Incoming Student Stats for 2021-22
|Average GRE Total||306||308||x|
|Average work experience years:|
|>> 0-2 years||68%||55%||x|
|>> 2-5 years||14%||21%||x|
|>> 5+ years||18%||24%||100%|
What is the application deadline for the MPSA, MIA, MIA-MPH, and MIP programs?
Check out our Deadlines page for a list of Priority Application and Final App Deadlines for each on-campus degree listed above.
How do I apply?
Visit our web pages below for detailed application instructions:
What documents are required to complete my application?
Complete and detailed instructions for each degree are found on the weblinks listed above. Be sure to download the application instructions and checklist available on those pages for a concise overview that you can reference as you fill out your application.
How will I know when my application is considered complete?
Applicants may check the general status of their online application through their GradCAS account. This includes monitoring the status of recommendations to ensure all forms/letters are submitted and received by the application deadline.
However, the application status in GradCAS may not be the true status of your application. For instance, a transcript may have encountered an error in uploading or the file is locked and cannot be downloaded, etc. Applicants must pay attention to emails from our Bush School Admissions Office for the true status of their application. We send email notifications from email@example.com for several reasons:
- When an application is missing one or more required items.
- For instance, a transcript may have encountered an error when it was being uploaded or the personal statement uploaded into the system cannot be accessed.
- If clarification is needed on a particular aspect of the application.
- When an application is complete and moved forward for review.
Is the GRE/GMAT required?
GRE requirements by degree:
- MPSA: The GRE is optional. However, it is highly encouraged for those with a cumulative GPA below a 3.2.
- MIA and MIA-MPH: The GRE is required for those with a cumulative GPA below a 3.2, but optional for those with a cumulative GPA of a 3.2 or higher in a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD degree. We do not round up; a 3.18 GPA is below a 3.2.
- MIP: The GRE is optional. However, it is highly encouraged for those with a cumulative GPA below a 3.0.
The Bush School encourages the GRE for anyone who feels it can help their file:
- To complement strong aspects and help deliberations in merit aid consideration.
- To offset concerns of a below average GPA or lack of experience in the field.
- To support an application if past efforts do not accurately reflect current abilities.
What if I take the test more than once?
There is no penalty for those who take a test more than once. We use the highest total from one test date. Scores are not averaged nor super scored. To submit new scores after you have submitted your application, send your unofficial Test Score Report to firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably by the Priority Application Deadline, but not later than the Final App Deadline.
Where do I find information about taking the GRE? How much does it cost?
A: Visit the GRE website. Typically, test dates are offered multiple times a week in locations all over the world. Applicants can find test centers and dates by searching for a GRE General Test location near a specific city or address. The cost of the GRE is $205 for most countries.
How can I prepare for the GRE?
The GRE website linked above includes a list of tools to help you prepare for the test. Additionally, various companies provide up-to-date college test prep materials for the GRE, including Princeton Review, Kaplan, Magoosh, and more. Prices vary significantly, but many applicants find the structure and feedback beneficial to their study. Some of the resources are even free. Find more by searching the internet (GRE Kaplan/Magoosh/etc).
What if I cannot take the GRE or GMAT and/or have my test scores by the deadline?
All materials must be received by the Final Application Deadline. Applicants who are required to submit GRE scores (or desire to) should schedule to take the test
s at least six weeks prior to the deadlines, as applications are on hold and incomplete until received. Scores can take two to six weeks to arrive. We recommend tests be completed by November to meet the mid-December priority deadline.
For those required (or who plan) to submit GRE (or GMAT) scores:
- Submit the online application prior to taking the test.
- Email us your unofficial GRE Test Score Report (available in your GRE test account a few days after taking the test).
- Scores must be received, preferably by the Priority Deadline, but no later than the Final Deadline. Scores can be emailed to email@example.com.
- Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission (no scores = no review).
Do international students have to take the TOEFL/IELTS exams?
