Master of Public Administration

Requirements (48-56 units)

The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) is a broad program designed to prepare students for a career in administration in the public sector. The major objective is to provide the student with a generalist perspective of public administration, including tools of decision-making, an understanding of the total public administrative system, and a capacity for working within the public environment.

This degree is intended for graduate students and career employees seeking to develop and strengthen academic and professional skills for admission and advancement in the professional practice of public administration.

The program is open to all students, regardless of undergraduate major.

Admission to the M.P.A. Program

In addition to the general requirements of the university, specific requirements for admission to classified graduate status are:

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university;
  2. A grade point average of 3.0 or above for the last 90 quarter units (or 60 semester units) of course work including post-baccalaureate courses. Students with a gpa of 2.75-2.99 may be conditionally admitted with submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  3. Competence in the following prerequisite courses or their equivalents:
    MGMT 306Expository Writing for Administration (with a grade of "B" or better)4
    MATH 165Introductory Statistics and Hypothesis Testing4
    or ADMN 210 Applied Business Statistics
    PA 575Internship (May be waived dependent upon related work experience.)4
    Competence in the above prerequisite courses may be demonstrated by:
    1. Waiver based on specialized work experience; must have documentation of work directly related to course to be waived; and must be approved by the department's M.P.A. Graduate Director. (Students requesting waiver of any prerequisite courses must petition the M.P.A. Graduate Director. Inquiries about a challenge examination or substitution for MGMT 306 should be directed to the Dean of Graduate Studies.)
    2. Credit by examination.
    3. Formal completion of the course or its equivalent.
  4. Academic motivation and personal qualifications demonstrated through submission of a 200-250 word statement of reasons for wishing to pursue the M.P.A. at California State University, San Bernardino, and personal qualifications that will contribute to successful completion of the program. This requirement is embedded in the application form. Please note that poor writing and/or an insufficient professional plan are grounds for declining admission to the program.

No more than 12 units of graduate credit earned in unclassified/ conditionally classified standing may be counted toward meeting the requirements for the degree.

Students who meet all entrance requirements except course prerequisites may be admitted to the program in a conditionally classified status until those prerequisite deficiencies are removed, at which time they will be advanced to classified graduate standing in the program. Only fully classified students, however, may enroll in 600-level courses unless they have written consent from the school graduate director.

Advancement to Candidacy

To be advanced to candidacy, a student must have:

  1. Achieved classified standing;
  2. Completed at least 20 quarter units of applicable graduate-level course work at the university, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 ("B");
  3. Completed an approved graduate program plan in consultation with an M.P.A. advisor after achieving classified status;
  4. Secured the approval of candidacy from the M.P.A. Graduate Director and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Requirements for Graduation

  1. A minimum of 48 quarter units of acceptable graduate-level work, consistent with the program plan (with a grade point average of 3.0), with at least 36 units completed at this university;
  2. Successful completion of the required core and elective courses as outlined in the curriculum section;
  3. A grade point average of 3.0 ("B") in all course work taken after admission to conditionally classified or classified status, and grades of "C" (2.0) or better in all courses in the program;
  4. Successful completion of an integrative comprehensive examination. Students with a grade point average below 3.0 (“B”) will not be permitted to take the examination. A “no credit” (NC) designation will be entered on the student’s transcript if he/she fails the examination. Students who do not receive a passing grade may repeat the examination, one additional time only, with the written approval of the M.P.A Graduate Coordinator. The examination will be offered fall, winter and spring quarters. Only students who are currently classified, have been advanced to candidacy, have completed their core classes, and are not on probation may take the examination.
      OR
    Successful completion of a Graduate Research Project. The Graduate Research Project is an advanced field study in public administration including both literary and empirical research. Upon approval of the M.P.A. Graduate Coordinator students will enroll in PA 695 during the last quarter of work in the MPA program and complete the project to the satisfaction of the student’s project advisor. Students with a grade point average below 3.5 will not be permitted to enroll in the Graduate Research Project option.
  5. In addition to satisfactory completion of the graduate entrance writing requirement, classified MPA students must satisfy the graduation writing requirement by completion of all M.P.A. core courses with a grade point average of “B” or better and successful completion of either the comprehensive examination or the graduate research project.

