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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.

Applicants are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. 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.

Click here if you are interested in taking a course as a non-degree student.

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

  1. Apply Online: 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, Meyerhof Scholar, Horizon Participant, UMBC employee, or Accelerated Pathways Program participant, contact us for the application waiver code.
  2. Submit your application form, application fee ($50), 3 letters of recommendation (at least two from academia), statement of goals, official transcripts, and official GRE scores, TOEFL scores, if applicable, and current resume to the Graduate School.
  3. If you wish to submit a research paper (recommended), send it to the School of Public Policy, to Sally Helms (

Deadlines for Formal Admission

M.P.P. – Applications should be received by January 15 for the fall semester, and November 1 for the spring semester, but we will accept M.P.P. applications until all slots are filled.

Ph.D. – January 15 only.

International students must apply by January 1 for fall semester, and May 1 for spring semester.

Admissions Resources

Apply Online


Graduate School Website

Need to take the GRE exam? UMBC offers a GRE test preparation workshop at our South Campus. Go here for more information.