MPA | Prospective Students

MPA Admissions FAQs

Admissions Process FAQs

  • How exactly do I apply?
  • Is an interview required as part of the admissions process?

    An interview generally is not required, and applicants cannot request an interview as part of the MPA admissions process. However, the admissions committee may request an interview on a case-by-case basis. Our admissions, academic, and career representatives are more than happy to meet with prospective students to answer questions about the program, admissions process and/or career opportunities. Please contact the MPA Program Office at 512-471-6559 to set an appointment with an MPA representative or submit a campus visit form to arrange a more comprehensive visit.

  • What is the application deadline date?

    The early preferred application deadline for U.S. permanent residents or citizens is December 1, and the final submission deadline is March 1. The application deadline for international applicants is January 5.

  • How can I check the status of my application materials?

    To see if your application materials have been received by the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC), please check the Application Status Check page. You will be required to login using your UT EID and password, which are assigned after submitting your online application. If you have questions about the status of your application materials after viewing the online information, please contact GIAC directly. Please avoid mailing in documentation, as hard copies will significantly delay the processing of your application.

  • Most of my application materials will be in by the deadline except for my GMAT scores. Can the admissions committee accept a copy of my score report until the official scores arrive?

    All application materials, including the official test scores, must be received before the admissions committee will review your file for an admissions decision. Applications completed after the application deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

  • When will I hear if I got accepted into the MPA program? Do you utilize a rolling admissions process?

    U.S. applications will be reviewed in the order of completion starting with those completed by the December 1 deadline. Decisions are released on a rolling basis, generally beginning in January. International applications are not reviewed on a rolling admissions basis, and the majority of decisions will be released by the end of March. Applications completed after the final submission deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis. Please note that the admissions committee may decide to admit, deny, or place an applicant on a waitlist, depending on the strength of the applicant's entire application and space availability.

  • How will I find out if I am accepted into the MPA program?

    Your decision will be immediately posted on the Application Status Check page, and you will receive an e-mail notification from the Graduate and International Admissions Center once a decision has been reached. Students who are accepted to the MPA program also will receive an e-mail notification from the MPA Program Office.

  • I have been admitted to another university and the acceptance deadline is approaching, yet I haven't received an admission decision from the Texas MPA program. Is there anything I can do to receive an earlier decision?

    If you should receive an admission offer from another university and need to respond to the offer before you receive a decision from the Texas MPA program, please e-mail the name of the university and the admission response deadline to Keri Ledezma. Although the admissions committee cannot guarantee an earlier admission decision, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

  • If I apply this year and am not admitted, is there anything special I need to do to reapply next year?

    Most application materials are kept for one year. Applicants who reapply must submit a new online application, an application processing fee and an updated resume (if applicable).

    Additional letters of recommendation, a revised essay and updated test scores are not required but may be submitted at the applicant's discretion. Applicants who have undertaken additional coursework must submit an updated transcript. International students will need to provide an updated statement of financial support if admitted to the MPA program.

Application Materials FAQs

Application and Essay

  • What application materials must be submitted?

    The required application materials are outlined on the Application Materials Checklist page.

  • Can I complete a paper application?

    The online application is the fastest, safest and most efficient method of applying. As a result, we no longer accept paper applications. The online application can be saved and revisited as often as needed before officially submitting it (just make note of your application number, as directed).

  • Where should the mailed portion of the application be sent?

    All admissions documents can be submitted electronically. Please avoid mailing in documentation, as hard copies will significantly delay the processing of your application.

  • Can I waive the application fee?

    We do not grant requests for waivers or deferrals of the MPA application fee.

  • What length should the application essay be?
    The ApplyTexas application will allow for a maximum of 120 eighty-character lines of text, including spaces and blank lines. Applicants should focus more on the content than on the length of the essay.

Recommendation Letters

  • Who should write my letters of recommendation?

    Choose references who know you in an academic or professional context and are familiar with your academic or professional achievements, credentials, career aspirations and work history, if applicable. References should speak to your personal qualities, career potential, and potential to succeed in the classroom. 

  • Can I submit more than two recommendation letters?

    Although only two recommendation letters are required for the MPA application, applicants are welcome to submit more than two letters, if preferred. All recommendation letters that are submitted will be reviewed.

