Masters of Public Administration program accelerates admissions

Masters of Public Administration program accelerates admissions

Kevin Patel

Appalachian State University’s Masters of Public Administration Program is currently engaging in an accelerated admissions process, allowing a select few undergraduate students to work toward an MPA while also fulfilling their undergraduate requirements.

The accelerated admissions will give students the opportunity to take graduate level courses that will fulfill requirements for their undergraduate degree while also fulfilling the requirements for a graduate level degree, said Mark Bradbury, director of the MPA Program.

Applicants to the accelerated program are required to have a 3.4 GPA, be a political science major and must be a junior or senior nearing completion of undergraduate requirements. The program director has final say on whether an applicant is admitted, Bradbury said.

Prior to the creation of the accelerated admissions program, undergraduate students seeking to participate in graduate level courses were required to have a 3.0 GPA and 90 hours of coursework. These students were also required to take between six and 12 hours of graduate coursework, but these hours could not be applied to both an undergraduate and graduate degree.

Bradbury said that the accelerated admissions will serve as a bridge for these students by allowing them to count their graduate coursework, nine hours worth, toward both of their prospective degrees.

The accelerated admissions program will be relatively selective, and Bradbury said he expects only two to three students to take advantage of it each year, but there is no maximum number of participants.

“We will admit as many outstanding applicants as we can,” Bradbury said in an email.
This program will probably not be for students with a lot of general education classes left to take, said Adam Newmark, associate professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies and co-director of the Master of Arts in political science.

“However, for a small number of advanced students, this is an opportunity for them to take more challenging courses and likely complete a masters degree in an additional year,” Newmark said in an email.

“Two factors will make participation relatively ‘exceptional’ –the first is the minimum GPA, the second is that the student must have flexibility in the schedule during their senior year in order to take graduate courses while also completing Gen Ed and their major(s),” Bradbury said.*

Bradbury said  the program is a direct response to the improving quality of education at the university.

“Graduate programs have improved markedly in quality under the guidance of Dean Huntley in terms of difficulty of admission and other metrics,” he said. “The accelerated admission program will only enhance this due to the GPA minimum.”

*CORRECTION: The quote was originally attributed to Newmark but was said by Bradbury. The attribution has since been updated. The Appalachian apologizes for this error.  

Story: Kevin Patel, Intern News Reporter