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MPA Programs in California

These 10 universities in California offer a Master of Public Administration degree with various options for specialization. Learn about the program offerings, credit requirements, and tuition costs of these schools.

University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley offers a 30-unit Master of Public Affairs degree with a hybrid format that combines online classes and on-campus meetings; students can complete the program in 12-14 months. The curriculum includes courses in economics, public policy, statistics, finance, organizational leadership, and ethics.

California State University, Los Angeles

The graduate program in public administration at California State University, Los Angeles features a 36-unit curriculum that includes courses in budgeting and financial management, data and policy analysis, human resources management, and program evaluation. The program can be completed in two years on a full-time basis, although part-time options are also available.

California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge offers a 36-unit graduate program in public administration with concentrations in health administration, nonprofit management, and public sector leadership; all three concentrations are available online while the public sector track is also offered on-campus and off-campus. The curriculum, which takes 2 years to complete, includes courses in organization theory, budgeting and finance, public policy, research methodologies, and ethics.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University's public administration graduate program requires 42 units and offers specializations in nonprofit management, public management, public policy, urban administration, criminal justice, gerontology, and environmental management and policy; students can also design their specialty area with various elective options. Most students can complete the program in seven semesters.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California's 40-unit Master of Public Administration degree can be completed in 2-3 years on full-time study or in 3-5 years on a part-time basis with options for on-campus or online coursework. Students can choose among various areas of specialization including local government, non-profit, public finance, health, international development, and arts leadership; they can also earn a dual degree with graduate programs in law, planning, gerontology, social work, and Jewish non-profit management.

University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco offers a public administration graduate program with a 38-unit curriculum for the on-campus option and a 39-unit curriculum for the online track; it usually takes 21 months to finish the program. Students can opt to specialize in health services administration, which opens opportunities for careers in the U.S. healthcare industry.

Notre Dame de Namur University

The 36-unit public administration master's program at Notre Dame de Namur University features concentrations in human resource management and public affairs administration; a double concentration is also available, which requires 42 units to complete. The program is offered on campus and online and takes about two years to finish.

University of the Pacific

The University of the Pacific offers a 30-unit Master of Public Administration degree with an optional 6-10 extra units for specialization; MPA specialty areas include environmental policy, capital policy-making, institutional reform and sustainability, and public and nonprofit management. The curriculum includes courses in legal analysis, public leadership, budgeting and finance, and economics; it can be completed in four semesters with options for full-time or part-time study.

University of La Verne

The 39-unit Master of Public Administration program at the University of La Verne provides concentrations in urban management, nonprofit, gerontology, and public health; a dual degree with the Juris Doctor program is also available. The coursework is offered on a flexible schedule, with some classes conducted on-campus and online; students are given a maximum of five years to finish the program.

California Baptist University

California Baptist University offers a 36-unit online graduate program in public administration that can be completed in 16 months. The coursework includes classes in public administration and organization theories, policy analysis, political economy, conflict resolution, public finance, and statistical analysis.

School Name Programs Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of California, Berkeley Master of Public Affairs $11,442 in-state, $26,544 out-of-state
California State University, Los Angeles Master of Public Administration $7,176 in-state, $16,680 out-of-state
California State University, Northridge Master of Public Administration $7,176 in-state, $16,680 out-of-state
San Francisco State University Master of Public Administration $7,176 in-state, $16,680 out-of-state
University of Southern California Master of Public Administration $44,712
University of San Francisco Master of Public Administration $24,930
Notre Dame de Namur University Master of Public Administration $16,596
University of the Pacific Master of Public Administration $47,480
University of La Verne Master of Public Administration $14,058
California Baptist University Master of Public Administration $13,420

Source: *NCES College Navigator

A Master of Public Administration degree provides theoretical and practical knowledge in public policy, organizational management, public sector and nonprofit operations, and financial management, among others. In addition to general trainingin public administration, students can also focus on specialty areas such as healthcare, local government, gerontology, or environmental management.