Texas MPA Admissions Blog

Insider Information for Prospective Students

Category: Application Tips (page 1 of 2)

International Applicant FAQs

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

You should submit all application materials by January 5. If your application is completed after the deadline, we may need to review it on a space-available basis after the first round of decisions have been made.

*Application tip: Plan ahead! On average, it takes about 3-4 weeks for the official test scores to be sent, received, and added to an applicant’s record. Please send me an email message if you have any updates regarding your application as the deadline approaches.

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

You should upload a transcript by the January 5 application deadline, even if your fall grades are not available. If you prefer, you can send me an updated transcript via email after the fall grades are posted.

When are international decisions released?

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.

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

If you are an international applicant (non-U.S. citizen or permanent resident), you are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores with your MPA application, even if you studied in an English-only speaking country. Please see the admissions packet for additional information.

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

You do not need to submit a foreign credential evaluation if you studied outside of the U.S. However, if your transcript is written in a language other than English, you must upload an official English translation with the original transcript.

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. If you gain admission to the MPA program, the International Office will require the CFR and supporting documentation before issuing the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.

U.S. Applicants: When Should You Apply?

If you are a U.S. applicant, you may have noticed that the Texas MPA has two application deadlines:

December 1 – early deadline

March 1 – final deadline

Why are there two deadlines for U.S. applications? How does the MPA admissions process work?

The MPA admissions committee starts reviewing applications in December and then continues to review applications in the order of completion until March.

What does this mean for you?

We will review your application after all of the required materials have been received, as long as you submit the application by the final deadline. Of course, you will benefit by completing your application as soon as possible, as we have more spots in our incoming class and more scholarship funding available early in the admissions cycle.

What if you are not ready to submit all of your materials by December 1?

No worries! If you need additional time to prepare your application materials (to study for the GMAT or GRE, for example), be sure to take your time and submit the strongest application possible. In the meantime, you can start the process by submitting the online application.

*Application tip: you can skip past the test score section on the application if you haven’t taken or scheduled the test yet.

Should you submit your transcript by the December 1 early deadline or wait until your fall grades are posted? 

In most cases, I recommend completing your application by December 1 and including a transcript without fall grades. We will reach out to you if we need your fall grades before making a decision.

That said, I  recommend that you 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.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me!


Tips for Submitting Your Transcript


How should I submit my transcript(s)?

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). Please refer to the instructions for uploading transcripts.


  • Many colleges and universities will not supply an official transcript in a .pdf version. Instead, you will need to obtain an official transcript and scan the hard copy to a .pdf format.
  • U.S. transcripts take 2-3 days to be reviewed by GIAC before they are applied to your application. Preview your file for image quality to ensure that the document is complete and readable before uploading.

Do I need to submit community college transcripts?

Be sure to submit transcripts from junior or community colleges if you completed our pre-enrollment requirements or any accounting courses at these institutions. You should be able to locate the community college as an optional item in the application status check. If you need any assistance, please contact GIAC at gradtranscript@austin.utexas.edu.

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.

Texas MPA Resume Format

You may have noticed on the Texas MPA admissions website that we provided MPA Application Resume Guidelines and the MPA Application Resume Template . We recommend that you follow the guidelines and template when constructing your resume for the MPA application. If admitted, you will use this format again during the MPA recruiting process, and our MPA career consultants will work with you to fine-tune your resume content to maximize its effectiveness.

If you have already submitted a resume that is not in the Texas MPA format, no worries! Updated resumes can be submitted in the document upload system.

Recommendation Letter FAQs

Who should write my 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.

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.

How should my references submit their recommendation letters?

You will provide the names and email addresses of your 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 to the online recommendation system. NOTE: 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 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 a request to a new reference.

Texas MPA Admissions Essay

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.”

Have you been procrastinating on writing your MPA admissions essay? Are you wondering what you should write or how long it should be? Here are some tips that will help you get started.

  • Let us know why you’re unique! There is no “right answer.” The essay gives you an opportunity to stand out from the applicant crowd and gives 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? 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 (this is a commonly-asked question!). 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!
  • 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.


GMAT or GRE for the Texas MPA Application?

You are planning ahead for your admissions application (great move!), and you noticed that the Texas MPA accepts either the GMAT or the GRE… so which should you take? Here are a few factors to consider:

  • The MPA admissions committee does not have a preference. Either test can demonstrate academic potential for business school.
  • Graduate accounting programs started accepting the GRE relatively recently. Be sure to check the application requirements for all of your programs of interest, as certain programs may accept the GMAT only.
  • The GRE may be the best choice for those who are applying to the Texas MPA plus another type of master’s degree, such as economics, which requires the GRE. Taking the GRE would allow you to apply to both programs with one exam.
  • If you are still trying to decide, I recommend that you take a practice test for each exam. You may find that you prefer one test over the other.

In any case, be sure to set aside time to study! Take the test early and reserve some buffer time in case you wish to retake the exam. Also keep in mind that it can take up to 3 weeks for the official scores to be sent, received and posted to your UT application.

If you have any questions related to your situation, be sure to contact me directly.

Fall 2018 Applicants: Prepare Early!

Applying to the Texas MPA program for fall 2018? Start preparing now!

  • Review our admissions website thoroughly. If there are any updates to the application process, we will be publish them on this website before the application opens in late August 2017.
  • Enroll in courses this summer or fall if you have not completed our pre-enrollment requirements.
  • Take the GMAT or GRE (all applicants) and TOEFL (international applicants) early so that we receive your test scores by the application deadline.
  • Check this admissions blog regularly. I will begin posting tips on applying, updates on the admissions process, and highlights of our program after the application opens…You don’t want to miss it!

U.S. Applicants: March 31 Final Deadline

We are quickly approaching the final March 31 deadline. If you are interested in applying to the Texas MPA program and haven’t done so, you will have until 11:59 p.m. CDT on Friday, March 31 to submit your online application from the ApplyTexas system. Be sure to submit all required application materials as soon as possible because space in our incoming class is limited.

Please note that it will take about 3 weeks for your official GMAT scores to be sent, received, and loaded to your UT application record. I recommend that you send me an email message with an unofficial report, in the meantime, if your official scores do not arrive by March 31.

If you have any questions or concerns about your application, please contact me.

U.S. Application Deadline Extended for Fall 2017

The Texas MPA program decided to extend the Fall 2017 U.S. application deadline to March 31 to provide applicants with additional time to submit their application materials.

Keep in mind that we review applications on a continuous basis, in the order of file completion, and cannot guarantee space availability. As a result, I recommend that you submit all application materials as soon as possible rather than waiting until the final deadline.

As a reminder, you can track the status of your materials online in the application status check.

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