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How to Apply
Start your application
for 2015 admission here.
The Master of Public Affairs Program (MoPA) starts every fall in late August. The early application date for priority admission and scholarship consideration is
. The final application date is
Apply online and upload all required application documents listed below. Once all application items have been received, applications will be reviewed for admission and for a limited number of scholarships. It is best to apply as early as possible, before the deadline.
Completed applications on file at USF at the time of the deadline will be given priority consideration for admission and financial assistance offered by the Public Affairs program. Applications are accepted and reviewed after the deadline until the upcoming program is full. Applicants are encouraged to submit all of their application items earlier than the date listed above.
Admission decisions are mailed after the deadline. Included in the admission decision letter will be notification of any scholarship awarded by the graduate program. Once the class for the fall program is filled, later qualified applicants may be placed on a waiting list.
Required Application Items
Create an online application
from each college, community college, study abroad program and university attended. Three-year Bachelor's Degrees are accepted for admission review.
Letters of Recommendation
– Two letters of recommendation (at least one is an academic recommendation from a professor; preferably both letters are academic recommendations). Recommendation letters are submitted by individuals who can attest to the applicant's ability and competence to succeed in the studies, research and writing required by this graduate program.
Statement of Purpose
– A two-to-three page Statement of Purpose that describes the strengths and any weaknesses of your academic background, research interests, reasons for pursuing a Master's Program in Public Affairs at the University of San Francisco and your educational and career goals.
– Submit a current resume with relevant work experience.
are required to submit their official TOEFL or IELTS score and a copy of their passport. If an F-1 visa is sought by the applicant, then a completed Certification of Finance form with supplemental official bank statements or bank letter (see International Students) must be submitted before the application can be considered for admission. Applicants seeking an F-1 visa need to provide a non-U.S. mailing address in their application, in addition to any other address provided.
Tests and GPA Requirements
The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is optional and not required for admission. An applicant may want to submit their GRE results if they believe it might strengthen their application.
An official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score is required of international applicants. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet-based) is required for consideration. The USF school code for the GRE and the TOEFL is 4850. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 or higher and a PTE score of 65 or higher is required for admission review. The department code is not necessary. After review of an application, coursework in USF's Intensive English Program may be recommended or required.
There is no strict GPA requirement for admission to the graduate program. In general, however, a GPA of 3.0 or higher strengthens an application to any graduate program.
Start your application online and complete all required sections, including uploading required unofficial documents. All application items (for example, resume, official transcripts, English language test scores, and recommender information) must be uploaded before you submit your application. Once you submit, your application will be incomplete until your recommenders submit their online letter of recommendation. Check your online application frequently to monitor the status of your application.
Admission decisions will be posted on the application status page. Please contact the MOPA Program office directly with questions about an admission decision after your application is complete.
Notification of Admission Decision
When an application and all application items have been submitted and verified, then an application is complete and ready for admission review by the MOPA Program. Admission decisions are released beginning 4 to 6 weeks after an application is complete.
Included in the admission decision letter is notification of any scholarship awarded by the graduate program. Applicants receive email notification when the admission decision is available online. Admitted applicants also receive an admission package in the mail.
All students who are admitted to the graduate program are required to submit a tuition deposit to reserve a space in the program after notification of admission is received. The tuition deposit deadline is included in the student's letter of admission. The tuition deposit must be received at the McCarthy Center at USF on, or before, that date or the admitted student is not guaranteed a place in the graduate program. An applicant's admission will be canceled after the due date for the tuition deposit so that another qualified student may be offered that student position.
Financial Aid Application
If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can begin the free application process for a U.S. federal student loan at
. The USF federal school code for the FAFSA is 001325. All U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for $20,500 in U.S. federal student loans in each year of graduate studies, unless if a student has defaulted on a previous student loan. There is no application deadline for these loans, although students are encouraged to submit a FAFSA as soon as possible since the loan process can take eight weeks to complete.
For any financial assistance offered by the Master of Public Affairs Program, all applicants (US domestic and international) will be considered and notified of such an award in the admission letter. There is no separate application for this assistance. International students, and U.S. students, can contact the One Stop/Financial Aid Office for other student loan programs available to graduate students.
Advising, Registration, Orientation and Start of Classes
Admitted students should contact the Master of Public Affairs Program for details about the advising and registration schedule in late August for new students each fall. The department can be contacted at 415.422.5662 or
International students are highly recommended to arrive at USF at least 10 days before the first day of classes in the fall in order to finalize housing arrangements and attend the International Student Orientation. Contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for details and dates about the International Student Orientation at
International students should note that the earliest arrival in the United States that an F-1 visa allows is 30 days before the start date on the I-20 form issued to you.
International Student Orientation
New international students are REQUIRED to attend the
International Student Orientation
in fall (late August). Please visit www.usfca.edu/isss for the latest details or contact ISSS at
. International students are highly recommended to arrive at USF at least 10 days before the first day of classes in the fall and spring to finalize housing arrangements and attend International Student Orientation.
Master of Public Affairs
The Student Experience
MoPA/JD Dual Degree
Financing your Education
How to Apply
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