School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Frequently Asked Questions....

MPA Application Process

I am currently in my fourth year of an undergraduate program. Therefore, my transcript shows grades for the first three years and some (or none) of my fourth-year courses.  How will you calculate my average?
When submitting their application, most applicants are still enrolled in their final year of an undergraduate or graduate degree program. The Admissions Committee will then look at the candidate’s last two years of full-time studies and their first term grades (when available) in their current year of study. It is suggested that you submit your application once you have your 4th year first term grades available.  All offers of admission, to students who have not completed their degree, will be offered “conditional” acceptance until they complete their degree.  At which time, the School of Graduate Studies will issue a formal letter of offer.


I have one original copy of my transcript from a previous university and will not receive another copy. Can I send you a photocopy?
Photocopies of transcripts or other supplementary documents are not acceptable. If you are unable to provide an official transcript, you may provide a certified or notarized copy of the original document(s).


My transcript is not in English. Is it still acceptable?
All supplementary documents must be in English. Documents originally prepared in another language must be translated and submitted with certification that the translation is a true copy.


I have applied for admission to the MPA program and another graduate program at Queen’s University? Do I need to submit two sets of transcripts and reference letters?
Yes. You must submit two copies of transcripts for each application that you submit to Queen’s University. In addition, you must submit new letters of reference for each application. The Graduate School does not share application documents among departments. 


I am a Queen’s undergraduate student. Will you get copies of my transcripts directly from the Registrar’s office or do I have to make arrangements to have transcripts sent to you?
Students who previously attended or currently attend Queen’s University will no longer be required to submit official transcripts from Queen’s University when applying for graduate study when you indicate that previous study was undertaken at Queen's University.  

You are required to provide your Queen’s student number in your application, which will signal us to print off your unofficial transcript and add it to your application.  


Grades in my Master’s program are much better than at the undergraduate level. Can I be accepted to the program based on my Master’s degree grades only?
Grades in your Master’s degree program will be considered, in addition to your grades in your final two years of undergraduate study. The improvement in your grades will be noted positively.


I am still completing my undergraduate degree program and do not have any professional work experience. How do I complete the section that asks for Professional Work Experience?
You may type “N/A” in one set of the questions and leave the rest blank. This will allow you to proceed to the next question. Applicants to the part-time Professional MPA (PMPA), as well as mid-career candidates to the MPA program, will complete this section.


How important is professional experience when being considered for acceptance into the program?
Academic standing is the primary criterion in our assessment of MPA candidates. Other activities, including work experience, volunteer roles and leadership activities, as well as the information provided by your referees help us to learn more about your strengths and capabilities. While not determinative to our admission, they are important as supportive documents.

PMPA admission candidates should have a minimum of five years of continuing full-time employment experience related to public policy or public management.


When will my references be contacted?
The Graduate School will contact your references by email immediately (if you provide email addresses on your application) following your formal submission of the application (after paying application fee using credit card).  They will have the option of completing the electronic reference form and/or upload a letter of reference.


May I provide more than two references?
Yes, however the application system only requires two.  A third reference may submit a reference letter directly to to be added to your application. Please advise your referees to check their email (“IN” and “JUNK” mailboxes) for the electronic reference form. They should receive this email soon after you submit your completed application.

By submitting your application early, your referees are more likely to submit their letters before the application deadline. This means that your application will receive earlier consideration.


My referees are having trouble completing the on-line reference form. Can you help?
A referee may also upload a letter of reference in place of completing the reference form.  If they are having trouble with the form, please ask them to contact the Queen’s Graduate School by email or by telephone at 613-533-6100.


Where can I find Statement of Interest?  What should I include in the statement? How long should it be? 
You will not find a tab for “Statement of Interest” or for “Resume” on the application form. However, after you complete "Reference Information", save and continue, the section for "Resume" will pop up.  After you save and continue, you will get Statement of Interest.

The statement of interest provides an opportunity for you to tell us more about yourself and in particular your reasons for wanting to enroll in the Queen’s MPA program. The statement should be no more than 4000 characters.

If, for any reason, you do not find “Resume” or “Statement of Interest” questions, you may email these two documents, as attachments, to to include them in your file.


What do I do if I have to submit more information than there is space provided in the on-line application?
Only in exceptional circumstances should you provide us with additional written information. In that case, you may send additional information to us at  Please include your name or application number on each page.


Can I send my supporting documents before I submit my application?
Yes, you may send your transcripts and other supporting document prior to submitting the on-line application form. We will match them with your application when we receive your application.


What documents are required to complete my application and where do I send them?
We require:

  1. Two copies of your official transcript from any post-secondary institution(s) attended;
  2. Two academic letters of reference.  Referees can either complete the electronic form or upload a letter of reference through the online application.  Referees will receive a link once the application has been submitted.

Your academic references may mail a hard copy reference, to the address below:

School of Graduate Studies  
Gordon Hall, Room 425
74 Union Street
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6



What if English is not my first language?
Students for whom English is not a first language must also provide evidence of their proficiency in English, such as a TOEFL score (minimum 250 on the computer-based test or 600 on the paper-based test completed within the last two years), IELTS (7.0) or equivalent MELAB.  

Any applicant who has recently studied for at least one complete year at a university where English is the official language of instruction may be exempt from the English Language Proficiency test.  An applicant requesting a waiver of the test for this reason should do so in writing and submit it with the application.  The Director, Admissions and Student Services of the School of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the department, will make determinations in these cases.


Can I apply first and then take the TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB and GRE/GMAT tests?
Yes, you may apply first, and then take the above tests and submit the scores at a later date.  But until these original scores are received at the School of Graduate Studies, you will not receive formal offer from them, even if you are accepted by our department.


Who do I contact to write the English Language and GRE/GMAT tests?


What is your institution/school code for submitting my TOEFL and/or GRE/GMAT score(s)?
The institution/school code for TOEFL and GRE is 0949. Further information for International students, is available on the School of Graduate Studies’ website.


When can we expect notice of an admission decision?
Our goal is to provide notice of decision to all MPA admission candidates (who have submitted a completed application) no later than mid-April.


How will I know when you have received my transcripts and reference letters?
You may check the on-line application service to see what documents we have received, noting that it may take us a few days to update your status on-line at peak times in the winter months. If you do not see that your documents have been received after three weeks, contact us at