Admissions Requirements for MPA & Graduate Certificates

Applicants for the Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate programs must satisfy all requirements for admission to the Graduate School and receive a favorable endorsement from the public administration faculty. Admissions decisions are based on undergraduate GPA, standardized examination scores (GRE, GMAT, or MAT), and additional information provided by a resume, two letters of recommendation and a personal statement of interest.

The following criteria are used when considering an application:

1)  Undergraduate grade point average

We generally prefer applicants to have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, or a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.

2)  Standardized examination score

Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination [GRE], Graduate Management Aptitude Test [GMAT], or Miller Analogy Test [MAT]. (We also accept LSAT scores).

We generally prefer applicants to have a minimum GRE Verbal score of 147 and a Quantitative score of 144.

The standard exam criteria may be waived if the applicant meets appropriate professional public service experience and undergraduate performance requirements. Follow the link below for more information on the exam waiver.

Standardized Examination Waiver Policy

3)  Résumé documenting previous education and/or experience

4)  Two References

The applicant provides the names and e-mail addresses of two people you wish to use as references. We will contact them and request they submit a letter of recommendation.

5)  Statement of interest

This statement should articulate the applicant's experience, career goals and education objectives related to the pursuit of the MPA degree. The personal statement should be 300-600 words in length.

Application Deadlines 



Fall Admission July 1 (International Students - May 1)
Spring Admission  December 1 (International Students - September 15)
Summer Admission May 1 (International Students - February 1) 

First-Time Applicants:

1)  Begin your online application at the Graduate School

Note: Once you begin, applications can be saved and accessed at a later time.

2) Checklist for Materials Sent to the Graduate School

  • Application to the University of Memphis Graduate School
  • Graduate School Application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • Personal statement of 300-600 words explaining why you wish to study public administration and outlining your career goals.
  • A current resume
  • The names and e-mail addresses of two people you wish to use as references. 


Students who were previously admitted to the Master of Public Administration, Graduate Certificate in Local Government or Graduate Certificate in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program but have stopped out at least one semester (Fall or Spring), must reapply to the program. 

  • If you were admitted to a program prior to March 7, 2019 and wish to reapply, click here.
  • If you were admitted to a program after March 7, 2019 and wish to reapply, click here.
  • Previously admitted students will not be required to re-submit transcripts, resume, references or personal statement.

Questions about the application process?

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact our administrative assistant, Becky Horowitz at 901-678-3360 e-mail