MPA admission requirements

Applicants must file an on-line application for admission to the Graduate School of Washington State University indicating Master of Public Affairs Program and Vancouver Campus on their application. Students are held to policies of the Graduate School as listed in the Graduate School Policies and Procedures of the year of their admission. Students are also held to the policies of the MPA program the year of their admission. Note: When there is an overlap of policy between the Graduate School and the MPA program, the student is expected to meet the more rigorous of the two requirements.

Students must be admitted to both the Graduate School and the MPA program as a Class 6 Regular or Class 6 Provisional Student. Priority deadlines for applying to the MPA program are:

  • January 10 for Summer/Fall semester and July 1 for Spring semester. Applicants whose applications are completed after these priority deadlines may still be considered for admission. Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Paul Thiers, the director of the Program in Public Affairs, prior to completing their application. Dr. Thiers can be reached at or (360) 546-9466.

General admission information

To be eligible for admission as a Class 6 Regular or Provisional student through the Graduate School at WSU, students must:

  • have attained at least a B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) grade point average in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of their graded undergraduate work taken at an accredited college or university; 


  • have completed at least 12 semester hours of graduate level course work beyond the bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university, maintaining a grade point average of B+ or better, (3.5 on a 4.00 scale). This also includes courses that may have been taken as UNDG (Undecided Graduate) status at WSU Vancouver;


  • have been granted admission through the program and department.

MPA program admission requirements

  • Minimum 3.0 Undergraduate GPA, 3.5 GPA for Graduate level work, including UNDG status.
  • Official reports of Graduate Record Examination scores; minimum score dependent on grade point average (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing).
  • A "Statement of Intent," two or three pages in length, outlining academic and career objectives within areas of proposed degree concentration.
  • A resume listing employment and education histories.
  • Three letters of recommendation which address your potential for success in a graduate program. Letters should be from academic or professional sources; at least two letters should be from current or former professors or other individuals specifically qualified to comment on your academic work.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (showing the awarding of the Bachelor's degree and the completion of an approved undergraduate statistics course).