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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.

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.
The Graduate School will now accept DuoLingo scores (in lieu of TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE) for Spring 2021 applications.

Deadlines for Formal Admission

M.P.P. – Typically rolling. Ideally applications should be received by January 15 for the fall semester, and November 1 for the spring semester.

Ph.D. – January 15 for the fall semester, and November 1 for the spring semester.

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

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 2021- Fall 2021

Application FAQs

Adviser List for Fall 2019

Apply Now Button

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. Email Tim Brennan for details on this option. (