Master’s Degree Admissions Stats and FAQ
Incoming Student Stats for 2023-24
|Students of Color %||25%||36%||13%|
|Average work experience years:|
|>> 0-2 years||59%||75%||x|
|>> 2-5 years||21%||16%||x|
|>> 5+ years||20%||9%||100%|
What is the application deadline for the primary College Station master’s programs (MPSA, MIA, MIA-combined, MIP)?
Application deadlines are listed on the pages below:
How do I apply?
Visit our web pages below for detailed application instructions:
- MPSA Application Instructions
- MIA Application Instructions
- MIA-MPH Application Instructions
- ECON-MIA Application Instructions
- MIP (TX) Application Instructions
What documents are required to complete my application?
Complete and detailed instructions for each degree are found on the links listed above. Be sure to download the application instructions and checklist available on those pages for a concise overview you can reference as you fill out your application.
How do I withdraw/cancel my submitted application?
MPSA, MIA, and MIP (TX) applicants are asked to email the Bush School Admissions Office at email@example.com if they decide to withdraw their application from consideration. NOTE: The application fee will not be refunded for those who withdraw or cancel their submitted application.
MIA-combined degree applicants are asked to email both the Bush School Admissions Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) School of Public Health (SPH-GSS@tamu.edu) or the Department of Economics (email@example.com) to withdraw their application from admissions consideration from either or both departments.
How will I know when my application is considered complete?
The Bush School Admissions Office will notify applicants via the email they used on their application to communicate all updates regarding their application, including any missing items, when an application is complete and under review, and a final admissions decision.
Applicants who applied through GradCAS 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
No, the GRE/GMAT tests are optional to apply to the MPSA, MIA, MIA portion of the combined, or MIP programs. However, an applicant may want to submit GRE/GMAT scores under the following conditions (on a 4.0 grading scale):
- MPSA, MIA, MIA-combined: Strongly encouraged for those with a cumulative GPA below a 3.2.
- MIP (TX): Strongly encouraged for those with a cumulative GPA below a 3.0.
The Bush School accepts GRE/GMAT scores for anyone who feels their scores can help.
- Complement strong aspects and help deliberations in merit aid consideration.
- Offset concerns of a below average GPA or lack of experience in the field.
- Support an application if past efforts do not accurately reflect current abilities.
What if I take the GRE/GMAT more than once?
There is no penalty for those who take a test more than once. We use the highest total score from one test date. Scores are not averaged nor super scored. To submit new scores after you have submitted your application, send a copy of your Test Score Report to email@example.com, preferably by the Priority Application Deadline, but no later than the Final Application Deadline.
Where do I find information about taking the GRE? How much does it cost?
Visit the GRE website. Most test takers now have two options: At home or at a testing center. Applicants can find test centers and dates by searching for a GRE General Test location near a specific city or address or evaluate if they meet the requirements for home testing. As of July 2023, the GRE test costs $220 for most countries. More information is found on the link above.
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 ETS, Princeton Review, Kaplan, Magoosh, and more.
What if I cannot take the GRE or GMAT and/or have my test scores arrive by the deadline?
All materials must be received by the Final Application Deadline. Applicants who decide to submit GRE scores should schedule to take the test at least six weeks prior to the deadline, as applications are on hold and incomplete until received. Scores can take two to six weeks to arrive. For MPSA, MIA, and MIA combined applicants, we recommend tests be completed by November to meet the mid-December priority deadline.
For those who plan to submit GRE/GMAT scores:
- Submit the online application prior to taking the test.
- Email us a copy of your 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Your application will be held from consideration until your scores are received or you have notified the Bush School Admissions Office that you will no longer be providing scores.
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. Visit the International Admissions Requirements website for a list of accepted methods of proof.
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.
What criteria does the Admissions Committee use in evaluating applicants?
The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants holistically. This means all aspects of an application are considered, including an applicant’s merit, background, experiences, recommendations, personal statements, international experience essays (for MIA), résumé, courses taken, cumulative GPAs in all degrees earned, test scores (if submitted), 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?
Each department has an Admissions Committee consisting of faculty and admissions staff who review applications to determine who to invite for an interview and who to admit. The committees’ decisions are final.
How many applicants are invited to interview?
We typically interview double the intended class size (e.g., 180 invited to interview for a class goal of 90-100 for the MPSA and MIA programs). Interviews are not conducted for the MIP.
What and when is the Interview Conference Weekend?
Selected MPSA, MIA, and MIA-combined degree 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 for the Interview Conference?
Attendees are responsible for their own lodging and travel expenses to and from the Interview Conference Weekend, but the Bush School provides logistical information (hotel recommendations, airport locations, shuttle options) 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.
When will final admissions decisions be announced?
