Bush School student quicklinks

Contact Admissions

In-Residence Degree Programs

Master of Public Service and Administration
Master of International Affairs

Bush School Admissions Office

(979) 862-3476
bushschooladmissions@tamu.edu

Contact Extended Education

Online & In-Residence Certificates

Advanced International Affairs
Homeland Security
Nonprofit Management

1-866-988-BUSH (2874)
bushschoolonline@tamu.edu

Follow Bush School Admissions on Twitter!

 Admissions Twitter

Contact Admissions

In-Residence Degree Programs

Master of Public Service and Administration
Master of International Affairs

Bush School Admissions Office

(979) 862-3476
bushschooladmissions@tamu.edu

Contact Extended Education

Online & In-Residence Certificates

Advanced International Affairs
Homeland Security
Nonprofit Management

1-866-988-BUSH (2874)
bushschoolonline@tamu.edu

Degree Admissions FAQ


Degree Application Questions

What is the deadline for Bush School degree applications?

The Bush School enrolls students each fall into its masters’ degrees; there are no spring admissions. We begin accepting applications in August for the following fall’s enrollment. The priority deadline is January 16, 2018. This allows time for processing, file review, and interviews so decisions can be made by early March.

The Bush School may continue to accept applications beyond the priority date on a space-available basis. Typically, MIA applicants have until early February and MPSA applicants have until April. The website will advertise if we are still accepting applications. Students interested in applying after the priority deadline should contact bushschoolapplications@tamu.edu or call 979-862-3476 for updates on the current process and timeline.

How do I obtain an application?

The Bush School accepts applications online through the ApplyTexas application. Any Texas A&M 5-year applicants or continuing graduate students should apply through internal applications. Links can be found online in the Instructions section.

What documents are required for a complete degree application?

The Bush School admissions office works with Graduate Admissions Processing at Texas A&M to handle all applications and support materials. Together, we require the application and fee; official transcripts; three recommendations; statement of purpose; professional résumé; test scores; and for the MIA, an international experience essay. Most of these documents can be uploaded in the Applicant Information System (AIS) after a candidate has submitted his/her ApplyTexas application. Documents can also be e-mailed or mailed. Complete and detailed instructions can be found online in the Instructions section.

How will I know when my degree application is complete?

Applicants can check the general status of their online application at Applicant Information System (AIS) but should understand that notices from the Bush School Admissions Office are the true status of their file. AIS will only reflect four basic updates: the application, online recommendations, test scores, and transcript processing (the latter can take up to six weeks to verify, so applicants should take this into account.) The Bush School Admissions Office will e-mail a status update as items are processed and when the file is complete.

How many recommendations are needed?

Three recommendations are needed for the degree application and may be submitted online, by hard copy, or by e-mail. Each requires both a letter and a recommendation form (the online version provides its own recommendation form). The Bush School 2018 Recommendation Form and specific directions are found online in the Instructions section.

What exams are required for degree admission? Can tests be waived? What if I take a test more than once?

We prefer the GRE General Test but will accept the GMAT. Submitted scores may not be older than five years and must include the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing portions. We do not waive tests for degree admission, not even for those with prior advanced degrees or with substantial work experience. Nor do we make conditional admissions based on an applicant’s intent to take the tests after enrollment. Therefore, ensure that you have time to prepare and take the tests, as files will not be reviewed without GRE test scores.

International students from non-English speaking countries must submit proof of English proficiency in one of several ways: Score at least a 146 on the GRE verbal section (or 22 on the GAMAT verbal); present a current TOEFL of at least 80 ibt, present a current IELTS score of at least 6.0 overall band, or complete all years of a bachelor's degree or higher at a U.S. accredited university. See more below in the TOEFL question.

There is no penalty for those who take a test more than once. Texas A&M takes the highest total from one test date. Scores are not averaged.

How do I find out about taking the GRE? How much does it cost?

Students can visit the GRE website and click on the GRE General Test. Typically, test dates are offered multiple times a week; and scores take about ten to fifteen days to process. The cost is $205 for most countries.

What if I cannot take the test or cannot have the test scores arrive by the deadline?

An application will be considered incomplete without official test scores. Applicants can submit the online application without scores, and after taking the GRE, can email us the unofficial verbal and quantitative scores to be used as placeholders until the originals arrive 10-12 days later. Scores can be emailed to bushschoolapplications@tamu.edu. We recommend tests be completed by December to meet the mid-January priority deadline.

Is there a minimum GPA or GRE test score for degree admission? What are the averages?

Although the GPA and GRE scores are important to the admissions review process, we do not have a minimum required score. Test scores are evaluated in a manner that complies with House Bill 1641. Each student is reviewed using a variety of criteria, including academic performance, leadership potential, work or life experience, personal statement, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and information gathered at the Interview Conference.

