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An application for any of the Planning and Public Affairs master’s programs is reviewed for admission only when all of the required application materials are received. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline may be deferred.

Application deadlines are available from the Graduate School.

In considering applications and making admission decisions, the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs is guided by a holistic approach based on the following sets of factors and decisional criteria.

Admission Criteria

Section A: Sets of Factors considered for admission to Master’s programs

1. Basic Factors:

  • Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA): The undergraduate GPA based on the last 60 hours of course work as calculated by the Graduate School
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores: Verbal and Quantitative, and Writing (see SUPA's GRE waiver and exception policy)
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • Non-native English speakers only: TOEFL or IELTS scores (see SUPA's TOEFL and IELTS waiver and exception policy)

2. Determinative Factors:

  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Essay
  • Undergraduate field of study, particularly in the social sciences or other related fields

3. Enhancing Factors:

  • Community Service, particularly volunteer service in disadvantaged areas and for disadvantaged people
  • Multilingual proficiency
  • First generation graduate student in family
  • Work experience, publications and/or level of responsibility
  • Geographic diversity

Section B. Types of Admission

1. Unconditional Admission - applicants who meet the following standards will be admitted Unconditionally:

  • Writing GRE score of at least 4.0
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  • Verbal GRE score of at least 150 and Quantitative GRE score of at least 141
  • Outstanding letters of recommendation
  • Strong, well-written personal essay
  • Non-native English speakers only: TOEFL scores of at least 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (iBT) with sectional scores that meet or exceed 22 Writing, 21 Speaking, 20 Reading, and 16 Listening; or, IELTS score of at least 6.5.

2. Probationary Admission:

  • Applicants who meet all the standards for Unconditional admission except for deficiency in Factor 1 will be admitted on Probation, conditional on completing an approved writing course in their first semester.
  • Applicants who do not meet the standards for Unconditional admission in one or more of Factors 2 through 6, and whose application is received by the Graduate School deadline, will be referred to the SUPA Master's Admissions Committee and may be admitted on Probation if Factors 2 through 6 strongly indicate successful academic performance as a SUPA master's student.

Section C: Other Types of Admission

1. Denial: An applicant who does not meet the above admission requirements will be denied admission.

2. Deferral: A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or received after the deadline or when a denied decision is not appropriate.

3. Provisional: An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission.

GRE Waiver

If you feel you qualify for the GRE waiver please send your resume to Karolyn Field at

The MPA program waives the requirement that an applicant take the GRE under any of the following conditions:

  • A 3.25 or higher undergraduate GPA based on the last 60 hours of course work AND at least three years professional non-profit or public service work experience (as judged by the MPA admission committee. Applicants should submit a supporting resume or other relevant documentation to the MPA Graduate Advisor)
  • A completed graduate degree from an accredited program in a related field such as, but not exclusively, political science, economics, urban planning, social work, criminal justice, and sociology OR a 3.0 or better higher after 12 hours of coursework in the accredited graduate degree program.
  • A completed UT Arlington B.A. or B.S. with 3.0 or higher GPA
  • An equivalent GMAT or LSAT score from an exam taken within the last two years preceding the time of application.