Official English language proficiency (ELP) test scores are required for most international applicants. Citizens of certain English speaking countries are exempt from this requirement. Refer to the exempted list on the TAMU International Graduate Admissions website.
If an applicant’s country is not on the exempted list, he/she must have test scores that meet the minimum language proficiency requirement or meet the Alternative Verification criteria. Acceptable options:
- Score at least 146 on the GRE Verbal section (or 22 on GMAT verbal) from a test date within five years of applying.
- Earn a TOEFL score of at least 80 i-BT from a test date within two years of applying; the Bush School prefers a 100+ ibt (MyBest TOEFL Scores are not accepted).
- Score a minimum IELTS Academic test score of 6.0 overall band from a test date within two years of applying; the Bush School prefers an overall band score of at least 7.0.
- Alternative Verification: Complete all years of a bachelor’s degree (equivalent to four years) or higher (masters is typically two years) at an accredited university in the US.
Applicants are advised to complete tests at least two months before the application deadline. Test scores can take anywhere from two to six weeks to be processed, depending on the test. Applications missing the required proof of English proficiency will not be reviewed or considered for admission.
To report test scores:
- GRE: Use code 6003
- GMAT: Use code 7B7-K9-57
- TOEFL Scores should be sent directly from the testing service to Texas A&M University (Code 6003).
- IELTS Scores should be submitted electronically from the IELTS test center to Texas A&M University (College Station); no paper Test Report Forms accepted. An institution code is NOT required. Instead, use the address listed below.
- Internal Admissions Processing
Texas A&M University
PO Box 40002
College Station, TX 77842-4002
- Internal Admissions Processing
What criteria does the Admissions Committee use in evaluating applicants?
The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants holistically using their personal statement, international experience essay (for MIA), résumé, course options and cumulative GPAs in all degrees earned, test scores (if applicable), recommendations, interview quality, and various life and work experiences.
How can I make my application as competitive as possible?
Successful applicants are those with academic potential and leadership qualities who show a propensity for serving in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors domestically and internationally. We are looking for students who have a fleshed-out career goal; have provided some relevant context through professional experiences, volunteerism, travel/language, and/or studies; have demonstrated they are prepared for a rigorous graduate education; and have shown maturity and drive.
Who makes the decision on admissions? When will final decisions be announced?
Each department has an Admissions Committee consisting of faculty and admissions staff who review and interview applicants. We typically interview double the intended class size throughout February (e.g., 180 interview for a class goal of 90). In early March, the committees meet to make admissions and scholarship decisions. By mid-March, applicants are typically notified.
What and when is the Interview Conference?
Selected applicants are invited to attend their department’s Interview Conference Weekend (ICW), typically held in mid-February. ICW gives applicants the opportunity to visit the Bush School campus; meet and interact with future classmates, alumni, staff, and faculty; interview with relevant faculty; and get a feel for the environment. The half-day Friday and all day Saturday event is a place for both candidates and the Bush School to learn more about each other through sessions and interactions. Earlier interviews are available for applicants who cannot attend the ICW via Zoom (or phone).
Who pays for travel?
Attendees are responsible for their own lodging and travel expenses to and from the conference, but the Bush School provides logistical information (hotel recommendations, etc.) and will reimburse approximately 1/3 of travel expenses to those who submit receipts after the event ($300 reimbursement max). Candidates can cut costs by staying with a current student or sharing a hotel room with other attendees. Meals are provided Friday evening and all day Saturday. Dress is business to business casual.
Do you have a waitlist?
The International Affairs Department uses a waitlist each year, while the Public Service and Administration Department uses it more sparingly. The waitlist is not ranked. Candidates on the waitlist are notified if and when a seat in the incoming class becomes available, typically April 15 through late July.
When does the Bush School start in the fall?
The Bush School hosts a mandatory New Student Orientation the week prior to the first day of school. Classes typically start the last Monday in August. For specific dates, refer to the Texas A&M University Academic Calendar.
