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Our students have an impressive track record of professional and academic achievements. Applicants to the M.P.P. should have, or be nearing completion of a bachelor’s degree. For the Ph.D. program, many successful applicants have a master’s degree or the equivalent, but applications to the Ph.D. program without a master’s degree are welcome.

The School admits both full and part-time students. Classes are held once a week, at either 4:30 pm or 7:10 pm, allowing students who work full time to enroll in the program.

The requirement to submit GRE test results is temporarily waived. Admission decisions are based on the match between the program and applicant’s interests, academic record, GRE test results*, and recommendations from professors (preferred) or others who can speak to the potential for success in graduate school.

Application Guidelines

Formal Admission to the M.P.P. or Ph.D. Program

To apply online go to the Graduate School website (prospective students to create an account, submit your application information and pay the application fee by credit card over a secure Internet connection. If you are a Peace Corps volunteer, McNair Scholar, Meyerhoff Scholar, Horizon Participant, UMBC employee, or Accelerated Pathways Program participant, contact the Graduate School for the appropriate application waiver code. The application will prompt you to provide the names and emails of at least 3 faculty recommenders, a statement of goals, and a list of colleges attended, majors and GPAs, as well as scores on the GRE general test* and the TOEFL Scores (for international applicants). You will also need to submit official transcripts from each university attended. A current resume is also required by the program, and may be linked to the application. Research papers may also be submitted through this application link.

*Due to COVID-19 conditions, GRE submission requirements for Public Policy are temporarily waived.
For English Proficiency test requirements(TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE) please visit Graduate School International Admissions as these requirements are subject to change.

Deadlines for Formal Admission

M.P.P. – January 15 for the fall semester, and November 1 for the spring semester.

Ph.D. – January 15 for the fall semester.

International students must apply by January 1 for fall semester, and October 1 for spring semester (MPP for Spring Semester only).

Applying for Graduate Assistantships

All full time M.P.P. and Ph.D, students have the opportunity to apply for funding as a graduate assistant for up to 4 years. Graduate assistants work 20 hours per week with a faculty member on campus conducting research or providing teaching assistance. Full-time Graduate assistantships typically include a stipend, 10 hours of tuition remission and University health benefits. Students wishing to receive an assistantship via the School Public Policy will be considered for placement at the time of application. School of Public Policy assistantship placement is highly competitive, we encourage all applicants to explore funding options both internal and external to UMBC. Graduate assistantships are also available externally through UMBC Residential Life, and the Office of Graduate Student Life. Other funding sources can be reviewed on the Graduate School website here:

All students seeking aid should submit a FASFA application. The deadline for consideration for Graduate Assistantships is January 15. Newly admitted and current students can also apply.

Transferring Credits

Previous graduate coursework, if it is relevant and taken within the past five years, may lead the Faculty adviser to recommend a reduction in the course credit hours required for the Ph.D or M.P.P. The maximum reduction is 18 credits for Ph.D. and 6 credits for M.P.P. A previously taken course may make a required course redundant. In this case, the student may ask to be exempt from the requirement. Exemptions do not reduce the total number of credits necessary, but they do give the student more flexibility in taking advanced courses and electives. Students will consult with their Faculty adviser to determine eligible transfer credit and exemptions. For more details, see page 4 of the Student Handbook.


Application Guidelines for Spring 2022 – Fall 2022

Application FAQs

Adviser List for Fall 2019

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Other Resources

Office of Financial Aid

Accelerated Pathways (Bachelor’s/Master’s)

The Accelerated Pathways Program allows UMBC undergraduates with strong academic records to begin taking graduate level courses toward the MPP degree in the junior and senior years.

To learn more and apply, please visit the Graduate School website for instructions, gather all required application materials including this form, and contact the Public Policy Graduate Program Coordinator for a meeting: Shelley Morris,

Non-degree Option

Take a course as a non-degree student before formally applying to the program. Apply through the Graduate School’s application page.