Accelerated Program Admissions

The La Follette School of Public Affairs provides selected UW-Madison undergraduates an opportunity to jumpstart the Master of Public Affairs or Master of International Public Affairs program.

Applications are due January 1 and will be accepted after that on a rolling basis based on available space in the program.

About the Accelerated Program

How to apply for accelerated admissions

Application for admission to the accelerated MPA or MIPA program must be made directly to the La Follette School after five semesters of undergraduate study.

Students who plan to complete their undergraduate degree in 3 years are not eligible for the accelerated program. They should instead apply to the 2-year MPA or MIPA program.

Apply to the Accelerated Program

We are currently accepting applications to start at the La Follette School in Fall 2024. You will need to be logged into UW Google Workspace to complete the application.

Requirements for admission

The following items are required for consideration for the accelerated degree:

  • Accelerated degree program application including a prerequisite check to provide the admissions committee with information about courses you completed and preparation you have done that satisfies La Follette School prerequisites.
  • Quantitative essay: Write a 150-word statement (approximately half a page double spaced) about current or past professional work requiring quantitative or analytic skill or experience and how it has prepared you for graduate study in public affairs. If you do not have this background, please leave the essay blank.
  • Personal statement of purpose. The statement of purpose provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your motivation to pursue an Accelerated Master of Public Affairs (MPA) or Accelerated Master of International Public Affairs (MIPA) degree and your commitment to a career dedicated to public service. Your clear and concise narrative need not reiterate information we can gather from your transcripts and resume. In 250 words or less (1 page double spaced), respond to the question below: How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs? How would this academic preparation help you progress toward your personal and/or professional goals and further the Wisconsin Idea?
  • Two academic letters of recommendation
    • Applicants should have faculty letter writers send their letters to the email address with the applicant’s name in the subject line.
  • A University of Wisconsin–Madison transcript showing a grade point average of 3.6 or higher
  • Resume

Other considerations

Students who receive an admission offer to the accelerated program can accept or decline the offer of admission but cannot defer. Students enrolling in the accelerated program must have an undergraduate degree conferred before starting their second year, sometimes referred to as their graduate year, in the program. Students enrolling in the accelerated program also must formally apply for regular Graduate School admission during their final year of undergraduate study by filling out the Graduate School online application and submitting an updated resume. Because accelerated students are in a program that has special approval and has been vetted by the Graduate School, accelerated students are not eligible to complete dual, double, joint, or combined degree programs. Applicants to the accelerated program are not considered for fellowships, assistantships, or scholarships. However, it is not uncommon for accelerated students to find graduate assistantships in other departments on campus in their second year in the program as matriculated graduate students.


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MPA prerequisite courses

(A strong MPA applicant has taken these courses and earned a B or above.)

MIPA prerequisite courses

(A strong MIPA applicant has taken these courses and earned a B or above.)

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  • Portrait of Brelynn Billie

    Brelynn Bille, MPA

    "The accelerated MPA program drew me to the La Follette School."

  • Portrait of Haoyan Wang.

    Haoyan (Ken) Wang, MIPA

    "I was drawn to La Follette mainly because of its faculty expertise, alumni network, and most importantly, many professional opportunities offered to its students."

  • Photo of Angela Maloney.

    Angela Maloney, MPA

    "Learning more about the human impact of policy as well as the benefit of being able to obtain an MPA with just one additional year post-undergrad were huge draws for me."

  • Photo of Troy Wilson.

    Troy Wilson, MPA

    "I would like to use my La Follette education and previous experience in legislative and NGO settings to make a difference and promote the Wisconsin Idea."

  • Profile photo of Evan Steck

    Evan Steck, MPA

    "I met with the incredibly kind and accommodating faculty at the La Follette School and was blown away by the tightly knit academic community they have cultivated."