MPA Admissions Blog

Insider Information for Prospective Texas McCombs Students

UT-Austin Closed for Winter Break

The University of Texas at Austin will be closed for the holidays from Monday, December 24 through Tuesday, January 1. Please contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center if you are having technical difficulties with your application materials, or contact the MPA Program Office after the break.

Enjoy the holidays!

International Applicants: January 5 Deadline

International applicants:

Your application deadline is quickly approaching! Be sure to monitor the status of your application materials in the online application status check.

What if all of your application materials are not received by January 5?

  • Please update Keri Ledezma  on the status of your outstanding application materials. If your file is not complete by the application deadline or very shortly thereafter, we will do what we can to include your file in the first round of admissions decisions; however, if your application materials arrive too late, we cannot guarantee it. As a result, make every attempt to complete your application as close to the application deadline as possible.
  • If your TOEFL/IELTS or GMAT scores are not posted to your application record by January 5, please update Keri Ledezma with the date of your test and a copy of the score report, if possible.
  • Your application will not be considered complete and reviewed for a decision until all application materials, including the official score reports, have been received. On average, it takes at least 3-4 weeks for the test scores to be sent, received, and uploaded to an applicant’s record.

Reminder: All international applications will be reviewed after the January 5 application deadline, not on a rolling basis.

Decision Timeline for U.S. Applications

Congratulations! You completed your U.S. application! What can you expect next? 

We are beginning to review applications that were completed by December 1 and will start releasing decisions before UT-Austin’s winter break. The decision will be posted on the Application Status Check page. If you are accepted, you will receive a separate message from the MPA program with additional information.

If you complete your application after the 12/1 early deadline, you can expect to receive a decision approximately one month after your application is complete.

NOTE: All materials, including official test scores, must be received in order for an application to be reviewed for a decision. Be sure to check the status of your application on a regular basis.

You were admitted to another university and the acceptance deadline is approaching, but you haven’t received a decision from the Texas McCombs MPA. What should you do?

If you receive an admission offer from another university and need to respond to the offer before you receive a decision from us, please send Keri Ledezma an email message with the name of the university and the admission response deadline. Although we cannot guarantee an earlier admission decision, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Meet Flora Sun, a current tMPA student

Flora Sun is a current tMPA student who will be graduating in 2019. Let’s learn a little more about Flora, her journey to Texas McCombs, and the experiences she’s had in the MPA program.

Meet Flora Sun


Flora, who inspires you right now?

The faculty members at Texas McCombs are inspiring me every day. Specifically, Professor Steve Kachelmeier inspires me. He encourages my motivation and determination to stay in academia after graduation from the MPA program. I’m taking his accounting research class this semester and can see his passion for research and teaching. Plus, I love his sense of humor during classes. He’s such a great inspiration – he’s experienced, proficient, and passionate in his specialized auditing research area. I admire him, expect to learn from him as much as I can, and become a qualified accounting researcher in the future.


What motivates you?

The upcoming PhD  application! School life has been a little overwhelming these days. I have to balance my time among MPA courses, PhD seminars, TA responsibilities, RA work, and the upcoming PhD application for fall 2019. But I know my hard work is meaningful.


How is the MPA Program helping you accomplish your goals?

It provides unique opportunities to get familiar with the accounting research area. During the past two months, I have talked with quite a few accounting professors who specialize in capital market research and gained tons of insights from them. In addition, courses offered by the MPA program include some accounting research courses that are helping me get prepared for my PhD study. I truly can see the collaborative environment within UT’s accounting department and will definitely apply.


What do you like about Austin?

The city’s “free style” and no “rule of thumb” – be who you are and wear what you like! I also love the popularity of outdoor sports here.


How does Austin compare to your hometown of Hong Kong?

It is less crowded with bigger apartments! I am more relaxed and enjoying life here. Honestly, I fit in with the Austin community much better than I ever thought I could.


Meet Flora Sun


What led you to apply to the Texas McCombs MPA program?

The prestigious accounting faculty and reasonable program track design.


What is your advice to students debating whether they should apply to the Texas McCombs MPA program?

There is no reason to not apply! The professors are great and there’s plenty of academic and career resources from the MPA Program Office. It is an intense program, but you will accumulate a lot of knowledge and experience.


