University Closed for Holiday Break

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The University of Texas at Austin will be closed for the holidays from Monday, December 22 through Thursday, January 1. In addition, I will be out of the office until January 5 with limited access to email. If you need immediate assistance while I am out, please call the MPA Program Office at (512) 471-6559 for program-specific questions, or contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center if you are having technical difficulties with your application materials.

I hope you enjoy the holidays, and Happy New Year!

MPA Application: Admissions Decision Timeline

MPA-U.S. admissions cycle

I submitted all application materials already. When can I expect to receive a decision?

Decisions on U.S. applications that are completed* by the December 1 early deadline are typically released in approximately mid-January, after UT-Austin’s winter break. Thereafter, decisions are typically released approximately one month after file completion.

All decisions on international applications* are made after the January 5 application deadline.

*Please note that all materials, including official test scores, must be received in order for an application to be considered complete and reviewed for a decision. Be sure to check the status of your application on a regular basis to ensure timely completion.

I have been admitted to another university and the acceptance deadline is approaching, yet I haven’t received an admission decision from the Texas MPA program. Is there anything I can do to receive an earlier decision?

If you should receive an admission offer from another university and need to respond to the offer before you receive a decision from the Texas MPA program, please e-mail the name of the university and the admission response deadline to Keri Ledezma. Although the admissions committee cannot guarantee an earlier admission decision, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

How will I find out if I am accepted into the MPA program?

Your decision will be immediately posted on the Application Status Check page, and you will receive an e-mail notification from the Graduate and International Admissions Center once a decision has been reached. Students who are accepted to the MPA program also will receive an e-mail notification from the MPA Program Office with instructions for accepting or declining the admission offer.

 

 

UT Austin Ranked No. 30 in World by U.S. News

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AUSTIN, Texas — U.S. News & World Report has ranked The University of Texas at Austin No. 30 in the world in its first-ever Global University Rankings, marking the fourth time this year a prestigious international group has placed UT Austin among the best international universities.

Read more…

New Resume Format for MPA Application

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Texas MPA applicants:

The MPA program has developed a new resume format for the MPA admissions application. We strongly suggest that you follow the MPA Application Resume Guidelines and the MPA Application Resume Template when formatting and constructing your resume.

This policy is effective for all applications completed after December 1. If you completed your application by December 1, you do not need to resubmit your resume in the MPA format, although you may do so, if you prefer.*

FAQs:

Am I required to submit my resume in the MPA format? 

Submitting your resume in the MPA format is not required but highly recommended. If you are admitted and decide to attend the MPA program, you will need to update your resume in this format if you wish to participate in employment recruiting.

Can MPA staff assist me in constructing my resume?

Due to substantial MPA applicant volume, the MPA admissions and career services staff are unable to assist applicants with resume content or format. However, we have provided detailed guidelines, a list of action words and a Word template to assist you. If admitted, you will use this format again during the MPA recruiting process and receive individualized attention from our MPA career consultants. They will work with you to fine-tune your resume content to maximize its effectiveness.

How can I submit an updated resume under the new MPA format?

*Updated resumes can be submitted in the document upload system.

University Closed November 27-28

 happy thanksgiving

The University of Texas at Austin will be closed November 27-28 for the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back on Monday!

U.S. Applicants: December 1 Early Deadline

Dec 1 2014

If you are working on submitting your application materials by the December 1 early deadline… great! Your application will be first in line for consideration. However, what if your application is not complete by December 1?

  • Keep in mind that the Texas MPA program uses a rolling admissions process in which we review applications in the order of completion, starting with those completed by December 1 and ending with those completed by the March 1 final deadline. As a result, your chances for admission would not be affected if you apply several weeks after this deadline, as anytime in December is still very early in our admissions cycle.
  • I recommend that you aim to complete your application as early in the admissions cycle as possible due to space limitations. That said, you should take the necessary time to present the strongest application possible rather than overly rushing. For example, you may need more time to study for the GMAT or you might wait to submit your transcript after your fall grades are posted if:
    1. You are taking pre-enrollment courses in the fall,
    2. You are enrolled in a significant number of accounting classes in the fall, or
    3. Your upper-level GPA will be improved substantially with your fall grades
  • Your application will not be considered complete and subsequently forwarded to our department for a decision until all application materials, including the official GMAT score report, have been received. On average, it takes 3-4 weeks for the score report to be sent, received, and loaded to an applicant’s record.

