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Admissions Requirements and Deadlines


Admission to the M.P.P. and the Ph.D. programs is competitive. Applicants are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, and should have a superior academic record that demonstrates the characteristics necessary for completing the program successfully.

Decisions on admissions are also based on recommendations from professors (preferred) or others who can speak to the student’s academic performance and potential for success in graduate school; and the match between the program and student’s interests.

Applicants to the M.P.P. should hold, 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.

Formal Admission

To apply for formal admission to the Master's in Public Policy (M.P.P.) or Ph.D. program:

1. You can apply online (preferred) or via a paper application. When you Apply Online, you can create an account, submit your application information and pay the application fee by credit card over a secure Internet connection.

Prospective students may also download a paper application, request an application by mail or request an application by phone (410-455-2537). Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online in lieu of using a paper application, as online applications are processed more quickly.

2. Submit your application forms, application fee, 3 letters of recommendation (at least two from academia), statement of goals, official transcripts, and official GRE scores to the Graduate School (copies will be forwarded to the Department of Public Policy).

3. Send a current resume and a research paper (recommended) directly to the Department of Public Policy.

4. An interview is not required, but recommended for all local applicants. Contact the Department of Public Policy office (410-455-3202 or to arrange an interview.

Deadlines for Formal Admission

M.P.P. - For best consideration, apply by January 15 for fall semester and November 1 for spring semester.

Ph.D. - Applications must be received by January 15 - fall admission only.

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

The department has a rolling admissions policy.

Non-degree Admission
If you would like to take a course before you decide to officially apply to the program, you may apply for non-degree status. The Public Policy department allows up to two courses as a non-degree student.

Important: contact the Department of Public Policy to discuss the program and your options (410-455-3201 or 3202; Then follow these steps:

1. Complete the on-line application for non-degree seeking students found on the Graduate School website. Non-degree applicants must apply by July 15 for fall semester, and December 15 for spring semester.

2. Submit the application, application fee, and all transcripts to the Graduate School.

3. Notify the Public Policy department once you have applied, and send us a resume and statement expressing your reasons for wishing to take a course as a non-degree student.

4. The decision on whether or not you may take a public policy program course rests with the Public Policy Graduate Program Director. After this decision has been reached you will be notified in writing by the Graduate School and through an e-mail or telephone call from the Department.

5. You may register online for the course(s) agreed upon by you and the Graduate Program Director during the period set aside by the Registrar for Special Student Registration (usually in late August and again in late January). Contact the Department prior to enrollment for any necessary registration clearances needed.

6. The Department allows up to two courses as a non-degree student before formal consideration for admission to the program. Successful completion of these courses does not guarantee admission to the program.

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Admissions Resources

Deadlines at a glance:

Fall semester - January 15
Spring semester - November 1
Fall semester - January 15

Fall semester - January 1
Spring semester - May 1 of the previous year
Fall semester - January 1

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Did you know...
UMBC is part of the Academic Common Market (ACM). ACM affords students an opportunity to pay in-state tuition rates for certain out-of-state bachelor’s and graduate programs that are not offered at a public college or university in the student's home state. Read more...


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