Program: M.P.A., Public Administration
Public Sector Management and Leadership
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is the appropriate professional degree program for administrators who are currently employed in the public, private or nonprofit sectors and who wish to improve their management knowledge and skills. The program has been designed to provide an academically sound and effective course of study for midcareer professionals who have successfully earned their baccalaureate or master’s degrees in fields other than public administration, but whose career paths and interests have heightened their need for advanced professional study and preparation in public administration. Because most MPA students are busy professionals, the program is designed to fit their schedules and is offered in two formats—open enrollment and cohort. Students joining the open-enrollment MPA have the flexibility of taking classes at their own convenience. In the cohort model, a group of approximately 25 students moves through the program as a unit, starting and finishing at the same time. The schedule is fixed and classes, which are offered off campus, are guaranteed for each cohort student.
A. Admission Requirements for Classified Status
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
- Successful completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE).
B. Admission Requirements for Conditionally Classified Status
Conditionally classified admission may be awarded to students with a 2.5-2.99 GPA and the following:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- At least two years of work experience in the public sector.
- Students with less than a 3.0 GPA must provide three letters of reference from supervisors that include information about work assignments and their completion, overall work performance and growth in responsibility in the workplace.
C. Graduation Requirements
- Completion of a minimum of 33 semester units of approved graduate courses.
- Completion of at least 24 of these units in residence.
- Completion of all coursework with a GPA of at least 3.0.
- Completion of a comprehensive examination equivalent to 3 semester units (in addition to the 33 units of coursework).
- Students must be fully classified at the time of graduation (in order to be fully classified, students must have the following: bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, 3.0 GPA in their cumulative postgraduate coursework, and completion of either the GRE or UDWPE, or both, if required). Students who score a minimum of 3 on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE are exempt from the UDWPE.
D. Course Requirements
1. Required Core Courses (18 units)
MPA 610 Seminar in Public Administration and Its Environment (3)
MPA 620 Research Methods for Public Administration (3)
MPA 630 Organization Theory and Human Behavior (3)
MPA 642A Ethics and Professionalism (3)
MPA 644 Public Budgeting and Financial Administration (3)
MPA 650 Seminar in Public Policy Process (3)
2. Elective Courses (15 units)
Note: Due to the cohort nature of the program, electives are prescribed for students enrolling though The Tseng College.
MPA 612A Intergovernmental Relations (3)
MPA 622A Policy Implementation and Program Evaluation (3)
MPA 623A Seminar in Effective Public Sector Management (3)*
MPA 623B Approaches and Methods in Program Evaluation (3)**
MPA 623D Human Resources and the Basics of Competencies Measurement in Government (3)
MPA 632A Organizational Leadership (3)
MPA 632B Strategic Management (3)
MPA 632C Communication in Public Organizations (3)
MPA 640 Public Policy Analysis (3)
MPA 642B Public Sector Labor Relations (3)
MPA 643 Human Resources Management (3)
*This is a required course for this track only.
**MPA 620 is a prerequisite.
3. Culminating Experience (3 units)
Total Units Required for the M.P.A. Degree: 36
On-Campus, Off-Campus and Online Programs
Staff: Ruth Asmel
Staff: Elliott Maude
Student Learning Outcomes
The educational goals of the MPA program focus on the skills, abilities and habits of mind that a public and nonprofit sector professional would need to act in a leadership role in public sector and nonprofit administrative service. Through the MPA program, a graduate should:
- Gain the ability to critically analyze, create or improve, and implement effective public policy in public sector programs and services.
- Acquire the foundation knowledge needed to understand the distinctive character and responsibilities of public sector administration in a democratic society.
- Acquire the breadth and depth of knowledge about the challenges and model practices of contemporary public sector administration needed to be effective in that context.
- Acquire an understanding of the special challenges and opportunities of public sector administration in a diverse urban context.
- Develop the skills and theoretical knowledge needed to redesign public sector organizations, staff and delivery systems, as well as develop an understanding of the importance of cooperation and collaboration across unit lines and with external and community partners.
- Refine the ethical reasoning skills needed to address the complex value challenges that face those in public sector administration.
- Develop foundation of financial management skills needed to critically analyze, develop, implement, and openly and ethically manage budgets and resources in the public sector.
- Develop the foundation skills and abilities needed to address the essential issues of human resources management to build a strong and effective team in the public sector through effective hiring, staff development, staff evaluation, staff discipline and performance correction and dismissal.
- Develop advanced communication skills needed for leadership in the public sector: strong oral communication skills in small groups and in larger public contexts. Strong written communication and skills appropriate for writing reports, explaining issues and policies, persuasively presenting initiatives, corresponding with colleagues and clients, and media communications.
- Develop a commitment to and a facility for ongoing learning through a variety of formal and informal modes. Develop the ability to assess the credibility of various information sources.