Tips for applicants

Materials needed to apply to the MPA or MSCJPS program
• Online application
• Personal statement and answers to supplemental questions. You can create these in Word and upload the document in the online application, or you can email the document to
• All transcripts for studies completed outside of the IU system. These must be official transcripts. Students who have not completed undergraduate course work at the time of application must submit current transcript(s) and may be admitted based on the strength of previous academic work, but a final transcript showing that an undergraduate degree has been awarded must be submitted before the student can enroll.
• Official GRE, GMAT or LSAT scores. If you take the GRE, provide the testing site with SPEA's institution code R 1325 and MPA 2204 to forward your scores to SPEA. Please allow a minimum of four weeks for the results of the GRE or GMAT to be received in time for review. For GMAT scores, please send them to the Master of Public Affairs Program at IUPUI. LSAT scores can only be used for students who apply to the McKinney School of Law.
• Current resume, emailed to
• Three letters of recommendation. If you submit email addresses for your recommenders in the online application, they will receive the online electronic reference form to complete and submit via email. If you have graduated within the last four years, please submit at least one recommendation from a faculty member you had for a class.

If you are applying to a dual program, you must send copies of all documents to both programs.
If you are applying to the certificate program, you must complete all of the above except test scores and letters of recommendation.
If you have completed a certificate and are applying to the master’s program, you must complete a new application using new login information. The 15 credits you earned in the certificate program can be applied to the corresponding master's degree program.

Application, financial aid and registration deadlines
You can apply to SPEA any time, and begin your studies in fall, spring or summer. We encourage all fall applicants to apply by Feb. 1 for merit-based financial aid. International applicants must apply by Feb. 1 for the fall and Sept. 15 for the spring. Course registration for the summer and fall semesters begins in early April, and course registration for the spring semester begins in late October.

Students who are admitted to graduate programs are notified by email and letter after each monthly meeting of the Admissions Committee.

Recommended GPA and test scores
We recommend a 3.0 GPA and scores of 300 or higher for GRE, 500 or higher for the GMAT and 150 or higher for the LSAT. Students who meet these minimum requirements are NOT guaranteed admission. Other factors include references, work experience and the personal statement. Different parts of the application are not weighted; the Admissions Committee looks at all parts of the application.
To remain in the program, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Certificate students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA after 9 credit hours or they face dismissal.

Recommended undergraduate courses
The MPA program has no prerequisites, but SPEA recommends that students have completed algebra, microeconomics and statistics classes to be fully prepared for the MPA program. At IUPUI, these courses are MATH-M 110 or higher (algebra), ECON-E 201 (microeconomics) and SPEA-K 300 (statistics).

You can request a waiver of the GRE/GMAT/LSAT if:

  • You have already earned a master's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States
  • You have completed a SPEA graduate certificate with a 3.5 GPA or higher
  • You have seven or more years of relevant work experience and are applying to the MSCJPS
  • Contact Nicole Amonette (317-278-2077 or to discuss these options.

Assistantships, fellowships and internships
SPEA offers graduate assistantships and University Fellowships through a competitive application process.

The graduate assistants work 20 hours per week during the academic year. These are research assistantships and not teaching assistantships. In exchange for the 20 hours per week, GAs receive full tuition, most fees, student health insurance and a stipend of $9,000, which is paid out monthly over the academic year. Graduate assistantships are awarded in March for students who will attend full-time.

University Fellows receive full tuition, most fees, student health insurance and a stipend of $12,000 that is paid out monthly over the year. University Fellows have no work responsibilities during the first year. The second year they are assigned to work as a graduate assistant. University Fellowships are awarded in February for new incoming students who are starting in the fall and will attend full-time.

To apply for a graduate assistantship or University Fellowship, mail the completed application and a current resume to:
SPEA Graduate Admissions
801 W. Michigan St.
Business/SPEA Building - Room 3025
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Or email:

Internships are also available, but it is the student’s responsibility to identify and secure an intern position. We recommend that you consult with your faculty advisor and check to find the most current opportunities. In addition, please add yourself to the student listserv to receive job and internship announcements, and follow SPEA on Facebook and Twitter.

Helpful documents:

Request for College or University Transcript
Reference Form
Release of Confidential Information - for fellowship applicants only
Supplemental Questions
Graduate Assistantship Application
Master of Public Affairs Mid-Career Credit Option Application
Service Credit Application

Helpful websites:

Graduate Record Examination, (GRE)
Educational Testing Service (ETS)
IUPUI Office of International Affairs
IUPUI Office of Financial Aid