Do you have any concerns about your application? Please do not hesitate to contact me. I am here to help!

Please note: This early preferred deadline applies to U.S. applications only. All international applications will be reviewed after the January 5 application deadline.

MPA Application: Transcripts

Should I submit my transcript now or wait until my fall grades are posted?

I recommend that you submit your transcript after your fall grades are posted if:

  1. You are taking pre-enrollment courses in the fall,
  2. You are enrolled in a significant number of accounting classes in the fall, or
  3. Your upper-level GPA will be improved substantially with your fall grades.

U.S. applicants: If you are targeting our early December 1 application deadline, please note that we use a rolling admissions process for U.S. applications. Your chances for admission would not be affected if you wait until fall grades are posted before uploading your transcript. Mid-December is still very early in our admissions cycle.

International applicants: You must upload a transcript for a complete application by the January 5 application deadline, even if your fall grades are not available. If you wish to provide an updated transcript, you can send it to me via email as soon as the fall grades are posted to your transcript.

Do I need to submit high school or community college transcripts?

It is not necessary for you to submit your high school transcript. Please submit transcripts from junior or community colleges if you completed our pre-enrollment requirements or any accounting courses at these institutions.

Do I need to send my official transcripts?

Please do not mail any hard copy documents for the MPA application. After you submit your online application and pay your application fee, UT will send you a UT EID and password via email. You will use the EID/password to log into the documents upload page and upload a copy of your official transcript(s). Please refer to the application materials checklist for detailed instructions. A community college transcript can be uploaded as a ”miscellaneous admissions document.”

I studied abroad for one semester, and the credit appears on my U.S. undergraduate transcript. Do I need to submit the transcript from the foreign university?

If you studied abroad for one semester only and the credit appears on your U.S. transcript, you will not need to request a transcript from the foreign university. However, if you studied abroad for more than one semester, you will need to submit the foreign university transcript.

If I need to submit a transcript from a foreign university, do I need to include a foreign credential evaluation from WES or another organization?

A foreign credential evaluation is not required. If a transcript is written in a language other than English, a complete and official English translation must be uploaded together with the original transcript.

What GPA is reviewed for MPA admissions purposes?

The Graduate and International Admissions Center will calculate a GPA using grades from all upper-division (junior- and senior-level) undergraduate courses and any graduate courses completed. Courses from professional programs (e.g., JD or MD) will not be factored into the upper-level GPA. The MPA admissions committee will review your performance not only in upper-division courses but also in courses within your major and any business-related courses, including those completed to fulfill the pre-enrollment requirements.

MPA Application: Recommendation Letters

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Who should write my letters of recommendation?

Choose references who know you in an academic or professional context and are familiar with your academic or professional achievements, credentials, career aspirations and work history, if applicable. Also consider references who can provide unique and diverse viewpoints. Through the recommendation letters and statement of purpose essay, we hope to learn about your strengths, personal qualities, skills, goals, and the potential to success in the classroom and as a professional.

Can I submit more than two recommendation letters?

Although only two recommendation letters are required for the MPA application, you are welcome to request more than two letters, if preferred. All recommendation letters that are submitted will be reviewed.

When will my references receive the “Request for Reference” email notification?

After you submit your Apply Texas application and it is received at The University of Texas at Austin (approximately 1-2 working days after submission), your references will receive an email message which will contain instructions and a link to the recommendation system.

Can my references submit hard copy recommendation letters?

Submitting hard copies will significantly delay the processing of your application. As a result, we highly recommended that your references submit their recommendation letters online.

What should I do if I have already submitted my online application but need to make a change to my reference information?

The Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) will send you an assigned UT EID and password about 1-2 working days after you submit your online application. You will use the EID and password to log into the application status check. Under the “Letter of Recommendation” section, click on “Details,” and you will find a link to “Manage your recommendation requests.” From there, you will be able to resend the Request for Reference e-mail to any of your references or add a new reference.

McCombs Professors Among Best in Nation

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Originally published by Matt Turner in McCombs Today:

The McCombs School of Business once again made the top-10 list for best professors in the Princeton Review’s business school rankings, which are published in its annual guidebook, “The Best 296 Business Schools, 2015 Edition.”

McCombs landed at No. 6 for best professors, based on student responses regarding how well their professors perform as teachers and how accessible they are outside the classroom.

Read more…

MPA Application: International Applicants

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Frequently-asked questions from international applicants:

Do I need to submit the Certification of Financial Responsibility with my application?

