Department of Political Science

Admission & Prerequisites to the MPA Program

There are several pathways for admission to ECU's graduate programs. These are discussed below. The prerequisites for admission to the MPA Program are few. They are discussed in the last sub-section below.

  • Regular Admission
  • Conditional Admission
  • Provisional admission
  • Professional admission
  • Non-degree admission
  • MPA Prerequisites

    Regular Admission:
    For regular admission to the MPA Program applicants must have a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.7 on all undergraduate work or a graduate degree from an accredited institution. A minimum satisfactory score on the GRE of at least the 30th percentile on each the verbal and quantitative sections is expected. Applications may be obtained online from the Graduate School. A completed application consists of:

  • Completed graduate study application form
  • Official copies of all college transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose
  • Official copy of GRE scores
  • A personal data sheet from the Department of Political Science

    Conditional Admission:
    Students not meeting regular admission requirements may be considered for admission by exception with the support of the MPA Program, plus review and approval by the Graduate School.

  • The program will assume the responsibility for assessing and documenting the admissibility of any applicant who does not meet the regular admission standards of the Graduate School.
  • The program's admission recommendation with a brief justification will be forwarded to the Graduate School for review using the Graduate School's Accept / Reject form.
  • If the Graduate School is not in agreement with the program's recommendation, the program may appeal the admission decision to the Graduate School Administrative Board.
  • Applicants not meeting regular admission requirements will be required to earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on the first 9 semester hours attempted. If the student fails to earn an overall GPA of 3.0 by the end of that period, he/she will not be permitted to continue in the program of study.
  • Units may establish higher or additional academic standards for continuation for students that do not meet regular admission standards.

    Provisional Admission:
    An applicant may be granted provisional admission pending receipt of official transcripts from all schools attended provided the applicant has all other required admission documents on file and at least one official transcript from a regionally accredited university showing a) an earned degree in a relevant field of study or b) the applicant is currently enrolled and has completed the equivalent of at least three years of undergraduate coursework. International students are not eligible for provisional admission.

  • The credentials that have been received must be strong enough to warrant a provisional admission decision pending receipt of all required transcripts.
  • The provisional admission letter will list all pending transcripts and final transcripts required for regular admission.
  • An administrative hold will be placed on provisionally admitted student's records preventing further course registrations until all required transcripts are received. The student's graduate student status may be revoked if the all required transcripts are not submitted or if the transcripts, when received, do not meet admission criteria.
  • Provisionally admitted students awaiting transcripts are not eligible for financial aid.
  • The student will acknowledge the conditions of his/her provisional admission by signing and returning a copy of the admission letter to the Graduate School.
  • It will be the sole responsibility of the student to take actions necessary to submit all required transcripts.
  • As soon as all official transcripts have been received, the graduate program will review the student's completed file. The faculty will then confirm the student's admission or request that the student withdraw from the program at the end of the first term.

    Professional Admission:
    Individuals whose baccalaureate degree is more than ten years old and who have extensive professional experience related to the intended program of study may be eligible to seek admission through the professional admissions policy upon recommendation of the MPA Director. Individuals seeking professional admission should indicate this on the application form.

    Non-degree Admission:
    Non-degree admissions is an enrollment category in which the student is not accepted into a specific degree or certificate program but is approved to take courses that have no catalog restrictions. This is intended for applicants interested in taking one or more courses at ECU, but not necessarily interested in obtaining an ECU degree or certificate at the time of application. It may be used by students matriculated at another institution who wish to enroll as visiting students, individuals wanting to take courses for personal/professional enrichment, and individuals wanting to take prerequisite course work for later application to a degree program. See for further information. Non-degree students are not eligible for assistantships or federal financial aid.

    MPA Prerequisites:
    A working understanding of American political institutions and policy processes is required. Students in need of a review may be required to enroll in POLS 5000, an introductory survey course of readings in American government and politics that does not count toward the 45-semester-hour requirement. An understanding of statistics is also strongly recommended.

    Overview of MPA Program (PPT)
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Admission to the MPA Program
    MPA Graduation and Employment Rates
    Out of State & International Students
    MPA Personal Datasheet (PDF)
    Financial Assistance
    Getting Started in Your Graduate Program
    Student Technology Resources
    MPA Style Manual
    Grad. Cert. in Community Health Admin.
    Community Health Admin. Gainful Employment Info.

    MPA Handbook (PDF)
    Mission Statement & Objectives
    Expected Student Competencies
    Our Professional Values
    Core Curriculum and Areas of Emphasis
    Internship Requirements
    Professional Paper
    Post-Grad Intern & Fellowships
    Grad. Cert. in Security Studies

  • Dept. of Political Science, Brewster A-124, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353
    Phone (252) 328-6189
    Fax (252) 328-4134