We accept Pre-Admission Applications on a rolling basis, however, applications should be submitted no later than the spring of a students junior year.

  1. Pre-Admission application overview – Interested undergraduate UNC students will apply for pre-admission on a rolling basis, but no later than during the spring of their junior year.  Pre-admission does not guarantee admission to Graduate School, but it does allow for students to begin taking MPA courses in their senior year of undergraduate studies. Students will then officially apply to the MPA program in the fall of their senior year, following the traditional application procedures of the UNC Graduate School to be considered for admission to the MPA program. The GRE is not required for pre-admission but is required for official admission to the MPA program. At the formal graduate application stage, students must meet all admissions requirements of the UNC Graduate School and the UNC School of Government MPA program.
  1. MPA application process overview – The MPA program has two formats of the degree: on-campus and online, though dual degree students will need to pursue the on-campus format while still matriculated in their undergraduate program. When applying to the MPA program during senior year of undergraduate studies, students will determine their preferred format of study (online or on-campus) then follow the instructions for the selected format accordingly. The on-campus application deadline is typically the second week of January to begin the program that fall. The online application deadline is typically three months out from start date for the early deadline then two months out for the regular deadline. There are four start dates a year for online – January, May, August, and September.

We accept Pre-Admission Applications  on a rolling basis, however, applications should be submitted no later than the spring of a students junior year.

In addition to submitting a completed application form, the below items must included in the application:

  • Confirmation from the applicant that they have met with and received advising from the two programs, contacts noted below:
    • Environmental Studies/Environmental Science Program:
      • Dr. Greg Gangi, Associate Director for Education; Teaching Associate Professor
    • Master of Public Administration Program:
  • A 1-2 page statement articulating:
    • Why you are interested in this dual degree option
    • Why an MPA is attractive for you

The Carolina MPA Program is offered in two formats, online (MPA@UNC) and on-campus. While still matriculated in undergraduate studies, dual degree students will take on-campus courses, though students have the possibility to apply for either format in their senior year of undergraduate when applying for the MPA program. This should be discussed with your academic adviser. Below are instructions for how to apply to each format of the MPA program.

On-Campus Application

Apply for the on-campus format through the Graduate School. Applications typically become available a year ahead of the intake term (in August, a year ahead of the start date); otherwise, the application is inaccessible.

The final application deadline is typically the second week of January for academic entry that fall. Applicants wishing to receive full consideration for all forms of financial assistance should submit their application and all supporting materials by mid-December (exact date TBD). Applications submitted after that December date will still be considered for most financial assistance awards.

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
  • 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.
  1. The application fee of $87.50 is waived when students apply for PreAdmission.  Please email Cara Robinson, Director of Admissions at cararob@sog.unc.edu to waive your application fee.
  1. Official standardized test scores fewer 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.

MPA@UNC Application

MPA@UNC offers a convenient online application process. To complete the application, students will need to submit:

  • Online application, including a statement of purpose and resume
  • Unofficial transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended, including graduate studies (official transcripts will be required upon admission)
  • Three letters of recommendation from references who can evaluate the applicant’s qualifications for our program
  • Official scores for the GRE, LSAT, or GMAT (submitted by ETS, LSAC, or GMAC) no more than five years old (requirement might be waived for applicants who have completed an advanced degree. Access the standardized test waiver application here.)
  • English language proficiency scores from TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic (required for applicants without English as a native language or if their undergraduate degree was completed in a country where English is not the primary language of instruction)
  • Non-refundable application fee of $85 (see below for fee waiver eligibility)

On-Campus Process
After a preliminary screening of applications, the MPA Admissions Committee selects finalists to be invited for personal interviews (in person is preferred though phone calls are available). 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-March.

MPA@UNC Process
All candidates who have submitted an application for MPA@UNC will have a recorded interview with a senior admissions staff that will be circulated to the MPA Admissions Committee for review. Interviews are offered and decisions are processed on a rolling basis. Once an application is complete, candidates can expect a review process of approximately three weeks. Financial award decisions are also made on a rolling basis.


For general questions about the graduate school admissions process or admissions application, contact the Graduate School by phone (919.966.2612) or by e-mail (gradadmissions@unc.edu(link sends e-mail)). For on-campus MPA specific admissions questions, contact Susan Lynch at lynch@sog.unc.edu(link sends e-mail). For both format-related questions or for questions on the MPA@UNC program, contact Anne Kilby at akilby@sog.unc.edu(link sends e-mail).