The Certification of Financial Responsibility is used for immigration document processing, not for admissions purposes. Therefore, the form and supporting documentation are not required for the completion of an admissions application. However, the International Office will not issue the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 until a student has been officially admitted and certification of adequate financial resources has been received.

Do I need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores if I studied in the U.S. or another English-only speaking country?

All international applicants must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score report, even if they studied in an English-only speaking country. Please see my previous blog post for additional information.

Do I need to submit a foreign credential evaluation from WES or another organization?

A foreign credential evaluation is not required. If a transcript is written in a language other than English, a complete and official English translation must be uploaded together with the original transcript.

Are all of the application materials required by the January 5 application deadline?

Your application will not be considered complete and subsequently forwarded to our department for a decision until all application materials, including the official score reports, have been received. On average, it takes at least 4 weeks for the score report to be sent, received, and loaded to an applicant’s record. Applications completed after the application deadline may need to be considered on a space-available basis.

When are international applications reviewed?

All international applications will be reviewed after the January 5 application deadline, not on a rolling basis. Admissions decisions are typically released throughout the month of February.

Am I eligible for departmental scholarships or other types of financial aid?

Due to limited funding, international students are not eligible for departmental recruiting scholarships and therefore should be prepared to meet all expenses from their own resources. A limited number of graduate assistantship positions are available through individual academic departments across the campus. For additional information, please visit our financial aid website.

Can I get in touch with any current international MPA students?

Texas MPA Admissions Ambassadors and MPA International Connection Volunteers are groups of current MPA students who have volunteered to share their experiences with prospective students. Our admissions ambassadors and MIC volunteers can provide you with their perspectives on MPA classes, the job search, campus life, and living in Austin.

UT Austin Ranked #28 in the World

THE World University Rankings

The University of Texas at Austin has been ranked No. 28 in the 2014-15 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and No. 6 among U.S. public universities.

Read more…

MPA Application: Statement of Purpose Essay

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 Writing an admissions essay can seem like a daunting task…

What should I write? 

How should I write it? 

How long should the essay be?

Here are some tips to consider before writing your essay:

  • First and foremost, be yourself. The purpose of the essay is to provide the admissions committee with a better understanding of what makes you unique. It gives you an opportunity to stand out from the sea of applicants. Provide a thoughtful portrayal of why you are interested in the Texas MPA and how our program will assist you in reaching your goals. Don’t write what you think the admissions committee wants to hear! We would like to know about your unique aspirations and achievements and will not judge what you aim to do with your career.
  • Develop your ideas, but be concise. Although you should focus more on content than length, the average essay is approximately two pages long. As a result, it is important to stay concise and avoid repeating information that is readily available in other parts of the application. Rather than simply listing your experiences, let us know how these experiences helped you to grow personally or professionally. We want to get to know you from a perspective that cannot be achieved by reviewing transcripts, test scores and resumes.
  • Mind your writing technique. The essay is a reflection of your written communication skills. Avoid being too wordy; stay focused and organized; and check your grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Clarify. You can use the essay as an opportunity to explain weaknesses in your record. If you do, be sure to explain them adequately and address your attempts to improve.

Essay Submission Tips:

  • You will have the option to submit your online application and essay either together or separately. I highly recommend that you submit your application first and return to the essay later, if necessary, so that your references receive their Request for Reference e-mail notifications early in the admissions process.
  • Approximately 1-2 business days after submitting your application, you will receive an email message from UT, which will direct you to an online application status check. From this site you will have an opportunity to upload a .pdf of your essay.
  • Alternatively, you can log back into ApplyTexas and submit your essay through the application system. If you prefer this option, be sure to write and edit your essay responses in a plain-text editor such as Microsoft WordPad and then copy and paste the text into the essay text box.
  • If you submit your essay through ApplyTexas, the system will accept a maximum of 120 eighty-character lines of text (including spaces and blank lines). This is the maximum allowed by the system, not the recommended length! NOTE: if you submit your application and essay at the same time from ApplyTexas, the essay will take up to 24 hours longer to appear in the application status check.

Accounting Faculty Honored at AAA Annual Meeting

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Excerpted from MPA Weekly and McCombs Today

McCombs School of Business faculty shined at this years American Accounting Association’s (AAA) annual meeting, held in Atlanta, Ga. Professors Bill KinneyLisa KoonceJohn Robinson, and Lillian Mills were all honored for their achievements in accounting education and research.

