Application review process
Applications are first reviewed by the UTC Graduate School. Once approved for admission to the Graduate School, applications are forwarded to the MPA Program Coordinator for review. Applications are reviewed based on the applicant’s statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, and relevant professional experience.
Every successful applicant will have a statement of purpose that demonstrates a good fit with the UTC MPA program’s mission and curriculum and supportive letters of recommendation written by professional and academic references.
Having met these requirements, the following applicant profiles usually receive a favorable decision:
- Undergraduate GPA > 3.25, OR
- Undergraduate GPA > 3.0 (or > 3.33 in final 60 credits) + GRE Analytical Writing > 3.5 + GRE Verbal and Quantitative > 40th percentile, OR
- Previous completion of another graduate program at a regionally accredited college or university
Applicants not meeting the above GPA and GRE standards may still be considered for eventual admission to the MPA program by first applying to the Graduate School as a non-degree-seeking student and successfully completing two MPA courses. After completing a minimum of 6 credits of MPA courses with a grade of A or B, students may apply for admission to the MPA program and, if accepted, apply those credits toward the MPA degree. This route gives both the faculty and the student the opportunity to make sure the student is a good fit with the program. Applicants who do not meet the above criteria but do meet the following minimum standards are encouraged to apply first as non-degree-seeking students:
- Undergraduate GPA > 3.0 (or > 3.33 in final 60 credits) + GRE Analytical Writing > 3.5 + GRE Verbal and Quantitative > 20th percentile, OR
- Undergraduate GPA > 2.7 + GRE Analytical Writing > 3.5 + GRE Verbal and Quantitative > 40th percentile, OR
- Undergraduate GPA > 2.7 + GRE Analytical Writing > 3.5 + GRE Verbal and Quantitative > 20th percentile + > 2 years of public service management or analytic professional experience
Applicants who meet all admissions requirements except the minimum 3.5 on the GRE Analytical Writing exam will be given the option to take an alternative writing exam during the application process.
The MPA faculty’s decision is communicated to the Graduate School, who then notifies the applicant of the final decision and provides information about advising and course registration to admitted students.
While not a condition for admission, applicants should be aware that an undergraduate statistics course is a prerequisite for a core MPA course typically taken during the first fall semester. Applicants without this prerequisite are encouraged to take an undergraduate statistics course before enrolling to ensure timely progress in the program. The UTC Department of Political Science and Public Service offers a summer online statistics course that meets this prerequisite.