Frequently Asked Question



What are the admissions requirements?

  • An Undergraduate degree from regionally accredited college or university.
  • An official graduate transcript from each college, university, and/or professional school attended. 
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from course instructors and/or current supervisors addressing the applicant's qualifications for doctoral level work. 
  • A reflective essay of approximately 500 words addressing your professional goals and research interests and how they can be achieved in this program.
  • A copy of your resume.

Do I need to have a bachelor’s degree to apply for admissions?

Yes. You must have both a bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited institution in order to apply for admissions.

Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required? 

GRE or MAT scores are not required.

What is the application’s deadline?

There is no application deadline since admissions to the MPA program is based on open enrollment.

How do I apply for admissions? 

You can apply by going to Marywood University’s web page at www.marywood.edu, then click on Admissions.

Is online application for admissions free?


Is there a minimum GPA requirement?


Who should I contact if I am having technical difficulties with the online application?

You may contact the office of Graduate Admissions at: GoGrad@marywood.edu.

Who can write my letters of recommendation?

Your supervisors or colleagues with whom you have worked or volunteered. If you have a professor who can speak on your academic performance, this is also fine.

Should I send in a writing sample?

No, Thank you.  We do not request a writing sample and will not take this into consideration in our review of your application.

Do you accept transfer students from another master’s degree program?

Yes, we accept up to 9 credits (of grades of B or higher) from another related-master’s degree programs.

Do you accept credit transfer from my bachelor’s degree?


What should be in my reflective essay?

Submit a reflective essay of approximately 500 words addressing your professional goals and research interests and how they can be achieved in this program.

Do you have any special requirements for international applicants?

TOEFL score is required from international students if English was not the language of studies during their master’s degree programs.

Do I need to have my foreign documents translated?

Yes. All foreign documents, such as official transcripts and letters of recommendation, must be translated by an official translator and notarized as authentic translations by a notary public.

I was accepted but I declined my offer. Can I reapply?

If you were admitted but declined our offer, you may reapply, but will need to refile all documents.  

Can I defer my admissions offer?

Admitted applicants may defer enrollment for up to one year.  In order to be considered for deferral, an admitted applicant must 1) accept the offer of admission, 2) submit the program deposit, and 3) request a deferred entrance for one year.  Admitted applicants can request a deferral by submitting an email request to both the Program’s Director and Graduate Admission outlining their reason for seeking deferral. The only candidates who should consider deferral are those who are certain that they can guarantee their enrollment in one year and who are willing to risk losing the deposit if their plans change.

Do you use a waitlist?


May I appeal my admissions decision?

No. The admissions review process is quite thorough and taken very seriously.  We will not reconsider applications once a decision has been made.  Students may re-apply after being denied admission, but we will look for evidence that they have remedied the factors leading to their denial.  You will need to submit a new application with all documents.

When will admission decisions be made?

The application review process begins immediately following the submission of a completed application.

When can I register for class if my application for admissions is accepted?

You can register for class scheduled for the next semester any time after you received your acceptance letter. For example, if you received your acceptance letter in October during the fall semester you can register for courses offered next spring.



Do you provide financial assistance?

We provide financial aid and loans. All admission and financial aid decisions are merit based.

When do I need to send in the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Financial Aid)?

It is best to send your FAFSA to the federal government as soon as you are able. Each year the Department of Education begins to take FAFSA forms on January 1. You can apply for FAFSA at: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.

How do I apply for loans?

You can apply for loans at: https://studentaid.gov/

Do you offer financial aid to international students?

Yes, we offer financial assistance to all admitted students. International students are considered on the same basis as domestic applicants. All financial aid decisions are merit based.

What is your FAFSA school code? 

Marywood University FAFSA Code is 003296.

How should I contact the Financial Aid Office?




What are the program’s requirements?

The MPA Program requires the competition of five (15 credits) Core courses, four (12 credits) elective courses, and a final Capstone of 3.0 credits (PADM 600: LEAD Project).

How many credits does it take to complete the program?

30 credits.

Where are classes held?


Do you offer courses during the summer?

