Application Process

Application Deadline

  • 15 January each year for admission to the following fall for all students.
  • Admission decisions are made about one month after the application deadline and the class fills quickly. In the unlikely event that slots become available, late applications may be considered.

MPA Admissions Requirements

The admissions committee bases acceptance into the MPA program on a rigorous evaluation of each student's application material. The committee focuses its evaluation on two broad areas: 1) ability to succeed in the program, and 2) commitment to public service.

Application Checklist

Begin by starting the online application. Most things are submitted online within that system. Instructions are available within each section. The following list is supplied to help in your planning.

  • Complete online application
  • Submit honor code agreement
  • Submit ecclesiastical endorsement (interviews with bishop and stake president)
  • Electronically submit one unofficial transcript from each institution you attended (BYU graduates do not need to send transcripts)
  • Submit three letters of recommendation through the application system
  • Have test scores (e.g., GRE, GMAT, TOEFL) sent directly from testing service to BYU
  • Statement of intent
  • Résumé
  • Pay $50 application fee
  • Submit your resume with the application as a departmental requirement
  • Check application status on myBYU.

All applications and letters of recommendation must be submitted online. Most schools send transcripts electronically, but if necessary transcripts can be mailed to:

Office of Graduate Studies
105 FPH
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

In the last several years application to the Marriott School MPA Program has ranged  between about 70 and 120 applications. Currently there are about fifty available openings.

Applications are available through BYU's Online Application. For assistance contact the MPA Admissions office, (801) 422-4516;

Undergraduate Performance

The MPA program has no preferred undergraduate majors and no required prerequisite course work. However, recommended prerequisites include the following undergraduate courses: economics, statistics, and accounting. Students must also be comfortable with the basic tasks and functions in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

Candidates are rarely accepted with undergraduate GPA's below 3.0. We consider an applicant's cumulative GPA from their undergraduate experience. International GPA's will be calculated by a credential-evaluation service that is described in detail here. You may want to see our class profile statistics

Work Experience

Work experience is not required for admission, however it can be helpful. The admissions committee wants to see that students have a demonstrated interest in the public sector. Students should have explored this field enough to be sure they really want to focus a career in the government or nonprofit sector. Experience can be in internships, projects, or work.

Entrance Exams

The Romney Institute Admissions Committee requires the results of an entrance exam with every application. We prefer the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). We also accept the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) when application is made for the joint MPA/JD at the J. Reuben Clark Law School. The majority of our students take the GRE. Typical test scores are as follows:

  • GMAT 581
  • GRE 309 
  • LSAT 167

If an applicant takes an exam more than once, only the top score is taken into consideration. Exam scores are valid for five years after the testing date.

Statement of Intent

The statement, written by the applicant, should indicate your preparation to participate in the MPA program. It should address any work experience you may have and the MPA degree will contribute to your career aspirations. This letter should typically be no more than two typewritten pages. If there are any mitigating circumstances that should be brought to the attention of the admission committee, they should be addressed in this letter.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. Individuals who are personally acquainted with you and can address your undergraduate performance, professional experience, ability to do graduate level coursework, and/or qualifications should be asked to provide the recommendation. Choose those who know you best and have worked with you most recently. Ask those who can talk specifically about skills and abilities to write the letters. Choose former professors or employers, or others who are well-acquainted with you. Do not ask bishops, parents, and mission presidents to write letters.

The letters must be submitted online.

International Applicants

In line with the global emphasis of the Marriott School, the MPA program encourages international students to apply. International applications, including entrance exam (GRE, GMAT, or LSAT) and English language scores, are due by 15 January. International students have a mandatory new student orientation the second week of August. Please also see the university's International Student Application Instructions.

English Language Exam

International applicants are required to demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency in the English language to satisfy the university’s requirements for admission to graduate study.

All applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not received a bachelor's degree (or higher) from an educational institution in the United States are required to submit official IELTS or TOEFL scores in order to be considered for admission.

University score requirements are detailed here.

Ecclesiastical Endorsement and Honor Code Commitment

To ensure that all applicants, both members and nonmembers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are fully informed and committed to the standards established for all BYU students, the Ecclesiastical Endorsement and Honor Code Commitment forms are required. The Ecclesiastical Endorsement should be done during a personal interview accomplished according to the instructions provided on the form. The ecclesiastical leader who conducts this interview should forward the completed form to the Graduate Studies office. Applicants should read and sign the Honor Code Commitment.

Admissions Schedule

Admission decisions will be communicated to students no later than the beginning of March. A new cohort of students is admitted each fall. The required new student orientation is held the week before classes begin in the fall.

Transfer Students

Students interested in transferring should contact Catherine cooper ( University policy allows up to 14 transfer credits from an accredited approved school. Courses must have a grade of "B" or better and be approved by BYU MPA faculty. Students exploring this option may email course syllabi and course descriptions. The Romney Institute will review the material and let applicants know whether or not courses will qualify for transfer credit.