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Master of Public Administration Degree Requirements

Master of Public Administration Program

MPA Program Admission requirements: 

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. 
  • A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above either cumulative or for the last 90 quarter units or 60 semester units of course work including postbaccalaureate course work.
  • Students with a GPA of 2.75-2.99 may be considered based on their entire application including employment and any potential GRE scores. If you have GRE scores, submit them directly to the Department of Public Administration (NOT Admissions).
  • A 500 (or more)-word typed "Statement of Purpose" outlining why you want to pursue the MPA and any issues we should know.
  • Public or nonprofit sector employment experience or completion of an internship (ADMN 6753, can be completed once admitted to the program).
  • English language proficiency.

Public Sector Employment Experience

Students without public sector employment experience may be admitted but must complete a public sector internship before they can Advance to Candidacy.  Students requiring an internship should consult with Jessica Chavez at the CBPA Internship Office in JB 134.

Click to view Step by Step Instructions on how to Apply! 

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Program Requirements 

* For more program details see the MPA Handbook (26 Points) and order of classes, on our Advising page. 

See also the CSUSB Office of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures

Students admitted before Fall 2020 may follow either the quarter or semester catalog requirements.  Students admitted for Fall 2020 and beyond must follow the semester catalog requirements.

Quarter Requirements

   Nine Core Courses  
  1. PA 603. Research Methods in Administration (4)
  2. PA 611. Public Administration Theory and Practice (4) NOTE: Intensive writing class, must be passed with no less than a B-
  3. PA 615. Public Financial Management (4)
  4. PA 650. Public Sector Management of Information Systems (4)
  5. PA 662. Human Resource Management in the Public Sector (4)
  6. PA 663. Public Budgeting and Finance (4)
  7. PA 664. Management of Public Organizations (4)
  8. PA 672. Administrative Regulation (4)
  9. PA 680. Public Policy Analysis (4)
   Three Electives Courses
  1. Twelve units of electives to be chosen from any Department of Public Administration 500- or 600-level courses in consultation with an advisor or from related fields with advance approval from the chair of the Department of Public Administration. No more than eight units may be taken from 500- level courses.   If you are considering a concentration, see Concentration requirements. (Please note, the Cybersecurity Concentration requires an additional two electives.) 
   Comprehensive Exam 
  1. PA 6980 Comprehensive Examination (formerly named PA 999 Comprehensive Examination) NOTE:  All core classes must be completed before you may take the Comprehensive Exam.

Semester Requirements

   Seven Core Courses
  1. PA 6110 Public Administration Theory and Practice (3)  NOTE: Intensive writing class, must be passed with no less than a B-
  2. PA 6030 Research Methods in Administration (3)
  3. PA 6620 Human Resources Management (3)
  4. PA 6630 Public Budgeting and Finance (3)
  5. PA 6640 Management of Public Organization (3)
  6. PA 6800 Public Policy Analysis (3)
  7. PA 6550 Capstone: Strategic Planning for Government and Nonprofit Organizations (3)
   Three Concentration Courses
  1. Nine units of Concentration courses. Each concentration has specific course requirements. Please be advised, the Cybersecurity concentration requires an additional 6 units that can be taken in place of Electives. 
   Two Elective Courses
  1. Six units of elective courses to be chosen from any Department of Public Administration 500- or 600-level courses in consultation with an advisor or from related fields with advance approval from the chair of the Department of Public Administration. No more than six units may be taken from 500- level courses. See Concentration requirements under Semester system. Cybersecurity concentration does not need to complete elective courses.
   Two Semesters
  1. PA 6985 Professional Development Seminar – Monthly Zoom Webinar
   Comprehensive Exam
  1. PA 6980 Comprehensive Examination NOTE: All core classes must be completed before you may take the Comprehensive Exam.

Semester Concentrations:

Leadership
Required Courses 
PA 5010 Administrative Leadership (3)
PA 6500 Government in the Digital Age (3)
PA 6720 Administrative Regulation (3)
Public Financial Management
Required Courses 
PA 6150 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (3)
PA 6300 Program Evaluation (3)
PA 6610 Principles of Public and Nonprofit Procurement (3)
Cybersecurity
Required Courses
IST 6090 Information Systems and Technology Management (3)
IST 6470 Database Management and Policy (3)
IST 6700 Cybersecurity Policy and Risk Management (3)
IST 6730 Cybersecurity Theory and Practice (3)
IST 6890 Enterprise Architecture Planning, Strategy, Security and Policy (3)
Nonprofit Management - NEW! Coming Fall 2020
Required Courses
PA 5140 Nonprofit Management and Leadership (3)
PA 5150 Executive Nonprofit Leadership (3)
PA 5160 Nonprofit Fundraising and Grant writing (3)

Electives 

Quarter System

We typically offer three electives each quarter – two online and one on campus.  Electives can be PA classes at the 500 or 600 level, but at least one of the three must be at the 600 level.  500 and 600 level MPA courses can be found on Courses and Course Schedule page.

Students are encouraged to think strategically about their electives. You should take classes that will enhance your career aspirations and not just what is available.  With PRIOR approval from Dr. Anderson you may take appropriate graduate classes from other departments or other universities.  For example, if you are in Law Enforcement, you may wish to take a criminal justice class.  If you are in the health field you may wish to take a health administration class. 

Currently we have a study abroad elective ADMN 690 Policy Management in Korea which involves one week in Seoul Korea during Spring Break.

You may also collaborate with a PA faculty member to take an independent study in an area of mutual interest which will count as an elective. This is at the sole discretion of the faculty member.

The MPA program has three concentrations—Cybersecurity ConcentrationConcentration in Leadership and Concentration in Public Financial Management.  If you choose to do a concentration, your three electives will be specified in those areas.  Please consult the appropriate webpage.

 

Electives - Offered at variable times
Course Description Course Description
PA 5010 Administrative Leadership PA 5640 Local Public Administration 
PA 5140 Nonprofit Management and leadership PA 5730 Public Transportation Systems 
PA 5150 Executive Nonprofit Leadership PA 6150 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management
PA 5160 Nonprofit Fundraising and Grantwriting PA 6170 Managing Local Economic Development 
PA 5190 Managing Diversity in Organizations PA 6300 Program Evaluation
PA 5200 Water Law and Policy  PA 6500 Government in the Digital Age
PA 5210 Urban Growth and Planning  PA 6610 Principles of Public and Nonprofit Procurement
PA 5280 Intergovernmental Relations  PA 6700 Emergency Management 
PA 5570 Public Sector Labor Relations PA 6720 Administrative Regulation