Full-time Master of Public Administration admissions

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Our Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to evaluate each applicant, considering academic achievement, commitment to public service and fit with the Fels approach.

Application Deadline

Fall 2020 January 6, 2020

Applications have closed for the fall 2019 intake. Applications will reopen in September 2019 for the fall 2020 intake.

Application Requirements

Applications to the full-time MPA program must include the following materials. All students are required to fill out the online application. Any materials that cannot be uploaded into the online application system should be mailed to: The College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions, 3440 Market Street, Suite 100, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335. 

The admissions team will not review an application until all necessary materials are received. No exceptions will be made.

  • $75 nonrefundable application fee
    • Any applicant to a Fels Institute of Government MPA program who is a current member or alumna/us of one of our admissions partner organizations is eligible for an application fee waiver. Please e-mail lps@sas.upenn.edu (attention: Mary Bustamante) to request a fee waiver code, which must be used on the payment screen before submitting the application.
  • Personal statement and essay
    • The personal statement should be approximately 500 words and should address your professional goals and how a Fels education can help you attain them.
    • Your second essay should be approximately 500 words and should identify and discuss an example where you used evidence to make a policy recommendation and what you learned from that experience.
    • Please compile your responses into a single document (keeping them as separate essays) and upload to the online application system.
  • Resume or CV
  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
    • Applicants may upload unofficial copies of domestic transcripts to the online application system. If admitted to the MPA program, applicants are required to submit official copies of transcripts and should do so upon notification of admission.
    • CertiFile/CollegeNET Document Service: Applicants from international institutions are encouraged to use the CertiFile/CollegeNET Document Service within the College of Liberal and Professional Studies application to request and submit authenticated transcript(s) and other academic documents. This service provides certified documents and course evaluations which are then included as part of your application materials. If using this service, Penn requires the “Evaluation” basic service at a cost of $150. You may choose to upgrade to the full “Portfolio Evaluation” for an additional cost.
    • World Education Services Inc. (WES): WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials. The course-by-course evaluation should include the comparability level of your education and list each of your courses along with the equivalent US marks and credit. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with grade point average and course levels) and request that WES send your evaluation to Penn College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions. The school can be found by searching the University of Pennsylvania and then selecting College of Liberal and Professional Studies. The evaluation becomes an official academic record and sole property of the University upon its receipt. For additional information about the WES application and their review process, please visit the WES website. For more information, review our information for international applicants.
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • Please include at least one letter from a classroom instructor.
  • For international applicants: TOEFL or IELTS scores
    • A strong command of the English language is necessary for successful study at Penn. Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores to demonstrate English proficiency. Please note that the TOEFL is rarely waived; therefore, we encourage applicants to take the test to avoid delays in completing the application. The minimum TOEFL scores required for admissions consideration are: 100 (iBT), 250 (CBT), or 600 (PBT). The TOEFL must be sent from ETS using the institutional code 2986 (U Pennsylvania Coll Lib Prof Stdy). To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the TOEFL website.
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also accepted and the minimum score for consideration is a 7. You may upload a copy of your IELTS test to the standardized test score section of the application, but ALL official copies of IELTS must also be mailed directly from the testing center to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions, 3440 Market Street, Suite 100, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335.
  • Standardized test scores
    • All applicants are required to submit standardized test scores
    • GRE and TOEFL scores must be sent to code 2986, U Pennsylvania Coll Lib Prof Stdy, which is the office that processes applications for Fels.
    • LSAT scores are accepted in lieu of GRE scores. Please note that LSAC will not report official scores to non-law/non-business schools. Applicants submitting LSAT scores should upload a copy of their score report to the online application.
  • Personal interview
    • The admissions committee may invite applicants to interview on a case-by-case basis.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326

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