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Possible to switch MA PoliSci to MPA?


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I've been accepted to pursue an MA this fall in Political Science (my undergrad major) but I did better on the GRE than I expected and I really want to go into the MPA program (mostly because it tends to be more applied knowledge versus theory..and I don't want an academic job). I didn't apply for the MPA because I missed the deadline and as I said I thought I'd do badly at the GRE. Is it ever acceptable to switch programs at the same university? I'm happy enough with the MA program but I do want to ensure I can be as marketable as possible after grad school.

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I've been accepted to pursue an MA this fall in Political Science (my undergrad major) but I did better on the GRE than I expected and I really want to go into the MPA program (mostly because it tends to be more applied knowledge versus theory..and I don't want an academic job). I didn't apply for the MPA because I missed the deadline and as I said I thought I'd do badly at the GRE. Is it ever acceptable to switch programs at the same university? I'm happy enough with the MA program but I do want to ensure I can be as marketable as possible after grad school.

You should contact your school, starting with the admissions staff for the MPA. It is going to depend on the institutional set-up of their degree programs. Sometimes it's possible to switch or do a dual-degree easily. Often, though, MPP and MPA programs belong to their own "schools" or "colleges" within the university (example: Wanger, Kennedy, Goldman, Harris, etc. are the policy schools at NYU, Harvard, Berkeley, Chicago). Those administrative divisions are important for admissions and degree-awarding. The "school" awarding the MPA likely has an entirely separate admissions process. In other cases, the MPA and the Political Science might be run by the same school or department, in which case it might be more possible to switch.

While you're at it, you might want to make sure you know what people who complete the MA in Political Science from your school do with that degree. Make sure you're getting a skillset and a network that will help you pursue the career you want or you might be wasting time and money on grad school (not to say school's not fun...). It's not an awful thing to wait, get some work experience, and reapply to the MPA next year.

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As the poster above said, a lot of times MPP/MPA admissions cycles are unique from a university's graduate school admissions (That the MA pols would be under). That said, even though admissions deadlines have passed, sometimes schools will make exceptions and still consider you. You can speak with the university I'm assuming you've already accepted, or even branch out and look elsewhere. I know that Heinz was considering one or two people who missed the deadline - they aren't positively going to get a spot, mind you, but they are being considered.

I've been accepted to pursue an MA this fall in Political Science (my undergrad major) but I did better on the GRE than I expected and I really want to go into the MPA program (mostly because it tends to be more applied knowledge versus theory..and I don't want an academic job). I didn't apply for the MPA because I missed the deadline and as I said I thought I'd do badly at the GRE. Is it ever acceptable to switch programs at the same university? I'm happy enough with the MA program but I do want to ensure I can be as marketable as possible after grad school.

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