Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
 La Follette Admissions Web Chat(11/01/2012) 
5:44
La Follette School: 
Welcome! The La Follette Admissions web chat will begin at 6 pm.
Thursday November 1, 2012 5:44 La Follette School
6:00
Kate - Career Advisor: 
Thank you for joining us tonight! I'm very excited to hear what you all are interested in learning about La Follette.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:00 Kate - Career Advisor
6:00
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi everyone! My name is Susan Yackee, and I am the Associate Director of the La Follette School. As a faculty member, I teach classes in Public Management, the Policymaking Process, and our applied "Capstone" experience.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:00 Susan-Associate Director
6:00
Mary Treleven: 
Hi,

I'm Mary Treleven. I coordinate the admissions and advising at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. I look forward to anwering your questions.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:00 Mary Treleven
6:00
La Follette School: 
Questions you submit to us will not show up immediately. We will make your question visible to all once we are close to finishing the answer to it.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:00 La Follette School
6:03
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
Hello, I am DAle. What are the core courses offered in first yr and send yr MPA and how is it different from MIPA
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:03 DAle
6:04
Mary Treleven: 
The first year courses are introduction to Public Management, Statistical Analysis Microeconomic Analysis, Policy Analysis, Policy Making Process and a Capstone course in which students work with clients on policy issues.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:04 Mary Treleven
6:05
Kate - Career Advisor: 
There's also a one credit professional development workshop that I teach.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:05 Kate - Career Advisor
6:06
[Comment From Carl ChristiansenCarl Christiansen: ] 
Hi, see on the Admissions site that GRE scores should be sent to 2204 but when I search that code on the GRE site nothing comes up. I send my scores to "Public Policy Analysis (1903)" was that the right place?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:06 Carl Christiansen
6:06
Mary Treleven: 
The GRE code is 1846 which is for the University of Wisconsin Madison. It gets routed to the La Follette School through the graduate school.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:06 Mary Treleven
6:06
[Comment From MattMatt: ] 
What types of funding do you provide such as assistantships or scholarships?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:06 Matt
6:06
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Matt,
We offer a number of fellowships and scholarships to our students. Our fellowships are typically provided to our first year students. Also, we tend to have some smaller scholarships, as well. One great opportunity for our second year students is serving as a Project Assistant (PA). We have at least 8 PAs each year and often more. These PAs work with a faculty member on research, and as a result, receive tuition free as well as a notable stipend.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:06 Susan-Associate Director
6:09
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
I have been living here in Madison since 5 yrs, i am a resident alien. am i considered international applicant, so i have ot submit financial statement? and also by the time the fall semester will start if I become permanent resident, how is my application viewed as?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:09 DAle
6:09
Mary Treleven: 
Dale

There is a very good website on the University website that deals with residency. If you go to the University registrar's web page, you will see a residency page there. You would not be considered an international student.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:09 Mary Treleven
6:10
[Comment From RobRob: ] 
How much does prior work experience in public policy factor into the admission process compared to other factors like GRE score, GPA, personal statement, etc.?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:10 Rob
6:10
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Rob,
Prior work experience is an important factor in the admission process. We look for students that have solid GPAs and GRE scores too. A number of our students each year also have terrific work experience in state and national gov'ts, non-profits, or in the private sector. Each year we also have students who served in the Peace Corp and Americore.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:10 Susan-Associate Director
6:11
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
thanks Mary T. How is it different than MIPA?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:11 DAle
6:11
Mary Treleven: 
The MIPA degree is different in that it focuses more on international economic development, trade and finance, and international governance. The MPA focuses on US policy, policy making, management and analysis as it relates to domestic social issues.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:11 Mary Treleven
6:11
[Comment From MicheleMichele: ] 
What do a majority of the graduates do with their degree?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:11 Michele
6:11
Kate - Career Advisor: 
Great question! I'd say in general about a third of the students end up working in non-profits or the education sector, about a third end up in state government, an then the other third is distributed between the federal government, local government, private companies, and going on to pursue PhD's. For a nice visual depiction, see this link: http://www.lafollette.wisc.edu/careerdevelopment/careerstatistics.html
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:11 Kate - Career Advisor
6:12
[Comment From MicheleMichele: ] 
What is the size of each class (ie. how many students in a cohort)?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:12 Michele
6:12
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Michele,
Each of our cohorts is about 50-55 students. The small size of the La Follette School is one of our huge advantages. We often offer seminars that are small in size, such as 10 people, as well as larger classes, such as 25 people.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:12 Susan-Associate Director
6:13
[Comment From FelipeFelipe: ] 
Hello, I'm from Chile and very interested in your MIPA. Is it possible to send you my transcript via WES or do you only accept official transcripts through the mail?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:13 Felipe
6:13
Mary Treleven: 
Felipe,

