MPA Program Admission Standards

NOTE: The MPA and certificate programs are full for Fall 2021, and we are now taking applications for Spring 2022. 
NOTE: The GRE is being waived for the 2021-2022 academic year due to COVID-19

  1. A bachelor’s degree;
  2. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher;
  3. Official GRE Scores [GRE is not required if you already have a graduate degree; have ten years or more of public or nonprofit professional work experience demonstrated in resume; completed the nonprofit or public administration certificate; part of the MPA/JD program; or have taken the GMAT or LSAT];
  4. Official Transcripts;
  5. 3 letters of recommendation by professors or former employers;
  6. Personal statement (500 words) concerning the applicant’s objectives to pursue an MPA; and
  7. A resume

Students admitted under provisional status may be elevated to full standing upon successful completion of nine (9) credits of coursework and a positive review by the MPA program faculty.


MPA Program Application Process

To apply, please submit the required application form online (with a $60 application fee) via the University of Montana’s Graduate College website. If you have already been admitted to the School of Law within the last year, the application fee is $20. 

Please submit the following documents directly with your application to the Graduate College:

  • Official transcript(s) of previous college work;
  • Three (3) letters of reference. The official evaluation form is available from the Graduate School web site.
  • Official scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). See additional information under admissions requirements above. The TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB may substitute for the GRE for international students.
  • Personal statement (500 words) concerning the applicant’s objectives to pursue an MPA
  • Resume

Applications are received on a rolling basis (Summer, Fall, Spring). Applications are reviewed by the MPA Admissions committee when they are completed. Review can take up to three weeks upon receipt. Please note: It is advised to turn in materials a semester prior to your start date. Often our classes completely fill and space is not available. Contact the MPA Director with any questions at

Graduate students may take MPA courses prior to their admission to the MPA program by applying for graduate nondegree status. Up to nine (9) credit hours taken in nondegree status may be counted toward the degree with the approval of the MPA program director. To apply for graduate nondegree status, click here: Graduate School. If you have been admitted to the School of Law, please work with the Registrar’s Office to transfer materials to the Graduate College.