Read more…

MPA Application: TOEFL or IELTS for International Applicants

International applicants: Be sure to plan early! TOEFL and IELTS test scores are received and loaded to your application record approximately four to six weeks after a test is taken. Tests should be taken early to ensure that scores arrive prior to the application deadline.

Can the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) be accepted in lieu of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

We accept either the Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS test scores.

What are the preferred minimum scores?

The MPA program prefers a minimum Internet-based TOEFL score of 105 overall and a minimum of 24 for each individual section, or minimum IELTS band scores (total and individual sections) of 7.5.

Which applicants must submit the TOEFL or IELTS? Can the TOEFL/IELTS requirement be waived?

All international MPA applicants, except those from English-only speaking countries, must submit either an Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS official score report. If you studied (or are studying) an undergraduate or a graduate degree in an English-only speaking country, the TOEFL/IELTS score requirement will not be waived. However, if applicable, you may request that a copy of your expired Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS score report be used for your MPA application if the scores meet or exceed our preferred minimum requirements.  Please refer to the Admissions FAQs on our website for additional information.

When do TOEFL and IELTS scores expire?

The TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date.

What if I do not meet the MPA program’s preferred minimum scores?

English skills are essential for success in the MPA program, both academically and professionally. As a result, meeting or surpassing the preferred minimum score requirements greatly strengthens your application. If your scores are below our suggested minimum, we highly recommend that you work on improving your English skills and retake the test.

If I retake the TOEFL or IELTS, which scores are considered?

If you retake the TOEFL or IELTS, the score report with the highest total score will be considered (scores are not averaged).

All of my application materials will be submitted by the deadline except for my TOEFL or IELTS scores. Can the admissions committee accept a copy of my score report until the official scores arrive?

All application materials, including the official test scores, must be received before the admissions committee will review your file for an admissions decision. Applications completed after the application deadline may need to be considered on a space-available basis.

What are The University of Texas at Austin codes for the TOEFL and IELTS?

  • TOEFL – 6882 (Any department code may be used, such as Graduate Management)
  • IELTS – The University of Texas at Austin mailing address

Announcing the Inaugural Terri Holbrook Scholars

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Originally published by Zach Lozano in McCombs Today:

Accounting lecturer, Terri Holbrook, and her husband, Ed, are providing funds for a new scholarship awarded to third, fourth, and fifth-year Masters of Professional Accounting students.

In its inaugural year, the eponymously named Terri Holbrook Scholarship in Accounting has been awarded to 15 MPA students. Scholarship recipients will receive one check per semester. Each award ranges in size from $5,000 to $10,000. With the establishment of this scholarship, Holbrook says she hopes to alleviate the cost for students attending McCombs.

Read more…

MPA Application: GMAT

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Tips:

1. If feasible, plan to take the GMAT exam no later than mid fall because:

  • You will be required to wait 31 calendar days if you wish to retake the exam.
  • Your scores will arrive at UT-Austin and become an official part of your application approximately 3 to 4 weeks after the official score report is requested.
  • All application materials, including the official test scores, must be received before the admissions committee will review your file for an admissions decision.

2. UT-Austin code for the GMAT: 396-44-94

3. All MPA applicants are required to submit GMAT scores. We do not accept the GRE in place of the GMAT.

4. If you retake the GMAT, the score report with the highest total score will be considered (scores are not averaged). If your application is complete and you are retaking the GMAT, please notify me of your new test date. The admissions committee will hold off on a decision until we receive the new test results.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to take the GMAT before I submit my application?

No – Rather than indicating your GMAT scores in the online application, you can either leave the entire GMAT section blank (if you have not set a test date yet) or input your planned test date but leave the scores blank. Your official test scores will be sent electronically to UT-Austin (if you have designated UT-Austin as a score recipient) and will be matched to your application when they are received.

What is the minimum GMAT score the MPA program will consider?

The MPA program does not impose minimum scores and considers the GMAT in the context of a holistic review of all admissions criteria. That said, the GMAT is an important component of the MPA application. You may find it helpful to review our current student MPA class profile as well as information on the characteristics of a strong application.

Can I use test scores that are about to expire? 

GMAT scores are valid for five years from the test date. As long as the official score report is submitted to UT-Austin before the expiration of the exam, we can use the score for admission purposes. In other words, the exam does not have to be valid at the time of enrollment. For example, if you took the exam in November 2009 and submit the scores before November 2014, we can use the scores for the entire application cycle for fall 2015. If you do not submit the scores by the exam expiration date, you would need to retake the exam.

