Executive MPA Admissions

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Our Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to evaluate each applicant, considering academic achievement, commitment to public service, and fit with the Fels approach.

COVID-19 and admissions reviews

Recognizing the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Penn’s admissions committees for graduate and professional programs will take the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their regular practice of performing individualized, holistic reviews of each applicant. In particular, as we review applications now and in the future, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail and other grading options during the period of COVID-19 disruptions. An applicant will not be adversely affected in the admissions process if their academic institution implemented a mandatory pass/fail (or similar) system for the term or if the applicant chose to participate in an optional pass/fail (or similar) system for the term. Penn’s longstanding commitment remains to admit graduate and professional student cohorts composed of outstanding individuals who demonstrate the resilience and aptitude to succeed in their academic pursuits.

Application Deadline

Admission Cycle Deadline
Fall 2021

May 1, 2021
After May 1, applications for remaining seats will be reviewed until the cohort is filled.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis so we recommend submitting your application early.

Start your application now

You may experience delays in the processing and review of your application due to the COVID-19 virus. We will work with any applicant who is missing documents due to testing delays and closings. Our team may be reached Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please contact us if you have questions at (215) 746-6905 or lps-admissions@sas.upenn.edu.

Application Requirements

Applications to the Executive MPA program must include the following materials. All students are required to fill out the online application.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and remote work assignments, to complete your application file, please submit all supporting admissions documents electronically to lps-admissions@sas.upenn.edu. PDF or jpg files/documents are acceptable. Admissions documents sent by mail or courier service will be processed periodically by the LPS Admissions Office staff due to limited in-office hours.

We encourage you to apply early as possible because admissions are granted on a rolling basis. The admissions team will not review an application until all necessary materials are received. No exceptions will be made. Please note that all application materials become the property of the University of Pennsylvania and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application.

  • $75 nonrefundable application fee
    • Any applicant who is on active duty or a veteran of the US Military Service is eligible for an application fee waiver. The application fee will be automatically waived in the application for students meeting the criteria.
    • Any applicant to a Fels Institute of Government MPA program who is a current member or alumna/us of one of our admissions partner organizations is eligible for an application fee waiver. These partners include AmeriCorps, City Year, Eastern Leadership Academy, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Organization of American States, Peace Corps, Public Policy & International Affairs Program, Teach For All, and Teach For America. Please e-mail lps@sas.upenn.edu (attention: Mary Bustamante) to request a fee waiver code, which must be used on the payment screen before submitting the application.
  • Personal statement and essay
    • The personal statement should be approximately 500 words and should address your professional goals and how a Fels education can help you attain them.
    • Your second essay should be approximately 500 words and should identify and discuss an example where you used evidence to make a policy recommendation and what you learned from that experience.
    • Please compile your responses into a single document (keeping them as separate essays) and upload to the online application system.
  • Resume or CV
  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
    • Applicants may upload unofficial copies of domestic transcripts to the online application system. If admitted to the Executive MPA program, applicants will be required to submit official copies of transcripts and should do so upon notification of admission.
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • Please including at least one academic letter from a recommender who taught you.
  • Standardized test scores
    • For applicants who have five years or more of formal full-time work experience, standardized test scores are not required.
    • For applicants who have less than five years of formal full-time work experience, due to the impact of COVID-19, submitting standardized test scores is preferred but not required for the fall 2021 application cycle. Applicants who are unable to take the GRE or LSAT may have the requirement waived. The admissions committee recommends applicants submit GRE or LSAT scores if possible, and the committee may request additional information if it is needed to fully evaluate an application.
      • GRE scores must be sent to code 2986, U Pennsylvania Coll Lib Prof Stdy, which is the office that processes applications for Fels.
      • LSAT scores are accepted in lieu of GRE scores. Please note that LSAC will not report official scores to non-law/non-business schools. Applicants submitting LSAT should upload a copy of their score report to the online application.
  • Personal interview
    • The admissions committee may invite applicants to interview on a case-by-case basis.
  • For international applicants
    • The Executive MPA program is a part-time program, and therefore students enrolled in this program are ineligible to receive an F-1 student visa. If you are an international student interested in pursuing an MPA from the Fels Institute of Government, consider applying to our Full-time MPA program.
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Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326