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  • Alex Greer
    M.S. and B.A. '15 - Experience in quick response fieldwork, teaching emergency management.
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  • Andrew Haines
    MPA '03 – An accomplished local governmental leader and elected official.
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  • Chunjing Liu
    M.S. '14 – On the front lines of marine disaster mitigation through effective policy planning in China.
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  • Cimone Philpotts
    MPA '13 - Experience in assistantships and Legislative Fellows supports career growth assisting legislators.
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  • Gwen Angalet
    Ph.D. '00 - Ensuring programmatic and research opportunities for the promotion of children's health.
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  • Hira Rashid
    M.A. '15 – Fulbright scholar now in the Ph.D. program studying global health economics and urbanization.
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  • Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang
    Ph.D. '15 - Utilizing his knowledge of disaster science to educate students on fire and emergency management.
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  • James B. Goetschius
    Ph.D. '14 - Serves in the U.S. Army improving health care facilities in the eastern United States.
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  • Jenna Bucsak
    B.A. and MPA '14 - Provides support for legislative and external affairs.
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  • John Carney
    MPA '86 – Newly elected Governor of the State of Delaware
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  • Kelsey Edmond
    M.S. '14 - OCL program prepared her for success in the MPA program in pursuit of an interdisciplinary career.
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  • Lindsey Interlante
    MPA '07 - Advocates for enriched, hands-on learning experiences at higher education institutions.
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  • Mark Rucci
    B.A. and MPA '15 – Continuing his public policy education internationally.
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  • Meredith Rubin
    B.A. '11 - Practicing leadership and collaboration in the financial services sector.
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  • Paige Gugerty
    B.A. '15 - Coordinating electronic connections bewteen healthcare providers and resources.
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  • Paul Ruiz
    B.A. and M.A. '13 - Advocating for alternative fuels and reducing America's depencdence on oil.
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  • Stephanie Ottino
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership skills in higher education.
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  • Tom DeWire
    MPA '04 - Developing strategies for education systems to improve student achievement.
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  • Yuliya Brel
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her public policy education and assisting with research at the University of Delaware.
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  • Megan Wakelee
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership in a corporate setting.
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  • Zack Adinoff
    M.S. '13 - Experience in coordinating public safety, logistics, planning, and general disaster continuity.
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  • Jissell Martinez
    MPA '10 - Manages fiscal affairs and serves as a liaison for the Dept of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
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  • Scott Beale
    MPA '07 - Successful nonprofit entrepreneur with experience in diplomacy and national politics.
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  • Matthew Garlipp
    B.A. '13 - Measuring perfomance and running analyses for a federal government agency.
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  • Merritt Burke IV
    MPA '98 - Various experiences in town management and community involvement.
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  • Ryan Burke
    Ph.D. '15 - Vast experience with military strategy and conducting military research.
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  • Allison Becker
    B.A. '13 and M.A. '15 - Experienced and published media policy researcher.
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  • Serita Porter
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her behavioral health education at the University of Delaware.
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  • Kirsten Jones
    M.A. '16 - Contributing to policies that strengthen transportation and trade in New York and New Jersey.e
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  • Elizabeth Burland
    M.A. '15 - Studying for a doctoral degree in Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
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  • Elizabeth Lockman
    M.A. '15 - Education policy and equity in the urban landscape; improving advocacy efforts in Wilmington.
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  • Thomas Martin
    Ph.D. '14 - Directing the M.S. in Health Informatics program in the College of Public Health at Temple Univ.
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  • Angela Gladwell
    M.A. ’98 – Instrumental in environmental planning and federal emergency management decision making.
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  • Mark D. Stevens
    MPA '09 – Integral in the leadership and financial management of federal agencies.
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  • Courtney Mogavero
    B.S. '12 – Translating leadership education into a successful early career path in major tech corporations.
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  • Melanie Ross Levin
    B.A. and MPA '05 – Developing education and advocacy campaigns on public policy relating to women's issues.
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  • Dená Brummer
    MPA '05 – Successful private sector business partner drawing upon public sector experiences.
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  • Eric Johnson
    Ph.D. '03 – Revitalizing a community through the application of theory and practical experience.
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  • David Rudder
    Ph.D. '03 – Practicing effective leadership to academic programs that promote service to the community.
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  • Erin Kennedy
    MPA '06 – Drives health care organizations towards improving quality of patient care and clinical outcomes.
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  • Tom Friedman
    MPA '07 – Manages government relations, strategic & financial plan, and policy analysis for State Health Plan.
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  • Mike Morton
    MPA '86 – Oversees budgetary analysis and legislative information systems for the Delaware General Assembly.
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  • Jonathan Kirch
    MPA '07 – Advocating for public policy that promotes better health for all Americans.
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  • Albert Shields
    MPA '07 – Developing strategies to best communicate Governor Carney's positions on diverse policy issues.
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  • Kim Gomes
    MPA '04 – Strategically lobbying for client interests on a number of policy issues.
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  • Erika Farris
    M.A. '09 – Developing policies to better manage water drainage and promote environmental sustainability.
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  • Mike Fortner
    MPA '02 – Overseeing city planning for housing, land use, economic development, and transportation.
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  • Emily Gonce
    MPA '02 – Leading lobbying efforts to show members of Congress the value of life insurance to constituents.
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  • Bill Clark
    MPA '03 – Supervising a team of consultants to support projects for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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  • Anastasia Kuzmina
    MPA '02 – Supporting two general managers with product and employee management in 14 countries.
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  • Barrett Edwards
    MPA '06 – Assisting municipalities with legal issues including planning, human resources, and finance.
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Future Student Admission Criteria

