Admission Requirements

We seek applicants from a variety of undergraduate majors who can bring a diverse set of backgrounds and experience to the classroom.

All applicants must adhere to the following admission requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent)
  • Generally a 3.0 minimum GPA


How to Apply

The Master of Public Policy degree follows admission procedures outlined by The Graduate School at Penn State. Please visit the Graduate School website to access the application and submit it, along with:

  • Two letters of recommendation (during the application process, you will be asked to provide contact information for two references who will receive an email with instructions on how to submit their recommendation letters through the grad school website).
  • A 1500-word personal statement explaining your career goals and how the Master of Public Policy degree will help you achieve them.
  • English proficiency through TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants)
Though the GRE is not required, prospective students may submit scores to be considered as part of the admissions decision, and the test results may be especially helpful for international applicants to demonstrate preparedness for a professional master degree program in the U.S.

Application Deadlines

Deadlines for Fall 2020 Intake:Submit Your Completed Application By:Expect a Decision By:
Early decision deadline November 15 December 15
Priority deadline for all applicants January 15 February 15
Third round deadline for applicants March 15 April 15

Applications received after March 15 will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Apply early for maximum funding consideration.



Penn State's School of Public Policy master's degree follows the university's tuition and fees schedule, which is approved by Penn State's Board of Trustees.  Tuition for a graduate degree in public policy is comparable to in-state competitors and less than out of state competitors. 

Pennsylvania Residents: 

   $21,540 (tuition)

+ $1,038 (fees)

= $22,578/year

Non-Pennsylvania Residents:

   $36,974 (tuition)

+ $1,038 (fees)

= $38,012/year 

Please visit the Penn State tuition resource website to access complete information about the fee schedule.  Information about financial assistance, work-study, and employment opportunities for graduate students can be found on Penn State's student aid website.



Research assistantships providing up to $10,800 per year will be awarded to several students.



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