Frequently Asked Questions

On this page:

Program Overview

Program Overview

1) Time to Completion, Course Scheduling and Location:
2) Admissions Criteria:
3) Application Procedures, Materials, and Deadlines:
4) Curriculum and Requirements:
5) MPP Internships:
6) Tuition and Financing:
7) Academic Support and Advising:
8) Accreditation, Dual Degrees, and our 4+1 program:

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1) Time to Completion, Course Scheduling and Location:

Q: How long does it take to complete the MPP degree?

Students may attend classes full-time (3 courses per semester) or part-time (less than 3 courses per semester).  Full-time students can complete the program in about 2 years. Part-time students will usually take 3 to 5 years.

Q:  Where and when are MPP classes held?

All courses required for the MPP are held during weekday evenings at Temple’s Center City Campus (TUCC) at 1515 Market St.  This campus is in downtown Philadelphia across the street from City Hall.  TUCC is near a major transportation hub (Suburban Station), and also subway and bus lines.  Classes run from 5:40 to 8:10pm.  Some elective courses are offered on Main campus or are teleconferenced to Center City campus from Main campus. Some MPP courses run once per week for the entire 14-week semester, and others run twice per week but are only 7 weeks in duration.  As a result, students can complete three courses per semester while they take only two courses at any one time.

Q:  Do you offer MPP courses during the summer or on Saturdays?

At this time, a limited number of elective courses are offered in the summer.  As the program grows, we anticipate that more such courses and perhaps required courses will also be offered in the summer.  We may offer Saturday courses in the future if sufficient numbers of students indicate that they would enroll.

Q: When do Temple’s academic terms begin and end?

Fall semesters generally begin at the end of August, the week before Labor Day and end in mid-December.  Spring semesters begin in mid-January and end in the beginning of May.

See the full academic calendar.

 Q: Can I pursue a dual degree as an MPP student?

The MPP program is working with the College of Public Health to offer an MPP-MPH dual degree that should be approved in time for enrollment in the Fall 2017 semester.  The dual degree will allow students to earn both degrees by taking 63 credits rather than the 81 credits that would be required if each degree were earned separately. Prospective students need to apply and be admitted to both the MPP and MPH programs separately.  Other dual degrees are being planned with the Law School (MPP-JD), the School of Social Work (MPP-MSW) and Urban Bioethics (MPP-MAUB).

Q: Does the MPP program have a 4 Plus 1 program for undergraduates?

A 4 Plus 1 program allows students to earn their Bachelor’s degree and the MPP degree in five years rather than the six that it would take if they pursued both degrees separately.  A 4 Plus 1 program for the MPP is being planned that would allow for undergraduate students with excellent academic records to apply in the Fall 2017 semester to begin taking MPP courses in Fall 2018.  Under the 4+1 program, students would take four MPP courses (12 credits) in their last year or two years as undergraduate students.  The 12 credits will count towards both their Bachelor’s and MPP degrees.  Students would take the remainder of their MPP course work in the “plus 1” year after they earn they graduate with their Bachelor’s degree.

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2) Admissions Criteria:

Q: What are the minimum standards for admission to the MPP degree?

  • A bachelor’s degree from a reputable university or college.
  • An undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (or its equivalent from a foreign institution)
  • GRE scores higher than the 50th percentile for verbal and quantitative portions of the exam.

International students who have not earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree from a U.S. institution must take a test of academic English. These scores are required if you were not born on American soil and were educated at an institution outside the United States or if you are a U.S. citizen who earned a degree abroad from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English. No photocopies of score reports for a test of academic English will be accepted from applicants. Scores for the TOEFL®IELTS™, and PTE Academic™ must be reported by the testing service to Temple University within two years of the applicant’s test date. For the minimum acceptable scores on the English language exams and information about other requirements for international applicants, see Temple University’s Graduate School page.

Q:  When should I expect to hear about admission decisions?

