You are here

Process & Timeline

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


On-Campus Format - Application Process

Fall 2023 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 2023 is January 10th, 2022; however we strongly encourage all applications to be completed and submitted by January 1st, 2023 for best financial aid consideration

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 

  • International students will also want to submit an ECE evaluation of their international transcripts to determine U.S. degree and grade point system equivalency.
  • 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.

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.

6. Official standardized test scores *Optional*

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

*The UNC MPA program stands by our commitment to holistic admissions and to recruiting a Fall 2023 class which demonstrates academic success, dedication to public service, and diversity.  We encourage any students who believe their application materials do not fully reflect their academic potential to include in their application an official graduate entrance exam (GRE, LSAT, and GMAT) score within the last 5 years.  This is particularly recommended for students with cumulative GPAs below a 3.3, but any candidate is welcome to submit official exam scores for consideration by the admissions committee.




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.  
  • Interview dates will be held in early February.

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

January 2023 - Deadline to Apply: November 9th

May 2023 - TBD

September 2023 - TBD

For more information on the online format and the application process, please visit our online format admissions page.