USC Price School of Public Policy

MPA Admission

MPA Admission

Potential for distinguished academic and professional achievement is the principal criterion for admission to the Master of Public Administration program. In assessing an application, the admission committee evaluates:

  • past performance as evidenced by grades, work experience and community service
  • future promise as indicated by performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and letters of recommendation
  • commitment to educational and career goals, as demonstrated particularly in the writing sample

In general, successful applicants will have attained at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and an above average score on the GRE or GMAT. Individuals with 5+ years of professional experience and an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and above may be waived from taking the GRE and GMAT, yet those applying for scholarships must submit a GRE or GMAT test score. Applicants who wish to be considered for this waiver or who have questions on what will be determined as “5+ years of professional experience,” should contact the Office of Recruitment and Admission before applying to the MPA program.

Applications are reviewed year-round. Students may be admitted to the fall, spring or summer semesters. However, students applying to the fall semester are encouraged to submit applications prior to December 15 in order to be considered for the best scholarships. Since the admission review process does not include an interview, submitted materials should present student qualifications clearly and completely.

» Application Materials
» Application Deadlines
» Application Submission
» Funding

Application Materials

The following items are required in order to complete the applications process:
(NOTE: For your convenience, please save and use the Application Checklist)

  • a USC Graduate Application: https://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/applyonline/
  • $85 application fee
  • official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (To expedite the processing of your application, please send all transcripts directly to our office. If possible, print and complete the Transcript Cover Page for each college/university you have attended. Complete the entire form, sign it, and ask the registrar of each institution to attach it to your official transcript.)**
        USC has begun to accept some forms of e-transcripts. Please check with the institution you attended to see if they provide e-transcripts.

    Please note that we accept only e-transcripts provided that they are submitted via the following methods:

        1. eSCRIP SAFE (Grad)
        2. eTranscriptCA (CCC)
        3. Texas Server (Grad)
        4. University to University

    If your school does not provide e-transcripts through one of these methods, you must submit a hard copy of your transcripts. **

  • official copy of test scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). (Note: When registering for the GRE or GMAT test, applicants should use the following institution codes GRE 4852 or GMAT 389-CL-24) Individuals with 5+ years of professional experience may be waived from taking the GRE and GMAT, yet those applying for scholarships must submit a GRE or GMAT test score. Applicants who wish to be considered for this waiver or who have questions on what will be determined as “5+ years of professional experience,” should contact the Office of Recruitment and Admission before applying to the MPA program.
  • a completed USC Price Supplemental Form (complete through the Graduate On-line Applications)
  • a current resume
  • three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference. Please note: Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application system. We will not accept letters of recommendation through postal mail.
  • a statement of purpose of approximately 1,000 words addressing the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in pursuing the Master of Public Administration degree?
    • How will a Master of Public Administration degree affect or enhance your career aspirations and goals?
  • A completed USC Price Scholarship Application Form (If you wish to be considered for USC Price sponsored scholarships, complete Scholarship Application Form through USC Price Supplemental Form on-line)

International students must also submit the following documents:

  • official TOEFL/IELTS scores – must have taken within the last two years (Institution Code: 4852)
  • official transcripts indicating the award of all degrees with the title and date conferred in the applicant’s native language and an exact translation into English of each document
  • a financial guarantee statement showing proof of the ability to pay all tuition and living expenses

Application Deadlines

Fall:
December 15 (scholarship deadline)
July 1 (final deadline)

Spring:
November 1

Summer:
April 1, 2014

Application Deadline Schedule »

Application Submission

How to Apply

Online: Candidates may apply online through USC’s graduate online application system at http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate. The online system allows you to electronically submit the entire application including USC Price supporting documents — except for official transcripts and a copy of test scores, which should be sent directly to USC Price at the mailing address below.

USC Price Recruitment and Admissions
650 Childs Way, RGL 111
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
Tel: (213) 740-0550
Fax: (213) 740-7573
E-mail: uscprice@usc.edu