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Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Program

2021-2022 Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Program

Table of Contents

What You Need to Know

The Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Program offers exceptional managers and employees in professional positions the opportunity to attend the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program at the Suffolk University Sawyer School of Business. Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship recipients will receive a full-tuition scholarship and full salary and will maintain his or her job on a half-time basis while attending the program. The program period starts in September and runs 12-18 months.

Key Dates
March 24, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST

Commonwealth & Suffolk University Virtual Information Session. Click here to view a recording of the session.

May 28, 2021, 4:00 p.m. EST

Suffolk University Admission and Commonwealth Fellowship applications due
June 23, 2021

Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Virtual Interviews: Candidates must interview in order to be considered. Candidates will be notified of date and time. 


Eligibility & Exclusions

An applicant for the Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Program must:

  • Be a college graduate.
  • Be accepted for admission by Suffolk University, Sawyer Business School, for its MPA Program;
  • Be newly admitted to the Suffolk University MPA program or be currently enrolled, having completed seven (7) or fewer courses (21 credit hours) as of May 28, 2021. For the latter, a Suffolk University transcript must be submitted with the Fellowship Application;
  • Upon application, occupy a full time position, be paid from the AA subsidiary, have at least twelve (12) months of full-time service with the Commonwealth, be in an active status, serve in a position classified as management or professional position*, or be a Massachusetts State Police Department employee classified as Sergeant or above.
  • Possess at least four years of professional work experience as of September 1, 2021, in federal, state, municipal or county government in a professional position including time spent as a consultant or volunteer working for a public or private non-profit organization; or as a manager in a private non-profit organization.
  • Be recommended by the appointing authority and supervisor.
  • Be willing to sign an agreement to continue serving in Massachusetts State Government in the same or higher position for a minimum of two years following graduation or to repay the salary received while attending the program if one defaults on the agreement.
  • Not have applied for the Suffolk Fellowship more than three (3) times.


  • Applicants who have a graduate degree in another field must specifically address how an MPA would help them to achieve their career goals.

*Positions designated in the HR/CMS EEO4 category as “Professional.”


  • The following other categories of employees are excluded:
    • Contract employees
    • Employees appointed directly by the Governor; whose salary, by statutory requirement, is set by the Governor
    • Employees employed by the Office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Attorney General and State Treasurer
    • Employees in public institutions of Higher Education
    • Employed by in Legislative and Judicial branches
    • Employed by Massachusetts public authorities or other quasi-public agencies
    • Employed by county government organizations

How to Apply

Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Program

Step 1 - Admission to the Suffolk University 
Access the Suffolk University admission application online at  or

Step 2 - Submit online application to Suffolk University Admissions Office
Completed applications for admission must be submitted online directly to the Office of Graduate Admission at Suffolk University by May 28, 2021. Please mark the application as “Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Applicant”.

  • Careful attention should be given to the instructions contained in the application booklet, since all required material (including transcripts & recommendation letters) must be received before applications are considered complete and ready for review by the admissions committee.
  • DO NOT answer “yes” to questions that ask if your employer will pay your tuition on the Suffolk application. Even if you do not receive the Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship, you may be eligible for a Merit Fellowship through Suffolk University. If you indicate your employer will pay for your tuition, your application will not be eligible for this Fellowship.
  • Please note if you do receive the Commonwealth Fellowship, any Suffolk University Merit Fellowship money you have been awarded will be void.

Step 3 – Submit the Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Online Application
The Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship application 
must be submitted online and all required forms and signatures must be submitted to by 4:00 p.m. EST on May 28, 2021. 

Note: in order to be considered for the Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Program, applicants first must be accepted for admission by Suffolk University for its Mid-Career MPA Program.

Next Steps

Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Program Approval Forms

In addition to completing the Commonwealth Suffolk Fellowship Program online application, all applicants must ensure the submission of the Supervisor Recommendation Form and the Leadership Commitment Form by 4:00 p.m. EST on May 28, 2021.

  • The Supervisor Recommendation Form must be completed and submitted online by the applicant's supervisor. 
  • The Leadership Commitment Form must be electronically signed by the applicant’s supervisor, agency HR Director and Agency Head; and emailed to by by 4:00 p.m. EST on May 28, 2021.

Additional Resources