Admissions & Financial Aid

The Public Policy PhD program is now welcoming applications for Fall 2023 admission!

Deadlines: January 18, 2023 (priority) and March 15, 2023 (final)

If you are an international student, please see additional requirements.

Final decisions are typically made and communicated from mid-April through June.


Statement of Purpose

Submit a personal statement (1,500 words) highlighting your research and career interests and goals, and your motivation for pursuing a PhD in Public Policy. Please include answers to the following questions:

What are your career objectives and how will a PhD in Public Policy advance those objectives?

What professional, personal, and academic experiences have prepared you to pursue a PhD in Public Policy?

What research and public policy issues are you interested in pursuing at UMass Boston?

Official Transcripts

Include official transcripts of all prior academic work, including evidence of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Letters of Recommendation

Solicit three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should come from individuals who can assess academic preparation for advanced graduate work.

Writing Sample

Include a short (3-5 page) academic writing sample or professional policy brief.

GRE Scores

(Optional). Submit official GRE scores. Previous scores less than five years old will be accepted.

Our institutional code is 3924 when you register for the exam.

Résumé or CV

Attach a current résumé or CV listing your educational background on the top of page one with degree(s) earned, name(s) of school(s), major(s) and overall GPA(s).

Application Fee

Don't forget the application fee!

Part-Time Study Option Available

Our part-time program is open to applicants who are able to attend daytime classes on a part-time basis.

All core classes are held during the day and require students to have flexible work schedules. Due to the sequence of the curriculum, the first semester requires completion of three courses which is one and one-half days on campus. The remainder of part-time study requires the completion of three courses most semesters, typically two days on campus.

Candidates for the part-time program are required to meet the same admissions standards as applicants for the full-time program.

Student Assistantships and Fellowships

Each year, the department provides assistantships for selected full-time students upon admission to the program. These assistantships cover tuition minus mandatory student fees, a health insurance credit, and a stipend to help defray living costs. Students may receive these assistantships for their first three years of study.

In return for the stipend, depending on the level of assistantship awarded, students are expected to provide 18 hours of research, teaching, or administrative assistance per week to the campus.

After the first semester, continued financial assistance is dependent upon satisfactory academic and graduate assistantship performance. Additional funding may be available for students after their third year, though funding is not guaranteed.

Complete list of current tuition and fee charges.

Please note the associated costs for graduate students at either the in-state or out-of-state rates, as appropriate. Also note that all stipend amounts, waivers, tuition, and fees are subject to state appropriations and may change each year.

Other Financial Assistance

Our doctoral program offers students small grants to help finance conference participation on a competitive basis to help finance conference participation when presenting research papers.

Other Resources for Financial Aid

The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration offers an extensive list of financial aid, scholarships, fellowships, and loans for prospective students.

Student Housing and Transportation

Office of Student Housing (617.287.6011)

UMass Boston is conveniently located at the UMass/JFK Library stop on the subway’s Red Line with free shuttle bus service to campus.