Application & Admission

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

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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 (September – December): By July 31st
For Spring Semester (January – May): By November 30th
For Summer Semester (May – August): By March 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 MPA program.

  1. 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.

  2. Application Fee: Submission of an application processing fee of $45 for domestic applicants and $70 for international applicants. This fee may be paid online at the end of the online application form.

  3. 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).

  4. 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 average GRE scores of 150 on the verbal and 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. Current Resume: Provide a current resume that describes your professional experience.

  8. 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


ITEMS C, D, and H 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, F, and G should be sent via regular mail to the same address above (Division of Graduate Studies) or may be sent electronically to

Admissions Decisions

The 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, average GRE scores of 150 or better, 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 3.0 or better in their first three 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 program.

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.