Meet Flora Sun


How have you benefited from the MPA recruiting process?

I have had multiple opportunities to meet potential employers before real interviews. Additionally, I have succeeded in pushing myself out of my comfort zone in order to professionally communicate with workplace elites.


How has the MPA Career Services team helped you with recruiting in the U.S.?

It’s more difficult than I thought for international students to find jobs here. I accept this reality and think that the Career Services team has done an excellent job in helping me get familiar with the U.S. job market. Jo and David held special sessions for international students and talked about the H1B visa and other immigration issues when international students look for jobs in the US.

And I love the mock interviews… I met real employers, practiced my interview skills, and obtained feedbacks from the interviewers. This is such a privilege provided by the MPA program!


You were an Assurance Associate with PwC Hong Kong for a few years. How has the MPA program challenged you even though you already have an undergraduate degree and professional experience in accounting?

My previous accounting knowledge focused on IFRS. And it was not very “up-to-date.” Here, I am refreshing my knowledge base and learning more about U.S. GAAP. Because I’m also taking some challenging accounting research courses, I’m really forcing myself to link my previous working experiences to academia. I’m definitely entering a deeper knowledge area, which requires more logical and creative thinking.


What are you looking forward to on your Study Abroad venture to Buenos Aires?

I CAN’T WAIT! I was once an exchange student at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow during my undergraduate study. I mingled with local students and traveled all around the U.K. Beyond coursework, culture exposure is my favorite. You never know what an outside world looks like until you see it yourself. That’s the main reason why I applied for Study Abroad Program to Buenos Aires in summer 2019. I’ve never been to Argentina and imagine it is a passionate and energetic country. I will probably fall in love with the country and move there later. Who knows!


How do you think your experience in the Texas McCombs MPA program stands out?

I see myself as a proactive and diligent person. So far, I am quite satisfied with my academic performance. Also, I feel some sense of achievement as professors are giving positive feedback on my TA and RA work.


Can you elaborate on how the office facilitates engagement between students and staff/faculty?

I have a sense of belonging as an MPA student. I went to two MPA tailgates, and we had our own MPA tent which felt like home… where MPA staff and students talked and shared things about football, school life, and other fun stuff. I even ran the Zilker Relays for the MPA program! It was exciting and gave me a totally different experience beyond classroom study. By the way, the tacos provided after the relay were delicious! I also attended two MPA Educated Eats sessions with Professor Sara Toynbee and John McInnis. I’m not taking their classes, but the Educated Eats provided me with the chance to listen to about study and work experiences, get to know their research interests, and know what their life looks like off campus. All in all, I truly feel that the MPA Program Office is creating an environment where faculty and students can easily communicate and interact. I feel very comfortable and free when talking with staff and faculty here. They are supportive to students and really willing to share!


Meet Flora Sun


Last question… Will you fill out this questionnaire for us? Choose wisely! 🙂


U.S. Applicants: December 1 Early Deadline

Our early December 1 deadline is just around the corner. If you are working on completing your application by this deadline… great! Your application will be first in line for consideration. However, do not be concerned if you are still working on your application. Why?

  • The Texas McCombs MPA uses a rolling admissions process in which we review completed applications on a continuous basis. Your chances for admission would not be affected if you complete your application after 12/1 but early in our admissions cycle.
  • You should your time to submit the strongest application possible rather than overly rushing. For example, you may need more time to study for the GMAT or GRE, or you might wait to submit your transcript until after your fall grades are posted, particularly if:
    1. For non-accounting majors: You are taking any of the pre-enrollment courses in the fall (especially the accounting courses),
    2. For accounting majors: You are enrolled in several upper-level 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 reviewed for a decision until all application materials, including the official GMAT score report, have been received. Plan ahead: it takes about 3 weeks for the score report to be sent, received, and added to an applicant’s record.

Do you have any concerns about your application? Please contact Keri Ledezma.

Please note: The rolling admissions process applies to U.S. applications only. All international applications will be reviewed after the January 5 application deadline.

Application Tip: Submitting Your Transcript

How should I submit my transcript(s) for the Texas McCombs MPA application?

