Prospective Students


We appreciate your interest in our DPA program. Please see the application guidelines below and the links above. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

To be eligible for serious consideration, the application portfolio must provide evidence of:

• A completed master’s degree
• A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 for all graduate work

A two-part process – Part One

Students must apply either by regular post or online to the UIS Office of Admissions for entrance to graduate studies to be eligible for consideration for the DPA Program. All transcripts should be sent to the Admissions Office along with a fee of $60.00 for domestic submissions and $75.00 for international students. There is an additional application for acceptance to the DPA, proffered directly to the program.

A two-part process – Part Two

The prospective student must submit a portfolio to the DPA Office, PAC 420.

Students are asked to submit an application portfolio in addition to the application for graduate admission to UIS. That portfolio must include:

  1. An educational and professional goals statement of at least 600 words written by the applicant including possible research interests
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. At least one sample of professional writing that was written solely by the applicant
  4. Résumé or vita with evidence significant professional achievement or promise of achievement in a public affairs field.

Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit GRE scores as a part of their portfolios.  GRE scores may provide useful information about an applicant’s readiness for program coursework.

Eligible applicants wishing consideration for a cohort seat may be asked to be available for an oral interview with the Program Committee.

How are applications reviewed?

Selection will be based on:

  • A good fit between the applicant’s educational aspirations and the curricular offerings of the program, including the expertise of the faculty
  • The quality of the applicants previous graduate performance
  • Evidence of the applicant’s ability to complete doctoral level work
  • Evidence of significant professional achievement or promise of achievement in a public affairs field

Students must submit application materials by March 15 for admission to the cohort that will start in the fall semester.


Applicants who are denied admission may seek a second review only if there has been a factual mistake in the process of considering their files. This would include such events as

  • an application that was complete but was somehow was not reviewed in program consideration
  • through the university’s action or inaction, the university did not include an item that should have been in the applicant’s file

The Program Committee will review the application and determine if the student requesting an appeal should be admitted.

Applicants who are denied may apply in the next admission cycle if they desire.