Admissions Requirements

The online M.P.A. Program is open to eligible in-state and many out-of-state applicants. The program is closed to students residing in countries other than Canada and the United States (including U.S. Territories). The exceptions are U.S. military and State Department personnel and their family members with APO/FPO addresses.

Applicants must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree in any academic field from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Hold a minimum undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale.
  • Have administrative or managerial experience in either the public or nonprofit sector; this requirement does not apply to students who plan to attend scheduled courses on campus in Terre Haute.
  • Submit official transcripts of undergraduate and any graduate work from an accredited institution.
  • Submit or have sent three letters of reference from past or present employers, professors, teachers, and/or colleagues.
  • Write and submit a brief one- or two-page statement of purpose.
  • Complete the TOEFL and submit a score of at least 600 (or the equivalent) as evidence of English proficiency if the applicant's first language is not English. See the note below for exemptions.

Please note that while the minimum accepted GPA is 2.75, the average GPA of students accepted into the program is higher. Also note, however, that GPA is just one of several variables the M.P.A. admission committee considers when reviewing admission applications. We may admit conditionally students who have promise but whose undergraduate GPAs may fall under 2.75.

Applicants who do not possess the public or nonprofit experience (listed above) required of all online students are invited to complete the M.P.A Program on the Indiana State University campus, located in Terre Haute, Indiana. The on-campus M.P.A. Program enables students to satisfy the work experience requirement by completing a three-hour, semester-long internship at a site determined by the M.P.A. director. This internship option is open only to on-campus students.

Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts to the department during the application process. However, unconditional admission may only be granted if official transcripts from the applicant's undergraduate institution have been submitted and are on file with ISU.

Contact Indiana State Online (below) for more information. The program may require evidence of experience as a part of the admissions process. Evidence may be included in letters of reference from past or present employers and colleagues; in resumes or curricula vitae; or in written statements from employers.

The Political Science Department regards a TOEFL of 600 (or the equivalent) as evidence of English proficiency from students whose first language is not English. Please note that this is higher than the default standard 550 TOEFL required for admission to graduate study by ISU's graduate school. International students with undergraduate degrees from certain countries, or whose undergraduate study was done in English, may be exempt from the TOEFL requirement.

International students who, in the opinion of the admissions committee, do not meet the program's minimum standards for spoken and written English, may choose to take intensive language training at the InterLink Language Center at Indiana State before entering the program The department may admit international students to the program provisionally, on the condition that they successfully complete English training at InterLink. Provisionally admitted students who fail to complete their InterLink programs successfully may not be admitted to M.P.A. study. Students who complete InterLink training will be enrolled in M.P.A. courses during the next semester or summer term after they complete InterLink.