College of Arts & Sciences


The admissions factors for the MPA program are:  

  1. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better from an accredited college or university;
  2. Three strong letters of recommendation;
  3. One well-written professional statement essay; and,
  4. A commitment to public service as evidenced by academic, professional and/or volunteer experience as noted on the applicant’s resume.  

Substantial graduate work, successfully completed, is also taken into consideration, especially if the applicant’s undergraduate GPA is below 3.0.  

The 750-1000 word statement  essay asks applicants “How has your personal, professional and academic background influenced your decision to pursue your chosen career? and  "How  will the pursuit of graduate education through the Seton Hall's Department of Political Science and Public Affairs assist you in achieving your professional goals?”  

Seton Hall StudentsIn regards to the 3.0 GPA requirement, faculty not only look at the cumulative GPA, but also look at grade trends and look closely at courses that may provide an indication of the applicant’s writing, analytical and critical thinking abilities. If the applicant does not meet the 3.0 cumulative GPA requirement or the faculty does not feel the student is quite ready for graduate work, the applicant is given the opportunity to further demonstrate his or her ability to succeed in the MPA program by one of three avenues. 

1. Taking up to two MPA courses as a non-matriculating student, achieve a GPA of 3.0 in these classes, and re-apply for full admission into the program;

2. Apply to one of the two certificate programs that we offer in nonprofit or healthcare management.  Successfully complete the certificate program of five courses and re-apply for full admission into the program.

3. Accept a “conditional acceptance,” where the student is admitted to the program, but with the understanding they must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in their first four classes to remain in the program.  

Applicants are not guaranteed admission through the first two avenues and must formally re-apply to the program. In contrast, the standard for a conditional acceptance is spelled out quite clearly to those students accepted this way.  

Final admission decisions are not based on any one of the above criteria. Decisions are made based on how well the faculty believes that the application materials demonstrate the applicant’s ability to succeed in the MPA program.


The Department of Political Science and Public Affairs has a rolling admissions policy.  This means that we accept applications throughout the year as we receive them.  It is recommended that you apply approximately 2-3 months before you wish to start the program.  This will give ample time for paperwork, registration, and to ensure your spot in the incoming class.  

The MPA Program has several endowed scholarships that are available to our students. In order to be considered for a scholarship, your application for the fall semester must be submitted by March 1st. The admissions and scholarships committees will meet on March 1st to begin decisions on admittance and scholarship offers.

International Students

Seton Hall welcomes applications from international students for admission into full-time graduate degree programs. The Office of International Programs provides counseling and support for all student visa and immigration issues, and also assists international students in becoming active members of the University and surrounding community. They also offer a variety of services and social/cultural activities for this purpose. Contact them by phone at (973) 761-9072.

International students must submit all of the above as well as:
  • An evaluation of academic credentials from the World Education Services ( or
  • Official TOEFL test score
  • Request for Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 AB)
  • Declaration and Certificate of Finances.

You may also visit our campus to learn more about the program.

MPA in Public Administration  Pi Alpha Alpha  Naspaa 

Program Chair
Matt Hale, Ph.D.

(973) 761-9510
Jubilee Hall, 563

Outcomes Link

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