You can send it through WES or have it sent directly from your education institution. The graduate school does need to see your original transcript if you are accepted to the La Follette School.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:13 Mary Treleven
6:16
[Comment From MarkMark: ] 
Hello. How does the admissions committee view a relatively low quantitative GRE score given the nature of the exam when combined with high grades in statistics, econ and topic specific data related work experience?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:16 Mark
6:16
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Mark,
The admission committee looks at each applicant on the whole. Thus, we would balance a lower quantitative GRE score with strong showings in classes that show quantitative skills. That said, if your quantitative GRE is at 50% or below, then we will have a more rigorous review process of the application. Much below that score, one would want to retake the exam. Great work experience will always assist and applicant.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:16 Susan-Associate Director
6:17
What is your area of interest in public affairs?
Environmental policy
 ( 57% )
Education Policy
 ( 0% )
Health Policy
 ( 14% )
Social Policy
 ( 0% )
Public Management
 ( 14% )
International Policy
 ( 14% )

Thursday November 1, 2012 6:17 
6:19
[Comment From Carl ChristiansenCarl Christiansen: ] 
I'm interested in the Energy & Environmental Policy Field in the MPA program. What is the difference between the Focus Field option and the energy analysis and policy certificate?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:19 Carl Christiansen
6:19
Mary Treleven: 
Hi Carl,

The difference is in the amount of credits. The focus could be 2-3 courses dealing with energy policy. The Certificate requiress 6 courses and a capstone course in which a student does research and works with a client.

Prerquisites for the MPA are introduction to micro, intro to stats or a calculus course. If a student has very strong GRE quant score, the committee may waive the prerequisite. Overall it is best to have had those courses within a five years of starting at La Follette.

