Public affairs How to apply

University of Missouri-Columbia
Master of public affairs
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How to apply

Fulfill the admission requirements:

  • More than three years of progressively responsible experience related to public affairs.
  • "Early career" professionals with less than three years of responsible experience may still apply, with the understanding you will complete 36 credit hours (internship and capstone).
  • Completed baccalaureate or advanced degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
  • If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 6.5, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 59 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 180.
  • GRE scores are not required.

Application dates

Online MPA courses are offered in 8-week sessions. Submit your application in time.

Apply by To start classes in
Nov. 1 January
Feb. 1 March/April
May 1 June (Summer)
July 1 August
Sept. 1 October

Gather your papers

  • Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or C1 Advanced score reports for applicants whose native language is not English. For information on sending test scores, visit the Grad School website.
  • Statement of interest describing why you wish to pursue an MPA, your volunteer and leadership experiences, any lapses in employment or schooling, plus a short biographical statement and any other information you feel might support your application.
  • Statement of career eligibility: (250-350 words) describing your professional experience related to public affairs and progress in the field. Some examples of topics to address:
    • Discussion of positions you have held and for how long.
    • Discussion of duties you performed in your job, and the responsibilities held.
    • Elaboration on how you have progressed in terms of promotion or increased responsibilities.
    • Reflection on how your work experience relates to the field of public affairs. (This is especially important for applicants who have work experience in fields that don't seem directly related to public affairs.)
    • What has your experience taught you about public service?
  • Résumé or CV demonstrating more than three years of progressively responsible experience related to public affairs.
  • Three letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of three people who can attest to your professional competence, academic preparation and potential for graduate work. The Graduate School will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.

Complete the online application

Carefully follow the instructions on the application site.

  • Upload the above documents in the online application
  • Degree/delivery: Masters- Distance (Online/Remote Site/etc.)
  • Academic program: Public Affairs Master of Public Affairs/Online (MPA)
  • Domestic application fee: $75.00
  • International application fee: $100.00

Application fee waiver questions: Contact MU Graduate Admissions with questions via 573-882-6311 or 1-800-877-6312 or via email at

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Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Truman School of Government and Public Affairs

Program contact