Fall 2017 MPSA MIA
Mean overall GPA 3.41 3.58
Mean GRE-Verbal 153 158
Mean GRE-Quant 151 152
Mean GRE-Total 304 310

Do international students have to take the TOEFL / IELTS exam?

International students from non-English speaking countries must submit proof of English proficiency, but can qualify in several ways: Score at least a 146 on the GRE verbal section (or 22 on the GAMAT verbal); present a current TOEFL of at least 80 ibt, present a current IELTS score of at least 6.0 overall band, or complete all years of a bachelor's degree or higher at a US accredited university. See more below in the TOEFL question.

The Bush School’s preferred scores are 100 iBT or 600 PBT for TOEFL and 7.0 for IELTS. However, we will consider any score above the TAMU minimums. Scores should be sent directly from the testing service to Texas A&M and be from a test date within two years of the date that the application reaches Graduate Admissions Processing.

The Bush School’s preferred scores are 100 iBT or 600 PBT for TOEFL and 7.0 for IELTS. However, we will consider any score above the TAMU minimums. Scores should be sent directly from the testing service to Texas A&M and be from a test date within two years of the date that the application reaches Graduate Admissions Processing.


Degree Admissions Questions

What criteria does the Admissions Committee use in evaluating applicants?

The Admissions Committee evaluates students holistically via their essays and résumé, transcripts, test scores, recommendations, writing ability, and interviews. Successful applicants are those with strong academic ability and leadership qualities who show a propensity for serving in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors domestically and internationally.

Who makes the decision on admissions? When will final decisions be announced?

Shortly after the January priority deadline, each department's Admissions Committee reviews the submitted applications and narrowsthe applicant pool to double the intended class size (for a class of 90, we interview about 180). Selected applicants are invited to the Interview Conferences in February or March, where applicants can visit the campus and interact with Bush School faculty, staff, alumni, and students.

The Admissions Committee convenes within a week after the final Interview Conference to make admissions decisions. Final decisions are announced to students in mid-March.

Do you have a wait list?

Each year, the Bush School places a number of applicants on a wait list. Those students are notified if and when places become available and are updated regularly. The wait list is not ranked.

When is the Interview Conference? What does it consist of? Who pays?

Selected applicants are invited to one of two Interview Conferences in late February or early March to visit the school; meet other candidates/alumni/students/staff/faculty; interview; and more. It is a place for both candidates and the School to find a fit through questions and interactions over a half day Friday and all day Saturday event.

Applicants are responsible for their own lodging and travel expenses to and from the conference, but the Bush School provides logistical information and reimbursement of up to 1/4 to 1/3 of travel expenses to those who submit receipts after the event ($300 reimbursement max). Candidates can cost costs by staying with a current student or sharing a hotel room. Meals are provided Friday evening and all day Saturday. Dress is business casual.

Applicants who cannot attend the ICW will register for a Skype or phone interview to be completed in February.


Degree Questions

When does the Bush School start in the fall?

The Bush School hosts a mandatory incoming student orientation the week prior to the first day of classes, which is typically the last Monday in August. For specific dates, refer to the Texas A&M University Academic Calendar.

Can you pursue the degree part-time?

Entrance into the MPSA and MIA degrees is on a full-time basis. However, both degrees will consider a few students each year for part-time status if approved by the department head.

Are there any required prerequisite courses?

The MPSA program has no required prerequisites, but it does recommend that students have prior coursework in American government, economics, and/or statistics/research methods.

Students in the MIA National Security and Diplomacy track are expected to have some prior knowledge of international history and politics, while those in the International Development and Economics Policy track are encouraged to have prior coursework in basic statistics and introductory or intermediate micro or macroeconomics.

What are the specialized tracks and concentrations?

More information can be found about the Bush School’s tracks and concentrations sections. For the Master of Public Service and Administration, more can be found under MPSA Tracks and MPSA Concentrations. For the Master of International Affairs, more can be found under MIA Tracks and MIA Concentrations.

What are the required number of hours and graduation requirements in each degree?

Both the MPSA and MIA degrees are two-year, 48-credit-hour, full or part-time degrees combining 48 academic credit hours and a summer professional internship (or language training for those in the MIA). Also for the MIA’s native English speakers, passing a foreign language exam is required to graduate.

Are any online courses offered?

Many of the Bush School’s certificate courses are offered in a web-based format. Students may choose to take an online course, pay the additional fees, and have the course applied towards their degree plan.

Can I apply my graduate certificate courses towards a degree?

A maximum of 12 credit hours taken in post-baccalaureate non-degree status (G6) may be applied toward a master's degree. You would want to research the class options to better coordinate your concentration requirements. Successful completion of a certificate does not guarantee admission to a degree.