After you submit your online application, UT’s Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) will send you an EID and password that you will use to log into the documents upload page and upload a copy of your official transcript(s). Applicants who attended The University of Texas at Austin will not be required to upload a copy of a UT-Austin transcript but rather will be assessed a $20 transcript fee. Please refer to the MPA admissions packet for further instructions.

Do I need to submit community college transcripts?

Please submit transcripts from junior or community colleges if you completed our pre-enrollment requirements or any accounting courses at these institutions.

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. However, 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.

Should I submit my transcript without my fall grades? 

If you are an international applicant, you should submit your transcript before the January 5 application deadline, even if the fall grades are not posted. If you prefer to send an update after your fall grades are available, please send an email to Keri Ledezma.

If you are a U.S. applicant, we recommend submitting a transcript without your fall grades if you are aiming to apply early (before your fall grades are available). We will reach out to you if we need your fall grades before making a decision. That said, you might wait and submit your transcript with your fall grades if:

  1. (For non-accounting majors:) You are taking any of the pre-enrollment courses in the fall,
  2. (For accounting majors:) You are enrolled in several upper-level accounting classes in the fall, or
  3. Your upper-level GPA will be improved substantially with your fall grades.

Application Tip: MPA Resume Format

You may have noticed on the Texas McCombs MPA admissions website that we provide MPA Application Resume Guidelines and the MPA Application Resume Template. We highly recommend using the MPA template if you plan to participate in employment recruiting. If admitted, you will be required to use this format during the recruiting process, and our MPA career consultants will work with you to fine-tune your resume.

If you already submitted your resume but prefer to upload another one in the Texas McCombs MPA format, you can do so in the document upload system.

Application Tip: Recommendation Letters

How should your references submit their recommendation letters?

You will provide the names and email addresses of at least two references in the online application. After UT-Austin receives your submitted application (approximately 1-2 working days after submission), your references will receive a “Request for Reference” email message with a link and instructions to upload their letters directly to our system.

Application tip: Submit your online application early so that your references receive the notification and have plenty of time to supply their recommendation letters. You can submit your application before you take the GMAT or GRE and skip past the test score section of the application.

Can you submit more than two recommendation letters?

Yes. Although only two recommendation letters are required, the online application has space for up to three references. The MPA admissions committee will review all that are submitted.

Who should write your letters of recommendation?

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

What should you do if you already submitted your online application but need to send a recommendation request to an additional reference?

The Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) will send you an assigned UT EID and password 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 send an email request to a new reference.

Application Tip: MPA Admissions Essay

Texas McCombs MPA Admissions Essay Prompt:

“Explain how obtaining a Master in Professional Accounting degree at the McCombs School of Business will assist you in further defining your primary personal and/or professional life goals. Why is now the best time for you to pursue this degree? Your explanation should include, but not necessarily be limited to, a description of both your intermediate and longer-term career goals, as well as a current vision of your desired employment upon graduation.”

Are you finding it difficult to write your MPA admissions essay? What should be the focus? How long should the essay be? Should it be single or double spaced? Here are some tips that will help you get started.

  • Let us know why you’re unique! There is no “right answer.” MPA applicants come from diverse backgrounds and have various professional goals… exactly what we prefer! The essay gives you an opportunity to stand out from the applicant crowd and provides us an opportunity to learn about your unique background and aspirations. Avoid a cliched response and instead provide a genuine portrayal of why you are interested in the Texas MPA. How will our program will assist you in reaching your goals? If you are a non-accounting major, why have you decided to pursue a graduate accounting degree? What has been your journey up to this point? How have your experiences prepared you for success in our program and the business world?
  • Develop your ideas…but be concise. Although you should focus more on content than length, the average essay is approximately two pages long, double spaced. 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 demonstration of your written communication skills. Avoid being too wordy, stay focused and organized, and proofread. The formatting is flexible (line spacing, margins, font), but an easy-to-read layout is greatly appreciated!
  • Clarify. If you prefer, you can use the admissions essay as an opportunity to address weaknesses in your record, or you can include this information in a separate essay. If you do so, be sure to explain how you have improved.

Texas McCombs MPA Information Session

Interested in the traditional MPA? Come to our on-campus info session to meet the admissions team and learn how the Texas McCombs MPA can benefit you.

Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Legacy Events Room, CBA 3.202

RSVP today!

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