Master of Science in Public Administration
Announcement Regarding Our New Enrollment Process: Beginning in Fall 2013, we will not use permits for graduate registration, EXCEPT in POLS 570 and POLS 596 (comps). Registration for a new quarter typically starts in week 5 of the preceding quarter (check on GET). You must pay first, then register for courses. Please do not wait to get registered; once a class fills, it’s full. Thank you.
Our MS in Public Administration program was established in the 1950s and gradually evolved into today's program, which combines the study of both public administration and public policy.
The MSPA is a professional degree intended to train individuals for service in government or in the nonprofit sector. Graduate programs in this area, including ours, have a core in the knowledge and skills required for effective public management: planning, problem-solving, decision making, managing people, money and programs, and representing the public interest. We are a NASPAA-accredited program.
Our current MSPA curriculum is available here.
Frequently Asked Questions
The mission of the Master of Science in Public Administration program is to educate
students for professional public and community service within a diverse urban environment
through the development of creative management and analytical skills, enhanced leadership capabilities, and clear understanding of the issues of governance and institutional adaptation
in a fast changing world.
Admission to the Program
Admission to the University does NOT constitute admission to the Department of Political Science’s MSPA program. Students must apply separately to the MSPA program. Please also note that the MSPA program has different standards for admission than the University and different application deadlines. Beginning in the 2011-12 academic year, the MSPA program ONLY admits new graduate students in Fall quarters. The application deadline for Fall admission is April 10th preceding the Fall term.
Click here for the university's graduate admissions standards. To apply to the University, go to CSUmentor.
The Department application instructions and forms are available as a PDF file that you can download and complete. Minimum requirements include:
- A GPA in the last 90 quarter (60 semester) units of 3.0 or better.
- Two good quality letters of recommendation from supervisors at work and/or college instructors.
- An excellent and appropriate (to our program) personal statement.
- A current résumé.
- Official transcript from all colleges and universities attended including CSULA, please.
The Department application forms and instructions can be downloaded here.
The Department, through the University Student Financial Services Office, recommends the award each year of several Hector Elizalde and Ake Sandler Scholarships to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. You apply for the scholarships each fall through the financial aid office. There are also the John Houk and William Lloyd Scholarships for graduate students in history or political science. Again, you apply through the financial aid office.
Current information about special scholarships and internships is here.
The University's Office of Graduate Studies and Research has forms, financial aid information, thesis policies, policies regarding travel support for students attending conferences, and other information specifically for prospective and current graduate students.
MSPA Advisory Board
The MSPA Advisory Board meets annually to discuss the MSPA program in relation to the changing needs of the public and nonprofit sectors here in the Southland. The members of the Advisory Board include public and nonprofit organization officials and graduates of the MSPA program.
Comprehensive Exit Exam
A comprehensive exit exam is the last requirement you will complete before receiving your MSPA degree. Exit exams generally are given twice each year, in Fall and Spring quarters, between the 3rd and 5th week of classes. Comprehensive exam orientation sessions are held at the start of each quarter that the exam is given, and all students who register for the exam are invited to the orientation, and we encourage your attendance. In addition, the MSPA graduate advisor can answer any specific questions about the exams. To be exam eligible, graduate students must have completed their entire program of coursework with a 3.0 GPA.
MSPA Comprehensive Examination Dates
|Fall 2012 |
|Distributed Monday Oct. 22 at 9am, due Wednesday Oct. 24 at noon
|Winter 2013 |
|Distributed Monday Feb. 4 at 9am, due Wednesday Feb. 6 at noon
|Spring 2013 |
|Distributed Monday April 29 at 9am, due Wednesday May 1 at noon