We can make admissions decisions only after we have received completed applications and the application fee has been paid.  Applicants should be in contact with the Assistant Director, Jeff Antsen, to make sure that we have received all of the necessary documents.  Once the file is complete, the MPP Director reviews the file and makes a recommendation to the College of Liberal Arts, which makes the final decision about admissions.  Once the Director makes his recommendation, applicants usually receive an official letter within two weeks from the Graduate School.

Q: What should I do after I am admitted in order to register for classes?

After you are admitted, the Assistant Director, Jeff Antsen, will send you a Matriculation Form.  Admitted students must fill out form and return it to the College of Liberal Arts admissions office, along with the $200 graduate course deposit.  This deposit can be paid online or via check, whichever is preferable to you.  Once we receive the deposit, you will be able to register for courses using your Temple ID number, username (your TUID), and password.  Students should consult with the MPP Director to make sure that they are registering for the appropriate courses for their first semester in the program.   After consulting with the Director, you can use your Temple ID, username and password to register through the TU Portal.  If you have problems with registration, you should contact Mr. Antsen or our Coordinator, Tanya Taylor, who will help you register.

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3) Application Procedures, Materials, and Deadlines:

Q: What do I need to do in order to apply?

You can begin the online application by clicking here.  You will be provided with a unique Temple identification number and username (your TUID), and you can set your password.  The application includes your statement of purpose, which should address why you are interested in pursuing the MPP degree.  We also require an application fee of $75, which must be paid before we can review your application.

  • submit all undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) transcripts from schools you have attended.  You can submit an unofficial transcript initially, if you want to inquire about your competitiveness as an applicant or your eligibility for a GRE waiver.  However, for final admissions decisions, you must contact all of the schools that you have attended for them to send us official transcripts.
  • submit a current resume
  • submit three letters of recommendation from teachers, supervisors, or other mentors.  These should be people who know you well, and who can speak to your individual strengths and passions.
  • submit GRE scores

Q: Can I take MPP courses before I apply for admission?

Yes.  Students can take up to 9 credits as “non-matriculated” students.  If you decide to apply to the MPP program and are admitted, the credits count towards the degree.  Students who are considering taking MPP courses as non-matriculated students should contact the MPP Director before registering for classes.

Q: Where should I send my application materials?

Completed online applications are automatically sent to us once you pay the application fee.   Applicants can email their resumes and unofficial transcripts to mpp@temple.edu or hard copies can be mailed to the MPP office (our address is in the Contact Information section, below).  Those who write references on your behalf should also send them directly to mpp@temple.edu  Applications are not reviewed until they are complete.

Q: Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

If you are graduating soon or have recently graduated, your letters should primarily come from professors who taught your courses, or other faculty at your institution with whom you have worked closely.  If you have been out of school for a while, then supervisors or colleagues who can speak to your skills and experience would be more appropriate.  A mix of different types of references is always desirable.

Q: Can the GRE scores be waived? If so, when?

We can often waive the GREs in cases where: a) the applicant’s GPA exceeds 3.3, or b) where applicants have several years of relevant career experience in public policy, administration in a governmental or non-profit organization, or in a for-profit firm that works closely with a government.

Applicants with no course work in math as undergraduate students may be asked to take the GRE exam even if they meet these other criteria.  Questions about whether applicants qualify for waivers should be sent to mpp@temple.edu.  Unless you specifically ask us for a GRE waiver, we will assume that you intend to send us GRE scores, and will wait for them before we review your application.

Q: Can the 3.0 GPA be waived?

The 3.0 requirement is University policy and can be waived only under extraordinary circumstances, such as a clear pattern of academic improvement over the course of a rigorous undergraduate training, particularly in upper-level courses.

Q: When are applications due?

Applications are due November 1 2017 for Spring 2018 admission, and are due March 1 2018 for Fall 2018 admission.  We gladly accept applications early, and can sometimes consider them on a rolling basis.  Feel free to submit materials as soon as they are ready, and we will try to begin the review process of your application as soon as the file has been completed.  We generally begin evaluating new application files up to six months in advance of your preferred application deadline, and we admit a new cohort for each fall and spring semester.