  • What if my recommender does not have an email account or does not feel comfortable submitting an online recommendation letter?

    If you are unable to provide an e-mail address for a recommender, you may have the recommender return the recommendation form and attached letter to you in sealed envelopes with their signatures across the seal, and you can include the letters in your “mailed items” packet to GIAC. Please note that submitting a paper copy instead of an online recommendation will delay the processing of your application, so it is highly recommended that your recommenders submit an online recommendation whenever possible.

  • What should I do if I have already submitted my online application but need to make a change to my reference information?

    After you have submitted your online application for admission, you can log into the application status check website to monitor the status of your pending requests for references, resend the Request for Reference e-mail to your recommenders, or add a new recommender.

Test Scores

  • What are The University of Texas at Austin codes for the GMAT and TOEFL?

    The University of Texas at Austin codes for the GMAT and TOEFL are located on Step 8 of our website.

  • What is the minimum GMAT score the MPA program will consider?

    Although the MPA program does not impose a minimum GMAT score, it is considered an important component of the MPA application. We consider the GMAT in the context of a holistic review of all admissions criteria. For a general guide, please see the GMAT test score range and average for the current MPA class.

  • How long are GMAT test scores valid?

    GMAT scores are valid for five years from the test date. As long as the official score report is submitted before the expiration of the exam, we can use the score for admission purposes. In other words, the exam does not have to be valid at the time of enrollment. For example, if you took the exam in November 2007 and submit the scores by November 2012, we can use the scores for the entire application cycle for fall 2013. If you do not submit the scores by November 2012, you would need to retake the exam.

  • Can the GMAT requirement be waived? Does the MPA program accept the GRE instead of the GMAT?

    The GMAT is one of many factors (including recommendations, resume, essay, undergraduate GPA, etc.) that we consider when reviewing an application. Therefore, all applicants to the MPA program are required to submit GMAT scores. We do not accept the GRE in lieu of the GMAT.

  • If I retake the GMAT or TOEFL, which scores are considered?

    If you retake the GMAT or TOEFL, the higher of the two total scores will be considered (scores are not averaged). If you have submitted all application materials and plan to retake the GMAT or TOEFL, please inform Keri Ledezma of your original score and new test date, or the admissions committee may make a decision based on your first set of scores. Please note that if your new scores arrive after the final submission deadline, your application may be considered on a space-available basis.

  • Can the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) be accepted in lieu of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)? What are the preferred minimum scores?

    We accept either the Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS test scores. The MPA program prefers a minimum Internet-based TOEFL score of 105 overall and a minimum of 24 for each individual section, or minimum IELTS band scores of 7.5.

  • Does the MPA program accept test scores from the paper-based or computer-based version of the TOEFL?

    We will not accept paper-based or computer-based TOEFL test scores. The Internet-based TOEFL is the only version that includes a speaking score. English speaking skills are essential to success in the MPA program, and the speaking score is one of the important criteria that are factored into the admission decision.

  • Which applicants must submit the TOEFL or IELTS?

    All international MPA applicants, except those from English-only speaking countries, must submit either an Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS official score report.

  • Can the TOEFL/IELTS requirement be waived?

    Only applicants from English-only speaking countries are allowed to waive the test requirement. Please visit the GIAC website for a list of countries which qualify for the waiver. If you studied (or are studying) an undergraduate or a graduate degree in an English-only speaking country, your TOEFL/IELTS score requirement will NOT be waived. However, you may request that a copy of your expired Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS score report be used for your MPA application if the scores meet our minimum requirement. Please e-mail the following information to Keri Ledezma: a copy of your TOEFL or IELTS score report, the university where you studied your degree, the degree earned and major, your graduation date, and the total length of time spent in the U.S.

  • When do TOEFL and IELTS scores expire?

    Both the TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. As long as the test score is submitted by the testing agency before the expiration of the exam, we can use the score for admission purposes. In other words, the exam does not have to be valid at the time of enrollment. For example, if you took the exam in November 2010 and submit the scores before November 2012, we can use the scores for the entire application cycle for fall 2013. If you do not submit the scores by November 2012, you would need to retake the exam. If you studied (or are studying) an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-only speaking country and your Internet-based TOEFL/IELTS test scores have expired, you may request that a copy of your expired Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS score report be used for your MPA application if the scores meet our minimum requirement. Please e-mail the following information to Keri Ledezma: a copy of your TOEFL or IELTS score report, the university where you studied your degree, the degree earned and major, your graduation date, and the total length of time spent in the U.S.

