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Frequently Asked Questions

The Global Master of Public Administration (G-MPA) is a one-year, 10-course, cohort-based graduate program with a capstone requirement. The G-MPA is an interdisciplinary, skills-based graduate degree program that is dedicated to improving global human well-being by professionally educating, nurturing, and networking present and future problem-solving global leaders.

The two programs are largely similar except for two noticeable differences. First, they differ in their language proficiency requirements. Penn I-MPA candidates are required to be proficient in English and Mandarin, while Penn G-MPA candidates will be proficient in English as well as either Hindi/other Indian regional languages or Mandarin.

In addition to the differences in terms of language proficiency requirements, the other main difference between the Penn G-MPA program and Penn I-MPA program is that the former is an all-online program while the latter is a traditional, on-campus program. As such, G-MPA allows you to pursue your graduate degree from an Ivy League university with the comfort of home and at your own pace. You would not need to quit your current job or compromise your family obligations in order to pursue this degree program.

Both programs share the same academic coverage and rigor.

Students must enroll full time and are required to finish all degree requirements within one year. This one-year program is intensive with specially designed courses that are taught by members of Penn’s standing faculty, affiliated Penn faculty, and outside experts from around the world.

The program focuses on specific critical issues facing key regions of the world, such as the eldercare issue in China, food security and homelessness issues in the US, and energy shortage and climate change issues in India. All courses are taught in English with faculty from all aspects of work. Review the courses and curriculum for more information.

G-MPA’s curriculum is featured with rich, yet focused content and strong academic rigor. Its curriculum design is the same as that of I-MPA, a highly rated, established program at Penn.

In addition, G-MPA offers a brief one-week on-campus experience to develop kinship and camaraderie with distinguished Penn faculty and fellow students. This on-campus experience is voluntary. Students who wish to participate will pay for their own flight and lodging expenses.

Our Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to evaluating applications. Along with a solid academic record, our program is looking for individuals who strive to be effective and ethical leaders in one or more institutional sectors (nonprofit, business, or government). We are seeking highly motivated students who will use their time at Penn to pursue internships, research opportunities, and academic rigor beyond the classroom.

Admissions requirements for the program reflect the high standards of the School of Arts and Sciences. Admissions criteria include:

  • A three- or four-year bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA and a distinguished academic record in any field of undergraduate or graduate study, including liberal arts or business

Students need to submit one of the following scores to be considered:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • If submitting GRE scores, request that your scores report is forwarded to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS), using ETS institutional code 2986
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • The minimum TOEFL scores required for admissions consideration are 100 (iBT), 250 (CBT), or 600 (PBT)
    • The TOEFL must be sent from ETS using the institutional code 2986
    • To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the TOEFL website
  • International English Testing System (IELTS)
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also accepted, and the minimum score for consideration is a 7
    • You may upload a copy of your IELTS test to the standardized test score section of the application
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
    • Test scores should be uploaded in the English Proficiency Test Score section of the online application
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
    • Test scores should be uploaded in the English Proficiency Test Score section of the online application

The G-MPA program is housed in the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and is overseen by the SAS Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education and the Faculty Director of the Fox leadership International. The G-MPA program is administered through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS), the professional education division of the School of Arts and Sciences.

  • Round 1: January 31, 2021, with admissions decisions available February 28, 2021
  • Round 2: February 28, 2021, with admissions decisions available March 31, 2021
  • Round 3: March 31, 2021, with admissions decisions available April 15, 2021

Applicants who have attended a college or university outside the US are required to have a course-by-course credential evaluation (with grade point average and course levels) performed by an outside evaluation service. Credential evaluations will be reviewed by our administrators, and the determination of degree equivalency to US degrees is at the discretion of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. The following two evaluation services are acceptable:

  • CertiFile/CollegeNET Document Service: Applicants from international institutions are encouraged to use the CertiFile/CollegeNET Document Service within the College of Liberal and Professional Studies application to request and submit authenticated transcript(s) and other academic documents. This service provides certified documents and course evaluations which are then included as part of your application materials. If using this service, Penn requires the “Evaluation” service at a cost of $190.
  • World Education Services Inc. (WES): WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials. The course-by-course evaluation should include the comparability level of your education and list each of your courses along with the equivalent US marks and credit. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with grade point average and course levels) and request that WES send your evaluation to Penn College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions. The school can be found by searching the University of Pennsylvania and then selecting College of Liberal and Professional Studies. The evaluation becomes an official academic record and sole property of the University upon its receipt. For additional information about the WES application and their review process, please visit the WES website.

Please note that these services charge a fee for the evaluation.

Yes, essays are a requirement of the application. All applicants to the G-MPA program are required to write an application essay. There are two or three questions that we expect all applicants to answer when composing the application essay. Please compile all essays together into one document and upload it in the “Personal Statement" section of the application. Number your essays clearly and begin each essay on a separate page.

Essay questions will be seen on ApplyWeb, our online application website. Each applicant submits a minimum of two letters of recommendation—three are suggested. Letters should come from individuals in a position to evaluate your professional and academic work, such as a supervisor or professor, and who know of your desire to enter the G-MPA program. Recommendations must be submitted online. For submission instructions, please refer to the “Recommendations” section of the online application.