Admissions and Program Policies


Admission to the MPA program is open to qualified holders of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Applicants must submit all transcripts from prior academic preparation, three letters of reference, a personal statement and completed Pace University application form. (Scores of the Graduate Record Examination are not required.)

Pace University participates under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Students with disabilities must notify the coordinator of the disabled students, prior to matriculation, regarding possible educational modification.

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Within the first 12 credits of course work, students will be assessed on their writing skills. This includes analysis, problem solving, and logical argumentation in a correct grammatical context. Those who demonstrate weakness in writing will be required to complete and pass a seven week no-credit workshop in communications (COM 043).

Program of Study

The MPA curriculum consists of 42 credits including core (21 credits), track (12 credits), and elective courses (9 credits). The graduate student may choose to engage in the program full-time or part-time. Full-time students can complete the degree in two years and the part-time student typically needs four years. Both time periods may be shortened by advanced credit from other graduate institutions, and summer and winter graduate study at Pace. For convenience Pace offers some of its MPA classes online.

During the first year of study students should focus on completing their core requirements before selecting courses in their track or electives. Core and track foundation courses are designed to develop comprehensive administrative, managerial, quantitative, financial, and analytical skills with a thorough understanding of their applications in the government, health care, or nonprofit sectors. Specialization and elective courses provide the student with the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in specialized programs and functional areas. They supplement and complement the core and track foundation courses and facilitate the achievement of professional and career objectives.

The MPA degree culminates with the Capstone Seminar. For the capstone requirement, students can complete either a comprehensive exam or a research project. The project consists of an organizational analysis based on concepts learned in the program and it will be presented in writing to the capstone project faculty sponsors and orally to a panel of faculty members and graduate students in the MPA Capstone Project Seminar. Students must have a cumulative 3.0 index before being allowed to register for the capstone seminar.

Online Study

For convenience Pace offers the MPA program online. Full-time students can complete course work in two years and part-time students typically in four years. The program consists of required core courses, track/specialization courses, and elective courses. Additionally, students are required to take six credits of pre-core foundation course work or secure department course waivers based on documented proficiency.

Leave of Absence

In the event a student needs to discontinue graduate study for a period of time, a leave of absence may be applied for. Leaves are submitted to the Chair of department for approval and may be granted for up to two calendar years.

Transfer Credit

Candidates must fulfill the residency requirement of 30 credits at Pace. Students may transfer a maximum of six graduate credits from other universities. A total of nine credits may be transferred from other graduate programs at Pace. The student must apply to the chair of the department for exemptions.

Dismissal Regulations

Students must maintain at least a “B” (3.00 GPA) average in the MPA program. Students whose averages fall below a “B” are notified by mail and must improve their standing within one semester; otherwise they will be referred to a Committee consisting of the members of the department and may be dismissed from the program. Failure to do so in one semester constitutes sufficient reason for dismissal from the MPA program. Two grades below “B” in graduate courses are sufficient grounds for review by the MPA Scholastic Committee, and possible dismissal from the program. A grade of “F” in any course is grounds for dismissal from the program. Failure to complete the program within five years also constitutes grounds for dismissal, unless there is documented reason for an extension and the permission of the chair. Further, students engaged in unethical or unprofessional practices may be dismissed.

Completion Requirements

Satisfactory completion of program requirements is determined by an ongoing evaluation process based on grades in courses, and reports and observations by faculty of the student’s academic performance.

Time Limit

A student’s length of residence in the program cannot exceed five years from the date of first enrollment. This may be appealed to the chair of the department if there are extenuating circumstances.