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Note to Applicants: Given the current COVID-19 crisis and the challenges related to standardized exams, the Master in Public Administration program will provide a GRE waiver process for all applicants for Spring, Summer and Fall 2021. For all prospective students not meeting the MPA program's current GRE waiver criteria, please submit a 3-5 page double-spaced writing sample focused on the importance of effective governance and public administration in times of crisis.

Interested students may apply to be admitted for fall, spring, or summer semesters. Application deadlines for Clemson University's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program are:

  • Spring semester: October 15
  • Summer semester: March 15
  • Fall semester: June 15

The MPA program is flexible with these deadlines if an applicant submits a complete application packet.

To obtain information about the program, prospective students should email

  • A complete application consists of:
  • An online application form at
  • Select program code 670 (Public Administration is housed in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences)
  • Unofficial transcripts of all previous academic work, both graduate and undergraduate. Official transcripts will be required once admission had been granted.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (within the last five years) in the range of 140 for the verbal and quantitative portions of the exam. Information regarding the test can be obtained from Educational Testing Services (ETS) at
  • GRE waiver requests may be requested in certain circumstances. See below for more information
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's academic and / or job performance (when possible one of each).
  • A personal statement outlining the purpose for pursuing an MPA degree.
  • A current resume or CV.
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must also submit acceptable TOEFL scores.

Once all materials have been received it takes an average of two weeks to fully process an application.

If you have a bachelor's degree and would like to take a couple of courses without actually pursuing a degree, you should apply as a non-degree student. When applying as a non-degree student you apply under program code 008.

The Clemson MPA program also has a non-degree certificate program. All credits earned in this program are fully transferable to the full degree program.  If you are interested in applying for the certificate program please click here for more information.

Still have questions? Either visit our FAQs or email


As an applicant to the MPA program, you may apply for a GRE waiver if you meet one of the following requirements:

  1. have been employed for a minimum of 5 years in a full-time, relevant professional position and have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0; (please include a letter from a superior documenting the types of projects you have worked on, your role in these, and your success in these efforts.)
  2. have 10 or more years of senior level professional experience; 
(please include a letter documenting at a  minimum your role(s) in the organization(s) you have worked for, the number of people you have supervised, the approximate budget of the organization(s), and the types of projects you have managed.)
  3. successfully completed the Clemson MPA certificate with a 3.0 average GPA;
  4. earned a graduate degree (Master’s, PhD, MD, or JD) within the last five (5) years from an accredited university.

To submit a waiver request you must meet at least one of the above requirements. You must also submit a brief statement explaining why you are seeking the waiver and what criteria you have met to allow for the waiver.  Once we have received the appropriate documents the MPA admissions committee will evaluate the waiver request. The GRE score or the approved waiver are only one component of the MPA application and do not constitute acceptance or denial into the program.


The Clemson MPA program offers competitive tuition rates whether a student is in-state, out-of-state or international. Our tuition rates do not distinguish between S.C. residents & non-residents. 

Click here to calculate tuition & fees. Be sure to click on the "Graduate" tab at the top of the calculator.

Here are a few reminders about financing your education:

  • Education financing is a tax deductible expense - deduct your tuition payments, books, and other expenses on your taxes.
  • Remember to check with your employer for tuition reimbursement.
  • Contact Clemson's Financial Aid Office and ask for help with your personal financing options.

Currently the MPA program does not offer Assistantships or Graduate Tuition Deferral opportunities. Students who live close to Clemson University may inquire about assistantship opportunities with other departments and centers on campus.

As program staff are made aware of scholarship opportunities relevant to MPA students, we will make all students aware of these via the student list-serve.

To plan your financial strategy and research other assistance opportunities you may want to visit:


Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited institution
  • Admission to the Clemson Graduate School.

To Apply:

  • Select program code 008 (Public Administration).
  • Unofficial Transcripts from all prior institutions where a degree was awarded and from which transfer credit is desired until admission is accepted.
  • A personal statement outlining the purpose for pursuing a certificate in PADM.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Attaining a graduate certificate can also be the first step towards a full master’s degree. All of the credits earned during the certificate program are fully transferable to the fill MPA degree program. Be advised that due to the fact that this is a non-degree program that federal financial aid will not be awarded to individuals in the non-degree program.

The Clemson MPA program has successful alumni in an array of public, non-profit, and private sector agencies. We have students serving as city and county managers finance officers, emergency managers, urban planners and many other career paths.