Degree Requirements (48 units) (Program Code: PAM_)

PA 603Research Methods in Administration4
PA 611Public Administration Theory and Practice4
PA 615Public Financial Management4
PA 650Public Management Information Systems4
PA 662Human Resource Management in the Public Sector4
PA 663Public Budgeting and Finance4
PA 664Management of Public Organizations4
PA 672Administrative Regulation4
PA 680Public Policy Analysis4
Select one of the following groups:12
Group A:
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 MPA Graduate Coordinator. At least four units must be taken from 600-level courses.
Comprehensive Examination (Students must successfully complete the first 8 courses in order to register for the comprehensive examination.)
Group B:
Eight units of electives to be chosen from any Department of Public Administration 500- or 600-level courses in consultation with the MPA Graduate Coordinator.
Graduate Research Project
Total Units48

Only conditionally classified and classified students (or those who have the consent of the college director of graduate studies) may enroll in 600-level courses.

Students may not include more than 12 quarter units in transfer credit from other colleges. California State University San Bernardino will not consider for transfer credit course work from any institution which will not accept that work in its own advanced degree program.

Students may not take more than a total of eight quarter units in any combination of College of Business and Public Administration 575, 590, 595, 675, and 690 courses.

Cyber Security Concentration (56 units) (Program Code: PACS)

Degree Requirements (56)
PA 603Research Methods in Administration4
PA 611Public Administration Theory and Practice4
PA 615Public Financial Management4
PA 650Public Management Information Systems4
PA 662Human Resource Management in the Public Sector4
PA 663Public Budgeting and Finance4
PA 664Management of Public Organizations4
PA 672Administrative Regulation4
PA 680Public Policy Analysis4
IST 511Cyber Defense4
IST 610Information Assurance Policy and Management4
IST 646Information Systems Planning, Strategy and Policy4
IST 647Information Based Management4
IST 648Information Networking Systems and Security4
PA 999Comprehensive Examination (Students must successfully complete the first 8 courses in order to register for the comprehensive examination.)0
Total Units56

Leadership Concentration (48 units) (Program Code: PALD)

PA 501Administrative Leadership4
PA 603Research Methods in Administration4
PA 611Public Administration Theory and Practice4
PA 615Public Financial Management4
PA 650Public Management Information Systems4
PA 662Human Resource Management in the Public Sector4
PA 663Public Budgeting and Finance4
PA 664Management of Public Organizations4
PA 672Administrative Regulation4
PA 680Public Policy Analysis4
Eight units selected from:8
Management of Private Nonprofit Organizations
Public and Non-Profit Project Management
Local Public Administration
Seminar in Public Administration (topic related to leadership and approved by MPA Coordinator)
Managing Diversity in Organizations
Intergovernmental Administration
PA 999Comprehensive Examination (Students must successfully complete the first 8 courses in order to register for the comprehensive examination)0
Total Units48

Public Financial Management Concentration (48 units) (Program Code: PAFM)

PA 603Research Methods in Administration4
PA 611Public Administration Theory and Practice4
PA 615Public Financial Management4
PA 617Management of Local Economic Development4
or PA 630 Program Evaluation
PA 650Public Management Information Systems4
PA 662Human Resource Management in the Public Sector4
PA 663Public Budgeting and Finance4
PA 664Management of Public Organizations4
PA 672Administrative Regulation4
PA 680Public Policy Analysis4
Two additional courses selected from:8
Public Sector Labor Relations
Accounting for Government and Not-for-Profit Organizations
Management of Local Economic Development
Program Evaluation
Principles of Public Procurement
Advanced Topics in Public Administration (Financially oriented and approved by the MPA Coordinator)
Financial Theory and Corporate Finance
PA 999Comprehensive Examination (Students must successfully complete the first 9 courses in order to register for the comprehensive examination)0
Total Units48