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Florida Gulf Coast University

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Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Admission Information


Getting Started

Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website or contact Graduate Studies at 239-590-7988 or for an application for admission and additional information about the application process. Satisfaction of minimum University and program requirements does not guarantee admission to a graduate program. Applicants should check with the program for the most up to date admission requirements prior to commencing the application process.

Download the Division of Public Affairs supplemental application.

Download the rating form.


Program Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the MPA program are expected to meet or exceed the following requirements:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning;
  2. Completion of either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) within the last five years, or an earned graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  3. One of the following:
    • (Average of percentile rankings on GRE verbal reasoning section and quantitative reasoning section) + (GPA for the last 60 semester hours attempted at the upper-division undergraduate level X 18) must equal or exceed 100; or
    • (MAT percentile rank for intended major) + (GPA for the last 60 semester hours attempted at the upper division undergraduate level X 18) must equal or exceed 100; or
    • An earned graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  4. Completion of 15 hours of undergraduate coursework in the social sciences or business, including 3 hours in quantitative skills;
  5. International applicants for whom English is a second language are required to submit a score of 550 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  6. All required application materials must be received by FGCU’s Office of Graduate Admissions by the following deadlines: July 1 for Fall Semester admission, October 1 for Spring Semester admission.

Required application materials consist of the following:

  1. A complete FGCU Graduate Application;
  2. One official transcript from each baccalaureate and/or graduate institution attended;
  3. One official copy of test scores from either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) taken within the last five years;
  4. A completed MPA Supplemental Application Form;
  5. Three completed MPA reference rating forms/letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge the applicant's academic and professional potential;
  6. An Immunization History Form;
  7. A Letter of Application/Statement of Career Goals, no more than two pages in length that briefly discusses any or all of the following: the influences that led you to the selection of FGCU's MPA Program, career goals, relevant work and/or academic experience, and volunteer activity in the community.

Special Note for Prospective Distance MPA Applicants

Most of the MPA program’s courses are either exclusively or predominantly online courses. However, students who have less than one year of full-time professional work experience in the public or not-for-profit sectors at the time of admission into the program must attend six (6) on-campus professional networking workshops over the course of their MPA program, three of which must be attended within their first year of coursework (12 months). The MPA Admissions Committee will determine whether or not an applicant's work experience is sufficient to waive attendance at these on-campus sessions. Students who have less than one year of full-time professional work experience in the public or not-for-profit sectors at the time of admission also must complete a 3-credit MPA internship (PAD 6940). All students must attend one Saturday session during their final semester, in order to deliver a formal oral presentation as part of their Capstone Seminar (PAD 6961).

Post-Graduation Employment of FGCU’s MPA Graduates

FGCU’s MPA program periodically surveys its alumnae about their employment experiences after graduation. The most recent survey results (of MPA graduates from 2012-2013, six months after their graduation) are as follows:

In addition, the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) regularly collects post-graduation employment and continuing education data for its state universities and colleges. As evidenced by the most recent data (for 2012-2013 graduates), the post-graduation employment and continuing education rate of FGCU’s MPA graduates is above the statewide average for graduate programs in Public Administration.

Time-to-Degree Requirements and Graduation

The occupational and family circumstances of students in FGCU’s MPA program are highly diverse. While some of the program’s students have limited occupational and family responsibilities and can pursue their coursework full-time, many of our students have full-time jobs and family responsibilities and are limited to part-time coursework. We are sensitive to each student’s need to balance work, family, and school and to proceed through the program at a manageable pace. Students whose other responsibilities limit them to part-time coursework can take as little as one course per term, provided they complete their degree within seven years of having initiated their MPA coursework. This accommodation of students’ diverse scheduling needs is reflected in the program’s time-to-degree and graduation data. Among students admitted to the program in Academic Year 2008-2009, 23% completed their degree in a standard full-time-student timeframe (consisting of five Fall/Spring terms), and 48% completed their degree in an extended part-time-student timeframe, for an overall degree completion rate of 71% during this period.