Master of Public Administration and Policy: Frequently Asked Questions

What are your admissions requirements for the online Master of Public Administration and Policy?
You will need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and submission of your GRE or LSAT test score (waivers considered).

Can I be admitted to the program if I do not have a BA in public policy or administration? 
Yes, it is not a requirement to have an undergraduate degree in public administration or policy.

How long does it take to complete the Master of Public Administration and Policy?
The program can be completed in as little as 24 months.

Are there any specializations offered?
This program is structured to be a blend of the core curriculum of the campus Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy.

Do you require submission of test scores?
Yes, submission of your GRE test result is required. LSAT and GMAT may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Can the GRE be waived?
GRE waivers are eligible with relevant work experience and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  Speak with an advisor to understand how to qualify.

What are the admission requirements for international students?
A TOEFL score of 600 (or 100 on the Internet-based test), a minimum score of 68 on the Pearson Test of English, or a minimum IELTS score of seven (7) is required. Additionally, applicants with international transcripts must have them evaluated course-by-course. For a list of acceptable evaluators, go to

What documents are required when applying?
The required application documents include:

  • A completed graduate application
  • A $55 application Fee
  • Phone Interview with Admissions Advisor
  • Résumé
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation, which may be from former professors as well as current or former employers
  • Transcripts from previous undergraduate and relevant graduate coursework (If a degree was earned outside the U.S., a course-by-course evaluated transcript is required.)
  • GRE or LSAT scores

When is the deadline for application?
Our application deadline will change depending on which to term you are applying for. Please contact our online admissions staff for a specific timeline your application file needs to be fully submitted.

Is financial aid available?
Graduate students enrolled at least part time in a Master's program may be eligible for federal loans. To apply, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What is the Policy Practicum?
The final course in your Master of Public Administration and Policy is to demonstrate what you’ve learned by performing policy analysis or a management project for an external client.

Where do alumni of the Master of Public Administration and Policy program find employment?
Students with a Master of Public Administration and Policy are typically employed in the public, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors in the United States and abroad. Learn more about our graduates’ success.

Will I be able to take advantage of the same resources as on-campus students do?
Yes, online students are encouraged to obtain a Student ID and take advantage of all of the same resources as our on-campus students.

Are there scholarships available for the program?
American University is pleased to offer the Online Merit Scholarship to students who demonstrate undergraduate excellence and continue on to graduate studies. Scholarships are available to students who meet the eligibility requirements.

To learn more about American University’s online Master of Public Administration and Policy, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.