Thursday November 1, 2012 6:19 Mary Treleven
6:19
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
What do you look for in a personal statement?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:19 Katy
6:19
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Katy,
We look for variety of experience in the personal statement -- in school, internships, and possibly in the workplace. You will want to highlight any notable work/internship experience in particular. Specific examples are a must -- include exactly how and what you did to bring about an outcomes. Additionally, one ought to give some thought to why they want to attend graduate school, as esp. the La Follette School.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:19 Susan-Associate Director
6:20
[Comment From ChrisChris: ] 
Is admission straight from undergrad common? What makes an undergrad applicant competitive?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:20 Chris
6:20
Kate - Career Advisor: 
I'd say roughly a third of our students come here straight from undergrad. From a career perspective I've found that students who come here with a few years of work experience have a better career vision laid out for themselves and thus have a better idea of what they want out of their education. Undergrads with very high GPAs and a number of good internships are strong candidates.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:20 Kate - Career Advisor
6:23
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
Do you choose applicants according to the area of interest? is there a quota for each area that you have to fill?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:23 DAle
6:23
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Dale,
We do not choose applicants according to their area of interest. We would ideally like to have a "balanced" class that represents a diverse set of ideas, views, and interests. That said, there is no quota in terms of an area of interest. Indeed, many students come in interested in one area and then do to a great class, great teacher, or new internship experience, change their focus.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:23 Susan-Associate Director
6:24
Kate - Career Advisor: 
I'd say our international students end up mostly in state, local or non-profit organizations for their internships, here in Madison and across the county, including DC. One thing for international students to keep in mind when it comes to internships in DC is most, if not all, federal internships and jobs are open only to US citizens. That's been a common frustration with the international students I've talked with recently.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:24 Kate - Career Advisor
6:24
[Comment From FelipeFelipe: ] 
What types of internships do your international students do? How many of them do internships in DC?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:24 Felipe
6:24
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
What program options do you have for a student interested in focusing their MPA on non-profit management?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:24 Katy
6:24
Mary Treleven: 
A student interested in non profit management would apply to the MPA program. Al of the core courses offer skills relavant to higher level jobs in non profit management. Then you would take your elective credits in courses of your choice such as Non profit Leadership, perhaps a course from the Law School on Philanthropic and Non profits, or more management courses such as performance management or a budgeting course.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:24 Mary Treleven
6:26
[Comment From DanDan: ] 
Can you give a few examples of the type of research projects faculty members are currently working on?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:26 Dan
6:26
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Dan,
Sorry for the delay in reply! Our faculty members work in a wide variety of areas. For instance, Prof. Don Moynihan is currently researching how gov't agencies achieve performance standards during the course of implementing public programs. Prof. Kamata is currently studying trade discrepancies across nations -- particularly the U.S. and SE Asian countries. And I am currently researching regulatory policy decisions made by the U.S. president. BTW--I have a terrific La Follette student working for me on my project and she is receiving tuition free, as well as stipend for her work.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:26 Susan-Associate Director
6:27
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
Mary T, did you mean If I have lived here for 5 yrs then I will not be considered international student? is that right? Do I need to submit TOEFL?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:27 DAle
6:28
Mary Treleven: 
Dale, you would not be considered an international student if you have been here for 5 years. However, your English skills have to be strong and depending on your work experience and education background, the committee might ask for some testing of your English ability. Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment to talk more about this since you are in Madison.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:28 Mary Treleven
6:29
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
How important is an applicant's analytical writing score on the GRE?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:29 Katy
6:29
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Katy,
An applicant's analytic writing score is important but more weight is usually placed on the quantitative and verbal GRE sections. We will also balance these factors with GPA, as well as internship and prior work experience. We, ideally, want an applicant who will be an excellent writer and will be ready to hone his/her quantitative skills while in our MPA or MIPA programs.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:29 Susan-Associate Director
6:31
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
How many courses are electives versus requirements?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:31 Katy
6:31
Mary Treleven: 
Katy,

For the MPA students take 19 credits of required work. 23 credits are electives. Electives have to be policy or skills related.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:31 Mary Treleven
6:32
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
I will apply both in Lafollete and Nielson, but my goal is MPA in energy and env policy, in case not selected in Lafollete, is there a way I can work for the degree by entering Nielson?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:32 DAle
6:32
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Dale,
No, unfortunately you would need to be accepted for admission and enrolled at the La Follette School in order to get the MPA with a focus on energy and the environment.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:32 Susan-Associate Director
6:33
How did you find out about today’s web chat?
La Follette website
 ( 50% )
Email from Mary Treleven
 ( 50% )
Facebook
 ( 0% )
Twitter
 ( 0% )
Word of mouth
 ( 0% )

Thursday November 1, 2012 6:33 
6:34
[Comment From Carl ChristiansenCarl Christiansen: ] 
Can you submit an application before all of your recommendation writers have submitted their letters, or do you wait for until all the letters are in?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:34 Carl Christiansen
6:34
Mary Treleven: 
Carl,

Yes, you should submit your electronic application first so that when your electronic references come in they will be attached to your application and the admissions office will be able to view them If the references are sent before you send your app, they will show up when your app arrives.

