Master of Public Service & Administration
The Bush School Admissions Office works with the Office of Graduate Admissions at Texas A&M University to process all applications for the on-campus Master of Public Service & Administration (MPSA).
To help applicants manage the process, we created the following application instructions and checklist in PDF format to download and reference. The checklist is available on the last page of the documents below:
TEXAS A&M 3+2 APPLICANTS: Do NOT follow the application process below. Refer to the 3+2 application process.
Overview of the Application Process
Applicants apply to the program by uploading all support materials and submitting an application through the GradCAS application system. The exception to this is any continuing graduate student at Texas A&M who instead submits a Letter of Intent to move from another grad program to the MPSA (and TAMU 3+2 year applicants; see above).
Applicants are required to submit the following materials to complete their application by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed or considered for admission.
- Application Fee
- Personal Statement
- Letters of Recommendation with Evaluation
- GRE/GMAT Scores (optional)
- Proof of English Proficiency (for applicants from non-English speaking countries)
To avoid confusion or delay in processing an application, please use the same spelling and name on all correspondence. Also, notify the Bush School Admissions Office of any changes to address and/or name.
Completed applications are reviewed by the MPSA Admissions Committee in late January to determine who will be invited to interview during the next step in the admissions process. Interviews are conducted face-to-face during Interview Conference Weekend, or for those unable to attend, scheduled for alternate (Zoom) interactions. Once interviews are complete, the Admissions and Scholarship Committees meet in late February or early March to make final admissions decisions and award scholarships. These decisions are emailed to applicants no later than March 15. For further details, visit our Admissions Timeline page.
We admit students into the MPSA program once per year, for fall entry only. Applications and all supporting materials (including recommendations) must be submitted/received by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed or considered for admission.
Application deadlines for Fall 2022 entry:
- Priority Funding Application Deadline – December 15, 2021
Applicants are strongly advised to submit all supporting documents and their application by the priority deadline to ensure their file is confirmed to be complete in time to be considered for all available Bush School funding.
- Final Application Deadline* – January 12, 2022
Applications received after the priority funding deadline, but on or before the final application deadline, still receive a competitive Bush School Scholarship. However, nomination-based opportunities may no longer be available.
Additionally, the closer we are to the final deadline date, the busier the Bush School Admissions Office gets. Applicants may experience longer response times, which can be frustrating. We value an applicant’s time and want to ensure all documents are accounted for, questions can be answered, and issues can be dealt with before the submission window closes (which is January 12). Aim for the priority deadline if possible.
*Should the need arise and if space allows, we might extend the deadline to consider late applicants. However, this will not be determined until on or after the final application deadline.
The Bush School Admissions Office makes the final determination when an application is complete. Even if the GradCAS portal says an application is complete, it may not be, as the system only checks for some of the required items. The Bush School Admissions Office will send an official email notification of a complete file. Look for our email updates and please be patient as we process incoming applications and support documents.
Unless an applicant is a continuing Texas A&M graduate student (or TAMU 3+2 applicant), submission of an application and all supporting documents through GradCAS is required. Applicants do this by creating an account and selecting the appropriate program:
- Fall 2022 Master of Public Service & Administration
Continuing Texas A&M Graduate Students: If an applicant is currently completing a graduate degree at Texas A&M and wishes to pursue another, he/she should email a completed Letter of Intent form (instead of an application in GradCAS), along with all supporting materials, to email@example.com.
Texas A&M 3+2 Applicants: Do NOT submit an application in GradCAS. Please refer to the application instructions located here.
Applicants pay a nonrefundable fee to submit their application in GradCAS. Application fee costs:
- $89 for domestic applicants*
- $114 for international applicants
*Applications received outside of GradCAS for continuing TAMU Graduate Students and TAMU 3+2 Applicants do not incur an application fee. See above.
Application Fee Waivers:
Service Organization Members/Alumni and Fellowship Recipients: The Bush School has written agreements with several groups whereby the Bush School pays the app fee: AmeriCorps; Teach For America; City Year; Peace Corps; PPIA; and Pickering/Rangel/Payne Fellows.
- Applicants from one of these groups must start an application, and when ready to submit the application, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a confirmation sheet of service to verify their time.
- We will review and, if approved, provide a coupon code to use for the application fee when submitting the GradCAS application.
- **DO NOT** pay the application fee without the coupon code because payment cannot be refunded once submitted.
McNair Scholars: Texas A&M will pay the application fee for McNair Scholars. For next steps, visit Texas A&M’s Office of Admissions.
