Master of Public Administration (MPA)


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For full consideration, your completed application should be received by the following deadlines:

  • Fall semester: June 1 (Final University Deadline)
  • Spring semester: October 15 (Final University Deadline)
  • Summer semester: February 15 (Final University Deadline)

Acceptance into the MPA program is contingent upon satisfaction of the minimum requirements for entry into USF. In addition, the program has specific requirements that the applicant must meet in order to be considered for admission. These are submitted online as part of the general application. The applications are first reviewed by the Office of Admissions and then passed along to the School of Public Affairs. Any questions about receipt of materials should be directed to the Office of Admissions. These program-specific requirements include:

  • Undergraduate transcripts confirming a Bachelor's degree was earned from a regionally accredited university. All undergraduate fields are welcome to apply. The core curriculum is designed to give everyone an understanding of basic public administration issues, regardless of academic preparation. Have your transcripts mailed to the following address:

      Office of Admissions
      University of South Florida
      4202 E. Fowler Ave., SVC 1036
      Tampa, FL 33620

  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required.

  • Letter of intent (aka statement of purpose) clearly describing your academic and (if relevant) professional background, as well as articulating your interest in the field of public administration. Applicants should express the specific academic goals they would like to pursue within the public administration program. We understand your career goals might change during your studies, but we want to ensure that your current goals and interests will be well-served by the MPA program. The letter of intent should generally be between 1-2 pages long.

  • Resume (aka curriculum vitae) that indicates relevant professional experience.

  • Two letters of recommendation minimum are required, one of which must be from an instructor familiar with the applicant's academic performance and potential. If you have been out of school for a while and can no longer get a letter from an instructor, you can provide letters from professional references. These, however, should focus on those skills that are likely to translate to your success in graduate school. Ask your references to comment, for example, on your analytical abilities, your communications skills, and your ability to understand complex concepts. In all cases, letters that discuss your qualifications in specific detail are much more helpful than those that include more generic assessments. Letters should be addressed to the MPA Admissions Committee.

Applicants lacking the necessary background for study in the MPA graduate program may be asked to take graduate courses as a non-degree seeking student prior to admission.


In addition to the program-specific requirements listed above, international applicants should also adhere to the following requirements:

  • TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores: International applicants from non-English speaking countries MUST provide a minimum score of 79 on TOEFL iBT, 6.5 on IELTS, or 110 on Duolingo taken within 2 years of the desired term of entry. Click here for more information on USF's English Proficiency Requirement. USF does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores from applicants in countries where English is the primary language of instruction in schools. The list containing qualifying countries can be accessed here.

  • Writing sample: All international applicants—including those from English speaking countries—should submit a writing sample along with their graduate application. The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to analyze information and display your communication skills at the graduate-level.

  • Foreign transcript evaluation services: All foreign transcripts/documents that are not in English should be accompanied by a certified English translation. We also strongly recommend that you provide a course-by-course evaluation, from a foreign transcript evaluation service, to determine your U.S. equivalent GPA utilizing our 4.0 grading scale. The credential evaluation should be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions. For your convenience, here is a list of several credential evaluation services, under the academic credentials section.

For more information on the program requirements, please contact the MPA Program Director:

Dr. Stephen Neely
University of South Florida
School of Public Affairs
4202 E. Fowler Ave., SOC 107
Tampa, FL 33620

If you have questions about the application process or the status of your application, please contact the Academic Program Specialist, Annie Valdez, at