Q: Will you accept applications after scheduled deadlines?

We may only be able to give full consideration to applications that we receive before these important deadlines.  While we sometimes may be able to accept applications after these deadlines, we cannot guarantee that late applications will be processed and evaluated in time for enrollment in your preferred semester.

Q:  Can I transfer credits from another MPP or MPA program to Temple’s program?

Yes.  Students admitted to the MPP program can transfer up to 6 credits.  The credits must have been earned at a reputable institution with a grade of B or better and Temple must have equivalent courses it its course inventory.  Students who wish to transfer credits need to submit a transcript listing the courses to be transferred and set up an appointment with the MPP Director to discuss transferring into the program.  Transfer students must apply to the MPP program and generally meet the same requirements as other applicants, although their performance in another MPP or MPA program will be given special consideration in the admissions decision.

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4) Curriculum and Requirements:

Q:  How many credits are required to earn the degree?

The MPP program consists of 36 credits, which includes eight required courses (24 credits), one internship (3 credits) and three electives (9 credits).

Q: What are the MPP courses like?

MPP required courses are usually offered in classes of 25 students or less.  They provide a mixture of lecture, class discussion, and in some cases, oral reports and presentations.  You should plan on doing significant reading before each course meeting, and most classes require a mix of work both individually and also within small groups.

Q: Who teaches MPP courses?

The MPP faculty includes a diverse array of faculty members from a variety of professional backgrounds and social science disciplines.  Some of our faculty members have extensive experience in government or non-profit and private sector organizations as agency heads, budget and finance directors, advisors and consultants.  Others are academics who have taught public policy courses and done research on issues related to public policy.  Brief biographical sketches of MPP faculty are included on the MPP website.

Q: Can I join this program if I may not be able to attend some seminars?

We realize that many prospective MPP students work part- or full- time and may have many life obligations in addition to pursuing this degree.  However, we do have the expectation that MPP students will make attending all regularly scheduled course meetings a primary weekly priority.

Q:  How many and what kinds of electives are offered?

We usually offer two electives per semester at our Center City campus.  Students who are able to travel to Main campus to take courses that start at 5:30pm, will have a greater number and variety of electives to choose from.  The topics covered in each elective vary from semester to semester depending upon faculty availability, student interests and our efforts to rotate offerings.

Q: How much does the MPP curriculum emphasize statistics?

Students are required to take only one statistics course (PLCY 8001), which is a standard introductory graduate statistics course.  Students who wish to gain additional competency in statistics can take more advanced statistics courses in fulfillment of their elective requirements.  NOTE: Students should take statistics concurrently with or before taking the Policy Analysis course and before the Program Evaluation course.

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5) MPP Internships:

Q:  What are the specific internship requirements?

Students must register for PLCY  5085 and serve an internship of approximately 12-15 hours per week, on average, or 168-210 hours per semester/summer.  The MPP program is flexible as to how many hours per week, how many days per week, or how many weeks the intern serves in the internship as long as the aggregate number of hours is fulfilled.  However, internship sites may require a particular minimum number of hours per week that they need the intern to work.  Internship sites must verify that the intern has served the required number of hours.  Interns must submit an internship journal once every two weeks and a paper on the organization in which they serve their internship at the end of the internship.  The paper is supervised by the MPP Director or his designee.

Q:  When can I serve my internship?

Generally, full-time students should plan on serving their internship in the summer between their first and second years of taking courses or in the Fall or Spring semester of their second year.

Q:  How do I secure an internship?

The first step is for the student to discuss the kind of internship sites he or she is interested in.  This may depend upon whether the student is interested in a particular issue or policy area or a particular type of organization (eg., legislative body, executive branch agency, non-profit, etc).  The MPP program may reach out to its contacts in particular organizations and/or the student may find particular organizations that have the kind of internship that he or she is looking for.

Q: Can I be exempted from the internship requirement?

