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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 consideration.  To 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. 

Applicants wishing to receive best consideration for all forms of financial assistance should have all of their materials in by December 10th

Application Materials required by the Graduate School:

1. Online application, including uploaded:

  • 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
  • Most recent resume or CV
  • 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.

    2. $95.00 application fee (paid either online during the application process or by mailing a check to the Graduate School)

    • 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.

    3. Official standardized test scores less than five years old*:

    • UNC Graduate School Institution Code: #5816 (no department code)
    • GRE, GMAT, and LSAT scores are accepted, though GRE scores are preferred

    *Applicants who already hold a master's degree or a research or professional doctorate degree may be exempted 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. 

    4.  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.


    Selection Process

    After a preliminary screening of applications, the MPA Admissions Committee selects finalists to be invited for personal interviews. All admission decisions are made during the spring for fall semester (August) matriculation. Letters announcing acceptance and financial award decisions are typically mailed in mid-April. 


    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.