MPA Application: Frequently Asked Questions

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What major should I select in the ApplyTexas application?

Be sure to select “Professional Accounting MPA” as the major NOT “Accounting-Professional Program, (PPA) Fifth Year.”

I do not have an accounting background and need to start the MPA program in the summer. However, I cannot find a summer 2015 MPA application in ApplyTexas

You will complete a fall application, even if you are required to start in the summer. If you are accepted to the MPA program and decide to attend, we will backdate your admission to the summer so that you can enroll in summer courses.

How do I pay the application fee?

Payment of the application processing fee may be submitted electronically via MasterCard or Visa if submitted on the ApplyTexas site. If you do not pay your application fee on the ApplyTexas site, you will receive an email message after submitting your online application which will include instructions for making payment to The University of Texas at Austin directly. Payment options will include Discover, MasterCard, electronic check, or electronic funds transfer. Please note that The University of Texas at Austin does not accept Visa. If you wish to pay by Visa, you should pay your application fee on the ApplyTexas site.

What other application materials do I need to provide, and how do I submit them?

A comprehensive checklist and instructions are available on the MPA admissions website. I also recommend reviewing the characteristics of a strong applicationadmissions FAQs, and the MPA class profile.

I am a U.S. applicant. Should I apply by the early deadline?

As a general rule, U.S. applicants benefit by submitting their application materials as early as possible in the admissions cycle. However, if you need additional time to prepare your application (to prepare for the GMAT, for example), it is to your advantage to take your time and present the strongest application possible. Keep in mind that we use a rolling admissions process for U.S. applications in which we review applications in the order of completion. Therefore, if you do not complete your application by the early December 1 deadline, you do not need to wait for another “round” on March 1… apply as soon as you are able!

I do not hold U.S. permanent residency or citizenship status, but I will receive my undergraduate degree in the U.S. Can I apply as a U.S. applicant? Do I need to submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores?

Only U.S. permanent residents and U.S. citizens are eligible to apply as U.S. applicants. All international MPA applicants, except those from English-only speaking countries, must submit either an Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS official score report. Studying an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-only speaking country will not waive the TOEFL/IELTS score requirement. However, if applicable, you may request that a copy of your expired Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS score report be used for your MPA application if the scores meet or exceed our preferred minimum requirements.  Please refer to the Admissions FAQs on our website for additional information.

Granof Reappointed to Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board

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 Originally posted by Jeremy Simon in McCombs Today

With his recent reappointment to the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB), Michael Granof will continue to help ensure that the financial health of the federal government is communicated clearly and truthfully to U.S. citizens.

On July 11, FASAB Chairman Tom Allen announced that McCombs School of Business Accounting Professor Granof had been reappointed to the board for a second five-year term running from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2019. Granof, who is the Ernst & Young Distinguished Centennial Professor of Accounting as well as a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, also serves as a member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

Read more…

Ready…Set…Apply to the MPA Program!

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MPA applicants: The fall 2015 online application is open!

Application Deadlines:

  • U.S. applicants (early deadline): December 1, 2014
  • International applicants: January 5, 2015
  • U.S. applicants (final deadline): March 1, 2015

All application materials, including official test scores, must be received before an application will be marked as completed and forwarded to the MPA admissions committee for review.

U.S. Applications: The admissions committee reviews U.S. applications in the order of completion, starting with those completed by December 1 and ending with those completed by the final March 1 deadline. As a general rule, U.S. applicants benefit by submitting their application materials as early as possible in the admissions cycle. However, if you need additional time to prepare your application (to prepare for the GMAT, for example), it is to your advantage to take your time and present the strongest application possible.

International Applications: The admissions committee does not use a rolling admissions process for international applications. Instead, we review all international applications after the January 5 application deadline.

Questions?

I would encourage you to post general admissions questions to this blog. Any specific questions that are unique to your situation should be sent to me via e-mail.

We look forward to receiving your applications!

Accounting Department Continues No. 1 Ranking Sweep

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Originally posted by Matt Turner in McCombs Today

Continuing to lead the nation among academic institutions of accounting, for the 10th time in 13 years the McCombs School of Business ranks No. 1 across all three of the 2014 the Public Accounting Report (PAR) Annual Professors Survey rankings: undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D.

This is the fifth year in a row McCombs took first place on all three bases. The PAR even notes in its August edition that The University of Texas at Austin “has practically formed a habit” in the three-way sweep.

Read more…