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The University of Delaware logo is shown on a wrought iron gate on campus.

The School of Public Policy & Administration graduate program admissions criteria are designed to identify highly qualified applicants who can benefit from and make a distinct contribution to the instructional, research, and service activities of the school. We seek applicants who show promise of constructive involvement with faculty, staff, and other students in instruction, research, and public service. SPPA admissions also consider your potential for successful completion of your graduate program and contribution in your subsequent academic or professional career.

We seek students with a mix of interests, backgrounds, and areas of competence to contribute to the diverse SPPA community. In considering applications, the admissions committee for each of the degree programs is guided by a wide spectrum of criteria. The relative emphasis placed on specific criteria depends upon which degree program is being considered.

  • Genuine interest in, and sufficient motivation to complete, graduate study in the program; coherent and well-formulated personal objectives, aspirations, and plans.
  • Academic ability to perform well in a graduate-level program.
  • Capacity to apply previously acquired competencies to problem areas or community and organizational needs.
Master's Program Admissions Criteria

​Successful master’s applicants have undergraduate grade point indexes above 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). In addition, the quality and extent of previous related work or volunteer experience, and the motivation to pursue a professional career in public service or disaster science and management (depending upon the program to which you have applied), are particularly important. We look for a good fit between your interests and our programs.

Doctoral Program Admissions Criteria

For doctoral applicants, emphasis is placed on achievements in prior graduate work. The average cumulative grade point index in previous graduate work for those admitted to the Ph.D. program is 3.5. Admission to the SPPA Ph.D. programs requires a completed master’s degree. 

Virtually all successful Urban Affairs and Public Policy doctoral applicants have completed a master’s degree in urban affairs, public policy, or a related field. Successful applicants to the Disaster Science & Management doctoral program have a diverse array of master's degrees, given the inherently interdisciplinary nature of the program.

The admissions committees look for a strong aptitude for research and a close fit with faculty research interests, as well as the potential for academic and professional achievement as indicated by letters of recommendation from those qualified to evaluate the student's capacity to succeed in doctoral study.

Other factors may be taken into account as supplementary indicators in cases where all the main criteria are not met but the candidate shows promise of success in our doctoral program. Among these, research capabilities are of particular importance. Applicants may therefore submit research reports, publications, project reports, and other work demonstrating their academic and professional achievement and scholarly ability. The Ph.D. committee may also consider the overall pattern of academic performance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and GRE scores.

Standardized Test Scores


Generally, students admitted to the SPPA graduate programs have scores that are distributed equally on the quantitative and verbal aptitude portions of the GRE, at or above the 69th percentile, with analytical scores of 4.0 or better. GRE scores are viewed in the context of the applicant’s complete record.

For the Disaster Science & Management program, GRE scores in the sixty-fifth percentile or better for the verbal section and fiftieth percentile or better for the quantitative section, and a score of 4.0 or above on the analytical section, are recommended.

For doctoral applicants, competitive scores for admission are 160 for the verbal section and 155 for the quantitative section.

GRE Waivers: MPA applicants (only applicants to the MPA program) may request a waiver of the GRE application requirement if they have a 3.0+ GPA from their undergraduate program AND 2+ years of relevant professional experience. If requesting a waiver, please complete thi​s form and submit it as a supplemental document with your application. Please note that the admissions committee may deny your request upon review of your application, and may ask for GRE scores prior to making an admissions decision.


The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of all international applicants ​(unless the country of residency has English as an official language or the applicant has a degree earned from an institution in a country with English as an official language). A minimum score of 600 (paper-based test), or 100 (TOEFL iBT) is generally required for consideration for admission. Some programs prefer a score of 105 for the TOEFL iBT. SPPA does not accept IELTS scores.

The School of Public Policy & Administration reserves the right to reject any application for admission. Meeting admission criteria may not necessarily result in admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of these criteria necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths.

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Future Student Admission Criteria for applicants to the masters and doctoral programs at the School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware.
admissions criteria for graduate programs, GRE score requirements, TOEFL requirements, GPA requirements for grad school
  • School of Public Policy & Administration
  • 184 Graham Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-1687