MPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Deciding to apply to Graduate School is a big decision. MPA and MPP programs vary from state to state and program to program. You want to make sure you are making the best decision to meet your specific career goals while also ensuring the program can help provide you with the skills necessary to reach your career goals. We welcome all of your questions! Please submit any questions about the MPA and MPP programs at DPP@UConn.edu or (959) 200-3918 (Monday - Friday, 9-4pm).
- What is a Master of Public Administration degree? A Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree will prepare you for leadership roles in government and nonprofit organizations by teaching you how to diagnose problems, collect and analyze information, choose among policy options, communicate findings, implement programs, and manage change. These skills are developed through an intensive quantitative, analytical, and managerial framework.
- What can I do with a MPA degree? Alumni of UConn’s MPA program work in governments at the local, state, and federal levels in a variety of policy areas, hold elected office, lead and manage nonprofit organizations, and conduct market research, among many other positions. Learn more about UConn’s MPA alumni by visiting our DPP Alumni page.
- Where are your graduates employed? Our graduates work in local, state, and federal government, as well as in non-profit and private organizations. Alumni hold a wide variety of positions at all organizational levels such as budget analysts, bond ratings analysts, human resource managers, program administrators, policy analysts, program evaluators, and survey researchers. The table below presents job placements for MPA graduates in 2017-2019 based on the employment categories from our accrediting body, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Employment Statistics for MPA Graduates in 2017, 2018, and 2019:
Employment Sectors 2017 2018 2019 National or Central government in the same country as the program 0% 8% 0% State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program 14% 27% 9% City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program 21% 4% 18% Government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental 0% 0% 0% Nonprofit domestic-oriented 33% 35% 18% Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented 2% 0% 0% Private sector-Research/consulting 0% 0% 0% Private sector but not research/consulting 23% 23% 9% Obtaining further education 0% 4% 9% Military service 0% 0% 3% Unemployed (not seeking employment) 0% 0% 0% Unemployed (seeking employment) 0% 0% 0% Status unknown 7% 0% 33%
- What is a Master of Public Policy degree? The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program is centered on analysis of real-world problems and the policies and programs that address them. The MPP program will provide you with high quality instruction in quantitative methods, policy analysis, policy development, and program evaluation. A hallmark of our program is its focus on combining theory and practice so that you can thrive in a professional workplace.
- What can I do with a MPP degree? The MPP is appropriate for you if you seek an analytical career that requires you to be able to judge policies and programs, plan and evaluate alternatives, and implement changes. MPP graduates go on to pursue a wide variety of careers in all three employment sectors (public, private and nonprofit) and work in positions such as policy analysts, research associates, program analysts and finance/budget analysts.
- How long does it take to complete the MPA or MPP program? The MPA curriculum can be completed in two years on a full-time basis. The program can be completed in three years on a part-time basis if the student is able to waive the internship requirement and complete electives during the summer session.
The table below shows the completion rate for the cohort of students who began the program during the 2013-2014 academic year.
Graduated in 2 years Graduated in 3 years Graduated in 4 years Initially Enrolled # % # % # % 44 23 52 12 27 1 2
- When are classes held? Courses are held in the late afternoon or early evening on the Hartford Campus and meet once a week for 2.5 hours. Courses on the Hartford campus typically run from 4:00PM to 6:30PM or from 6:30PM to 9:00PM. Some courses are also held in the late afternoon or early evening on the UConn Storrs campus.
- Where are classes held? The Department of Public Policy office is on UConn’s Hartford campus. Classes are held on the University of Connecticut’s Hartford and Storrs campuses.
- Can I work full time while completing my MPA degree? Yes. The program does not encourage students to work full-time and take a full-time course load. The number of MPA courses you take will depend on your individual needs to balance courses, work and life.
- What is required to apply to the MPA program? Applicants are expected to submit the following to the Graduate School's online Apply Yourself system:
- Completed online application
- Personal Statement
- Unofficial transcripts (for review, once accepted official transcripts must be sent)
- GRE scores (GRE scores are not required for MPA Fellow applications)
- Current Resume
- Three letters of recommendation, and
- $75 application fee
- For no-native English speakers, TOEFL, IELTS, or the PTE exam scores are also required.
- Can I waive the GREs? The Admissions Committee requires the GRE test for an application to be considered complete. The Department of Public Policy waives the GRE scores for select undergraduate students as explained below.
