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Apply to USC's Elite MPA Online

We're excited that you're thinking of applying to the MPA online, where you'll find transformative academic experiences and a world of support. Learn how to apply below.

Start Your Application to USC's MPA Online

Please complete this form to be directed to the application portal. You’ll also receive updates and information about the application process. Note: You’ll be asked to confirm this information while progressing through the application.

By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from USC Price. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.

MPA Application & Aid Deadlines

Term Spring Summer Fall
Dean’s Merit Scholarship Deadline 9/15 1/15 5/15
Professional Scholarship & Financial Aid Deadline 10/15 2/15 6/15
Final Deadline 11/15 3/15 7/15
Term Start 1/3 5/1 8/30
Start Your Application

What do I need to apply?

All candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Additionally, two years of relevant work experience are recommended, but not required, to apply.

MPA Application Requirements


Your resume should include a summary of your academic background, your professional work history, and any other relevant work or volunteer experience you’d like to highlight. Two years of relevant work experience are recommended, but not required, to apply.

Official Transcripts

We recommend that you request transcripts when beginning the application, as the turnaround time can vary from school to school. USC requires official transcripts from all postsecondary schools (including community colleges) you have attended, regardless of transfers or whether a degree was earned. Your application processing may be delayed if you fail to submit all undergraduate transcripts.

Transcript submission is a two-step process.

  1. Upload scanned copies of official registrar-issued transcripts to the online application. Please note that these must be official transcripts printed on university letterhead. Printouts from online student portals are not acceptable.
  2. Request an official registrar-issued transcript be sent to the USC Office of Graduate Admissions.

If your university is in the United States and offers e-transcripts, advise the university to send the e-transcript to [email protected]. The transcript must originate from a secure site formally linked to the sending institution. If your university does not offer e-transcripts or is located outside of the United States, advise the university to send a sealed official transcript.

If sending your transcripts via regular mail,
University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

If sending your transcripts via courier service, such as DHL or FedEx,
University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

Statement of Purpose

Your statement should be approximately 1,000 words. You will be asked to address the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in pursuing the Master of Public Administration degree?
  • How will a Master of Public Administration degree affect or enhance your career aspirations and goals?

Three Letters of Recommendation

We require three letters of recommendation. These should come from professionals in your field who can provide meaningful input on your previous work experience and career goals. A letter of recommendation from a professor, faculty member and/or academic adviser who can provide meaningful input regarding your academic record is also welcome. We only accept recommendation letters through the application portal. In the Program Materials section, enter the names and email addresses of the three people you would like to write your recommendation letters. The system will email a link to your recommender to upload their letter.

Test Scores

Price has discontinued the GRE/GMAT requirement for admissions review. Applications will be reviewed holistically.

Application Fee

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $90. USC offers several options for graduate application fee waivers including Military active-duty personnel, spouses, dependents or veterans.

Pre-service Internship Requirement

Pre-service students are required to complete a 300 hour internship and a one-unit Internship Seminar course (PPD 543). Students may choose to fulfill their internship requirement with their current employer. Otherwise, students will be required to secure an appropriate internship location on their own or with the help of the USC Price Career Services staff.

International Student Applications

Please refer to USC’s Office of Graduate Admissions website for additional items required for international students to apply. On this page you will find a comprehensive checklist to complete your application if applying from outside the US.

Note: The USC Price Master of Public Administration online program is currently not authorized for students living in Puerto Rico.

Be a Force for Change

Are you ready to advance your career in government, nonprofits or the private sector? Whether you are a seasoned working professional or a recent graduate, we encourage you to apply for our Master of Public Administration online program.

On this page you will find information about required application materials, important deadlines and ways to get in touch if you have questions.

Ready to start your application?

Please fill out the pre-application form at the top of this page to launch the application portal.

Apply Today

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Who should apply?

We seek applicants whose career goals would benefit from the real-world experience and connections available through the MPA program. Applications will be reviewed holistically to account for your academic, work and life experience.

You should apply for the MPA online if you’re ready to:

  • Advance your career in nonprofit management, public service or the private sector
  • Cultivate your contacts with an engaged student cohort, world-class faculty and program alumni
  • Build expertise through hands-on projects and transformative on-campus residencies
  • Join a supportive community designed to amplify excellence and push you forward

Have questions? Get in touch.

If you want to learn more about the program and the application process, we encourage you to sign up for upcoming info session below or contact us with any questions:

Sign Up For an Info Session

Topic Date Time Register
Tips for Getting Into Grad School - Dr. Dora 10/24/2023 6:00 pm Register
Program Overview / Funding Your Degree 11/07/2023 6:00 pm Register
Program Overview 11/14/2023 6:00 pm Register
Faculty Presentation 12/05/2023 6:00 pm Register
Program Overview 01/09/2024 6:00 pm Register
Program Overview / Funding Your Degree 02/06/2024 6:00 pm Register
Program Overview 03/05/2024 6:00 pm Register
Program Overview 04/02/2024 6:00 pm Register

Become a Changemaker

Fill out our pre-application form to start your application to the MPA online.

Get Started