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Master's Admissions

Join a community of leading policy scholars and practitioners committed to making a difference.

We invite you to take the next steps toward joining our community. Our admissions team is here to help you learn more about the School and our programs, understand the application process and answer any questions you have along the way. 

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Our Criteria

We are looking for candidates who are passionate about harnessing the power of public policy to make a difference. Policy students are well-positioned to contribute to the leadership of local, state and federal governments, both in the US and internationally, as well as at non-governmental organizations, domestic and international nonprofits and private organizations. We welcome candidates from all majors and backgrounds, and value bringing unique perspectives to the study and practice of policy.

Our admissions process takes a holistic view of candidates and decisions are not based on any one single indicator or application component. Decisions take into account the following criteria:

  • Academic history and aptitude, including previous grades received and/or relevant course work completed
  • Professional experience and development, including internships, volunteer work, full-time and part-time positions
  • Personal statement
  • Recommendations
  • TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores (if applicable)

Deadlines and Process

Learn more about the application requirements and deadlines for each of our master's programs, and how to apply online. 

Deadlines

For Spring 2020

  • Final international applicant deadline - September 27, 2019
  • Final domestic applicant deadline - December 19, 2019

For Fall 2020

  • Funding priority - January 16, 2020
  • Final international applicant deadline - March 17, 2020
  • Final domestic applicant deadline - May 15, 2020

Application Process

Applications are submitted to the University of Maryland's Graduate School through the ApplyYourself/Hobsons system. All application materials are to be submitted electronically.

Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in the program, and the recommendations of the committee are submitted to the dean of the Graduate School. The dean of the Graduate School makes the final admission decision, and all students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the dean.

For further information about the application process, please visit the University of Maryland Graduate School.

Program Code

When indicating which program you are applying to within the ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system, please choose: MAPO - Public Policy

General Application Materials

  • Graduate school statement of purpose - instructions can be found within the ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system
  • Transcripts - for each educational institution previously attended
  • Three letters of recommendations - preference for one professional recommendation and two academic recommendations
  • CV/Resume
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE - required for applicants whose undergraduate education was not conducted in English (see the English language proficiency requirements established by the University of Maryland Graduate School)
  • Application fee - non-refundable fee (USD$75) for each program to which an applicant applies

Note: Standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT) are not required for applicants. If you feel that your GRE or GMAT score will improve the strength of your application, we encourage you to submit your score. If you are submitting GRE scores, use ETS institution code 5814 when reporting your scores. A department code is not required. 

Program Specific Application Materials

  • Supplementary application statement

Write a statement addressing the following (there are no specific word limitations for this statement - please tell us as concisely as possible about yourself, and your interest in public policy and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy):

What are your reasons for undertaking public policy studies at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy? Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of specialization or research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field and allied fields, your plans for a professional career, and/or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject. 

Note: This supplementary application essay prompt is very similar to the first part of the Graduate School's "Statement of Purpose" listed as #1 in the Uploads Requirement section of the online application. It is, however, more specific to your reasons for studying public policy/public administration. It is acceptable, in fact preferred, to compose a single statement incorporating both this prompt and the Graduate School's Statement of Purpose prompt and upload it twice - in both the #1 Statement of Purpose and #3 Supplementary Application fields of the Uploads Requirement section. 

Deadlines

For Spring 2020

  • Final international applicant deadline - September 27, 2019
  • Final domestic applicant deadline - December 19, 2019

For Fall 2020

  • Funding priority - January 16, 2020
  • Final international applicant deadline - March 17, 2020
  • Final domestic applicant deadline - May 15, 2020

Application Process

Applications are submitted to the University of Maryland's Graduate School through the ApplyYourself/Hobsons system. All application materials are to be submitted electronically.

Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in the program, and the recommendations of the committee are submitted to the dean of the Graduate School. The dean of the Graduate School makes the final admission decision, and all students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the dean.

For further information about the application process, please visit the University of Maryland Graduate School.

Program Code

When indicating which program you are applying to within the ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system, please choose: MAMG - Public Management

General Application Materials

Only applicants with five or more years of professional policy or management experience after undergraduate studies are eligible for the Master of Public Management program

  • Graduate school statement of purpose - instructions can be found within the ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system
  • Transcripts - for each educational institution previously attended
  • Three letters of recommendations - preference for two professional recommendations and one academic recommendation
  • CV/Resume
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE - required for applicants whose undergraduate education was not conducted in English (see the English language proficiency requirements established by the University of Maryland Graduate School)
  • Application fee - non-refundable fee (USD$75) for each program to which an applicant applies

Note: Standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT) are not required for applicants. If you feel that your GRE or GMAT score will improve the strength of your application, we encourage you to submit your score. If you are submitting GRE scores, use ETS institution code 5814 when reporting your scores. A department code is not required. 

Program Specific Application Materials

  • Supplementary application statement

Write a statement addressing the following (there are no specific word limitations for this statement - please tell us as concisely as possible about yourself, and your interest in public policy and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy):

What are your reasons for undertaking public policy studies at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy? Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of specialization or research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field and allied fields, your plans for a professional career, and/or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject. 

