Application into the Master of Public Policy are accepted for Fall Semester ONLY.  The application deadline each year is JUNE 15.


Step One (Start): Apply online for admission here:  You may pay your application fee at this point.  This step initiates your application process by generating an applicant ID.

Step Two (Upload/Request): After starting your application at the above link, you will receive an e-mail with a login and password.  Go then to and login.  Here you will be prompted to upload the following support documents and request letters of recommendation.

Required supporting documents include:

  • Personal Statement: The personal statement focuses on your abilities and preparation to do graduate level work, your interests related to public policy, and your professional career goals.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required from individuals qualified to assess your promise of success in a graduate program (e.g. college or university faculty, individuals at research or other scholarly institutions, teaching assistants, professional supervisors, etc.).  Please request letters of recommendation through the grad portal, instead of sending them directly to the department.  If you have difficulty with this or any further questions, please contact

Step Three (Send): Send (or have sent) official transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores to the Department of Political Science.

Department of Political Science
368 Farm Lane, S303 South Kedzie Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

A Complete application file must include the following:

  • Official Transcripts: Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study mailed the Department of Political Science at the above address.
  • Official GRE Scores: The student must ensure that his/her official report of GRE scores are sent to Michigan State University.  Use the following codes to order scores: University code: 1465.  Department code: 1903 Public Policy.  The GRE must be recent (less than 5 years old).  You will enter your scores on the application if they are available, but you must also have the official report sent to MSU.  For information on the GRE refer to or
  • Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL): This is applicable for non-native English speakers only.  Applicants whose native language is not English will be expected to submit scores from the TOEFL.  MSU’s minimum Internet based test (iBT) requirements are: no sub-score below 19 reading, listening, and speaking; no writing sub-score below 22; with a minimum average score of 80.  Since communication, verbal and written, is an important component of the MPP higher sub-scores in the TOEFL are most helpful for the application. See for score interpretation.

Information on Chinese Graduate Applications: During the application process, applicants submit certified copies (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all post-secondary transcripts, graduation certificates and degrees directly to the Department of Political Science.  MSU requires these documents in the original language (Chinese) as well as an official English translation.

Official transcripts should be sent directly to the Department of Political Science:

Michigan State University
Department of Political Science
368 Farm Lane, S303 South Kedzie Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Transcripts uploaded through the portal by the applicant are not considered official.

Effective Spring 2015, Michigan State University will require all incoming ADMITTED students pursuing degrees or who have earned degrees from universities in China to submit a verification report (English version) through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) for their final bachelor degree transcripts(大学成绩单) and bachelor degree (本科学位证书). All verification reports need to be sent to the MSU Office of Admissions directly by CDGDC.  For those Master degree granted students, we only need the undergraduate level verification report from CDGDC.

Linked BA/BS-MPP Applicants: You will generate an application form online as described in the steps above but you will only be required to submit two letters of recommendation.  Linked BA/BS-MPP students may apply under certain circumstances to Spring Semester.

MPP Teaching and Research Assistantships

The Master of Public Policy program offers competitive Departmental assistantships for incoming students. Recipients of the Departmental assistantships work during the Fall and Spring semesters (10 hours if the assistantship is quarter-time or 20 hours if the assistantship is half-time) on research, teaching, or administrative assignments for the program. In return, recipients receive a stipend, tuition and fee waivers (for 9 credits for the Fall and Spring semesters), and health insurance coverage.

To apply for the Departmental assistantships, supply the normal application for admission and indicate an interest by February 15 via email to Candidates considered for the assistantships may be emailed requests for further information or a personal interview.

IPPSR Fellows

MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR), in conjunction with the Master of Public Policy Program, offers competitive IPPSR fellowships for incoming students. Fellows work at IPPSR during the Fall and Spring Semesters (10 hours if the assistantship is quarter-time or 20 hours if the assistantship is half-time) on research assistantships, applying research findings to Michigan public policy issues and compiling information for policymakers and civic education efforts. Fellows will also be involved in event organizing and online publishing. Fellows receive a stipend, tuition and fee waivers (for 9 credits for the Fall and Spring semesters), and health insurance coverage. Mid-career applicants who have worked in Michigan government or the policymaking community are especially encouraged to apply.

To apply for the IPPSR fellowships, supply the normal application for admission and indicate an interest by May 15 via email to Candidates considered for the fellowships may be emailed requests for further information or a personal interview.

 Additional Funding Opportunities

We also offer Public Policy Learning Assistantships and Public Policy Research Assistantship opportunities where students can either assist an instructor-of-record in course preparation or collaborative learning exercises for a policy class, or assist a faculty-of-record, post-doc, or graduate student with hands-on public policy research. PPLAs and PPRAs are provided a small stipend. PPLA/PPRAs are selected each Fall and Spring semesters; students are only eligible for these positions after their first semester in the program.

Feel free to visit MSU’s Graduate School for more funding opportunities: MSU offers residential life graduate assistantships (, need-based scholarships (, among other funding opportunities.  

About the Program:

The Departments of Political Science and Economics offer a five-year Linked Bachelor and Master of Public Policy Degree programs. The Linked Program is designed for students who want to pursue professional careers in policy analysis, program management, and policy advocacy. This program allows MSU undergraduates to apply up to 12 approved credits from the undergraduate level to their master degree requirements. As a result, undergraduates can get a jump start on their professional careers by earning both a bachelor's (BA or BS) degree and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree in just five years.

Program Admissions and Application Information:

Students normally apply for the new Linked BA/BS-MPP programs option during the end of their junior year of undergraduate studies with the expectation of starting the program during their senior year.  To be admitted, students must do the following:

●     Meet with Academic Advisor Krista Zeig ( to see if the Linked Program will work with your degree and career plans.

●     Apply online as described in the general application process to the MPP

●     Through the online application submit a Personal Statement describing interest in, and motivation for pursuing a graduate degree in public policy.  More specifically, you may describe why you would like to be admitted to the Linked Program.  Summarize your professional goals and how you believe this program will help you attain those goals.  List any special analytic or research skills you possess that may be useful in graduate study.  Also, describe any substantive policy areas (i.e., education, the environment, health care) or specific policy problems (i.e., economic development, government regulation, state fiscal issues, etc.) of particular interest to you.  Your personal statement should be approximately 250 words in length.

●     Through the online application, request TWO letters of recommendation from faculty members addressing your potential for success in graduate study in public policy.

●     Provide current academic transcript(s).  Mail to: Department of Political Science, 368 Farm Lane, S303 South Kedzie Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Linked Programs are open to current MSU undergraduates majoring in political science or economics, although a similar dual-enrollment option in the MPP Program is available to MSU undergraduates with other majors.  Admission to the Linked Program is competitive.  Students should have strong academic backgrounds (i.e., undergraduate grade point averages of 3.50 or above); they should have done well in their political science, economics, and public policy courses; and they should have a clear desire to pursue a career in public policy.


Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.