Need-based and International Waiver Requests: Texas A&M will consider fee waivers for low-income domestic applicants in exceptional cases, but they do NOT waive application fees for international applicants. To find out more, visit Texas A&M’s Office of Admissions.
In the Supporting Information quadrant -> Documents section of GradCAS*, applicants upload a current résumé (up to two pages max) that includes activities after high school. A Résumé Template is available for reference:
- Name and Contact Information
- Undergraduate Institution; include month/year completed (or to complete)
- Degree earned, with major(s), minor(s)
- Cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale (if it helps, consider adding a last 60 hour or major GPA)
- List any additional bachelor/master/PhD degrees and certificates you will complete or are in-progress to complete
- Academic honors and awards
- Work/Internship Experience
- List all professional work or internship experiences (full-time, part-time, and internships)
- Include military services and duties
- International Experience (if applicable)
- Related/Highlighted Coursework(optional)
- Applied Class Projects/Activities(optional)
- Skills and Certifications (optional)
- Language: List the language and current speaking level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, fluent). Optional for reading, writing levels
- Computer: List relevant software by name
- Security Clearance: Highlight any relevant clearances
- Leadership, Service, Organizations, and Honors
- Indicate the organization, position/role assumed, the duration/dates involved, and the time involved per week/month/semester
*Continuing Texas A&M Graduate Students: Email the résumé to email@example.com.
Applicants upload their personal statement through the Program Materials quadrant -> Documents tab in GradCAS*. Statements should be typed in 11 pt font, spaced 1.5”, and include the applicant’s name, the title “Personal Statement,” and a page number on each page.
Prompt: In 750 words or less, please address the following topics in your personal statement:
- Your personal and professional goals for your intended career,
- What (including the people, places, or events) inspired you to pursue a career in public service,
- How obtaining the MPSA from the Bush School will help you achieve your goals, and
- Include your public service experience and what value you bring to the program.
*Continuing Texas A&M Graduate Students: Email the personal statement to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three recommendations with evaluations are required and must be received by the application deadline. We prefer letters be from a higher education academic reference, particularly from a course instructor who can attest to an applicant’s capability to pursue graduate school. However, we can accept professional references as needed, particularly for those who graduated several years prior to applying. Professional references can speak to the applicant’s leadership; character; public service, military, or work experience, but should provide specific anecdotes as to why the applicant is qualified for graduate school. Applications with fewer than three recommendations will NOT be reviewed for admission.
When filling out an application through GradCAS, applicants enter the contact information (name and email) for three recommenders in the Program Materials quadrant -> Recommendations tab. Immediately after saving the contact information for a recommender, an email is sent to the recommender on the applicant’s behalf containing instructions to submit the following through the GradCAS Letters by Liaison portal:
- Letter of Recommendation (preferably written on official letterhead)
- Applicant Evaluation
When filling out the recommenders’ contact information, the “Due Date” an applicant enters is displayed in the email notification the recommender receives, along with any “Personal Messages/Notes” that were entered. We recommend applicants set a due date of at least a week prior to the Application Deadline. Applicants are encouraged to advise their recommenders to look for an email from Letters by Liaison in their inbox, as well as their spam/junk mail folders, since emails can be flagged incorrectly.
*TIP* Applicants do NOT have to wait for recommendations to be received/completed before submitting their application. Rather, we advise applicants to submit their application and continue to monitor the status of their recommendations to ensure they are received by the application deadline. Applicants simply log back into their GradCAS application, navigate to the Program Materials quadrant -> Recommendations tab to check the status of each recommendation and/or to send a reminder.
Recommendations will be in one of the following statuses:
- Requested: An email was sent to the recommender, but he/she has not accepted or declined the request for a recommendation.
- Accepted: The recommender has accepted the request for a recommendation and may have even started their recommendation, but they have not submitted it quite yet.
- Completed: Recommendation has been submitted. A completed date should be listed.
To send a reminder to a recommender: Either call or email a reminder outside the system OR resend the request through GradCAS by editing a recommender, adding a note, and pressing the ‘Resend This Recommendation Request’ button at the bottom of the page.
*Continuing Texas A&M Graduate Students:
Fill out the top portion of the Recommendation Form and instruct the recommender to finish filling out the rest. He/she then sends the Recommendation Form and the support recommendation letter to the Bush School Admissions Office.
- Email email@example.com – Recommenders must submit directly; recommendations emailed by the applicant are not accepted.
*Recommenders Unable to Submit Recommendation via the GradCAS Letters by Liaison portal:
If a recommender is encountering difficulties uploading their recommendation letter and/or filling out the online evaluation, follow the instructions listed above for Continuing Texas A&M Graduate Students.