MPSA, MIA, MIA-combined degree applicants are notified via email with their final admissions decision and Bush School Scholarship award by mid-March.
MIP (TX) applicants are notified via email with their final admissions decision within 7-10 business days of submitting an application and all required materials (including recommendations).
Do you have a waitlist?
The MIA uses a waitlist each year, while the MPSA will sometimes waitlist qualified applicants when we have a robust year and hit our seat limit. Candidates placed on the waitlist are notified in mid-March via email and are informed if a seat in the incoming class becomes available. The waitlist is not ranked.
The MIP (TX) does not use a waitlist.
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 in mid-to-late August. For specific dates, refer to the Texas A&M University Academic Calendar.
Can you pursue the degrees part-time?
Students admitted to the MPSA, MIA, and MIP (TX) programs can pursue the degree part-time, if this works better for your schedule. Classes held on campus are typically offered Monday through Friday during work hours, so you must have some flexibility in your work schedule. NOTE: students must be enrolled in at least half-time status (a minimum of five credit-hours during the fall/spring semester) to qualify for federal financial aid.
MPSA, MIA, and MIA combined students must be enrolled in full-time status (at least 9 credit-hours in the fall/spring) to receive their Bush School Scholarship.
Are there any required prerequisite courses?
None of our on-campus degrees require prerequisites, although we do encourage applicants to have some familiarity with these topics:
- MPSA: American Government; Economics (micro 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. The MPSA and MIP programs do not require concentrations.
- MPSA: MPSA Tracks and MPSA Concentrations
- MIA and MIA-MPH: MIA Tracks and MIA Concentrations
- MIP (TX): Refer to the MIA tracks and concentrations above, as needed.
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. Those who enroll part-time may take longer to graduate.
- 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.
- MIA-combined degrees: The MIA-MPH and ECON-MIA degrees are 3 years, 78-credit hours and require completion of the Master of Public Health or Master of Science in Economics practicum, an MIA internship, and at least one semester-long capstone project that meets the requirements for both departments. Native English speakers must pass a foreign language exam to graduate with the MIA. 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 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 (TX) 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-combined degrees.
- MIP (TX): 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 (TX): No more than 9 total credit hours (combination of Bush School certificate courses and courses from other institutions) can transfer into the MIP.
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?
A comprehensive overview of the funding the Bush School offers its students is found under Funding & Cost portion of the website, listed by degree.
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 seeking additional financial support can refer to the following websites for helpful guidance and opportunities:
- Texas A&M University International Student Services – Contains a list of scholarships and financial aid opportunities for international students to apply for as well as an estimated cost of attendance.
- Texas A&M Scholarships & Financial Aid – Offershelpful guidance and instructions to complete the ISFAA (International Student Financial Aid Application) or eTASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid).
Are graduate assistantship (GA) positions available?
The Bush School does not offer GA positions to incoming degree students. However, for MPSA and MIA second-year students, about a dozen research GAs are awarded per department, as are a few non-teaching GA positions. First-year grades, skills, and fit play a heavy consideration in who will be chosen.
How much will the degree cost?
A breakdown of tuition and required fees by program is listed via the links below:
- MPSA: Cost & Funding
- MIA: Cost & Funding
- MIA-MPH: Cost & Funding
- ECON-MIA: Cost & Funding
- MIP (TX): Cost & Funding
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 online at Texas A&M Aggie Ones Stop or by phone at 979-847-1787. Business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00 p.m. (CST).
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, 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 Services 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 93% for MPSA and 92% 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 host several events each year, including Open Houses, online webinars, information sessions, Ask Us Anything Zoom Hours, our Public Service Weekend, campus graduate fairs, presentations to different organizations, and more. Visit our Recruitment Events page for a complete list of opportunities where you can meet with us!
- Schedule a Zoom Meeting: Email us at email@example.com to request a meeting with Admissions Staff via Zoom to discuss your interest. Include your programs interest and possible dates you’re available to meet.
- Call us: For questions and/or to chat about your interest in any of our on-campus programs in College Station, feel free to call the Bush School Admissions Office at 979-862-3476.
- Email us: For questions or to request more information about a program, we encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your program of interest and what you’d like to know.
- Walk-ins: While we prefer prospective students schedule a visit with us, we do accept walk-in visits if we are available. You can find us in the Student Services Suite at the top of the stairs on the second floor of the Allen Building.
- Schedule an individual Bush School Campus Visit: Email us at email@example.com with your request to visit the Bush School campus and include the purpose of the visit, your interests, whom you would like to meet, and possible dates. Please contact us a week in advance, if possible.
- Schedule a Texas A&M University Campus Tour: For a tour of the Texas A&M campus, please schedule a visit with the Texas A&M Visitor Center.