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Frequently Asked Questions

As a fully online program, you will generally not meet in person. We have students from all over the country and therefore, do not meet in person as a group very often. However, we welcome students anytime to visit Clemson and meet with local faculty or MPA program staff. Students may also choose an in person orientation instead of an online orientation if they would like to come to campus. Throughout the program many students come to campus to discuss Internships, Capstone projects and/or other issues. We welcome students anytime. We also strongly encourage groups of students to get together in their regions to meet and network.

No. The Clemson University MPA program charges a flat-rate tuition for all student whether in-state or out-of-state. There is no out of state surcharge on courses or the program in general.  The per credit hour rate for all students is $721 plus standard fees.

MPA classes are conducted in an Adobe Connect, live-online format, meaning that classes are offered in real time. You attend class just like you would in a traditional classroom, once a week from 6:30- 9:10 p.m., with the other students in the class. You're together virtually instead of physically. Each instructor is committed to conducting small discussion groups, team sessions, presentations, online office hours and other innovative uses of this technology.

The MPA program has five specializations that meet the needs of a diverse range of public administration and non-profit professionals. They are:

You can test your current system here to find out if it meets Clemson's Adobe Connect requirements. If you are looking to purchase a new computer or want to see if another computer would work then check out Adobe's Technical Requirements. Mobile devices are supported through an app but we recommend using the app with a tablet, not a phone, and not relying on the video capabilities on mobile networks. Download the Mobile App here. Questions? Please Contact Us.

No. A certificate or non-degree seeking student is automatically ineligible for financial aid.

With approval by the MPA program director, a student can transfer a maximum of 4 courses or 12 hours of graduate level credit from another approved institution. By the time your graduate from Clemson these credits cannot have been earned more than 6 years prior.

Upon receiving your username from Clemson you need to change your default password before you can access anything else. To do that go to: Your default password is the last five (5) digits of your social security number. After changing it you should be able to access your online courses, but should you continue to have problems Contact Us.

It depends on what you mean by "see". Generally the professor will be on camera during class and you will interact with them as if you were in person. Most of the courses will have the students on webcam during discussions as well. Occasionally, students and/or off-campus faculty choose to come to campus. We always welcome campus visits and in person meetings with students, faculty and MPA program staff.

No you do not. If you are enrolled in only online courses, you do not need to comply with medical clearance requirements. However, if you receive notices of non-compliance, contact Sharon Harris, Health Information Manager at Redfern Health Center.

Yes, any student approved for Chapter 33 benefits through the VA can use benefits while attending Clemson University. For more information visit: Veterans

At the beginning of the semester your professor should post a link to your classroom. You should be able to click the appropriate link in either the syllabus or blackboard course to bring you in the classroom. You will be brought to a page that lets you choose between logging in as a student/visitor or an instructor/host. Choose student/visitor and type in your name then click "enter room". Should you still be unable to enter the classroom, Contact Us.

Yes. With the approval of the MPA Coordinator, Clemson University allows for up to 12 hours of graduate transfer credit. Once enrolled at Clemson, graduate transfer credits cannot be more than 6 years old from the time you graduate with your Clemson graduate degree.  For example, if you graduate in December 2014, your graduate transfer credits cannot be acquired any later than Fall 2008.

Go to Canvas and click on the Sign In button under Clemson Faculty & Students. You will use your Clemson username and password to log in.

A student has 6 years to complete the MPA degree before they begin to lose credits!

The Journey from Admitted to Enrolled has several twists and turns so please review this check list carefully and make sure you complete all of your steps. This journey begins when the MPA program accepts you into the department.  From there expect the following things to happen:

  1. After the Graduate School accepts you, a student should expect an official decision letter posted to the student’s status check 48 hours after the GS decision is submitted.
  2. Once a student sees this decision letter they must confirm their intent to enroll (this is required in order to register)
  3. Within 48-72 hours of a student’s confirmation, an email is sent to the student with their ID, activation code, and registration information.
  4. Students log in for the first time with this ID and activation code. Once there students receive their username and set up their CU password.
  5. From there you can go to iROAR and register for classes

Please either contact Carolyn Benson or fill out the Re-Entrance Form on the Graduate School website under Forms and send the completed top half of the form to Carolyn.  This form requires your signature and the program director, Dr. Lori Dickes.

No, students do not need to choose a specialization.  A student can earn a general or specific concentration in the MPA program and many of the Selected Topics classes can be cross-listed for more than one of the 5 areas of concentration.

The MPA program offers a full 11 or 12 week Summer session,  as opposed to a traditional 15 weeks in Fall or Spring. Classes run a little longer each week from 6:30 – 9:45 PM.

All new students participate in a mandatory advising session before they begin their program. Current students may request advising as needed at any point during their program. Dr. Lori Dickes serves as the principal advisor for all students.

Please see the general requirements found here.

No, this is done automatically if you are a graduate of Clemson. 

Yes! This is a benefit that Clemson offers its employees.

Yes, contact Carolyn Benson or Bianca Schuster who can assist you with a Change of Term Form

Your student bill will be available online approximately one month before the beginning of the term.

No, your diploma will not specify your specialization. You are encouraged to report your specific concentration and/or classes on your resume.

Contact Carolyn Benson for an application fee waiver code once you are close to or have completed 4 classes. She will let you know what steps you need to take to move towards the full degree program.

Under certain circumstances you can.  When you apply for financial aid for the entire academic year (ex. 2017-2018) it does include some (but not necessarily all) monies to put toward Summer term.  When you accept your aid package you have two options: you can accept the entire amount and save the money for Summer or you can only accept a partial award and let Financial Aid know the specific portion you are denying is for Summer Term use.  Once you register for Summer Term, you must fill out a request form to use these funds. The form is here:  and follow the instructions at the link.

Unfortunately, no you cannot get financial aid for the certificate program. Financial Aid is for degree seeking students only.

The majority of students in the MPA program are full-time working professionals and as such we understand that students may have to travel or other commitments from time to time. We ask that students keep the lines of communication open with their professors and that they let them know as soon as reasonable about conflicts with class. If a student has a regular conflict, for example City Council the first Tuesday of the month, we ask that the student let the faculty member know in advance of the semester and the faculty member and the program director will work to develop a plan for that student regarding attendance and coursework. All classes are recorded so students will be asked to review all lectures that they miss and keep up with any missed assignments.

Yes, you can access any of the previous semesters’ MPA syllabi through the public access tab here -

An application is valid for up to one year from your anticipated start date—for example, if you were to apply for Spring, that would mean that you must matriculate (start your coursework) by Spring the following year.