Undergraduate-to-Graduate  (U2G) degree options are available allowing students to earn a graduate degree in public affairs and an undergraduate degree in less time than would be required to obtain the two degrees independently. This is because courses for one degree are considered as elective credit for the other degree program.

This is a universal U2G. It is open to students in all undergraduate majors at the University of Iowa.

Admission and Eligibility

Students should apply before the end of their junior year.

To be eligible for the MPA U2G program, students must have the following record:

  • Completion of 80 s.h. of undergraduate work
  • Transfer students need to have completed 30 s.h. at the University of Iowa
  • GPA of 3.25
  • Program is usually completed in senior year (senior classification/standing)

Additional information is available from Abbi Castle, Admissions Coordinator.


While the requirements of each U2G degree option vary, all have several key features in common. In each case a student must:

  • Complete an approved area of concentration (either public and nonprofit management or public policy) in public affairs.
  • Take at least 42 semester hours of public affairs courses that have been previously approved to count towards the master’s degree.
  • Unless otherwise specified, a capstone is required of students in combined degree programs.
  • Satisfy public affairs’ final examination requirement


While an undergraduate, U2G students will have an MPA advisor in addition to those assigned as an undergraduate. The undergraduate advisor is able to approve students for registration, however it is important to also consult with the MPA advisor in order to assure the student is meeting the requirements for both programs and is able to graduate in a compressed timeline. Additionally, the MPA advisor’s approval is needed to grant the special permission required to register for MPA courses while an undergraduate. After completing the undergraduate degree(s), U2G students will be advised by the MPA advisor only.


Under the MPA U2G program, students are able to take up to 16 semester hours of credit in the MPA program that will also count toward the undergraduate degree. Students may select from the following courses (descriptions available in the General Catalog).

PBAF:5111American Public Policy3 s.h.
PBAF:5117Bureaucratic Politics and Public Administration3 s.h.
PBAF:6200Analytic Methods 13 s.h.
PBAF:6205Economics for Policy Analysis3 s.h.
PBAF:6208Program Seminar1 s.h.
PBAF:6233Public Finance and Budgeting3 s.h.
PBAF:6240Public Management3 s.h.


U2G students are assessed undergraduate level tuition and fees during their first year of the U2G program (students' 4th or senior year), and until the bachelor's degree is conferred. Students are encouraged to consult the Graduate College to determine the tuition amount.