Admissions information

Minimum Competencies

Prospective MPA/MPP students must demonstrate minimum competency in (1) statistics and (2) American Government. These competencies are demonstrated by having taken a basic statistics course and American government-related course (earning a B or higher) any time in the past. These competencies do not need to be met to be admitted, but students admitted to the MPA or MPP program who have not satisfied one or both competencies will be required to take related classes by the end of their first semester of study. These classes can be taken at ASU or another college before starting the graduate program or during the first semester after being admitted. Again, both courses could have been taken any time in the past, however, for statistics, use your best judgment. If it's been 10 years since your statistics course, you may want to take a refresher course or engage in self-study to prepare for your first MPA/MPP research course, PAF 501 - Public Service Research I.

Statistics – Competency in statistics is met with a grade of B or higher in one of the approved ASU courses:  PAF 301, POS 401, PSY 230, QBA 221, SWU 321, ECN 221, STP 226 or SOC 390. If you plan to take a course at a local Maricopa community college, the following course is recommended:  PSY 230. Other courses taken at ASU or another college/university may be substituted upon approval of the MPA/MPP Director. Please email a course description to the School of Public Affairs graduate academic advisor, . Christopher Higgins at

American Government – Competency in American government is a demonstrated understanding of major institutions of modern government and processes of individual and group political activity. This competency is met with a grade of B or higher in one of the approved ASU courses: PAF 200, PAF 300, PAF 340, POS 110 or POS 310. If you plan to take a course at a local Maricopa community college, the following course is recommended:  POS 110. Other courses taken at ASU or another college may be substituted upon approval of the MPA/MPP Director. Please email a course description to the School of Public Affairs graduate academic advisor, Christopher Higgins at

The CLEP Exam can be used to demonstrate competency in American government. Find out more about the CLEP or about taking the test at ASU.

Admissions Requirements

Bachelor's Degree Requirement

You must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country.

GPA requirement

You must have maintained a “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) grade point average (GPA) in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate course work. If you do not meet the minimum GPA requirements, your application may still be considered.


Admissions Process and Application Components

Applicants to the MPA and MPP programs are accepted year-round. Students may be granted admission for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. 

Applicants must submit the materials listed below. Materials must submitted online through the ASU Graduate Application. Contact the School of Public Affairs at (602) 496-0450 or email if you have any questions about the application process.

Priority application deadlines:

  • July 1 for fall semester
  • Nov 1 for Spring semester
  • April 1 for summer semester. 

Apply by these dates and you will be guaranteed consideration for admission when all application materials are received. We admit on a rolling basis and are flexible. When all application materials have been received, we will review your application and make an immediate admission decision, even if that's a week before classes start in a given semester. To avoid last-minute frustration, however, it's recommended that all application materials -- application, LORs, GRE scores, personal statement, transcript(s), and English Language Proficiency scores (international students only) -- be received no later than 2 weeks before classes start.

  • An official ASU Graduate application 
  • Application fee: $70 domestic, $90 international. In addition to the normal application fee, a $50 nonrefundable late processing fee will be charged for all applications submitted on or after the dates indicated on this web page (click on "Submit the non-refundable application fee").
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts may be uploaded into the graduate application to speed up admissions processing. We can admit you based on these unofficial transcripts. Eventually, however, official transcripts must be mailed to the Graduate Admissisons Office. Official transcripts are defined as transcripts that are mailed by a college/university Registrar's Office and not handled by the student. Only paper transcripts are accepted, no electronic transcripts may be used. ASU requires only the transcript from the institution from which you earned a Bachelor's degree. If you took classes in American government and statistics (program competencies) at a college or university other than the one from which you earned your Bachelor's degree, you can email those unofficial transcripts to the School of Public Affairs graduate academic advisor at spa@asu.eduASU graduates are not required to transmit transcripts.  Transcripts should be addressed to: 

Regular Mail
Admission Services Applicant Processing
Arizona State University
PO Box 871004
Tempe AZ 85287-1004

Arizona State University
Admission Services Applicant Processing
1150 East University Drive Building C, Room 226
Tempe, AZ 85281

  • Official verbal, quantitative and analytical scores on the GRE (institution code 4007). See Note # 1 below regarding waiving the GRE.
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic (faculty) and/or professional (work-related) sources. The type of recommender (academic or professional) has no impact on admission decision. See Note # 2 below.
  • Written statement of your educational and career goals and how the MPA/MPP degree will help you reach those goals. 1 – 2 pages in length, single-spaced. This statement will also be used as a sample of your writing skills. 
  • Resume
  • International applicants must also submit proof of English proficiency -- the School of Public Affairs does not offer conditional admissions in conjunction with English Immersion courses or ASU'S Global Launch program. To be admitted to the MPA/MPP programs, you must submit proof of English proficiency when applying for admission. 

Note #1:  The GRE requirement is waived if you:

  • Have a cumulative OR junior/senior GPA (final 60 credit hours toward completion of an undergraduate degree) of 3.4 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) OR
  • Earned a Master's or PhD degree in any academic area (from the U.S. or any country) OR
  • Have already been admitted into a master’s degree program within the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, e.g. programs offered by the School of Social Work, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, or School of Community Resources and Development.

Note #2: When completing the application, you will list the names and email addresses of three "recommenders." When you SUBMIT your application, your recommenders will be contacted by email and given instructions to upload their letter of recommendation to your e-application. It is recommended you contact your recommenders in advance to alert them of a future email from ASU and ask them to complete their letter of recommendation within 1-2 weeks of receiving the email.