Requirements for Admission

  1. Bachelor's degree
  2. Typically a B average in the undergraduate major and a generally strong academic record
  3. Minimum of three semester hours credit in American government and politics (Note: this is not a requirement to apply for admission, but would need to be completed prior to the first day of fall classes if offered admission. 
  4. Strong verbal and quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE should be taken by October to ensure that your scores will be available)
  5. Successful interview with an admissions committee

The Carolina MPA Program is offered in two formats, online (MPA@UNC) and on-campus. Please follow the appropriate link below to apply to the program.

MPA@UNC Application (Online Format)

Apply online here. MPA@UNC offers students four start dates per calendar year (January, May, August, and September). Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.

On-Campus Application

Apply online at the Graduate School. For general questions about the graduate school admissions process or admissions application, contact the Graduate School by phone (919.966.2612) or by e-mail ( The deadline for applications is January 10.

Please provide the following materials to the Graduate School:

  1. Online application, including uploaded:
    • Statement of purpose
    • Most recent resume or CV
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. If offered admission, one paper official transcript for each university attended will be required at a later date.
  2. $85 application fee (either online during the application process or by check through the mail)
  3. Official GRE scores fewer than five years old:
    • GMAT and LSAT scores fewer than five years old may be submitted for consideration in lieu of GRE scores
    • Applicants who already hold a master's degree or a research or professional doctorate degree may be exempted from the standardized test score requirement.

Statement of Purpose
Each applicant is required to submit a statement of purpose, usually one to two pages in length, responding to the question, "Why do you want to earn an MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill?" In your statement, please address the following:

  1. Your professional goals
  2. Experiences that have led you to consider a public service career
  3. Why the UNC-Chapel Hill MPA program would be a good fit for you

Selection Process
After a preliminary screening of applications, the MPA Admissions Committee selects finalists to be invited for personal interviews.

All admission decisions are made during the spring for fall semester (August) matriculation. Applicants wishing to receive consideration for Graduate School financial assistance should submit their application and all supporting materials by December 13. Applications submitted after December 13 will still be considered for departmental financial assistance. The deadline for applications is January 10. Letters announcing acceptance and financial award decisions will be mailed by April 15.

The MPA program has a long-standing commitment to public service education for members of historically underrepresented minority groups.