Master of Public Policy Admission Requirements

General Application Requirements

Admission requirements for prospective graduate students at Portland State vary by program and certificate. Please note that admission requirements for any program or certificate have to be met in addition to Portland State’s minimum admission requirements.

Start by understanding which admission requirements you will need to fulfill in order to be considered for your program of interest, in addition to Portland State’s minimum standards.

Once your application is submitted and finalized, you will be able to check the status of your application online. As soon as the decision has been made, you will receive a notice via email and will be able to access the corresponding letter online.

  Application Deadlines
Application Opens September 2020
Priority Applications  January 2021
Late Applications May 2021
Scholarship Application Opens October 2020
Scholarship Applications February 2021

    Program Application Requirements 

    Due to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE requirement is waived for Fall 2021 applications. GRE scores submitted will not be considered during the application review.

    Masters students are admitted to begin in the Fall of each academic year. The regular application deadline is January 31st, though late applications will be considered in exceptional circumstances. Students applying by the January 31st deadline will receive priority consideration for merit-based financial aid.

    The Masters of Public Policy program is cohort-based and designed as a 2-year full-time degree (longer if part-time) that prepares ambitious change leaders for a professional career in public policy. Ideal candidates will have a demonstrated interest in public policy issues and a clearly articulated set of professional goals.

    The program requires candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college who achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework or a minimum 3.1 GPA in graduate coursework. Students are expected to complete a college-level statistics course prior to or at the beginning of their enrollment and to have a functional knowledge of the workings of the American government. 

    Applicants submit a single application that consists of materials for the University’s Office of Admissions and for the MPP Program. All of the materials are fully online. These include:

    • University Application for Graduate Admission.
    • One transcript from each post-secondary institution.
    • Official TOEFL test scores if the applicant does not speak English as a native language or has not received a graduate or undergraduate degree in an English-speaking territory. The test date may not exceed two years from the planned date of admission unless the student has been resident in the U.S. since then.
    • 500 to 1,000-word Statement of Intent:
      The statement should address:
      1. Your professional goals.
      2. Your planned field of specialization. Please see the list of specializations.
      3. Your desired employment sector.
      4. How the MPP furthers your professional goals.
    • Three recommendation letters from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional capabilities.
    • A current résumé or curriculum vitae.
    • $65 non-refundable application fee.