This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


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 mid-career 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.

This program is administered through the The Tseng College. It is entirely funded by student fees, offered in the cohort format and features evening and weekend course schedules.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Requirements for Classified Status

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  3. Successful completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE). Applicants who score a minimum of 3 on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE are exempt from the UDWPE.

B. Admission Requirements for Conditionally Classified Status

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. The last 48-units (or equivalent in quarter system credit units) of undergraduate coursework will be reviewed for admission consideration among applicants who demonstrate a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.5-2.99.
  3. Two years of work experience in the public sector required.

C. Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 33 semester units of approved graduate courses.
  2. Completion of at least 24 of these units in residence.
  3. Completion of all coursework with a GPA of at least 3.0.
  4. Completion of a comprehensive examination equivalent to 3 semester units (in addition to the 33 units of coursework).
  5. 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 post-graduate coursework, and have completed 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 (15 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 644 Public Budgeting and Financial Administration (3)
MPA 650 Seminar in Public Policy Process (3)

2. Elective Courses (18 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 642A Ethics and Professionalism (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)

MPA 697S Comprehensive Examination (3)

Total Units Required for the M.P.A. Degree: 36

More information

If you would like more information about this program, please contact


Graduate Coordinator: Theresa Knott

On-Campus, Online Programs
Staff: Alice Lu
(818) 677-5635

Off-Campus Cohorts
Staff: Yvonne Carillo
(818) 677-7646

Staff: Alice Lu
(818) 677-5635

Student Learning Outcomes

The educational goals of the MPA program focus on the skills, abilities, and habits of mind that a public and non-profit sectors professional would need to act in a leadership role in public sector and non-profit administrative service. Through the MPA program a program graduate should:

  1. Gain the ability to critically analyze, create or improve, and implement, effective public policy in public sector programs and services.
  2. Acquire the foundation knowledge needed to understand the distinctive character and responsibilities of public sector administration in a democratic society.
  3. 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.
  4. Acquire an understanding of the special challenges and opportunities of public sector administration in a diverse urban context.
  5. 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 cooperative and collaboration across unit lines and with external and community partners.
  6. Refine the ethical reasoning skills needed to address the complex value challenges that face those in public sector administration.
  7. Develop foundation of financial management skills needed to critically analyze, develop, implement, and openly and ethically manage budgets and resources in the public sector.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.