Texas MPA Admissions Blog

Insider Information for Prospective Students

Category: Application Tips (page 1 of 2)

Texas MPA Admissions Update

I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing holiday season! Here is an update on the status of our application reviews.

  • We have been reviewing completed U.S. applications and releasing decisions on a rolling basis. Admitted applicants will be considered automatically for a possible recruiting scholarship; a separate application is not required. If you are awarded a scholarship, you will be notified via e-mail prior to your response deadline. The final U.S. application deadline is March 1.
  • The international application deadline was January 5. The application review will begin in late January, and decisions will be released in February. Please be sure to submit all of your supplemental application materials no later than mid-January if you would like your application to be considered in the first round of admissions decisions. Also, please send me a copy of your GMAT or TOEFL score reports if they have not been posted to your application record yet.

You will receive an e-mail notification after a decision has been entered, and the decision will be posted on the application status check page. As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about your application.

International Applicants: January 5 Application 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 have not been received by January 5?

  • Please keep me updated 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 have not been posted to your application record by January 5, please contact me and let me know the date that you requested your score report to be sent to The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, send me a copy of the unofficial results if you have received them.
  • 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.

Please contact me if you have any concerns about your application.

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

U.S. Applicants: December 1 Deadline

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

  • 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. Your chances for admission would not be affected if you complete your application several weeks after the 12/1 deadline, as it would still be early in our admissions cycle.
  • Yes, it is advantageous to complete your application as early as possible due to space limitations. However, you should take the time necessary to submit 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 until after your fall grades are posted 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.

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. On average, it takes at least 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 do not hesitate to contact me!

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

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.

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