- If you are a UConn undergraduate Fast-Track student with a B or better grade in all completed MPA or MPP courses and an SAT Math and SAT Reading combined score of 1100 or greater (22 for ACT), the GRE score is waived, OR
- If you are a current UConn undergraduate student or you graduated from UConn within the last three years with a cumulative GPA of a 3.3 or greater, the GRE score is waived. If you graduated from UConn within the last five year with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater, the GRE score is waived, OR
- If you are a current undergraduate student from any four-year college or university other than UConn or you graduated from a four-year college or university other than UConn within the last five years with a cumulative GPA of a 3.5 or greater, the GRE score is waived.
- Note: The absence of evidence of quantitative skills on undergraduate transcripts will be viewed negatively by the admission committee without GRE scores. As a result, if an applicant does not have evidence of quantitative skills on their undergraduate transcript, we highly recommend they take the GRE to improve their chances of admission.
- Can work experience or other graduate exams substitute for the GRE? The Admissions Committee requires the GRE test for an application to be considered complete.
- What are the GRE codes? The GRE codes are
- Institutional Code = 3915
- Program Code = 1903
- PLEASE NOTE: GRE scores are not required for MPA Fellow applications
- How can I submit my GREs? The GRE’s can be submitted in the following manners:
- Using the GRE codes to have the scores sent directly to the Public Policy Department at the University of Connecticut is the best method to send your scores to us. After you take the test, it will be approximately 4 weeks for your scores to arrive to us.
- Calling the Administrative Program Director to report directly what your GRE scores are. As a test taker, you will receive the results of your verbal and quantitative GRE sections immediately following your test. All scores are verified upon acceptance of admission. This option may be particularly useful for test takers who can only schedule their exam close to the February 15th deadline.
- Sending a PDF or JPG of your scores. All scores are verified upon acceptance of admission.
- Can I substitute the GREs with another test? The Admission Committee requires the GRE test for your application to be considered complete.
- What is the deadline? The committee will begin reviewing applications on February 15 for the Fall semester. Graduate Assistantship offers are made for applications submitted at this deadline for student who indicate they wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship. The Committee reviews applications for the Spring semester after the November 15 deadline. Visit "Public Administration - How to Apply" for more admissions deadline information.
- Is work experience a requirement for the MPA of MPP program? Prior work experience is not required. A strength of our programs is the diversity of experience that students bring to the program. Students range from recent college graduates with some internship or volunteer experience to senior-level professionals.
- Can I begin the MPA or MPP as an undergraduate student? Yes, if you are a University of Connecticut undergraduate student and have a least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. You can apply to the Fast-Track program and being taking MPA and MPP courses while an undergraduate student. If accepted into the Fast-Track program you will still need to apply to the MPA or MPP program.
- What are your admission statistics?
Undergraduate GPA (Middle 50%): 3.40-3.71
Average Class Size: 27
Average Verbal GRE Scores: 153
Average Quantitative GRE Scores: 152
Average Age of Students: 25
% Women: 50
% Full Time: 81
- Is there a minimum GPA or GRE score required for admission? Please see the Graduate School’s Admission Requirements regarding GPAs on your official transcript. The program accepts a range of GRE test scores. The Admissions Committee holistically reviews all components of an applicant’s application.
- Who should write my letters of recommendation? Your letters of recommendation should be written by people who know you and your work very well. Your writers may be current or past supervisors, college professors, or professional colleagues.
- How do I submit letters of recommendation and transcripts? Letters of recommendation are submitted on-line during the application process. Recommenders can send a hard copy letter directly to the Administrative Program Director by PDF, mail or fax if they are unable to submit it on-line.
- Can I defer my admission? Yes. Admission can be deferred for up to one year. You must communicate your intention in writing to the Program prior to the start of classes.
- Should I plan to visit campus? We encourage you to visit the campus, meet with faculty and students, and attend one or more classes. Visit our Information Sessions page for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What is the MPA and MPP curriculum? The programs are built around core courses, electives, an internship and a Capstone portfolio. Detailed curriculum information can be found at MPA curriculum and MPP curriculum.
- Is there an internship requirement? Yes. The MPA and MPP program requires six internship credits. Internships can be completed at any time during enrollment, however students are encouraged to apply for the Internship Professional Practice (IPP) Program, which normally takes place in the second year of full-time study. These credits can be waived with permission from the department if relevant and significant past work experience satisfactorily meets learning objectives.
