Acceptance: Next Steps
If you are accepted to the program, you will be notified via the email address on the application you filled out. You will also receive an acceptance packet from the Graduate School. The email and packet will include several forms, including the Welcome Letter, MPA Advisement Sheet, MPA Course Check List, and a Registration form (for either residential or World Campus) and Important Offices to Visit (residential students only).
Your next step is to accept your admission offer. This page contains answers to many of the most common questions new grad students have; review it carefully!
For a general sense of costs, and how tuition at Harrisburg compares with University Park, see our Tuition and Financial Aid overview page.
Because Penn State's tuition rates vary by campus, student level, program, and residency, the student tuition calculator provides the most specific tuition rates for individual students. The University tuition site also provides detailed information on fees, payment schedules, and more.
The MPA Program offers financial assistance to a limited number of full-time graduate students each year. Descriptions of the types of financial assistance available appear below.
- Graduate Assistantships
General graduate assistantships (research) may be available to students at Penn State Harrisburg. Assistantships consist of a stipend plus payment of tuition. Sometimes, pending availability of funding and satisfactory academic performance, these can be continued for an additional semester(s). Appointments are made subject to the student’s admission to the MPA program as a full-time degree student. GRE scores are also required. Application deadline: January 15.
- Penn State Harrisburg Scholarships
A number of scholarships are available for Penn State Harrisburg students. For each upcoming academic year, all incoming and current students with a 3.0 GPA or higher will automatically be considered for the majority of the scholarships listed on the site below. Information on these are available here.
- High Mark Blue Shield Fellowship
A Blue Shield Fellowship is awarded to full-time or part-time students in either the Master of Health Administration, Master of Public Administration, or Ph.D. in Public Administration program at Penn State Harrisburg who demonstrate strong interest and potential for success in the health care field, who have achieved positive academic records, and who have exhibited a strong commitment to a career in health care.
- HealthAmerica Fellowship
A HealthAmerica Fellowship is awarded to full-time or part-time students in either the part-time or full-time graduate students for Master of Health Administration or Master of or Doctorate in Public Administration with a concentration in health care at Penn State Harrisburg. The purpose of the HealthAmerica Fellowship is to recognize and support outstanding graduate students enrolled or planning to enroll in the School of Public Affairs, concentrating in health care.
- Irving and Mildred Hand State, Urban, and Regional Affairs Award
The Irving and Mildred Hand State, Urban, and Regional Affairs Award is to honor and recognize the achievement of a graduate student at the Penn State Harrisburg. Annually, a full- or part-time graduate student, living in Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster, York, or Lebanon County, who has displayed interest and excellence in the study of state, regional, and local affairs is selected by the School of Public Affairs as the recipient of this endowed award.
- University Awards
Several academic scholarships are available for Penn State Harrisburg students through the Financial Aid Office. Applicants must complete an Academic Scholarship Application (obtained from the Financial Aid Office), as well as a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and furnish a personal biographical essay. FAFSA forms are available here. The deadline for the FAFSA form is February 15. Note: Applications are not considered unless the results of the FAFSA have been received at Penn State by April 1st. Students receive an award notification during the month of May.
A 3.0 cumulative grade point average is the absolute minimum for consideration. In addition to grade point average and demonstrated financial need, the scholarship committee considers the student’s service to college and-or community. Call the Financial Aid Office at (717) 948-6307 or visit the appropriate financial aid web site – Harrisburg or World Campus with questions.
Consult the registration timetable to determine when you can register for courses.
The first time a residential students registers for courses, it must be done via the registration form, either sent directly from the student to the Registrar’s office or by the program department. Forms may be FAXed to 717-948-6235. After this first time, courses can be scheduled via E-Lion.
Once your registration is processed, you will have to come to campus to obtain your student identification card and get your email access accounts set up. Review the Accepted Student Guide and the Important Offices to Visit attachment in your packet (also linked below).
Helpful Links and Resources:
Suggested Course Sequence
We recommend that you start with the following three courses, in this order:
- PADM 502
- PADM 510
- PADM 800
Talk with your advisor about your choice of electives.
Be aware that most core courses are offered every semester; all are offered at least once per year. Some electives are offered less frequently.
Helpful Links and Resources:
- PADM Course descriptions (University Bulletin)