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International Students


Welcome to our international participants in the Master of Public Administration program. 

Having a global diversity enhances everyone’s experience.   

We want to make sure international students understand the challenges of study in this program. 

The MPA at CSUSB addresses managing government within a United States cultural and political context. Our classes address U.S. law and U.S. policies. Our classes assume a basic understanding of US institutions and structures of government.  It greatly benefits international students if they have taken an introductory American Government class.

Our degree program demands proficiency in writing and speaking. The first class in your program will be PA 611 Introduction to Public Administration - which is an intensive writing class.  That means there will be a number of written assignments, including in class writing. The culminating experience in the MPA program is a written Comprehensive Examination where students will take an in-class examination for four hours.  The writing will be on a computer.  Students must be able to write clearly to pass the exam.  ESL students will NOT receive extra time to complete their assignments or exams.

The U.S. is a written word based culture. Laws, Regulations and Policies are communicated in writing and oral communications are not seen as binding. They must be followed by a written communication.  This means you MUST read the written messages you receive.

It is critical that all MPA students consistently monitor their CSUSB email.  All our announcements as well as our newsletter are sent to these addresses. ALL students are responsible for this information.


CSUSB has a Writing Center in the Education 310-311 and a CBPA Writing Center on the 4th floor of Jack Brown (Open M-Th  11-4pm) Contact Melissa Bakeman.  They have different hours of operations.  We strongly encourage international students to make heavy use of these centers to help them with their writing. 

Those interested in developing their oral communication skills are encouraged to consider joining the CSUSB Toastmasters Club.   For details contact Pamela Abell.

Our program also requires students to have had “public sector” employment experience or to take an internship.  Internships can be challenging to find for international students, but we are working to provide options.  If you require an internship, please contact our Internship Coordinator Jessica Chavez early in your program.

For general information about admission, visas, and language requirements please contact our Center for International Studies and Programs (CISP).

Note the application deadlines at How to Apply for a MPA.