No. Courses are offered only during the fall and spring semester. However, students who need to satisfy their elective requirements can take an elective course offered by other departments at the university. http://www.marywood.edu/pubadmin/mpa-grad-curriculum.html.

Can I take any electives from other departments?

Yes, students can take an elective course offered by other departments at the university. To see a list of elective courses allowed to be taken at other departments click on: http://www.marywood.edu/pubadmin/mpa-grad-curriculum.html.

Is there a master courses schedule?

Yes. You can read the master course schedule at: http://www.marywood.edu/pubadmin/course-schedule

Are there prerequisites?

Yes, there is only one prerequisite. You will need to complete all core and elective courses before registering for the final Capstone (PADM 600: LEAD Project).

Where can I get more detailed information on the program?

You can visit the program’s website at: http://www.marywood.edu/pubadmin/

Is there a dual-degree program? 

Yes. We have a dual MPA/ MSW dual degree program. See: http://www.marywood.edu/pubadmin/mpa-msw-dual-degree.html.

Can I transfer my MPA credits to the Ph.D. Program in Strategic Leadership and Administrative Studies after graduating with an MPA?

Yes, you can transfer 12 MPA credits (grades of B or higher) to the Ph.D. Program in Strategic Leadership and Administrative Studies as advanced placement once accepted at the Ph.D. Program. See: http://www.marywood.edu/pubadmin/PhD%20Advanced%20Placement.html.

Do I need to apply for IRB to do my Capstone project?


Can I publish my thesis (LEAD Project)?

Yes. You can Submit your Capstone for publication at the Journal of Applied Professional Studies. All thesis that are successfully defended are eligible for publication at the journal.

What are the Core courses?

PADM 501: Principles of Public Administration (3 credits)

PADM 502: Public Policy Analysis (3 credits)

PADM 503: Human Resource Management (3 credits)

PADM 504: Research Methodology (3 credits)

PADM 505: Public Budgeting and Finance (3 credits)



How old is the MPA Program at Marywood University?

The MPA Program at Marywood University was established during the 1970s.

Does the MPA Program at Marywood follow the national accreditation guidelines?

Yes. We follow the guidelines set by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

Is the program recognized nationally?

Yes. The MPA Program at Marywood is recognized among the best in the nation by www.bestcolleges.com. See: http://www.marywood.edu/article/2019-Marywood's-MPA-Program-Recognized-Among-Best-in-Nation.

Is there a student honorary award?

Yes. The program awards an outstanding student each year during commencement with the Walton Medal for Excellence in Public Service.

Is there a student honor society?

Yes. The MPA Program at Marywood University belongs to Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society.

What kinds of jobs do people get after their MPA?

Graduates with an MPA degree work in all types of governmental, nonprofit, and corporate settings. Many of our graduates joined academia and are teaching at various institutions. Others work as administrators, managers, executives, or directors.

Is there a time limit to complete the program? 

Yes. You must complete the program in 7 years. With the approval of the Program Director a one-year extension can be added during extra-ordinary circumstances.

How diverse is the program?

We have a wonderfully diverse program.

Can I study part-time?


Can I pursue the program if I work full-time? 


How many courses do student enroll each semester?

Most of our students work full-time. Thus, they enroll in one or two classes each semester. However, and depends on your work schedule you can take more than two courses per semester.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Most students can finish the program in 1-2 years.

Do I need to take courses continuously?

Yes. However, during extra-ordinary circumstances and with the approval of the Program’s Director you can take one semester off.

Can I take classes in the program before I have been accepted?

Students interested in taking courses offered by the program before they have been formally accepted may do so, provided they have applied for admission to Marywood University.

Can take an MPA course if I am enrolled in another program?


Which professors can I work with?

Each course is taught by an instructor. You can read about the teaching faculty at: http://www.marywood.edu/pubadmin/faculty.

Who will be my advisor?

The Program’s Director.

What types of career advice will the university offers me?

Marywood University’s Career Services prepares graduates for careers at academic institutions, in think tanks, research firms, and research units of public, quasi-public and private organizations, as well as for other positions with substantial responsibilities for the supervision and administration of research.

What types of other services the university offers me?

Marywood University helps with writing through the Writing Center, Moodle training, and accommodations for students with disabilities.