The Master of Public Administration degree is designed to help prepare an individual for career service in national, state or local government; in regional planning agencies; and in non-profit or voluntary organizations. It is a two-year program of study which encourages post-baccalaureate students to utilize their education as a foundation upon which to build organizational and managerial skills which are highly valued in the public and non-profit sector.
Admissions Procedures and Requirements: The Department of Political Science will provide written materials and answer inquiries about the Master of Public Administration program, but application must be made through the Georgia Regents University Office of Admissions. Information can also be obtained from the program’s web site: www.gru.edu/mpa. The application process begins when a candidate submits the application for admission. Thereafter, the applicant assembles materials for a portfolio which is opened for him or her in the Admissions Office. The applicant is responsible for having the following materials placed in the portfolio:
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended by the applicant. The applicant must have completed requirements for the bachelor’s degree in a regionally accredited college or university. Admission to the program targets a minimum grade average equivalent to 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination. The GRE scores must be recent (applicant having taken the Graduate Record Examination within the last five years).
- Two letters of recommendation. The letters of recommendation should come from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or employment experience.
- A current résumé.
- Medical History Form (available from Admissions Office)
When the portfolio is completed, the applicant’s record will be sent to the MPA Director for review. The following formula will be applied:
GRE verbal score + (GRE analytical score x 100) + GRE quantitative score + (GPA x 100)
For regular admission, a student is expected to achieve a composite score of 1500 or higher. Probationary admission may be granted for students scoring 1400 – 1499. Probationary admission is not automatic. The Admissions Committee examines the applicant’s undergraduate transcripts, résumé, and letters of recommendation in making its determination.
Conditions for Provisional Admission: Those applicants who have at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade average and are awaiting their scores on the Graduate Record Examination may enter into a contract with the MPA program which states that they are provisionally accepted for one semester while the portfolio is completed. Provisionally accepted students may take one course. If the student’s completed application is subsequently accepted after the GRE scores are known and course is successfully completed, the course will count toward his or her degree requirements.
Conditions for Probationary Admission: The MPA Admissions Committee has the option of admitting a student on a probationary basis with a set of specified conditions to be met before the student is considered to be regularly accepted. These conditions are determined on a case-by-case basis. Conditions may include, but are not limited to, provisions that the student achieve, at a minimum, a B on each of the first three core courses taken in the MPA Program, or that the student take an undergraduate course in quantitative methods as a pre-requisite in order to remedy a deficiency in his or her performance on the quantitative subtest of the Graduate Record Examination. In any case, the conditions must be met within the first two semesters of course work within the MPA program in order for the student’s academic status to change from probationary to regular.
Admissions Appeals: Students who are not accepted for admission to the Master of Public Administration program and who believe that there are extenuating circumstances which affect their eligibility may request in writing an appeal of the decision of the MPA Admissions Committee. This appeal is sent to the Director of the MPA Program, who will forward it to the Admissions Committee. The committee makes its decision and conveys it in writing to the MPA Program Director, who contacts the applicant by letter to inform him or her of the decision.
Academic and Professional Standards: An average of B is required for all courses attempted in the program. There is a time limit for completion of the degree. Only the course work earned within the six calendar years before the final completion of degree requirements will apply toward graduation.
The program of study is 36 semester credit hours. Of the 36 hours, 25 hours (nine courses) constitute the core requirements. The remaining hours are selected from among the elective offerings, culminating in a capstone course of 2 semester hours.
Transfer Credit: No more than nine semester credit hours shall be transferred from another institution for the purpose of earning credits for the Master of Public Administration degree. The institution from which the credits are transferred must be an accredited one, and each transfer course is subject to review in order to determine its equivalency in the Georgia Regents University MPA Program.
Internship: An internship experience is required by the MPA program for those students who lack a significant professional work background. Students who need an internship will be matched with an appropriate organization. This internship may be the basis for the student’s capstone project.
Capstone Project: The purpose of the capstone project is to have the student demonstrate his or her ability to apply the knowledge acquired in the two years of study to an actual work setting and to utilize skills of observation and analysis as demonstrated in a formal research paper.