Political Science and Public Administration
Political Science and Public Administration

Admission Requirements


Beginning in January, 2010, the MPA program moved to a “pool” admissions process.  The program will now evaluate the pool of applications rather than in a serial or “rolling” fashion.  This change offers advantages for applicants through creating a stronger group connection that should continue throughout the program (and form the basis for stronger professional networks beyond graduate school).  It enhances the ability of the program to coordinate course offerings and better serve students’ scheduling requirements.  One obvious result of this change will be a longer “lag” time between submitting a completed application and admissions decisions, but it also allows us to initiate communication with prospective students and use that time to establish a foundation for career advising.

Additionally, we are creating a cohort structure within our admissions process.  Your cohort will determine the course delivery method for your core courses; therefore, you should consider carefully to which cohort you wish to apply.

The application process appears in detail below, but the overview is simple:

  • As you are deciding whether to apply to our program, whether an MPA is the right degree for you, and how our program fits with your interests and situation, contact us via e-mail, telephone, or visit us.
  • When you decide to apply, you begin a process that operates through the UNCP Office of Graduate Studies.  ALL questions about assembling the application, determining the status of the items required in the application file, and related questions should be directed to the Office of Graduate Studies.  We DO NOT have access to incomplete files, and have the same information available to you about the status of items within your file.  Thus, if you are concerned about the arrival of a transcript or letter of recommendation, you need to talk with the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Once your application file is complete, it is forwarded to the MPA Program Office.  We will inform you when that occurs, and collect additional information from you at that time.  Your file will be reviewed by the MPA Graduate Admissions and Advising Committee.  During this time, we will ask for additional information and inform you where we are in our process, but we will not be able to inform you about our recommendation until we complete the review process. 
  • Upon completion of our reviews, we will notify the Office of Graduate Studies regarding our recommendation, you will recieve an official letter from the Dean of Graduate Studies informing you of the decision regarding your admission.  Students admitted to the program (or wait listed) will begin receiving regular communication from us as we start advising you about your course choices and steps to begin your way through the program.

Please note: ALL inquiries about the program should be directed to the Department; once you begin submitting application material, we have NO role until the required application material is complete, so any questions about your actual application should go to Graduate Studies or, even easier, check for yourself at https://secure.vzcollegeapp.com/uncp/

To Apply:

All students seeking to enroll in any graduate class must be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies. Information for international and visiting students is given at the bottom of this page. To be considered for full or provisional admission to a degree program, an applicant must:

1) submit a completed application form to the School of Graduate Studies;

2) pay $45.00 non‑refundable or $60.00 non-refundable for International applicants application fee. Call the Cashier Office with credit card--910-521-6410 or 521-6206 or pay in person in the Cashier Office with cash, check/money order or credit card;

3) submit one official transcript from all colleges/universities attended to the School of Graduate Studies (School of Graduate Studies, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, P.O. Box 1510, Pembroke, NC 28372); your undergraduate transcripts must indicate the date that the applicant’s baccalaureate degree was awarded. *Even if you have only taken one class at another institution, we need that transcript, as well;

4) have a satisfactory undergraduate academic record and meet at least one of the following minimum GPA (4.0 scale) requirements: Must have an overall GPA of at least a 2.5 on all undergraduate work, or an overall GPA of at least a 3.0 in the undergraduate major, or a GPA of at least a 3.0 on all undergraduate work taken in the senior year;

5) submit an official report of satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), **Scores must be no older than five years at the time of submitting an application. See additional information at Entrance Exam.

6) have three recommendations submitted on their behalf.  At least one recommendation should be from a college/university faculty member in the undergraduate major of the applicant; others should be from the applicant’s employer/supervisor; and

7) Some programs require additional components or specific minimum scores. Check to see if there are additional, program-specific requirements for the program to which you are applying.

International Students

In addition to items listed above, international students must provide:

An official transcript evaluation report from World Education Service (WES), American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers or Josef Silny & Associates.

Official TOEFL or IELTS scores unless undergraduate degree from an English-based institution. TOEFL minimum required score is 550, or 213 if computer-based, or 80 for Internet-based for all programs except English Education which requires 570/230/88. 

Financial Verification forms (PDF - requires Adobe Reader)

Visiting Students

The application process for students who are enrolled in a graduate program at another institution and wish to take courses at UNCP to transfer back to their degree-granting institution requires:

  1. A completed application and application fee
  2. A letter from your Dean or Program Director stating that you are in good-standing and authorized to enroll at UNC Pembroke to earn transfer credit. The letter should also state the specific UNCP course to be taken. Please submit this letter to:

Dean, School of Graduate Studies

UNC Pembroke
P.O. Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Enrichment Applicants

The application process for students who have already earned a degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, who are not enrolled in a degree program at other institutions and wish to be enrolled in a graduate course(s) at UNCP for personal or professional enrichment purposes require:

  1. A completed application and application fee
  2. An official degree-dated transcript from an accredited institution.
  3. A letter or statement to the Dean of Graduate Studies requesting permission as an enrichment student. The applicant should also specify the course(s) that they are seeking.