- Be aware that since the recommender will not submit his/her recommendation through the Letters by Liaison portal, the status of this recommendation will continue to say “requested” or “accepted,” and will never update to “complete.” This will also cause the overall status of the application to never “complete.” For these reasons, we strongly encourage applicants to work with their recommenders on submitting their recommendation through the Letters by Liaison portal.
UNOFFICIAL Transcripts Required to Apply
In GradCAS, applicants upload a copy of their official transcript from all 4-year colleges/universities attended to the Academic History quadrant -> Colleges Attended section. While asked to enter every college/university attended, applicants are only required to upload transcripts for the 4-year colleges/universities they attended. Transcripts from junior or community colleges are not needed. For each degree earned, the corresponding transcript must indicate the name of the degree and date it was awarded. Transcripts uploaded to GradCAS or sent via email are considered unofficial, but are sufficient for reviewing an application for admission.
International (non-US) Transcripts: Gather the transcript and diploma (or degree certificate) in its native language, along with an English translation (if applicable). Save all documents into one file and upload to the GradCAS application.
Texas A&M Current or Former Students: Please upload a copy of the Texas A&M transcript into GradCAS.
OFFICIAL Transcripts Required upon Admission
Admitted students cannot register for courses until official transcripts from all 4-year colleges/universities attended are received and processed by the Texas A&M Office of Graduate Admissions. A registration hold is placed on the student’s account until officials are on file. Registration typically opens in mid-April, so it is imperative for an admitted student to request official transcripts be sent immediately upon admission.
For transcripts to be considered official, they must be submitted directly from the university/college to Texas A&M’s Office of Graduate Admissions (NOT the Bush School) in one of the following ways:
- Electronically via SPEEDE, eSCRIPT-SAFE, PARCHMENT, or National Student Clearing House to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mailed to Texas A&M Graduate Admissions Processing in a sealed envelope with the registrar’s signature or stamp across the seal.
U.S. Postal Mail
Graduate Admissions Processing
Texas A&M University
PO Box 40001
College Station, TX 77842-4001
Express mail or courier (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.)
Graduate Admissions Processing
Texas A&M University
General Services Complex
750 Agronomy Rd, Suite 1601
College Station, TX 77843-0200
International Transcripts: Applicants must submit their official transcript and diploma (or degree certificate) in its native language as well as an official English translation for both. They are to be signed by the registrar, controller of examinations, or president of the university issuing the document. Translations sent directly from the institution attended or from a recognized translator are considered official. Consolidated and provisional mark-sheets are NOT considered official. Please ask the registrar to send individual mark-sheets with the grades earned in each term. Photocopies or other duplications such as notarized copies and faxes are not official.
Texas A&M (College Station, Galveston, or Qatar) Current or Former Students: These students do NOT need to submit official Texas A&M transcripts, or other supporting transcripts, previously sent to Texas A&M.
The MPSA does NOT require applicants to submit GRE scores, but many still do for reasons stated below. We use the cumulative GPA (out of 4.0) as listed on the transcript issuing the degree (bachelor, master, PhD). Applicants weighing the decision to submit scores should consider their testing ability, time to study, and whether scores will help or hinder their application (we have a 304 average).
- Optional for those with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better.
- Strongly encouraged for those with a cumulative GPA below 3.2 OR if grades/experience do not reflect current abilities.
- Encouraged for those who feel scores can complement a strong file or offset concerns such as a low GPA or lack of experience in the field.
To be valid, scores must be within five years of the date the GradCAS application is submitted. Upload an unofficial Test Score Report to the Program Materials quadrant -> Documents tab of the application in GradCAS. We prefer the GRE test over GMAT.
Official scores are only needed for international applicants who wish to provide Proof of English Proficiency via their GRE/GMAT score. Official test scores should be sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to Texas A&M University and must be within five years of the date the GradCAS application is submitted.
(GRE Code: 6003 / GMAT Code: 7B7-K9-57)
Proof of English Proficiency
(for applicants from non-English speaking countries)
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 list on the Texas A&M 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 ELP 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+ i-BT. MyBest TOEFL Scores are not accepted.
- Score an IELTS Academic test score of 6.0 or higher 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 test 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 and Galveston); 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
Contact Information: Bush School Admissions
If applicants need to mail any items to Graduate Admissions Processing at Texas A&M (as listed above), please do not staple items or include items in folders or cover sheets; leave sheets and sealed documents loose.
Questions about the application or application process should be directed to Ashlee Treadway or Kathryn Meyer in the Bush School Admissions Office. Our contact information:
All documents on this page are in PDF format. To view the files, you must have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.