Thursday November 1, 2012 6:34 Mary Treleven
6:34
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
about a personal statement, does the experience have to be in policy analysis?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:34 DAle
6:34
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Dale,
No, your experience does not need to be in policy analysis. If you have such experience, then please share it. However, our students come from diverse backgrounds, including interests in non-profits, public management, politics, and policy topics (more general than analysis).
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:34 Susan-Associate Director
6:35
[Comment From RobRob: ] 
For undergrad internships, are they considered "good" if they are related to public policy, or could good internships come from other fields.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:35 Rob
6:35
Kate - Career Advisor: 
Ideally, the internships would be public policy related because it shows a substantive interest in public affairs. That said, any internship or volunteer experience is only as good as the experience you gain and what you learn. Showing you've handled real responsibility, independently managed tasks, and contributed something meaningful to the organization will always be looked upon more favorably than making copies or filing, no matter what organization.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:35 Kate - Career Advisor
6:36
[Comment From MicheleMichele: ] 
I'd like to add in that I did my undergrad at the University in Community and Nonprofit Leadership and there are courses available here for the electives
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:36 Michele
6:37
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Michele,
Thanks for the message. It sounds like you have a great background for potential admission! Please highlight this in your personal statement.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:37 Susan-Associate Director
6:37
[Comment From Carl ChristiansenCarl Christiansen: ] 
What majors other than political science do you commonly accepted into the MPA program?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:37 Carl Christiansen
6:38
Kate - Career Advisor: 
It really runs the gamut in terms of undergrad majors. I've seen everything from electrical engineering to Spanish and sociology. The most important thing is that no matter what your major, that you've completed the requisites.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:38 Kate - Career Advisor
6:39
[Comment From In sanIn san: ] 
if i have a low statistics score in undergraduate, how helpful will it be to state in my personal statement that I have enrolled in community college to take extra statistics course to be competitive?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:39 In san
6:39
Susan-Associate Director: 
Yes, if you have a low stats score, then it would be very helpful for you to demonstrate that you have improved your skills in a community college (or on-line or other type) of class on stats. This is a good signal to the admission committee.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:39 Susan-Associate Director
6:40
Kate - Career Advisor: 
Also, going back to Carl's question on undergrad majors, I think that also highlights the beauty of the MPA degree and the policy world in general, it's SO diverse and can be applied to so many fields and interests.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:40 Kate - Career Advisor
6:40
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
In case, the university of a developing countries do not send the original transcript, do you accept the attested phocopies of the transcripts and certificates? iF not, can i send my copy of original trascript ans request to return back?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:40 DAle
6:40
Mary Treleven: 
Dale,

You can submit copies of your transcripts. If you are accepted and you have one copy of an original transcript you can go to their office and show it to them in person once on campus.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:40 Mary Treleven
6:41
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
How important is a course in American Government for admission? I've completed both a Stats course and Microeconmics course. I've had an internship in government as well but no course.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:41 Katy
6:41
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Katy,
It is best to have a course in American Government for admission, but it is possible to be admitted to the program if you can demonstrate a background in that area in other ways, such as an internship. We can be slightly more flexible here than in the prereq for Stats and Microecon.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:41 Susan-Associate Director
6:43
[Comment From FelipeFelipe: ] 
Is it possible to study part-time?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:43 Felipe
6:43
Kate - Career Advisor: 
Yes, definitely possible to study part time. Actually, I think our part time students add a lot to the class discourse since they can apply the material to the working world in unique ways. This may require a flexible employer, though, since most of our classes are offered during normal business hours and we do not have a separate "night school" track.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:43 Kate - Career Advisor
6:44
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
I read that you typically offer PAships to a few second year students. If a student is able to secure a PAship for the first year through a different UW department is that still ok?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:44 Katy
6:44
Mary Treleven: 
Katy,

That would be ideal. If a student gets a PA position their first year, it is likely it will continue in their second year but it depends on the department. Their tuition will be covered for two years, their health benefits will be covered, and they will receive a stipend. In addition, the experience is great to list on your resume.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:44 Mary Treleven
6:44
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
when will this live chat end?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:44 DAle
6:44
La Follette School: 
The live chat will end at 7 pm CDT.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:44 La Follette School
6:49
[Comment From Carl ChristiansenCarl Christiansen: ] 
If we have more admission related questions after this, who would be the best person to contact?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:49 Carl Christiansen
6:49
Mary Treleven: 
Don't forget to look at the Frequently Asked Questions on our website:

