Frequently Asked Questions
What is the MPA degree?
A Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is considered a professional degree for those pursuing management related careers in government, nonprofit organizations, and even in the for profit sector. At Upper Iowa University the MPA program is intended to develop the leadership and administrative skills necessary for public administrators who wish to pursue a managerial career path within government and nonprofit organizations. Our curriculum is intended to provide these professionals with course specific knowledge that promotes analytical and critical thinking skills in the following emphasis areas: justice and homeland security, health and human services, public personnel management, government administration, nonprofit organizations, and general studies. Within the emphasis areas students are able to tailor a course of study that meets their unique career goals. We believe this approach allows the program to equip MPA students with the knowledge and skills necessary to uphold the public interest while encouraging the University's desire to promote global citizens who are lifelong learners.
What can I do with an MPA degree?
UIU MPA graduates work in every sector of our economy including local, state, and national government, business, education, and nonprofit organizations. To leverage your MPA degree we encourage you to map out your career path. Critically evaluate your strengths and areas that might be improved. Our program allows you flexibility in selecting courses that meet your career needs.
Who is a typical UIU MPA student?
Most of our students are working adults from across the United States who bring a wealth of experience to the classroom. They have chosen online education for a variety of reasons including job demands, family commitments, or not being in close proximity to a program that is offered on a traditional residential university campus.
Do I need a certain undergraduate degree or work experience to be admitted into the program?
No. As an interdisciplinary program you do not even need an undergraduate degree in public administration or political science. What we are looking for are students who are committed to public service.
Am I able to take courses and work full time?
Yes. The vast majority of our students are working full time while studying for the MPA degree. The trick is find balance in your life so you can study, work, and enjoy the company of family and friends.
What is considered full-time?
One course or three credits is considered a full time load for graduate students. The maximum load per term is two courses or six credits.
What are the requirements to be accepted into the UIU MPA Program?
To be accepted into our program you must meet the following admission requirements:
A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. (If from a foreign institution, an English translation and evaluation must accompany the record.)
A cumulative GPA of:
- 2.75 or better in undergraduate work or a GPA of 3.0 from the most recent 60 semester credits of undergraduate work.
- 3.0 or better for not fewer than nine semester credits of prior graduate work relevant to the area of emphasis. Applicants with fewer than nine semester credits of graduate work or less than a 3.0 GPA for graduate work may have applications evaluated based on undergraduate work.
- or an acceptable GRE score. See http://www.gre.org regarding taking the GRE exams.
What is an acceptable GRE score?
An acceptable score is 1090 for GRE or 308 for GRE revised General Test.
If I have to take a standardized test will the GMAT substitute for the GRE?
Yes. We will accept the GMAT. An acceptable score is 550 for GMAT.
If I need theTOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), what score do you require?
UIU requires a TOEFL score of at least 79 on the internet-based TOEFL test, which corresponds to 213 on the older computer-based test, and 550 on the paper-based test.
How do I apply for admission into the UIU MPA program?
It is really quite simple. Fill out the online application and the $50 application fee is waived.
When do I have to have my application in?
There are no deadlines. We have six terms each lasting for eight weeks. Once accepted into the program, the student is allowed to begin class at the start of the next available term. We encourage interested students to contact Michelle Zander (email@example.com) so she can help you through the admissions process.
Do I need letters of recommendation?
No. They are not required for admission.
How long before I know if I am accepted?
That depends on how fast you can get your official transcripts to us. We have open enrollment so applications are evaluate continuously as they come in. Once the application package is complete it will be promptly evaluated and a decision rendered. This could be as fast as one day.
How many students do you accept annually?
The actual number depends on a variety of factors. Currently, we have approximately 150 people actively pursuing the MPA degree.
What does it cost to attend UIU?
Online graduate tuition is $417/credit or $1251 for a three credit course. Information about financial aid can be found at http://uiu.edu/admissions/financialaid/index.html.
Is financial aid available?
Current financial aid information is available at the Upper Iowa University webpage http://uiu.edu/admissions/financialaid/index.html. If you have any further questions regarding financial aid, please contact your program or the Financial Aid Office, 800-553-4150, ext. [2+4], or write to: Financial Aid Office, Upper Iowa University, PO Box 1859, Fayette, IA 52142 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is it possible to take courses in another UIU graduate program?
Yes. You may take courses from the MBA or MHEA program if they relate to your plan of study. Be sure to discuss your plans with the MPA program coordinator before registering for courses outside the MPA program.
Will my graduate credit(s) from another program count towards my UIU MPA degree?
Maybe. UIU allows you to transfer up to twelve graduate credits from a regionally accredited graduate program. The credits must be germane to your course of study. Please consult with the graduate admissions advisor or MPA program coordinator to determine if the credits will transfer. To transfer credit you must have earned at least a grade of B in the course.
Are there prerequisite courses that must be completed before being admitted into the program?
Yes. You will need undergraduate coursework in political science, economics, management, finance, and statistics.
What if I don't have prerequisite courses in political science, management, finance, economics, or statistics?
You can be admitted into the program without the necessary foundational courses. All foundational courses can be completed them online at UIU. Relevant work experience may be used to meet the foundational requirement. Please review the MPA Student Handbook (www.uiu.edu/mpastudents) or ask the graduate admissions advisor or the program coordinator for more information. You must complete all foundational requirements before taking more than six semester credits of graduate level courses. If you have not completed the required foundational courses you will not be allowed to enroll in additional graduate level courses beyond six semester credits until the foundational requirements have been satisfied.
Is it possible to take graduate courses before I apply or am accepted into the program?
Yes, but we do not advise it. A Student who wishes to enroll for graduate courses at Upper Iowa University as a transient student may do so if that person (a) meets the Upper Iowa University graduate admission requirements, (b) is admitted to and in good standing in a Master's degree or higher program at a regionally accredited university, or (c) holds a Master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited university. Students are required to provide an official transcript from the institution awarding their undergraduate degree and submit a completed graduate application indicating transient (non-degree seeking). Transient students are limited to nine hours of credit and are not eligible for financial aid. Students working towards undergraduate degrees may not take graduate courses.
How long does it take to complete the program?
Our program is 42 credits. Talking one course per term a student would be able to complete 18 credits in an academic year. Students have a maximum of five years to complete the program.
Are all the courses offered online?
Yes. Our courses are all offered online.
Are internships available?
Perhaps. Students may complete, as an elective, an internship. This means obtaining a full-time paid or unpaid position for a period of eight weeks (not less than 320 hours) in a public sector or not-for-profit agency. The internship typically involves the student working on an administrative policy or management issue confronting a public or not-for-profit organization. It is an opportunity for the student to relate her/his academic experience in the master's program to the issue that is the focus of the experience. Internship positions are coordinated by the MPA Coordinator. However, the student must find the internship opportunity. Internships are not required to graduate.
Does your program offer emphasis areas?
Yes. We offer emphasis areas in nonprofit organizations, government administration, health and human services, public personnel management, and justice and homeland security.
Is there somebody I can talk to if I have questions?
Student Enrollment Outreach Coordinator
Jerry Poppe, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and MPA Program Coordinator
Where in the academic structure of the University is the MPA program located?
The UIU MPA program is part of the Division of Business.
How large are the classes?
Usually the maximum size of a graduate course is 15.