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Applying to the Program

Who Should Apply?

Students majoring in any of the Liberal Arts fields, Business, Engineering, Law, and Nursing would benefit from the hands-on dimension Public Policy adds to their education. This graduate work, whether it is the Master's of Public Policy or one of the Certificate Programs, would make them a valuable resource to public agencies, private businesses, and any other entities that operate within the public policy process.

Working professionals seeking to improve their professional knowledge and skill sets and open up additional career prospects should also consider applying.   Graduate work in public policy provides working professionals with the tools to increase their versatility to handle any situations that arise in work as well as the flexibility to transition seamlessly to differing sectors (public, private, and nonprofit).

Here are some examples of the application of public policy:

  • Civil engineering firms are required to navigate the intricacies of local boards and commissions 
  • Business practices and health care institutions are regulated by numerous public policies and regulations 
  • Teaching careers and local public schools are increasingly affected by public policy decisions made in Boston or Washington, DC

Admissions Process

The Department of Public Policy uses the campus-wide graduate admissions process at UMass Dartmouth for its applications. This process requires prospective graduate students to submit an application to the university's graduate school along with supporting documents and test scores. The applications are screened by university staff to insure that applications are complete and meet the minimum requirements for admission. All completed applications meeting the minimum admissions requirements are reviewed by an Admissions Committee composed of faculty from the Department of Public Policy.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for admission to the MPP program is August 1st.  Students interested in enrolling at other times have the option of taking up to two courses prior to being accepted into the program or may apply for admission into one of the Department's two online graduate certificate programs in Environmental Policy and Educational Policy which have a rolling admissions policy.  These courses will count towards the MPP in the event that the student subsequently applies to and is accepted into the MPP program.

Individuals should submit an application to the MPP through the graduate office.

See Ways To Apply


Admission Requirements (Master of Public Policy)

1. Earned Baccalaureate Degree:

All applicants to the Master's in Public Policy (MPP) must have an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited 4-year college or university in the United States or comparable non-U.S. degree/diploma from a recognized foreign institution of higher education at the time of matriculation. Undergraduate seniors may apply in their final semester with expectation that they will have graduated prior to enrolling in MPP courses. A copy of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, undergraduate and graduate, must be submitted as part of the application process.

Applicants may hold a degree in any field, although it is expected that most applicants will hold degrees in the social sciences, business, and humanities. To make up for gaps in their undergraduate preparation, students may be admitted with conditions to complete one or more undergraduate deficiency courses. Deficiency courses will count in the students load, but not towards the degree requirements. Such conditions will be stated in the letter of admission.

2. Graduate School Application for US Citizens/International Applicants:

All applicants to the Master's of Public Policy must complete and submit UMass Dartmouth's Graduate School Application. The application may be submitted electronically or by mail.

3. Statement of Purpose (Essay)

The MPP at UMass Dartmouth requires an essay of 600-900 words explaining the applicant's interest in the program and purpose for applying to the program. graduate study objectives, previous policy-related or public management experience, and undergraduate preparation for the course of study. The applicants should also submit resumes or a curriculum vita.

4. Letters of Recommendation

Every applicant will be required to submit at least two letters of recommendation. For recent recipients of the bachelor’s degree, at least one of the letters should be from a professor familiar with the student’s academic work.

5. Other Materials Required for Application to the Master of Public Policy:

a: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): Applicants to the Master of Public Policy must submit GRE (general test), or GMAT scores taken within 5 years of the application. The MPP will not require a minimum score for admission, but performance on the examination will be factored into the admissions process. Official score reports must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). [UMass Dartmouth's GRE Code for reporting scores is 3786].  Applicants that have already earned a graduate degree from an accredited institution or have earned a graduate certificate in environmental or educational policy from the UMass Dartmouth Department of Public Policy are not required to submit GRE scores .

b: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth requires a TOEFL or other sanctioned English competency evaluation exam unless applicants have earned their Bachelor's degree in the United States or in the following countries where English is the official language (Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa).

TOEFL scores are valid for five years from the date of anticipated matriculation to the MPP. This requirement is waived only for those who had English as their primary language for secondary school or college instruction, who have successfully completed a year of advanced secondary school or college/university study in the US, or who can be present in person to meet with officials of the university at the time of application for admission. A minimum TOEFL score of 250 is required on the computer-based test and a minimum score of 600 is required for the paper version of the test.


Admission Requirements (Graduate Certificate in Educational Policy, Environmental Policy or Public Management)

1. Earned Baccalaureate Degree

All applicants to the the Graduate Certificate in either Educational Policy or Environmental Policy must have an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited 4-year college or university in the United States or comparable non-U.S. degree/diploma from a recognized foreign institution of higher education at the time of matriculation. A copy of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, undergraduate and graduate, must be submitted as part of the application process. Applicants may hold a degree in any field, although it is expected that most applicants will hold degrees in the social sciences, business, and humanities.

2. Graduate School Application for US Citizens/International Applicants

All applicants to the Graduate Certificate in either Educational Policy or Environmental Policy must complete and submit UMass Dartmouth's Graduate School Application. The application may be submitted electronically or by mail.

3. Statement of Purpose (Essay)

The Graduate Certificate in either Educational Policy or Environmental Policy requires an essay of 400-500 words explaining the applicant's interest in the program and purpose for applying to the program. The essay should include the applicant's previous policy-related or public management experience.

4. Resume or a curriculum vitae

5. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth does not require a TOEFL from U.S. citizens or citizens of countries where English is the official language (i.e., Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa). Applicants whose native language in not English must demonstrate that they are proficient in English. English proficiency can be demonstrated by taking the TOEFL, which is administered worldwide. TOEFL scores are valid for five years from the date of anticipated matriculation in the EPCP. This requirement is waived only for those who had English as their primary language for secondary school or college instruction or who have successfully completed one year of advanced secondary school or college/university study in the U.S. A minimum TOEFL score of 250 is required on the computer-based test, and a minimum score of 600 is required for the paper version of the test. For information about testing locations and dates, contact the Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541 USA, 609-921-9000 (phone), or www.toefl.org. ETS must report official scores to us, using UMass Dartmouth's school code (3786).

To Apply Online:

Download the Graduate Certificate Program Application as a worksheet. This will allow you to read and complete the questions before entering your information online. When you are ready to start the online application process log in to the online appication.

Credit card payment of the non-refundable application fee is due at the time of submission. We currently accept Visa and MasterCard.


Transfer Credits

Students admitted to the MPP program may transfer up to 2 courses (6 credits) of graduate course work taken at other colleges and universities. Transfer credits must be approved by the MPP Director/Department Chair. Students interested in transferring credits or taking courses at another higher education institution should consult with the MPP Director/Department Chair.


Financial Aid

Students enrolled in the Master of Public Policy degree are eligible to apply for any financial aid that is generally available to graduate students at UMass Dartmouth. The MPP program also offers a limited number of paid teaching assistantships and the Center for Policy Analysis offers paid research assistantships. The Center for Policy Analysis also awards a small number of merit-based scholarships.  For more information on available scholarships, click here.

 

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