15 October 15 February 1
Note: Applications are reviewed after the complete package is received.

Transfer of Credit Policy

Upon the recommendation of the MPA program director, students may transfer up to 12 credit hours of approved coursework from a nationally accredited institution. Coursework must be beyond the undergraduate degree and taken prior to admission to the MPA program. Transfer of credit, however, is not automatic and must meet specific criteria established by the department, including meeting university guidelines for course validation. Transferred coursework may not be for other completed degree programs or training courses.

Want to try out the MPA program first?

Easy! You can apply as a non-degree graduate student and take an introductory class or an elective to see if the program is a good fit for you! You can take up to 12 credit hours as a non-degree student.

Non-degree students must complete an online application for admission into the university before registering for classes (note: students in this status are not eligible to receive financial aid until they become a degree-seeking student).

Want more information about (or apply for) non-degree status? Click here!

Or... do you just want to go ahead and apply as a degree-seeking student in the MPA program? Then go here!

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Admission & Financial Aid

You're now ready to expand your modern mind. If you see possibility around every corner and know that knowledge and experience are the roads to success, then ODU is ready for you. Learn about admission, tuition and the financial aid options available to you.

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