  • What if I do not meet the MPA program’s preferred minimum scores on the TOEFL or IELTS?

    English skills are essential for success in the MPA program, both academically and professionally. As a result, meeting the preferred minimum score requirement greatly strengthens your application. If your scores are below our suggested minimum, we highly recommend that you work on improving your English skills and retake the test.

Transcripts

  • Do I need to submit high school or community college transcripts?

    It is not necessary for you to submit your high school transcript for the MPA program application. Please submit transcripts from junior or community colleges if you completed our pre-enrollment requirements or any accounting courses at these institutions.

  • Do I need original transcripts?

    Please visit the Graduate and International Admissions Center website and the MPA application materials checklist for detailed information regarding transcripts. If you have any questions regarding the transcript requirement, please contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center.

  • I studied abroad for one semester and the credit appears on my U.S. undergraduate transcript. Do I need to submit the transcript from the foreign university where I studied abroad?

    If the study abroad was for one semester only and the credit appears on your U.S. transcript, you will not need to request a transcript from the foreign university. However, if you studied more than one semester abroad, you will need to request the transcript from the foreign university.

  • What GPA is calculated for MPA admissions?

    The Graduate and International Admissions Center calculates your GPA using only upper-division (junior- and senior-level) coursework and any non-professional graduate work.

Certification of Financial Responsibility

  • I’m an international applicant. Do I need to submit my Certification of Financial Responsibility and supporting financial documents with my application?

    The Certification of Financial Responsibility is used for immigration document processing, not for admissions purposes. Therefore, the form is not required for the completion of an admissions application. However, the International Office will not issue the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 until a student has been officially admitted and certification of adequate financial resources has been received.

 

Requirements for Admissions

  • I have a three-year bachelor’s degree. Am I eligible to apply to the MPA program?

    All applicants must possess the equivalent of the four-year U.S. bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Many degrees conferred by institutions outside of the U.S., while ostensibly referred to with the name "bachelor's" do not meet this four-year standard. The Graduate and International Admissions Center determines degree equivalencies. Please contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center directly with any questions.

  • What pre-enrollment courses are required?

    Please visit the MPA program pre-enrollment requirements web page.

  • Do I need to complete all pre-enrollment courses prior to applying to the MPA program?

    Completing the pre-enrollment courses prior to applying will strengthen your application, as you will be able to demonstrate accounting and quantitative skills to the admissions committee. Students must complete Introduction to Financial Accounting or the equivalent prior to the start of the MPA program. Students who have not completed this course at another institution will be required to enroll in ACC 311-Fundamentals of Financial Accounting in the first 6-week summer session, which usually starts in late May/early June and would be charged to you at the graduate tuition rate. ACC 311 (or the equivalent) is a prerequisite to our graduate-level ACC 381-Financial Accounting course, which is offered in the second summer session. Students are required to complete any outstanding pre-enrollment requirements by the end of the first semester of enrollment. Please note that these courses will not count toward the MPA degree and completing this coursework after enrolling in the MPA program will most likely extend your graduation date.

  • Does one need an undergraduate degree in accounting to apply to the MPA program?

    We welcome applicants with bachelor’s degrees from any academic discipline. MPA Student Profile

  • Is work experience required to apply?

    Work experience is not required but can strengthen an application.

  • What are the characteristics of a strong applicant? 

    The admissions committee carefully considers each completed application, with particular attention to personal essays, prior academic performance, letters of recommendation, extracurricular and community activities, honors and achievements, test scores, and work history (if applicable). In general, the MPA program looks for well-rounded students with balanced strengths in motivation, academic ability, communication skills and quantitative skills. More information

  • What are my chances of getting into the MPA program?

    We cannot provide an estimate on your chances of being admitted to the MPA program. Each application is evaluated in its entirety and in comparison with the rest of the applicant pool for a particular year. Please refer to characteristics of a strong application for more information.

Page last updated: 8/29/2013