MPA Application Instructions

Application Deadlines
(including all required supporting documents)

Fall Admission
  • February 1 for full consideration for assistantships 
  • March 1 for international applicants
  • May 15 for domestic applicants

Spring Admission

  • July 15 for international applicants
  • November 1 for domestic applicants

Applicants should submit the following items through the online application system at NC State Graduate School Online Application to apply to the Masters of Public Administration program:

  • The Graduate School application and application fee
  • A personal statement (one-page summary of career goals and the ways the MPA will help achieve them)
  • A resume
  • Three letters of reference (at least one academic reference is suggested but not required)
  • One copy of transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate college work
  • Valid Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (applicants should have the Educational Testing Service submit an official report of their GRE scores-general test only-to the Graduate School.

International applicants for whom English is a secondary language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). There are currently three versions of the TOEFL, for each of which the Public Administration Department has a minimum acceptable score: the paper-based (minimum score 600); the computer-based (minimum score 250); and the internet-based (minimum score 100). We require a minimum speaking score of 7.0 and a minimum overall band score of 6.5.  An official report should be submitted by the Educational Testing Service to the NC State Graduate School.

MPA Pilot Admissions Process for In-Service Students: No GRE Scores

  • Prospective in-service students with 5+ years of public service experience (including at least a year of managerial or supervisory work) and a 3.5 cumulative undergraduate GPA (including an intermediate course in statistics or quantitative methods) may qualify for a pilot admissions program that does not require submission of GRE scores. For more information, please contact
  • Please note that the pilot admissions program is limited to the MPA program.  All Ph.D. applicants must submit GRE scores.