Note: This supplementary application essay prompt is very similar to the first part of the Graduate School's "Statement of Purpose" listed as #1 in the Uploads Requirement section of the online application. It is, however, more specific to your reasons for studying public policy/public administration. It is acceptable, in fact preferred, to compose a single statement incorporating both this prompt and the Graduate School's Statement of Purpose prompt and upload it twice - in both the #1 Statement of Purpose and #3 Supplementary Application fields of the Uploads Requirement section. 

Deadlines

For Spring 2020

  • Final international applicant deadline - September 27, 2019
  • Final domestic applicant deadline - December 19, 2019

For Fall 2020

  • Final international applicant - March 16, 2020
  • Final domestic applicant - June 30, 2020

Application Process

Applications are submitted to the University of Maryland's Graduate School through the ApplyYourself/Hobsons system. All application materials are to be submitted electronically.

Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in the program, and the recommendations of the committee are submitted to the dean of the Graduate School. The dean of the Graduate School makes the final admission decision, and all students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the dean.

For further information about the application process, please visit the University of Maryland Graduate School.

Program Code

When indicating which program you are applying to within the ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system, please choose: EMPM - Public Management (Executive)

General Application Materials

Only applicants with five or more years of professional policy or management experience after undergraduate studies are eligible for the Master of Public Management program

  • Graduate school statement of purpose - instructions can be found within the ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system
  • Transcripts - for each educational institution previously attended
  • Two letters of recommendations - preference for one professional recommendation and one academic recommendation
  • CV/Resume
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE - required for applicants whose undergraduate education was not conducted in English (see the English language proficiency requirements established by the University of Maryland Graduate School)
  • Application fee - non-refundable fee (USD$75) for each program to which an applicant applies

Note: Standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT) are not required for applicants. If you feel that your GRE or GMAT score will improve the strength of your application, we encourage you to submit your score. If you are submitting GRE scores, use ETS institution code 5814 when reporting your scores. A department code is not required. 

Program Specific Application Materials

  • Supplementary application statement

Write a statement addressing the following (there are no specific word limitations for this statement - please tell us as concisely as possible about yourself, and your interest in public policy and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy):

What are your reasons for undertaking public policy studies at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy? Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of specialization or research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field and allied fields, your plans for a professional career, and/or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject. 

Note: This supplementary application essay prompt is very similar to the first part of the Graduate School's "Statement of Purpose" listed as #1 in the Uploads Requirement section of the online application. It is, however, more specific to your reasons for studying public policy/public administration. It is acceptable, in fact preferred, to compose a single statement incorporating both this prompt and the Graduate School's statement of purpose prompt and upload it twice - in both the #1 Statement of Purpose and #3 Supplementary Application fields of the Uploads Requirement section. 

Deadlines

For Spring 2020

  • Final international applicant deadline - September 27, 2019
  • Final domestic applicant deadline - December 19, 2019

For Fall 2020

  • Funding priority - January 16, 2020
  • Final international applicant deadline - March 17, 2020
  • Final domestic applicant deadline - May 15, 2020

Application Process

Applications are submitted to the University of Maryland's Graduate School through the ApplyYourself/Hobsons system. All application materials are to be submitted electronically.

Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in the program, and the recommendations of the committee are submitted to the dean of the Graduate School. The dean of the Graduate School makes the final admission decision, and all students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the dean.

For further information about the application process, please visit the University of Maryland Graduate School.

Program Code

When indicating which program you are applying to within the ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system, please choose: MPPA - Public Administration

General Application Materials

Only applicants with five or more years of professional policy or management experience after undergraduate studies are eligible for the Master of Public Management program

  • Graduate school statement of purpose - instructions can be found within the ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system
  • Transcripts - for each educational institution previously attended
  • Three letters of recommendations - preference for two professional recommendations and one academic recommendation
  • CV/Resume
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE - required for applicants whose undergraduate education was not conducted in English (see the English language proficiency requirements established by the University of Maryland Graduate School)
  • Application fee - non-refundable fee (USD$75) for each program to which an applicant applies

Note: Standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT) are not required for applicants. If you feel that your GRE or GMAT score will improve the strength of your application, we encourage you to submit your score. If you are submitting GRE scores, use ETS institution code 5814 when reporting your scores. A department code is not required. 

Program Specific Application Materials

  • Supplementary application statement

Write a statement addressing the following (there are no specific word limitations for this statement - please tell us as concisely as possible about yourself, and your interest in public policy and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy):

What are your reasons for undertaking public policy studies at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy? Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of specialization or research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field and allied fields, your plans for a professional career, and/or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject. 

Note: This supplementary application essay prompt is very similar to the first part of the Graduate School's "Statement of Purpose" listed as #1 in the Uploads Requirement section of the online application. It is, however, more specific to your reasons for studying public policy/public administration. It is acceptable, in fact preferred, to compose a single statement incorporating both this prompt and the Graduate School's statement of purpose prompt and upload it twice - in both the #1 Statement of Purpose and #3 Supplementary Application fields of the Uploads Requirement section. 

Am I eligible?

