Public Administration FAQ | Kean University World Class Education

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Public Administration

Public Administration FAQ

While your applying…

What is required to apply for admission to the MPA Program?
In order to apply to the MPA Program, a student should submit the following:
    •    The Graduate School application and application fee
    •    Official transcripts from all post-secondary education
    •    A personal statement (one-page summary of career goals and how the MPA program will help you achieve them)
    •    Professional resume/CV (optional)
    •    Three letters of reference ( at least one academic reference is suggested but not required)
    •    If you are an international student, the Test of English as a Foreign Language scores (TOEFL).

When is the application deadline?
To be considered for fall admission, applications and fees should be received by June 1st.
To be considered for spring admission, applications and fees should be received by December 1st.

Is the GRE or GMAT required?
No.

What is the minimum expected undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA)?
The admissions committee prefers that an applicant have at least a 3.0 GPA. The committee puts more weight on an applicant’s performance during the last two years of undergraduate work. The committee always considers the GPA in conjunction with other aspects of the applicant’s record, including field of study and work experience.

Graduate Assistantships
Each year, Kean University offers a limited number of graduate assistantships. Providing the best education at an affordable cost to our students is paramount. Through this special program, a select number of Graduate students will have tuition and fees waived. Assistantships draw on a variety of different skills and require a service on campus 15-20 hours each week, depending on assignment.

Do I have to have a background in public administration to be admitted to the program?
No. Your undergraduate degree can be in any field of study.

Is it advisable to take courses before I apply?
All college graduates are eligible to take PBS (Post-Baccalaureate Studies) courses, which are graduate courses taken before admission to a graduate program. In general, the MPA program advises prospective students to apply, rather than take PBS courses before applying for two reasons. First, admitted students receive preference in enrolling in PA courses, many of which are closed to PBS students. Second, admitted students receive an advisor, who can guide them to the correct courses and course sequences.

Will a strong performance in PBS courses strengthen my chances of admission to the MPA program?
The admissions committee may consider PBS performance, particularly in selected core courses, in making its decisions. However, the committee gives greater weight to other aspects of an applicant’s record, including undergraduate GPA (especially for the last two years), career goals, and work experience. Even a very strong performance in PBS courses may not be enough to overcome weaknesses in these other aspects of an applicant’s record.

What about transferring in credits from another program?
The MPA program may accept transfer credits from an accredited university if (1) the hours were completed in a graduate classification at an accredited graduate school, (2), the courses were completed with a grade of ‘B’ (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better, and (3) the courses are related to public administration, public policy, or the student’s area of specialization. Generally no more than 6 credit hours can be transferred. Students must meet with an advisor and apply for transfer of credits during the first semester of classes.

I am an international student. What TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores does the department require?
TOEFL – The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants who hold citizenship in a country where English is not the official language.  TOEFL scores are valid for two years and must be sent directly from the Educational Test Service (ETS), using institution code 2517. For more information on the TOEFL, please visit http://www.ets.org/toefl.
    •    Minimum Scores
    •    Internet Based Test (iBT) – 79
    •    Paper Based Test (PBT) – 550

How long do admission decisions generally take?
Except during the winter and summer breaks the admissions committee can decide within a few weeks of receiving a completed application. Some applications for recent graduates may be delayed until we receive end-of semester grades and proof of graduation.


Once you are here….

Will I have the opportunity to complete an internship while I am in the program?
Yes. Students who do not have professional experience in government, nonprofits, or health care organizations must complete an internship. Internships allow students to use and extend skills that they have learned in the MPA program and prepare them for the professional job market. Placements are generally arranged by the concentration coordinator or the MPA Director. Six hours of internship credit are included in the degree requirements. If a student has more than 2 years of managerial/professional experience the internship can be waived. Waiver applications are available in the MPA office.

How long do I have to complete the degree?
Full-time students generally complete their degree in two years, and many part-time students complete their degree in three to five years, depending on work and family demands. Students are given a maximum of six years in which to complete the degree.

What time of day the courses are usually offered?
The courses are offered in the evenings, Monday through Thursday. Evening classes accommodate the schedules of students who also work full-time.

Can I specialize in one particular area?
The MPA program encourages students to specialize in their course work in specific areas of interest. Formal specializations include nonprofit management, environmental management and Health Services Administration.

Whom may I contact with more questions? Can I come in to talk to someone about the program?
For additional information about our programs you may contact:
    •    Dr. Armine Lulejian- Health Service Administration
    •    alulejia@kean.edu
    •    Dr. Patricia Moore- Nonprofit Management and General MPA
    •    pmoore@kean.edu
    •    Dr. Craig Donovan- BA/MPA
    •    cpdonova@kean.edu


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) by Part-Time Students

How long will it take to complete the program?
Students have 6 years to complete the program. Most part-time students complete the program within 3-4 years.

How many part-time students are there compared to full-time students?
Approximately 75% of the students are part-time compared to 25% who are full-time

What time do classes begin in the evening?
Classes in the MPA program start as early as 4:30pm.

What types of students attend the MPA program?
Students are drawn from diverse disciplines. The part-time students work for various entities, including state and local government, health service agencies, nonprofits and universities.

What financial aid is available to part-time students?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only application used to apply for need-based financial aid for state and federal programs. The FAFSA can be filed electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov. For more information, call 1-800-4FEDAID. The earlier you file your application the sooner you will receive notice of your eligibility for financial aid. Please list Kean University on the FAFSA and enter our federal ID number 002622 in order for the Financial Aid Office to receive it electronically.

Can students’ switch from part-time to full-time status while attending the program?
Yes.

Are students allowed to take a “leave of absence” while enrolled?
Students who must leave the University temporarily either for medical or personal reasons may request a leave of absence. A leave of absence must be requested through the Office of Graduate Student Services. Included in the request should be length of the leave (leaves are granted for either one or two semester(s)) and the circumstances surrounding the request. If a student fails to request a Leave of Absence, the student may have to re-apply to the University. If the student believes their leave will last longer than the maximum leave allowance (one academic year) the student will have to file a Re-Admission Application at the time they wish to resume their studies.

It has been a long time since I have attended classes? Will I be at a disadvantage compared to other students?
Our experience has indicated that part-time students offer a unique perspective to class discussions, and they can often apply what they have learned in the job setting to various class assignments.

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