Can I transfer graduate hours from another university towards a degree?

In order for candidates to use transfer courses on their TAMU degree plan, the courses must have been taken in residence at an accredited or approved institution, the candidate must have been in degree-seeking status at the institution, and the grades must be a “B” or better. In most cases, no more than 12 transfer hours can count towards a student’s degree plan. As well, academic work used toward a previous degree many not be used again and any work over 7 years old cannot transfer. The department head has final approval for any transfer work.


Financial Aid Questions

How can I pay for my education? What scholarships and waivers are available?

Each year, the Bush School is committed to providing each admitted degree student at least $1,000 or more in merit scholarship aid. First-year funding averages between $3,000 and 5,000 for most students. Top awards vary between $10,000 and 15,000 per year for Bush School Scholarships to over $30,000 for some of our specialized awards like Graduate Merit and Diversity Fellowships. Second-year funding is renewed at the same rate if students maintain a preset GPA.

Out-of-state and international students also receive a nonresident tuition waiver that allows them to pay in-state rates, a reduction of over $9,000 a year from the nonresident rate. This means ALL Bush School degree students pay Texas rates, which runs roughly $12,000 a year.

How much scholarship aid a student receives is based primarily upon his/her academic performance, but experience, leadership, recommendations, commitment to public service, language, travel, awards, and other notable attributes are also highly regarded.

Are graduate assistantships (GAs) offered to first-year students?

The Bush School does not offer GA positions to incoming, first-year students. However, about twenty research GAs are awarded per department, as are a few non-teaching GAs, to our top second-year students. These positions are awarded to students with the best grades in the first year as well as to Texas A&M Fellowship awardees (as part of their second-year funding).

Are international students eligible for Bush Scholarships?

Yes, international students are eligible for Bush School scholarships, but they are not eligible to participate in the Federal Loan programs (Stafford, Perkins, etc.). International students can visit International Student Services (ISS) for a list of additional scholarships available to them.

How much will the two-year degree cost?

The yearly cost of tuition/fees is about $11,500 for residential rates, which is the rate all our degree students pay. Living costs are estimated at $19,000 a year. That puts the total cost of this degree at $30,000 a year, or $60,000 over two years BEFORE scholarship support. International students pay a few additional fees, increasing the cost by $2,500. And remember, students live in an affordable town with close proximity to four major U.S. cities and they graduate to join one of the largest and active alumni associations in the world. There is return on this investment! More information can be found online under the Financial Aid section.

How do I contact the financial aid office at Texas A&M?

The Scholarships and Financial Aid office can be contacted by phone at 979-845-3236 or online at Texas A&M Scholarships and Aid.


Employment Question

Do you offer career mentoring and assistance to help students secure internships and employment?

Yes, the Bush School’s Career Services Office is committed to helping its students and alumni create successful careers, providing them with the tools to complete an effective employment search, make connections with employers, and find opportunities to build a network of professional contacts. Through our career development workshops, internship and job search assistance programs, and alumni mentoring program, we help students build the bridge between academia and the professional world. Additional information can be found online in the Career Services section.


Visitation Question

Can I visit the Bush School?

Yes! Students are encouraged to visit the Bush School to learn more about our programs. We hold several fall/winter Open Houses and can set up individual visits. More information can be found online under Recruitment. An appointment can be scheduled by calling 979-862-3476 or via e-mail at bushschooladmissions@tamu.edu. Please contact us at least a week in advance of the intended visit, if possible.


Contact Admissions

In-Residence Degree Programs

Master of Public Service and Administration
Master of International Affairs

Bush School Admissions Office

(979) 862-3476
bushschooladmissions@tamu.edu

Contact Extended Education

Online & In-Residence Certificates

Advanced International Affairs
Homeland Security
Nonprofit Management

1-866-988-BUSH (2874)
bushschoolonline@tamu.edu

Follow Bush School Admissions on Twitter!

 Admissions Twitter

Contact Admissions

In-Residence Degree Programs

Master of Public Service and Administration
Master of International Affairs

Bush School Admissions Office

(979) 862-3476
bushschooladmissions@tamu.edu

Contact Extended Education

Online & In-Residence Certificates

Advanced International Affairs
Homeland Security
Nonprofit Management

1-866-988-BUSH (2874)
bushschoolonline@tamu.edu

The Bush School of Government and Public Service
©2017
The Bush School of Government and Public Service · Texas A&M University
4220 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-4220 · Map
Phone 979-862-3469 · Fax 979-845-4155
State of Texas · State Links & Policies · Link Policy ·
Contact Us · Privacy & Security Policy · Accessibility Policy