Arts and Sciences Logo

Frequently Asked Questions - Masters in Public Administration

General Questions

Transfer Credit

Transfer of credit into the graduate program will be subject to the evaluation and approval of the Program Director. Student must provide proof of grade, course syllabi and course description of the courses being transferred. Students are allowed to transfer only six credits (two courses) into the MPA program. In order for the courses to get approved, they must match up with the courses being offered by the MPA program. To view our course descriptions, click here.

Graduate Assistantship

A graduate assistantship is an on-campus, part-time job for which the compensation is tuition remission and a small stipend. There are about 150 positions on campus, about one third of which become available each year because the award is renewable for one year. There are teaching, research and administrative/office jobs available throughout the University. You can view information on open positions and submit your application online using the GA Job Database.

My GPA upon completion of my degree was just below a 3.0, and I have not completed "substantial graduate work" (I've just taken the decision to pursue my Master's Degree) to compensate for the required 3.0 GPA, is this going to hinder my acceptance in the program?

In 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 three 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 there 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 our 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.

Here are a few ways to finance your education.

  1. Personal Savings
  2. Personal Loan (FAFSA not required)
  3. Alternative Loan Options (FAFSA not required)
  4. Federal Direct Stafford Loan (FAFSA required) (highly recommended option)

If you would like to discuss more specific concerns, please contact Gary Thomas, our financial aid advisor, at or 973-761-9104.

What address should I have my transcripts and recommendation letters sent too?

You will need to go to the transcripts office of your university and request for your transcript to be sent to the address below:

Office of the Provost
Attn: Graduate Admissions
Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079

On average, how many credits per semester do most full-time working people take per semester?

On the average most full-time working people take 6 credits a semester.

What are the pre requisites for the MPA program?

There are no pre requisites or work experience required for the MPA Program.

Would possessing an MPA from your program help me attain a reasonably high administrative position "right off the bat", after I graduated?

No one can ever guarantee that the situation you describe will occur - especially in this economic climate. We work very hard to prepare our students to take appropriate positions and we help them to find appropriate internships. A reputable degree program that "guarantees" that type of position would be concerning.

Is your program NASPAA accredited?


What is the deadline for admission?

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.

How is the program delivered?

The program is delivered as regular semesters (spring and fall). There are weekend, summer and online classes available.

Are standardized tests required?

No, we do not require the GRE, GMAT, or any other standardized test.


The admissions factors for the MPA program are: 

  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better from an accredited college or university;
  • Three strong letters of recommendation;
  • One well-written professional statement essay; and,
  • 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?" 

How helpful is this program if I have no experience? What can I expect?

This program is very helpful to students with no experience because they are in classes with individuals that have a wide range of experience. Students also have the opportunity to pursue an internship and gain experience.

How long does it take someone who works full-time to complete the program?

A part-time student can complete the program in 3 years. A full-time student should be able to complete the program in 2 years.

I have a full-time job and a family. Is it really possible for me to work toward a graduate degree?

Most of our students work full-time, have families and many other commitments outside of school. The non-traditional structure of the MPA program (evening/weekend on-campus courses, online courses and full- or part-time attendance) provides a great deal of flexibility to students in completing the program. On average, students complete 6 credit hours or two courses each term. Course calendars are available to allow students to plan their schedules around courses they need. Finally, faculty has an understanding of the demands on adult students and work with them to meet the requirements of the curriculum.