- Can I earn two degrees at the same time? The MPA Program encourages students to investigate pursuing degrees simultaneously with other University programs. We have setup a model program with economics that leads to an MPP and an MA in Economics and a program with Survey Research that leads to an MPA and an MA in Survey Research.
- MPP/MA in Economics
The M.A. in Economics and the MPP share a common orientation toward methodological rigor and skill development. Students completing both degrees will be highly skilled in economic analysis as it applies to public policy problems. They will have a substantial amount of practice applying these skills to policy issues through their coursework and internship. The M.A. in Economics and the MPP can be completed in two calendar years of full-time study (two academic years and one summer).
The joint degree will be of particular interest to students with an undergraduate background in economics, strong mathematical abilities, and a desire to work in the public policy arena with state governments; “think tanks” such as Rand Corporation or Brookings Institution; or policy/program evaluation organizations such as MDRC, Mathematica, or ABT Associates.
Students need to apply and be admitted to both the M.A. in Economics and the MPP program. The M.A. in Economics is highly quantitative and requires students to learn mathematical skills beyond what is required for the MPP. While there is no set requirement for admission to the M.A. in Economics, calculus is usually required. Students are also strongly encouraged to have some familiarity with linear algebra and probability & statistics.
- MPA/MA in Survey Research
The Department of Public Policy offers a structured, 57 credit, simultaneous degree in Public Administration and Survey Research. Students should plan on a minimum of five semesters to complete the necessary course work.
- Other Programs and the MPA Degree
Other programs that students have pursued simultaneously with an MPA include the following:
International Studies (MPA/MA)
Public Health (MPA/MPH)
Social Work (MPA/MSW)
- MPP/MA in Economics
- How many graduate credits can I transfer from another institution? Students may transfer up to 6 credits from another institution with the departmental approval.
- Will I have an advisor? Yes. Upon entering the program, the Graduate School will alert you to your faculty advisor, however, the Administrative Program Director should be considered your first point of contact. Advisors and the program directors help students prepare course schedules and plan for careers after graduation. You can change your advisor at any time by contacting the Administrative Program Director.
Cost and Financial Support FAQs
- How much does it cost? The MPA and MPP Programs follow all University of Connecticut approved tuition and fee rates. Please review the Office of the Bursar's Tuition and Fees table (fees shown per semester), and note the following (some included in the table footnotes):
- To be considered registered as a full-time student, you must be enrolled in 9+ credits per semester. For students with Graduate Assistantships, enrollment in 6+ credits is considered full-time status.
- The General University Fees for MPA/MPP HTFD are not prorated per credits, $56 per term. Graduate Assistants will be charged a flat rate of $141 per term.
- Student Health & Wellness Fee: Not applicable to regional campuses.
- Student Recreation Center Fee: Not applicable to regional campuses.
- Can I take a course as a non-degree student first? If, so, how much does that cost? Yes. You can take up to 6-credits with our Department before applying to the MPA Program. If it is within 5 years, the 6-credits can later be transferred into your program to count toward your degree. You should consult with the Administrative Program Director or the MPA Program Director on what courses are best for your non-degree study. The cost of any non-degree course work in the Department is $2,475 (for a 3-credit course during the 2020-2021 academic year).
- What type of tuition, financial or graduate assistantship opportunities do you offer? Need-based financial aid is administered through the University of Connecticut Office of Student Financial Aid Services. Please visit their website for further financial aid information. For information about financial support from the Department of Public Policy, please visit our Financial Support page.
Student Life FAQs
- What extracurricular activities are available? There are many opportunities for students to get involved in the UConn community outside the classroom. The Department of Public Policy, the Graduate Association of Public Policy Students, Pi Pi Alpha, and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration offer social, professional development, and public service events throughout the year.
- What are my housing options? Enrolled students live in and around Hartford or commute from further distances around the state. There is no on campus housing available. Current students, who can be reached at the Department of Public Policy, routinely provide incoming students with recommendations on housing in the area.
- What are my transportation options? Most students at UConn’s Hartford campus travel by car or public bus transportation. The student parking lot is located in the Connecticut Convention Center Parking Garage. Please visit the Hartford Campus’ Parking Services site for more information. The Connecticut Department of Transportation also offers bus service in and around the Hartford area.
- Will I have the opportunity to meet alumni? Yes. Alumni of the MPA program are engaged with current students. They routinely organize and attend events for current students. All students are also assigned to an alumni mentor.