Answers to FAQ's

Letters of recommendation do not have to come from former professors. Some students have colleagues or supervisors write letters in support of their admission. There is no standard format for these letters, and they can be addressed to the MPA Department, the Admissions Committee, or James H. Thurmond, MPA Director--at the MPA Department address.

The statement of purpose is typically a 1-3 page essay which describes why the student wants to pursue an MPA degree. This essay should also describe any pertinent information about family/work/academic/volunteer experiences that might be of interest to the admissions committee.

Because most of our students work full-time, all MPA courses are offered at night. Each course meets one night a week from 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. Students should check the course schedule for meeting times for specialization courses. Course schedules are available at the University of Houston Website.

There are approximately 65 students in the MPA Program, with 28-35 students admitted each year (Fall & Spring).

We require the GRE General Test. You do not need to take the GRE Subject Test.

— For information concerning the GRE, consult ETS GRE webpage.
— For GRE exam schedule, please contact Testing Center near our address. The University Testing Center at 713-743-5444.

You can substitute the GRE with the GMAT. If you have not yet taken any test, then you must take the GRE.

Applications are not considered until all documents are received by the MPA office. Please note that transcripts must be sent directly from the university or universities in which you were previously enrolled. We need transcripts from every college and/or university that you have attended (even if for only 3 hours). Likewise, GRE scores must be sent directly from the GRE Service to the University of Houston. You can monitor your submission status from you UH CollegeNET application account.  After the UH CollegeNET system received all required material, the admission committee will evaluate your documents. The committee decision will be notified you electronically.

Sometimes. With permission from the MPA Director, students can transfer up to 9 hours of course work from another University (subject to the approval of the director).Students must submit a syllabus and any relevant written work to the MPA office so that the Director can determine if the courses are equivalent to courses offered at the University of Houston.

There is no prerequisite courses from undergraduate program for the MPA courses.

No. Only formally admitted students are allowed to take courses in the MPA Department.

While there is no Doctorate of Public Administration at the University of Houston, some students choose to apply to the Ph.D. program in Political Science after completing the MPA. Students who think that they might apply to the Ph.D. program should contact the Political Science Graduate Office at (713) 743-3939 as soon as possible during their graduate career. MPA students go through the regular application process for the Ph.D. program.

Full-time students can expect to complete the program in approximately two years. Depending on the number of summer school courses taken, part-time students taking 1-2 classes a semester can take 3 or more years to complete the degree.