Master’s in Public Administration Requirements

All USC Price candidates must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in order to apply. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is recommended to apply to the online Master of Public Administration online program.

To complete your application, you must submit the following:

Online Application

You must submit an online application to apply to the Master of Public Administration program.

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Resume

Your resume should include a summary of your academic background, your professional work history and any other relevant work or volunteer experience you’d like to highlight. Two years of relevant work experience are recommended, but not required, to apply.

Transcripts

Sealed official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you have attended, including any community college coursework, must be sent to appsvcs@uscpriceonline.usc.edu or:

Application Processing Services
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy - MPA
7900 Harkins Road
Suite 501
Lanham, MD 20706 

We recommend that you request transcripts when beginning the application, as the turnaround time can vary from school to school.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement should be approximately 1,000 words. You will be asked to address 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?

Letters of Recommendation (three)

You must submit three references. These should come from professionals in your field who can provide meaningful input regarding previous work experience and career goals. A letter of recommendation from a professor, faculty member and/or academic adviser who can provide meaningful input regarding your academic record is also welcome.

Application Fee

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $90. Waivers are available for applicants who apply prior to the Early Decision Deadline of every cohort.

Test Scores

GRE or GMAT scores are required for applicants with less than five years of professional work experience. Individuals with five or more years of professional experience and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher may request a waiver for the GRE/GMAT requirement (with the exception of those applying for scholarships). For questions about the waiver, applicants should contact their admissions counselor before applying to the MPA program.

The institution codes for USC are:

GRE:  4852
GMAT: 389-CL-24

Professional Experience Requirement

Most MPA students are classified as pre-service or in-service students at the time of admission. Pre-service students are those who enter the program with less than two years of full-time work experience. In-service students are those with at least two years full-time work experience. Appeals for reclassification of this designation must be submitted during the first semester of enrollment.

Pre-Service Internship Requirement

Pre-service students are required to complete a 300h internship and a one-unit Internship Seminar course (PPD 543). 

Students may choose to fulfill their internship requirement with their employer. Otherwise, students will be required to secure an appropriate internship location on their own.

Total Units

Pre-Service Students: 41 units
In-Service Students: 40 units

Social Science Requirement

Students admitted to the MPA program are required to have completed at least 12 semester units of undergraduate social sciences courses. Students who are deficient in these courses are informed in the letter of admission.

The social sciences prerequisite units may be taken at any accredited college or university. Students must earn a grade of “C” or better, and the courses must be completed within the first 12 units of enrollment in the MPA program.

If you have questions about the program specifically, contact an admissions counselor at Phone Number: 1-855-637-1999 or admissions@uscpriceonline.usc.edu.

If you’d like to begin your application, do so now.

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