Admissions Requirements

A comprehensive check-list of items needed for your MPA application

Application Opens: September 1, 2023
Application Deadline: January 15, 2024

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One-Year MPA Application Checklist

  U.S. Applicants International Applicants Brown University Seniors

Transcripts from all
post-secondary education


required: see below for transcript verification requirement


Letters of recommendation

3 required

3 required

2 required





GRE scores
Brown code: 3094; Department/major field code: 2204
We will accept the at-home verison of the GRE test

Allow 4 weeks for scores to transmit and upload into your application file

GRE test scores optional. Applicants who do not submit official GRE scores are required to submit a quantitative resume.

GRE test scores optional. Applicants who do not submit official GRE scores are required to submit a quantitative resume.

not required

Quantitative resume

optional if official GRE scores submitted

optional if official GRE scores submitted


Personal statement




TOEFL or IELTS scores
TOEFL institution code: 3094
We will be accepting the TOEFL at home version or the IELTS Indicator exam, including the TOEFL ITP Plus exam for students in mainland China.
More about TOEFL/IELTS on the Brown Graduate School website

not required


not required


Important Dates

Application deadline for all students, including Brown seniors:

January 15, 2024, 11:59 p.m. EDT

The application portal will reopen in early September 2023 for the next admissions cycle.

Application Fee

The application fee is $100.

Quantitative Resume

The MPA curriculum includes graduate level coursework in economics and statistics. You may submit a quantitative resume summarizing any relevant academic experience in quantitative study. Applicants are encouraged to list quantitative and analytical classes taken with corresponding course descriptions and grades earned. Applicants may also include information about work or volunteer projects that required significant quantitative analysis or use of programming languages such as Stata, SQL, and Python. Sample quantitative resume

Personal Statement

Your statement should outline why you have decided to pursue graduate work in public policy/public administration/public affairs. Discuss your interest in public affairs with specific focus on the areas and topics you are most interested in pursuing and how study at Brown will further your professional goals. You will have the opportunity to upload a copy of your personal statement document directly to the application portal. There is no minimum word limit, but we encourage you to stay below 1500 words.

Mathematical Fluency

To ensure your success in the MPA program, and the quantitative core in particular, we strongly encourage students to consider their mathematical fluency and take additional preparatory steps if their undergraduate coursework did not include algebra or pre-calculus.

General fluency with the algebraic representation of math will be helpful in letting students focus on new material for the first summer courses. Incoming MPA students should be prepared for a rigorous program with a focus on these three areas:

  • Algebraic manipulation, e.g. knowing that [X/Y + X/(X+Y)] = (X^2 + 2XY)/(Y^2 + XY)
  • Graphing and Data (e.g. histograms, scatterplots)
  • Calculus, with a focus on knowing how to take derivatives of a few simple forms

There are many online courses or less-formal YouTube videos (e.g. Khan academy) that go through each of these concepts. The program also has a math prep module in May to help assess student’s math abilities and bring them up to speed. It should be noted, however, that the May module will not focus on algebraic or calculus skills.

Finally, it is very useful for students to have an understanding of how to use Excel. The program also has an Excel prep course during orientation week, but it’s more of a refresher, so getting comfortable in this program in advance is useful.

Merit-Based Scholarships

For full consideration for merit-based financial awards, your application must be complete, including all supplemental materials (unofficial transcripts, and if applicable, GRE and TOEFL scores). International students are eligible for merit awards. There is no additional paperwork required. Most matriculated students receive some level of merit aid. Student loans are also available through our Office of Financial Aid to eligible applicants who submit the FAFSA by April 15. 

Transcript Verification for International Applicants

In order to apply, all applicants must provide, at a minimum, unofficial transcripts of all past or current post-secondary institutions attended. 

Brown requires verified transcripts if:

  • You have attended or are completing a degree at a post-secondary institution outside of the United States AND
  • You are admitted to the MPA program AND
  • You accept your offer of admission.

We only accept WES evaluations. Please request the course-by-course report.

Admissions Questions

See our frequently asked questions page.

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