FAQ: International Applicants

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We aim for diversity at Fels. International students come to our programs to learn public management techniques they can put into practice in their home countries; American students benefit from international diversity in the classroom by learning about the strategies used to address common challenges around the world. Our international students come from all parts of the globe. Many have professional experience in government agencies, NGOs, or international organizations, or in the private sector; some arrive with Fulbright and Thouron Fellowships or are sponsored by their employers.

International applicants should complete the same application as national students. Please visit the MPA admissions page or Executive MPA admissions page for more information regarding application requirements such as transcripts, credential evaluation, and TOEFL and IELTS exams.

Frequently asked questions

I am a recent graduate; can I apply to the Full-time MPA program?

Yes, you can apply. Keep in mind that many of our students have had a few years of work experience prior to attending graduate school. For applicants who don't have that much work experience or come from the private sector, we look for a commitment to the public sector that can be demonstrated through internships, volunteering, or campaign work. All work experience is a plus!

As an international student, can I apply for the Executive MPA program?

The Executive MPA program is a part-time program, and students enrolled in this program are ineligible to receive an F-1 student visa. If you are an international student interested in pursuing an MPA from the Fels Institute of Government, consider applying to the Full-time MPA program.

Do you offer financial aid to international applicants?

All applicants who submit their application by the deadline will be considered for merit-based scholarships. If you do not wish to be considered for financial aid, please let us know in the Fellowship section of the online application.

Am I eligible for any student loans in the United States?

International students may be eligible for private US loans with an American co-signer.

What resources are available to international students?

With more than 100 countries represented at the University of Pennsylvania, international students at Fels join a vibrant community of international students. Penn's International Student and Scholar Services provides assistance such as English classes, information about the visa process, and other immigration needs, as well as opportunities to meet other international students and get involved in campus life. Some students also get involved with the Philadelphia International House or the International Visitors Council during their time here.


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Fels Institute of Government

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

(215) 898-7326