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Application and Admission

Admissions

Admission to the Kent-MPA program is moderately selective. Each applicant is assessed based on a review of a set of application materials providing a comprehensive view of the applicant.

Application Deadlines

All of your required application materials listed below in Steps 1 and 2 must be received by the following deadlines:

For Fall Semester (Sept. - Dec.): By July 31st
For Spring Semester (Jan. - May): By November 31st

Required Application Materials

The following documentation (Items A-G below) is necessary for us to make a fair and comprehensive review of your application to the Kent-MPA program. The materials below may be submitted incrementally and will be digitally filed in your centralized portfolio.

A. Application Form: For your convenience these forms may be easily completed by linking to the Online Application.

      Helpful Hint:  Where the application asks you to Select an Academic Unit, select: Arts and Sciences
                               Where asked to select an Intended Major, select: MPA - Public Administration

B. Application Fee: Submission of an application processing fee of $30. This fee may be paid online at the end of the online application form.

C.
Official Transcripts: Submission of official transcripts from your undergraduate institution(s), plus any graduate coursework or degree(s) you may have earned.

GPA Standard: We have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0. However, if an applicant has a slightly lower GPA, but strong GRE scores and other supporting documentation, we will consider the applicant for conditional admission (see below). 

D. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): We require the GRE of all applicants regardless of whether or not they hold another graduate degree. We do, however, accept GRE scores if the exam was taken within the last 5 years.

GRE Standard: We require GRE scores of 150 on the verbal section of the GRE and 150 on the quantitative section of the GRE. In the case of slightly lower GRE scores, but strong GPA and other documentation, we will consider an applicant for conditional admission (see below). 

In the United States the GRE is now offered only on computer at test centers. The GRE website has a search engine to help you locate a computer based test center nearest you.

        Helpful Hint: You will need to identify which academic institution you wish your GRE scores to
                                     be sent.  The GRE Institution Code for Kent State University is
1367

E. Writing Sample: A research paper or report written by you either during your university education or at your place of employment. The paper selected should be a demonstration of your analytical abilities and writing skills and should include full citations.

F. Letter of Intent: In two pages or less, explain why you are seeking an MPA degree, and why from Kent State.

G. Three Letters of Recommendation: These may be from professors and/or employers who are familiar with your work. Please download the letter of recommendation form.  Persons writing letters of recommendation on your behalf should mail their form to the following address:

                                             Division of Graduate Studies
                                             Cartwright Hall
                                             650 Hilltop Drive
                                             Kent State University
                                             Kent, OH 44242

WHERE TO SEND DOCUMENTS:

ITEMS  C, D, (and G)  above should be mailed in sealed envelopes to:

                                             Division of Graduate Studies
                                             Cartwright Hall
                                             650 Hilltop Drive
                                             Kent State University
                                             Kent, OH 44242
       
ITEMS  E and F  should be sent via regular mail to the same address above (Division of Graduate Studies)  or may be sent electronically to  gradapps@kent.edu

CHECKING THE STATUS OF YOUR APPLICATION MATERIALS

As your application materials arrive at Kent State, they are digitally entered by the Division of Graduate Studies into your file.

To check the status of your submitted materials, contact the Division of Graduate Studies: 

Email:  gradapps@kent.edu
Tel:      (330)-672-2661

DECISION PROCESS

The Kent MPA program's decision concerning your admission is based on our overall evaluation of your scholastic skills and abilities. Upon receipt of your complete file by the MPA Coordinator, a committee comprised of the MPA Coordinator and MPA Faculty Committee will make a recommendation on your admission.  

A majority decision holds. One of three decisions is possible: You may be Unconditionally Admitted; Conditionally Admitted; or Denied Admission.

An Unconditional Admission is made for students who have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater and GRE scores of 150 or better on each of the sections of the GRE and the other materials are judged of strong merit.

A Conditional Admission is made for students who have a mixed record of performance in their portfolio. For example, a very high GPA and a very good research paper but GRE scores below 150.A conditional decision normally requires that the applicant be admitted on the condition s/he earn a GPA of 3.5 or better in their first four graduate core courses in the MPA program.

Satisfying this requirement automatically removes the conditional status. Failure to meet this requirement results in dismissal from the program.

A Denial of Admission is made for applicants whose file indicates they do not have sufficient academic strengths to complete the MPA at Kent.

In any case, the decision by the MPA Coordinator and MPA Faculty Committee is recommendatory only. The final decision as to admission status resides with the Associate Graduate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Once the Graduate Dean has made a decision, a letter of notification will be sent to you.

LENGTH OF TIME FOR AN ADMISSION DECISION

The length of time an admission decision takes is largely a function of how quickly we have a complete file for you (Items A-G above). Our experience has been that the taking of the GRE exam delays the process, as does the arrival to our office of the three Letters of Recommendation. 

Once the Division of Graduate Studies has your complete file, it is electronically sent to the Kent-MPA program for review. The Kent-MPA program review normally takes only a few days.

The recommendation of the Kent-MPA program is sent to the Dean who normally makes a decision and notifies you within the week via a formal letter.