www.lafollette.wisc.edu

And feel free to email me with questions you have. My email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:49 Mary Treleven
6:49
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
do the applicant need to finish the prerequisite courses before the Jan 1 deadline?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:49 DAle
6:49
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Dale,
A student can take prereqs in the Spring semester. Also, in limited cases, the admission committee may offer a "conditional admit" to a student, who is very strong but has not met a prereq. These "conditional admit" students may then take a prereq in the Summer.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:49 Susan-Associate Director
6:52
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
How many applicants do you typically get and how many are offered admission?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:52 Katy
6:52
Mary Treleven: 
Last year we received about 400 applications. About 50% were accepted. Of that, 58 students decided to enroll. Our target enrollment in the fall is 50-55 students.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:52 Mary Treleven
6:53
[Comment From FelipeFelipe: ] 
How would you say one's MPA/MIPA experience at La Follette compares to other schools, such as Michigan or MN? Or schools on the east coast?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:53 Felipe
6:53
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Felipe,
The La Follette School compares favorably with Michigan, MN, and all of the East Coast Schools. One of our key advantages is in our small size. We have relatively small cohorts, which allow our students to network with each other, as well as build strong ties with our faculty. MI, MN, and the La Follette School are all known for a social policy focus. However, we are particularly strong in health policy, as well. We do well placing our students in state gov't, national government, as well a domestic and international non-profits.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:53 Susan-Associate Director
6:53
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
can you give me the faculty list for energy and env policy
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:53 DAle
6:54
Kate - Career Advisor: 
Here's a very extensive list of faculty in this field: http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/people/faculty-staff.php
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:54 Kate - Career Advisor
6:57
[Comment From Carl ChristiansenCarl Christiansen: ] 
Are students who apply by the March 1st deadline at a disadvantage to those who apply by January 1st?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:57 Carl Christiansen
6:57
Mary Treleven: 
It is best to apply by January 1st. All applications that are received by the first are read in mid to late January for admission and funding. Correspondence is sent to the first group by February 15th. If someone applies after January, they will be accepted if there is space and on a rolling admission basis. There are always some that are accepted after March 1st but funding will be limited.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:57 Mary Treleven
6:58
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
Is there a list of faculty in the non-profit management field?
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:58 Katy
6:58
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Katy,
Our core non-profit management faculty are Profs. Don Moynihan, Leslie Howard, and myself. However, our students often reach across the boundaries of our School to take non-profit related classes over at the UW School of Social Work and School of Human Ecology. Also, La Follette classes, such as Program Evaluation, are taught by other La Follette faculty members; however, they are still critical to a student interested in non-profit management.
Thursday November 1, 2012 6:58 Susan-Associate Director
7:00
[Comment From MicheleMichele: ] 
I'm currently in the MPH program at the University, how often do you accept students to do the dual MPH/MPA program once they've already started the MPH?
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:00 Michele
7:00
Mary Treleven: 
Michele,

That is a common way to enter the MPA. There have been several students who have been accepted after they do their first year of the MPH program as well as other dual degree programs. When a student has done well in courses from their program, they have more evidence to show the admissions committee that they can handle graduate level work.
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:00 Mary Treleven
7:00
[Comment From DAleDAle: ] 
what is the lowest GRE percentile rank you have accepted until now?
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:00 DAle
7:01
Susan-Associate Director: 
Hi Dale,
GRE scores below the 50% will merit additional attention from the admission committee. Such applicants will need to show strong promise by, for example, demonstrating strong course grades in classes like Stats and Micro OR English writing (if the problem is more on the Verbal side of the GRE).
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:01 Susan-Associate Director
7:01
[Comment From KatyKaty: ] 
When are applicants notified of their application status?
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:01 Katy
7:01
Mary Treleven: 
If a student applies by January 1st, we do our best to get back to them by late February. The earliest would be the 15 of February.
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:01 Mary Treleven
7:02
Susan-Associate Director: 
Thank you all for your interest in the La Follette School! We pride ourselves on a terrific educational experience that prepares our students to take important jobs in the public, non-profit, and even at times, the private sectors. If you have more questions, then don't hesitate to get in touch. Best, SY
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:02 Susan-Associate Director
7:03
Kate - Career Advisor: 
Bye folks!
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:03 Kate - Career Advisor
7:03
Mary Treleven: 
Thank you, please contact me with questions you have at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call me at 608.262.3582.

Bye!
Thursday November 1, 2012 7:03 Mary Treleven