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Process & Timeline

The Carolina MPA program can be completed in two formats: the on-campus format and the online format


On-Campus Application Process

Fall 2022 applications are available!  The application is available online through The Graduate School.  

The final deadline to submit the application and pay the application fee for Fall 2022 is January 11th, 2022; however we strongly encourage all applications to be completed and submitted by January 1st, 2022 for best financial aid considerationTo ensure the admissions committee has ample time to complete a full review of your entire application prior to making interview decisions, all of your suplemental materials including GRE scores, letters of recommendation and transcripts must be submitted by January 18th, 2022. 


Application Requirements

1. Online application including application fee of $95.00

  • Application fee waiver requests are available for five groups of domestic applicants and one group of international applicants, including full-time permanent UNC employees, McNair Scholars, Summer Undergraduate Pipeline (SUP) participants, Vietnam Education Foundation fellowship recipients, Gates Millennium Scholars, and need-based candidates.
    • For more information on qualifications for a waiver and submitting the appropriate documentation, please visit the Application Fee Waivers page.
  • Fee waivers are sometimes granted for attending one of our admissions events.

2. Current Resume or CV

3. 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

4. Unofficial Transcripts 

  • Include unofficial transcripts from every higher institution attended.

5. Three Letters of Recommendation

  • These references should be individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and professional achievements who can address their potential for success in this particular academic setting.
  • One unofficial transcript from each university attended—must be uploaded within the application
    • If offered admission, one official paper transcript for each university attended is required.
    • International students will also want to submit an ECE evaluation of their international transcripts to determine U.S. degree and grade point system equivalency.

5. Official standardized test scores*

  • Scores must be less than five years old
  • Send official score report to Institution Code: #5816 
  • GRE, GMAT, and LSAT scores are accepted

*Applicants who already hold a master's degree or a research or professional doctorate degree may be exempt from the standardized test score requirement. To apply for the GRE waiver, please download the form below and follow the directions to submit your test waiver request.  Applicants will need to provide unofficial transcripts and a resume with the form.  International students who apply for the test waiver request will also need to provide the ECE evaluation of their transcripts. 

6. International Students will also need to provide TOEFL or IELTS scores.  For more information on this, please visit The Graduate School's webpage for international student admissions.

7. Potential Interview

  • After a preliminary screening of applications, the MPA Admissions Committee select candidates to be invited for personal interviews.
  • Interviews are held in person or via zoom with committee members including faculty, current students, and members of our alumni community.  
  • Current interview dates are set for January 28th and 29th and February 11th and 12th.

Selection Process

We utilize a holistic admissions process meaning we take into account all aspects of the application before making a final decision.  We do not require any specific GPA or GRE scores although an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above is preferred. Letters announcing acceptance and financial award decisions are typically sent by end of February.   


For questions about the MPA program, the application process, or to find out the status of your application, please Cara Robinson, Director of Admissions at


Online Application Process 

The online MPA offers students four start dates per calendar year (January, May, August, and September). Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.  The deadlines for each start term as are as follows:

January 2022 - Application submit November 10th, Application complete November 16th.

May 2022 - Application submit March 2nd. Application complete March 8th.

August 2022 - Application submit June 1st.  Application complete June 7th.

September 2022 - Application submit July 6th.  Applicatoin complete July 12th.

The admissions requirements are the same as the on-campus format.   

For more information on the online format and application process, please contact Cara Robinson at or 919-962-1181.