Application Deadlines

The deadline for both Domestic and International applicants is April 15th for Fall term start. Applications received after April 15th will be considered on a rolling, space available basis until July 15th.

Teaching Assistantships

Applicants interested in Graduate Assistantships, or departmentally awarded financial aid must apply by April 15th. A supplemental application for departmental aid can be obtained from Dr. Austin upon request.

Required Tests

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for the Public Administration Graduate program. All scores must be official and received from ETS. Unofficial scores may be submitted for initial application review, however, you must also request that the Educational Testing Service send an official copy of your scores to Montana State University. The institution code for Montana State University is 4488. The GRE is waived for any student who has already completed a prior graduate degree.

International Applicants

For International students who are not native English speakers, an English Proficiency test such as the TOEFL or IELTS is required.  For the TOEFL, a score of 80; for the IELTS, a score of 7.  Please see Graduate School for other documents needed for admission, such as a Financial Certificate.

This requirement is waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S. or if the student is from a country where the English proficiency score is waived. Please see our International application process page for a list of countries where the English proficiency score is waived as well as more information on applying as an International student.

Additional Admission Requirements

For additional required admission documents please see program website or view list of requirements in the graduate application portal. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.


The MPA degree is a professional degree designed to prepare both pre- and mid-career professionals and administrators for supervisory, analytical support and policy-making positions in public sector agencies and non-profit organizations, at local, state and federal levels. The program stresses sound preparation in wide range of administrative competencies. MPA coursework includes studies in public administration theory, human resource management, public budgeting, public policy process, leadership, ethics, organization dynamics, and research methods for public administrators. Available courses support specialization in local government, non-profit management, administration of Native American affairs, education leadership, planning and other subspecialties. For early career students, practical experience is gained through a supervised internship with an agency of the student's choosing.

Upon graduation, MPA students are expected to have built their capacities in the following areas:

  •     To lead and manage in public governance;
  •     To participate in and contribute to the policy process;
  •     To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions;
  •     To articulate and apply a public service perspective;
  •     To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.