Admission Requirements and Deadlines

MPA Application

Full-time and Executive MPA applicants should submit the following materials: 

Start your application now

  • Next deadline: January 2017 (exact date TBA) to start in Fall 2017.

  • $75 nonrefundable application fee

    Any applicant to the Fels Institute of Government who is a current member or alumna/us of Teach for America, Americorps, or the Peace Corps is eligible for an application fee waiver. Please email lps@sas.upenn.edu (attention: Maura Tucker) 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 750 words and should address your professional goals and how a Fels education can help you attain them. 

    Your short essay should be approximately 250 words and should discuss your most significant accomplishment in a leadership or management position, and it should answer the questions: What goals did you set out to achieve? What was your strategy? What were your results?

    - Please compile your responses into a single document (keeping them as separate essays) and upload to online application system.

  • Resume

  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.

    - International transcripts (except those issued by English-language universities that grade on a 4.0 scale) should be translated into English and the American-grading system using World Education Services, Inc. (WES) using the basic evaluation option. All translated transcripts should be sent to the University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS). International student applications will not be reviewed until after the WES transcripts and evaluations have been received. Applicants may upload unofficial copies of domestic transcripts to the online application system. If admitted to the MPA program, applicants will be required to submit official copies of transcripts and should do so upon notification of admission. Applicants do not need to resubmit international transcripts only if they were initially sent via WES.

  • Three letters of recommendation including at least one academic letter from a recommender who has taught the applicant.

  • For International Applicants: TOEFL or IELTS Scores  

    - International applicants whose first language is not English must also 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. 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.

    - Upon review of an applicant's file, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores.
  • Standardized test scores:

    - Applicants are required to submit standardized test scores unless they have 7 years or more of formal work experience.

    - Applicants who wish to be considered for merit-based scholarship must submit standardized test scores, regardless of work experience.

    - International applicants are required to submit standardized test scores with no exceptions.

    - Applicants taking the GRE should submit their scores to code 2986 (no department code is necessary).

    - LSAT  scores are accepted in lieu of GRE scores. Please note that LSAC will not report official scores to non-law schools. Applicants submitting LSAT should upload a copy of their score report to the online application.

Executive MPA Application

Start your application now

  • Next deadline: June 1st to start in Fall 2016.

  • $75 nonrefundable application fee

    Any applicant to the Fels Institute of Government who is a current member or alumna/us of Teach for America, Americorps, or the Peace Corps is eligible for an application fee waiver. Please email lps@sas.upenn.edu (attention: Maura Tucker) 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 750 words and should address your professional goals and how a Fels education can help you attain them. 

    Your short essay should be approximately 250 words and should discuss your most significant accomplishment in a leadership or management position, and it should answer the questions: What goals did you set out to achieve? What was your strategy? What were your results?

    - Please compile your responses into a single document (keeping them as separate essays) and upload to online application system.

  • Resume

  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.

    Applicants should upload unofficial copies of their transcripts to the online application system.  If admitted to the MPA program, applicants will be required to submit official transcripts and should do so upon notification of admission.  All international transcripts should be translated into English and the American-grading system using World Education Services, Inc. (WES) and select the basic evaluation option. All translated transcripts should be sent to the University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS).  International student applications will not be reviewed until after the WES transcripts and evaluations have been received.

  • Three letters of recommendation including at least one academic letter from a recommender who has taught the applicant.

  • For International Applicants: TOEFL or IELTS Scores  

    - International applicants whose first language is not English must also 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. 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.

    - Upon review of an applicant's file, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores.

  • Standardized test scores:

    -Applicants are required to submit standardized test scores unless they have 7 years or more of formal work experience.

    -Applicants who wish to be considered for merit-based scholarship must submit standardized test scores, regardless of work experience.

    - International applicants are required to submit standardized test scores with no exceptions.

    -Applicants taking the GRE should submit their scores to code 2986 (no department code is necessary).

    -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 should upload a copy of their score report to the online application.

  • Personal Interview - All are required to have an interview.

Certificate Application

Start your application now

Certificate applicants should submit the following materials:

  • Upcoming deadlines: 
    May 1st for Summer 2016 admission
    July 1st for Fall 2016 admission
  • $75 nonrefundable application fee

    Any applicant to the Fels Institute of Government who is a current member or alumna/us of Teach for America, Americorps, or the Peace Corps is eligible for an application fee waiver. Please email lps@sas.upenn.edu (attention: Maura Tucker) to request a fee waiver code, which must be used on the payment screen before submitting the application.

  • Personal statement - essay should be between 250-500 words.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.

    - All applicants should upload unofficial copies of their transcripts to the online application system.  Only applicants admitted to the MPA program will be required to submit official transcripts and should do so upon notification of admission.

  • For International Applicants: TOEFL or IELTS Scores 

    - International applicants whose first language is not English must also 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. 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.

    - Upon review of an applicant's file, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores.

  • Three letters of recommendation including at least one academic letter from a recommender who has taught the applicant.
  • Personal interview

Non-Degree Application

Start your application now

  • Upcoming deadlines: 
    May 1st for Summer 2016 admission
    July 1st for Fall 2016 admission
  • $75 nonrefundable application fee
    Any applicant to the Fels Institute of Government who is a current member or alumna/us of Teach for America, Americorps, or the Peace Corps is eligible for an application fee waiver. Please email lps@sas.upenn.edu (attention: Maura Tucker) to request a fee waiver code, which must be used on the payment screen before submitting the application.
  • Personal statement - statement should be no more than 250 words.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. 

    All applicants should upload unofficial copies of their transcripts to the online application system.  Only applicants admitted to the MPA program will be required to submit official transcripts and should do so upon notification of admission. All international transcripts should be translated into English and the American-grading system using World Education Services, Inc. (WES) and select the basic evaluation option. All translated transcripts should be sent to the University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS). 
  • Personal Interview

Applications will not be reviewed until all material has been received by the Fels Admissions Office. Please note that all materials submitted to the Admission Office become the property of the University of Pennsylvania and will not be returned under any circumstances.

Campus Visits

Prospective applicants are welcome to visit Fels and meet MPA staff, faculty, and students; tour the campus; and sit in on classes. To schedule a visit, contact the Admissions Office at felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu or call 215-898-2600 to make arrangements.