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How do I apply for the MPP and graduate certificate programs?

For complete details on how to apply, visit the MPP Admissions page and Graduate Certificates page.

What are the application deadlines for the MPP and graduate certificate programs?

The Spring 2020 priority deadline is October 15, 2019. Applicants that submit an application prior to this deadline will receive priority consideration for Hobby School scholarships. The Spring 2020 application deadline is December 1, 2019.

The Fall 2020 application isn't available yet. However, the Fall 2020 priority deadline will be March 1, 2020, and the aplication deadline will be June 15, 2020.

What semesters offer admission to the MPP and graduate certificate programs?

The MPP and graduate certificate programs offer admissions for the Fall and Spring semesters.

Until Fall 2019, the MPP and graduate certificate programs only accepted Fall admissions. Beginning in Spring 2020, these programs will now offer Spring admissions for the first time.

What specializations are offered in the MPP program?

As part of the MPP program, students are required to complete a specialization that is six hours, or typically two courses. This specialization and courses are selected by the student and approved by the Hobby School.

The Hobby School doesn't have a pre-selected list of specializations that must be used. Therefore, students are encouraged to find graduate-level electives throughout the university that fit their interests. The following are some examples of MPP students' specializations: Governmental Affairs, Health Policy, Higher Education Policy, Nonprofit Management, and Quantitative Methods.

The specialization won't specifically appear on students' diploma or transcripts. However, a record is kept by the Hobby School of all specializations, and students are encouraged to list their specialization on their resume.

Do you offer any dual degree programs?

Yes, we offer dual degree/accelerated pathway programs.

Dual degree programs allow students to complete two graduate degrees in less time. Accelerated pathway programs provide provide senior students permission to take a specified number of master’s level courses as electives toward completion of their bachelor’s degree. The students then apply to the relevant graduate program and if accepted, the previously completed graduate coursework during the senior year is counted as transfer credit toward the completion of the master’s degree.

For more information on these programs, visit Dual Degree Programs page.

How long does the MPP and graduate certificates take to complete?

Full-time students can complete the MPP program in approximately two years or five semesters. Part-time students can take three or more years. Dual degree/accelerated pathway programs will typically take at least a year longer to earn both degrees.

The graduate certificates are comprised of four courses, and designed to be completed in two semesters. However, it's possible that a student could complete all four courses to earn the graduate certificate in only one semester, but this isn't recommended.

What tests are required for admission into the MPP program?

The MPP program now waives the GRE requirement for UH alumni with a 3.4 or higher undergraduate GPA that apply within three years of graduation. This GRE waiver only applies to UH main campus graduates, and currently does not apply to graduates from UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown, or UH-Victoria. The GRE requirement is also waived if an applicant has completed a PhD, JD, or MD in the U.S. or the equivalent of a PhD or MD outside the U.S. All other applicants are required to complete the GRE.

Although there are no minimum GRE scores, the typical well-qualified student scores 152 on the verbal, 150 on the quantitative, and 4.0 on the analytical writing sections. GRE scores will only be counted if the exam was completed within the previous five years of the application.

GRE scores should be sent directly from Educational Testing Services (ETS) to UH (GRE Code: R6870). Your application will not be processed without GRE scores if they are required. GRE scores older than five years will not be accepted.

How much do the MPP and graduate certificate programs cost?

For more information on program costs, please visit the Graduate Tuition & Fees page.

What scholarships and other financial aid is offered?

Each semester, eligible students currently receive up to a $3,000 Hobby School Excellence Scholarship. The Hobby School Excellence Scholarship is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. In addition, other scholarships, grants, and loans are available.

For more information, please visit the Financial Aid & Financial Assistance page.

Are the MPP and graduate certificate programs offered online?

Currently, these programs are face-to-face and not available online. However, some of the specialization elective courses can be completed online.

When are MPP and graduate certificate program classes held?

In order to accommodate working students, required classes are offered in the evenings, Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Specialization elective classes can be held on different days and times.

Where are MPP and graduate certificate program classes held?

Most classes are held in McElhinney Hall 315. Specialization elective classes can be held in different campus buildings.

Can I use my current job for the MPP internship requirement?

Yes, as long as the job is related to public policy, it can be used for the MPP's internship requirement. However, the POLC 6391 Public Policy Internship course and related assignments would still need to be completed.

What kind of jobs can I get with a MPP degree?

MPP graduates will have a diverse set of skills for employment in all areas of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and will benefit from the Hobby School's extensive network of contacts.

Recent employers of our MPP alumni include AIG, CHILDREN AT RISK, Drug Enforcement Agency, Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management, Harris County Public Health, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Institute for Human Rights and Business, and Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

The average starting salary of a MPP graduate will vary greatly by sector, geography, and work experience. For example, entry-level policy analysts average over $50,000, and executive positions can earn over $100,000.

Can I transfer courses from another graduate school?

Possibly. With permission from the Director of Graduate Studies, students can transfer up to nine graduate credit hours from another university if they have not already completed that graduate program. Students will be required to submit syllabi and possibly coursework to evaluate transfer credit. In addition, students will not receive transfer credit from a completed program.

Does UH offer a PhD program in Public Policy?

No, UH does not currently offer a PhD program in Public Policy. However, UH does offer a PhD in Political Science.

What is the process for graduation and commencement?

For more information, visit the University Commencement page.

Who should I contact if I have any questions about the application process for the MPP and graduate certificate programs?

Please contact Scott Mason (; 713 743 5572).