Applying to Public Administration

MPA Application Process

We are delighted that you are considering an application to our program. Please let us know if you have any questions or problems along the way. To make your visit to our Web more convenient, the MPA departmental application has now been incorporated into the UIS application, so there is nothing separate you need to fill in.   Completed applications are considered immediately for the on-ground program. There is an application deadline when online applications are considered (see below).

Applicants who have below a 2.5 undergraduate GPA will also need to submit a GRE score. The GRE is not required for applicants who have an undergraduate GPA above 2.5.  There are prerequisites required to take some courses and to graduate, but completion of these are not required for admission.

Graduate Admittance Requirements

  1. UIS Admission Application;
  2. Transcript verifying a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university;
  3. Submission of transcripts for all graduate work taken beyond the bachelor’s degree;
  4. TOEFL score of 550 for those who speak English as a second language; and
  5. A fee of $60.00 for domestic applicants, $75.00 fee for international. Apply Online to UIS. See below for MPA program application materials that need to be submitted as well.

MPA Program Requirements

  1. A completed application form, now part of the UIS Admission Application when you choose MPA.
  2. A resume.
  3. Evidence of fulfillment of course prerequisites – Note that prerequisite completion is not required nor considered for admission. Student’s needing prerequisites may be admitted on a “conditional” basis until the prerequisites are completed.
  4. And a statement of at least 500 words describing: a.) your career goals, b.) what you would contribute to the program and c.) how the MPA Program would enhance your professional development. Please e-mail or upload your resume and statement of goals to the Office of Admissions. You are no longer required to submit materials to the department directly. Local students are generally not admitted to the online major without extenuating circumstances. These circumstances should be documented upon application.

Note: Student’s needing prerequisites may be admitted on a “conditional” basis until the prerequisites are completed. It should be mentioned that financial aid recipients are required to complete prerequisites within 12 months.  Failure to do so may affect the status of your aid.

Application Deadline for ONLINE program

  • On campus program applicants may have their applications considered at any time. Prospective on campus program students are strongly encouraged to obtain application information and apply well in advance of their first term in order to allow time for mailing and processing materials.
  • Online program applications must be complete by March 1 for fall admissions and October 31 for spring admissions.
    In the normal application process, all files are reviewed on the dates above.  A complete application means that materials from the applicant for the department and those turned into Admissions must be processed and in the program office by that date.  Generally applicants that are within driving distance can not be admitted to the online program.
  • Note Concerning Online Applications: If we find that we have openings as a result of accepted applicants not enrolling or expanded capacity, we will evaluate other completed applications and possibly admit more students.  So it is good to have applications completed and on file with the program as early as possible.

It is always a prudent to allow six to eight weeks before the deadline for delays in transmission of materials from other schools.

Topics of Interest


How to apply for a graduate certificate

For new students, download or fill out a university application found at Apply Now! and enter the requested information. Follow the instructions to apply for admission to the graduate certificate program. Please note that some certificates are not eligible for financial assistance. Please call the Office of Financial Assistance at (217) 206-6724 if you have questions.

For students already enrolled in the MPA program, fill out a Change of Curriculum form. In the new curriculum section, enter MPA in the drop down menu as your “Major or Certificate 1” and the relevant certificate in the drop down menu for “Major or Certificate 2.” Print and submit the form.

Choose the certificate program in which you wish to enroll from the menu.

  • Community Planning
  • Management of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Public Sector Labor Relations
  • Public Procurement Management

For those of you pursuing the Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) certificate program, you do not need to submit a request through the change of curriculum form.  You do not need to do so because although the courses are taken at UIS, upon completion of the approved courses, the certificate is awarded by the National Child Protection Training Center, not UIS.

Certificate and professional sequences at UIS typically require admission to that specific certificate and transcripts from all universities/colleges attended.