Students who are employed in public sector, non-profit or for-profit organizations that have direct relevance for public policy or public administration may use their experience in their job as qualifying experience for an MPP internship.  Students may also substitute an internship that they served as an undergraduate student as long as it was substantially similar in content and duration to regular MPP internships.  NOTE: MPP students who are exempted from the normal internship requirement must still register for PLCY 5085, pay for the 3 internship credits, and fulfill the same paper requirement as other MPP students.  These exempt students are, in effect, using their current or past positions as the experiential learning that they draw on to fulfill the written internship requirements.

Q: How can I serve an internship if I work full-time in a non-public policy related job?

Students who work full-time in non-policy or public administration-related jobs may face special challenges in fulfilling the internship requirement.  They should work with the MPP Director and their employer to come up with an arrangement that will allow them to fulfill this requirement.

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6) Tuition and Financing:

Q: Where can I find information about graduate tuition at Temple?

Temple’s tuition is highly competitive compared to many other schools that offer the MPP or MPA degrees, particularly if you are eligible for in-state tuition.  Find the most up-to-date per-credit tuition rates.

Q: How do I qualify for in-state tuition?

To be eligible for in-state tuition, you must have resided in Pennsylvania in the 12 months prior to enrolling in the MPP program.  If you list any out-of-state address on your application, you will be ineligible for in-state tuition.  If ensuring in-state status is an important consideration for you in applying to the MPP program, you should get in contact with Mr. Antsen to discuss your eligibility for in-state tuition.

Q: Do you make grants or scholarships available for MPP students?

Like most other Master’s degree programs, we generally do not have scholarships or other assistantships for MPP students.  However, the cost of our program is very competitive when compared to that of other similar degrees in the region, particularly if you are eligible for in-state tuition. Some employers subsidize their employees’ educational expenses.  Otherwise, most students finance their own educations or borrow from the regular financial aid programs. You can find information about academic aid here.

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7) Academic Support and Advising:

Q: How should I decide which courses to take?

Before registering for courses each semester, students should contact the MPP Director to discuss which courses they plan to take.  When starting the program, you should focus your schedule on taking required courses before taking electives or serving an internship.  You should take the Statistics course (POLS or PLCY 8001) before or concurrently with the Policy Analysis and before the Program Evaluation courses.

Q: Who can I talk to if I need help in my courses?

All of our instructors are personable, helpful folks and are happy to work with students on an individual basis.  If you have general questions about how to register for classes, find academic buildings, or the like, you can also ask Jeff Antsen, the Assistant Director (Jeff.Antsen@temple.edu).

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8) Accreditation, Dual Degrees, and our 4+1 program:

Q: Is the MPP program accredited?

The MPP Program is not currently accredited, because it is still a young program.  We plan to apply for accreditation with NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy and Administration) when we become eligible in a few years.

Q: Do you offer dual-degree options with the MPP and other graduate programs?

Yes!  We will be accepting our first cohort of dual degree students between the Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) programs in the Fall of 2018.  Applications for this dual degree are due March 1, 2018.  In order to join this dual degree program, applicants must submit two applications – one to each individual department.  Applicants who are accepted into both programs can then begin their dual degree.

With this MPH-MPP dual degree, you can complete both degrees in 3 years by earning 57 credits.  Click here for more information!

We are developing additional curricula for other dual degree programs, and will keep this section updated.  If you are interested in a specific dual degree possibility, please reach out and let us know at mpp@temple.edu.

Q: Do you offer a 4+1 program combining undergraduate studies and the MPP?

Applications for the Fall 2018 cohort will begin in February 2018, and will be due later in the spring.  Participants in this program can count up to 12 credits toward both their Temple undergraduate program and also toward the MPP degree. If you are interested, please submit *this application form* to mpp@temple.edu before May 1st, along with an updated copy of your resume.  We will contact you about the next steps in this application process after that time.

You can find more information about the Graduate School, as well as view its policy manual at Temple University’s Graduate School Policies page.