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Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration


There is a Priority Application Deadline of March 1st for fall applicants and November 1st for spring applicants. Applicants who wish to meet the Priority Deadline should ensure that their applications, including external materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, etc.), are complete and ready for review by those deadlines. Review of applications by the program's Admissions Committee will commence on those dates. Applicants who meet the Priority Deadline have their application fee waived and receive priority consideration for scholarships or assistantships.

Application Requirements:

Requirements for admission include:

  1. Go to the Graduate Admissions Apply Online Page click on Apply online link and submit application fee.
  2. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  3. An undergraduate grade point average of 3.000 or better. At the discretion of the MPA Graduate Admissions Committee, students may be admitted with a grade point average below 3.000, if they have substantive work experience in the field.
  4. As of March 2023, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller's Analogy Test (MAT) are no longer required. 
  5. Two Letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from someone who can testify to the quality of the applicant's past academic work.
  6. A personal statement, approximately 500 - 750 words, that explains why you chose your particular option and discusses your career goals and the role of the degree in advancing those goals.
  7. A curriculum vitae summarizing education, work and public service experiences
  8. Students for whom English is not a national language must also submit a score for the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 570 for the paper test and for the new Internet based test the aggregate minimum is 79. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.
  9. In addition, the graduate committee of the Master of Public Administration may request an interview

B.A. / M.A. Candidates:

UMass Lowell undergraduates who wish to be B.A. / M.A. candidates may apply to the program and waive the GRE test and application fee. To apply to the B.A. / M.A. program, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000 for all previous course work. Students admitted to the B.A. / M.A. program are accepted on a conditional basis with the requirement that students receive their bachelor's degree at the end of the their senior year and graduate with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000. If students do not meet this requirement, their master's degree candidacy will be voided and they would be required to re-apply via the traditional application process. Application is typically submitted during the student's second semester of their junior year but may be submitted through senior year.

B.A. / M.A. Application Requirements:
  1. An overall GPA of 3.000 or better
  2. Two Letters of recommendation from UMass Lowell faculty.
  3. A personal statement that describes the student's interest in the MPA and why they are choosing the particular option.
Additional B.A. / M.A. Information:
  1. B.A. / M.A. students must have their bachelor's degree conferred before graduate admissions can change their status to that of a fully matriculated graduate student.
  2. B.A. / M.A. students may defer their graduate matriculation for up to one year following their graduation for the bachelor's degree. A request for deferral must be made to the Graduate Admissions Office in writing. After one year of deferral, failure to register for graduate classes will invalidate their acceptance into the master's program.


Students are required to complete 39 credit hours of course work.

Degree Pathways 

  • Option for students Fall 2023 and beyond
  • Options for students through Spring 2023: Human Service Management, Public Humanities and the Arts, Justice Administration

transfercreditTransfer Credit

Matriculated students are allowed to transfer up to 12 credits of graduate course work completed with a grade of B or better taken in other departments at UMass Lowell or at other accredited college or universities in the United States or Canada, provided that the courses are within a relevant content area and do not involve credit for field experience or professional work. Such transfer credit is subject to the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the Registrar's Office.

PALView the Public Administration & Leadership Certificate.

In addition to the Master in Public Administration degree, UMASS Lowell offers a 12-credit graduate certificate in Public Administration and Leadership that may be completed 100% online.  It is designed for agency managers seeking to expand their leadership skills, agency line staff who are preparing to move into management roles, those with existing master degrees (e.g. master of criminal justice, master of social work) who wish to add on a management oriented credential, or prospective MPA students who are interested in an intermediate credential. Areas of skill development include public and non-profit leadership, personnel management, public budgeting and financial management, and data management. Because courses for the graduate certificate program are aligned with the master’s program curriculum, this program serves as both a standalone certificate and can serve as a pathway into the master’s program.

For more information about the MPA program, please see the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (FAHSS) website.