You must meet the following criteria to apply for the dual degree program:

  • Have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service via involvement with policy-oriented organizations or individual efforts
  • Are within two months of completing at least 60 undergraduate credits with a 3.5 GPA
  • Have received a combined SAT (verbal + math) score of at least 1200, otherwise you will need GRE scores

When should I apply?

You can apply for the dual degree program any time after you have completed 60 credits at the undergraduate level.

You must also have completed ECON200 and STAT100 (or equivalent) with a grade of C or better before registering for graduate level policy (PLCY) courses. Completing these prerequisites before applying to the dual degree program will allow you to register for graduate level policy (PLCY) courses in your first semester of the program.

Deadlines

For Spring Admission:

  • Early decision - November 22 (decision will be sent by December 15)
  • Final - January 7

For Fall Admission:

  • Early decision - April 15 (decision will be sent by May 15)
  • Final - July 1

Application Process

The paper application form should be completed and mailed or delivered in person to the School of Public Policy:

University of Maryland School of Public Policy

Attention: BACH/MPP Program

3111 Van Munching Hall, College Park, MD 20742

NOTE: Do not use the Graduate School's online application portal to apply to the dual degree program.

Application Materials

  • Application form
  • Personal statement
  • 3 letters of recommendations (at least two from faculty members)
  • Current academic transcript
  • U.achieve audit
  • Resume
  • SAT scores (if verbal + math is at least 1200), otherwise GRE scores must be submitted (there is no required minimum GRE score)
  • If you are not completing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy or an eligible major within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, you must also submit a letter of approval to apply to the dual degree program signed by your advisor and the director of your undergraduate program

If you are applying to a dual degree program, please ensure you follow the admissions guidance contained in the Master of Public Policy section above in addition to the relevant program specific requirements.

Dual Master of Public Policy/Master of Business Administration

Only one application needs to be submitted, but you must apply through the Robert H. Smith School of Business application portal

Note: You are required to submit three letters of recommendation for the dual degree program even though the Master of Business Administration program requires only one. 

Program Code: BMPO - Dual Master of Public Policy/Master of Business Administration

Dual Master of Public Policy/Juris Doctor

You are required to submit a second application to the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Program Code: LMPO - Dual Master of Public Policy/Law

Dual Master of Public Policy/Master of Social Work

You are required to submit a second application to the University of Maryland School of Social Work

Program Code: BSWP - Dual Master of Public Policy/Master of Social Work

Students who wish to take graduate course(s) without pursuing a graduate degree or graduate certificate may do so as a non-degree seeking student, visiting graduate student or golden identification cardholder (for senior citizens only).

Apply through the Graduate School with Non-Degree Admissions status

Register for a Course

Once a favorable decision has been made by the Graduate School, contact Student Affairs in the School of Public Policy at policy-studentaffairs@umd.edu to request permission to register for our PLCY classes. Include:

  • Your name
  • University identification number
  • Class name and number
  • Class section number 

Priority is given to our current students, however, every effort will be made to accommodate your requests. Should you decide to apply to our degree program at a later date, you may request to include up to nine credits earned as a non-degree seeking student in your plan of study. These courses must be less than five years old at the time of graduation.

For International Applicants

We look forwarding to welcoming you to our vibrant international graduate student community, home to over 6,000 students from 130 countries. International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) is a valuable resource of information and assistance for prospective and current international students. International applicants are encouraged to explore the services ISSS offers and contact them with related questions.

The University of Maryland Graduate School offers admission to international students based on academic information. An application is not a guarantee of attendance. Admitted international students will then receive instructions about obtaining the appropriate visa to study at the University of Maryland, which will require submission of additional documents. Please see the Graduate Admissions Process for International applicants for more information.

On the Graduate School online application, you should note the type of visa you currently hold or will need to hold to study at the University of Maryland. In addition, you will need to submit copies of any visa or Permanent Resident Card you might possess. This information is required to be submitted prior to the School of Public Policy reviewing the application.

Visit International Student and Scholar Services to learn more about the student visa process

As part of the visa process, you must certify sufficient funds (exclusive of travel funds) to cover university fees, books, supplies, tuition and living expenses for yourself and your dependents (if applicable). Funds can be demonstrated in the form of personal funds, parental or sponsor funds, government support, an assistantship at the University or any other official sources of income. The School of Public Policy and The Graduate School will review your application and makes the admission decision based on academics. After admission, you will be contacted by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to complete the visa process.

Visit International Student and Scholar Services to learn more.

On the Graduate School online application, you are required to upload a scanned copy of the academic transcript for each institution you have attended. Unofficial transcripts in the original language must be accompanied with a literal English translation. Translations should not be interpretive and actual names of all degrees, diplomas, and certificates must appear in the translation. Upon being offered admission, you will need to have an official copy of each academic transcript sent to the Graduate School by the institution.

Visit the Graduate School to learn more about the requirement for transcripts.

Only applicants who have completed the full sequence of preparatory studies and examinations equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree from an approved institution, and who have met the University of Maryland, College Park admissions criteria, will be considered.

International students must demonstrate a proficiency in the English language by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at numerous locations throughout the world. Please use institution code 5814 when submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Visit the Graduate School to learn more about the English language proficiency requirements.

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions for international students.

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