Can you pursue the degrees part-time?
Yes, if this works better for your schedule. In-resident classes are typically offered Monday through Friday during work hours, so you must have some flexibility in your work schedule. Keep in mind that MPSA and MIA students must be enrolled full-time (at least nine hours per fall/spring semester) to qualify for financial aid, including Bush School Scholarships.
Are there any required prerequisite courses?
None of our on-campus degrees require prerequisites, although we do encourage applicants have some familiarity with these topics:
- MPSA: American Government; Economics (micro and/or macro); Statistics, Research Methods, and/or Calculus
- MIA/MIP: International Relations or World Politics; Diplomatic History; American Foreign Policy; Twentieth Century History
- MIA (IDEP track): Economics (micro or macro); Statistics
What are the specialized tracks and concentrations?
Visit the following pages for more information on the tracks and concentrations offered for each degree.
- MPSA: MPSA Tracks and MPSA Concentrations
- MIA: MIA Tracks and MIA Concentrations
- MIP: use the MIA tracks and concentrations
What are the required number of hours and graduation requirements in each degree?
MPSA: The degree is 2 years, 48-credit hours and requires a year-long capstone and a professional internship. Most attend full-time, but a few are part-time and graduate past two years.
MIA: The degree is 2 years, 48-credit hours and requires a semester-long capstone and a professional internship or foreign language training. MIA native English speakers must pass a foreign language exam to graduate. Most attend full-time.
MIP: This degree is only for those with at least four years of professional experience in international affairs; the degree is 1 year, 30-credit hours and has no capstone, no internship, and no language requirement.
Are any online courses offered?
The Bush School offers Distance Education courses through
our the Office of Extended Education. With faculty advisor approval, students can take these courses and apply them towards their degree plan with the following limitations:
- Core/required courses must be taken in the modality of the degree. For instance, MPSA/ MIA students must take BUSH 631 in-residence.
- Up to 49% of the courses for a degree in the MPSA or MIA can be taken online (with the exception of the core/required courses).
- Only two courses for the MIP degree can be taken online.
- All Bush School Distance Education (DE) courses with Section Level 700 (or above) are charged an additional $1,509 DE fee per course.
May I transfer my Bush School graduate certificate courses/hours to a Bush School master’s degree?
MPSA/MIA: A maximum of 12 credit hours taken in post-baccalaureate non-degree seeking status (G6) may be transferred into the Bush School’s MPSA or MIA degrees.
MIP: A maximum of six (6) credit hours taken in post-baccalaureate non-degree seeking status (G6) may be transferred into the Bush School’s MIP program. Only two online courses can transfer and the total number of transfer credits allowed is nine credit hours (combination of Bush School certificate courses and course from other institutions).
You need to research which certificates work best with each degree and which classes match your concentration requirements. While Admissions Committees do take interest in how you perform in the certificates, successful completion does not guarantee admission; you must be competitive in other aspects too.
May I transfer graduate hours from another university towards a Bush School degree?
MPSA/MIA: In most cases, no more than 12 credit hours may transfer into a student’s degree plan in the MPSA or MIA programs.
MIP: No more than nine (9) total credit hours (combination of Bush School certificate courses and courses from other institutions) could transfer into the MIP.
In order for candidates to transfer in courses from another institution, several requirements must be met:
- The courses must have been taken in-residence at an accredited or approved institution,
- The student must have been in degree-seeking status at the institution during the time in which those courses were earned,
- Grades earned in each course must be a “B” or better,
- Courses used toward a previous degree cannot be used again,
- Courses over seven (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?
In short, the MPSA and MIA degrees offer merit awards to every admitted student. Awards consist of Bush School Scholarships typically worth $3K to $15K and specialized awards like Graduate Merit, Diversity, and Robertson Fellowships that pay significantly more (closer to $30K per year).
