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Application Procedures and Admissions Requirements

Students from diverse undergraduate backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. In certain cases, students with no prior training in American administrative institutions or the the social and behavioral sciences may be required to enroll in undergraduate courses to properly prepare themselves for graduate study in the MPA program.

To apply to the MPA program, please submit an electronic application through the Graduate School.  Additional information on the application process and admissions requirements can be found on the College of Charleston Graduate School website and the Graduate Catalog

Master of Public Administration Program admission requirements:

    • Completed application form along with a non-refundable application fee of $50.
    • Letter of intent stating your reasons for applying to the program, areas of interest, and career objectives.
    • Current resume.
    • Official transcript(s) from your undergraduate college or university.
      • If you have attended more than one undergraduate institution, you are required to submit official transcripts from all schools.
      • If you have earned a Master’s degree, you are required to submit official transcripts from the graduate college or university. If you have earned graduate credits from graduate courses you are required to submit official transcripts documenting the graduate courses you have taken.
      • Minimum grade point average of 3.000 (on a 4.000 scale) is preferred.
    • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic record.
      • At least two references should be collegiate-level instructors. References should address your academic ability and motivation to successfully complete a graduate degree.
      • If a prospective student has been out of college for a number of years, it is appropriate to provide two letters from work-related individuals, with one additional letter from a former professor.
    • Official copy of test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
      • A minimum composite score of 300, and 4.0 on the writing assessment section is preferred.
      • The GRE requirement is waived for applicants with a Master’s degree, and may be waived for individuals with at least five years of significant public or nonprofit work experience. To be considered for a GRE waiver, submit a letter with your application materials detailing your relevant background and experience. 
    • Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a writing sample, such as undergraduate theses or term papers, samples of work projects, etc.
    • Training in basic statistics. Otherwise, you may be required to take a basic statistics course prior to enrolling in Research and Quantitative Analysis for Public Administration.

Note: The admissions committee will carefully consider both GPA and GRE scores, as well as letters of recommendation and significant life experiences, particularly in public administration. Unconditional admission status requires a minimum score of 300 on the GRE and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.000. Students who demonstrate the likelihood of success in graduate school through adequate academic performance, previous professional and/or volunteer experience and supportive reference letters can be considered for conditional admission status.

Note: International students must also fulfill the requirements listed in the Graduate Catalog.

Deadlines for Applications:

  • Fall: Priority deadline is March 1, final deadline is July 1
  • Spring: Nov 1
  • Summer:  March 1