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Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning

Since 2007, the Master of Arts Program in Rural Public Policy remains a leader in innovative education. The Master of Arts program in Rural Public Policy and Planning is a unique program that provides a wealth of knowledge from faculty members who are experts in their fields. Our program is a two-year program that prepares students to grasp complicated public problems and craft precise solutions, especially for rural communities. During the two years, students can choose a concentration area that fits closely to their future goals: Agricultural Policy, Nonprofit Policy, Rural Health Policy, and Social & Economic Policy.


Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning Program at Mississippi Valley State University must be admitted to the University via this graduate degree program. To be eligible for admission to this graduate program, the following requirements must be met:

  1. An applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. An application must be filed with the Office of Admissions.
  3. An official transcript of a conferred undergraduate degree and any transcripts the student is seeking credit for to the intended program of study must be on file in the Office of Student Records/University Registrar.
  4. An applicant must satisfy a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  5. An applicant must submit three letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to certify as to your abilities and character.
  6. An applicant must a "Professional Statement" and a "General or Scholarly Writing Sample".
  7. The department must formally accept the student for admission to the graduate program of study. The actual acceptance letter is forwarded by the Office of Admissions.
  8. An immunization record must be submitted and/or on file.

Students who show academic promise but fail to meet all the requirements based on the aforementioned indicators may be admitted on a conditional basis. Students will be required to complete nine (9)hours toward the degree while on provisional status, and must earn a minimum of a “B” or above in each class.

After the provisional period, the faculty will review the student’s progress and determine if he or she should be allowed to continue. Those students who are allowed to continue will then be unconditionally admitted to the program. Conditionally admitted students are not eligible for financial aid.

Priority Date for Admission
Admission to a degree program is made in the fall or spring semester. The priority date for fall applications is March 15. The priority date for spring applications is October 15.

Admission of Undergraduates to Graduate Courses
Undergraduate Mississippi Valley State University students who have completed all required courses thus far and are within six hours of graduation may enroll in a maximum of six semester hours of graduate work. To be eligible to take graduate courses, undergraduate students must have a grade point average of at least 2.50 overall and in their major field.

Readmission to the University
All graduate students who withdraw from the University or who have been suspended for academic deficiencies must apply for re-admission by submitting an application to graduate studies. Re-admission is not automatic and does not reinstate the student. The Department must approve all applications for readmission and reinstate the student.

Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Students
Applicants not seeking an advanced degree from Mississippi Valley State University but wishing to take courses may register as a non-degree-seeking student. Non-degree graduate students are permitted to take up to nine hours of graduate study. If a student later chooses to undertake a graduate degree, only nine semester hours taken as a non-degree student may be applied to a program.

A non-degree-seeking student, who subsequently seeks full or restricted admission, must complete an application for admission to the University and be accepted based on the recommendation of the program. A non-degree student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and must submit proof of immunization and an application indicating non-degree status. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid and letters of recommendation are not required.