Additionally, out-of-state students for the MPSA and MIA are granted non-resident tuition waivers that allow them to pay Texas rates, a reduction of about $12,000 a year from the non-resident rate. Second-year funding is renewed at the same rate if students maintain a predetermined GPA.
How much scholarship aid a student receives is based primarily upon his/her academics, but experience, leadership, recommendations, commitment to public service, language, travel, awards, and other notable attributes are also highly regarded.
Are international students eligible for Bush School Scholarships?
Yes, international students admitted to the MPSA or MIA degrees are eligible for Bush School Scholarships. However, they are not eligible to participate in the Federal Loan programs (Stafford, Perkins, etc.).
International students can apply for financial aid awards by visiting the Texas A&M Financial Aid website and submitting an International Student Financial Aid Application. They can also visit International Student Services (ISS) for additional resources.
Are graduate assistantship(GA) positions available?
The Bush School does not offer GA positions to incoming, in-resident, degree students. However, for MPSA and MIA second-year students, about fifteen research GAs are awarded per department, as are a few non-teaching GAs. First-year grades and skills/fit play a heavy consideration in who will be chosen by faculty and staff.
How much will the degree cost?
MPSA/MIA: The yearly cost of tuition/fees is about $13,400 for Texas residents, which non-residents also pay since our scholarships qualify them for non-resident tuition waivers. With an average Bush School Scholarship amount of $5,000 applied, the yearly tuition/fee cost for most students is about $8,400 a year or less.
Living costs in Bryan/College Station are about $21,000 a year. Before scholarship support is applied, the yearly total cost is nearly $34,000, or $68,000 over two years. International students have a few additional charges (including health insurance), that increase costs by at least $4,000. After scholarships are applied, the cost is much more manageable.
MIP: This one-year degree tackles 30 hours at a yearly tuition/fee cost of roughly $16,900 for residents and $32,200 for non-residents. Living costs are about $21,000 a year for a total cost of $38,000 for residents and about $53,000 for non-residents.
Remember! Students live in an affordable town with close proximity to four major metropolitan areas (Houston, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, and San Antonio), and they graduate to join one of the largest and most active alumni associations in the world.
How do I contact the Financial Aid Office at Texas A&M?
The Scholarships and Financial Aid office may be reached by phone at 979-845-3236 or online at Texas A&M Scholarships and Aid.
Does the Bush School offer career mentoring and assistance?
Yes, the Bush School has dedicated Career Services staff consisting of three employees who assist students in bridging the gap between academia and the professional world through career development workshops, internship and job search assistance, alumni mentoring programs, and more. We are committed to helping our 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. Additional information can be found online under Career Services.
Does the Career Service Office help with internship options and funding?
Yes, the Career Services staff work with our faculty to provide leads on relevant internships as well as maintain internship information from a variety of public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Students are also encouraged to seek out opportunities through their own networking contacts. Ultimately, students have to apply and market their skills effectively to secure an internship that is relevant to them, but we provide guidance and help.
Should students receive an internship with no funding, they can apply for some financial support through the Bush School’s Career Services Office. But they have to qualify by attending the career development workshops offered in the fall and spring of their first year. Aid amounts vary by internship location.
What do the average employment rates look like six months after graduation?
How quickly you land a job and how closely it matches your interests depends on many factors (including security clearances and your desired location), but our employment rates are very competitive from year to year, averaging the last three years at 92% for MPSA and 87% for MIA. Take a look at our Employment Statistics.
May I visit the Bush School?
Yes! Students are encouraged to visit the Bush School to learn more about our programs. We offer a variety of options:
- Attend one of several Recruitment Events we hold each year. These include Open Houses, online webinars, information sessions, Zoom Q&A Hours, our Public Service Weekend, campus graduate fairs, presentations to different organizations, and more.
- Schedule an individual visit. Call 979-862-3476 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the purpose of the visit, your interests, who you would like to meet, and possible dates. Please contact us at least a week in advance of the intended visit, if possible.