MPA Programs in Southern California

If you wish to study public administration at the graduate level in Southern California, you are in luck! There are well-respected MPA programs across the region that offer a wide variety of concentrations, internship opportunities and flexible scheduling options. Schools offering Public Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

University of Southern California (USC)

The Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC offers an MPA degree program that blends leadership, management, policy analysis and economics classes with opportunities for paid internships and research under academic experts. Graduates of this online or in-person program are prepared for many public, private and non-profit sector careers.

California State University, Los Angeles

California State LA offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree to prepare students for leadership positions in nonprofit and government service. Students start by taking core courses to help them learn about public administration theory, practice their problem-solving skills and begin analyzing policy. After completing core coursework, students take elective classes and complete an internship to practice their skills in the real-world.

California State University, Fullerton

The MPA program at Cal State Fullerton is the oldest one in the state, and the university has strong relationships with local nonprofits and government agencies that students can take advantage of as they pursue internships while in the program and employment afterward. After completing core courses, students can choose one of the following concentrations: human resource management, public finance, local government management, and public policy.

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Cal State Dominguez Hills aims to offer working students a flexible MPA degree program by offering evening and online classes. Students can choose between concentrations in criminal justice administration, nonprofit management, health care policy and administration and public management.

California State University, Long Beach

Cal State Long Beach offers both an on-campus MPA program as well as an accelerated program that blends both online and on-campus formats. Students take core courses in budgeting, finance, organizational theory, human resource management, policy analysis and research methods before moving onto electives in their chosen area of concentration, which can include public works and urban affairs.

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

One thing that sets the Cal Poly Pomona MPA degree apart is that students with an undergraduate GPA of over 3.4 do not need to send in GRE test scores. To graduate, all students must take a graduate writing test. Then they choose between taking a comprehensive exam or completing an independent research paper/project.

San Diego State University

The Master in Public Administration program at San Diego State University seeks to train the next generation of public servants through coursework in personnel administration, public finance and administrative theory. The school admits in-service students (students currently working in the public sector) as well as pre-service students (students with little to no previous experience in the public sector).

Brandman University

Brandman University offers an online and hybrid MPA degree that is highly customizable to a student's particular career or research interests. After completing core coursework, students choose electives in business intelligence and data analytics, business administration, computer science, human resources and geographic information systems. The program offers a degree emphasis in organizational leadership designed to meet the needs of students who wish to work in the nonprofit sector.

University of La Verne

The University of La Verne offers an MPA program in which students can select a concentration in urban management and affairs, nonprofit, gerontology, or public health. The university also offers a JD/MPA dual degree.

National University

At National University, students can take four-week classes offered both online and on campus. The curriculum emphasizes the development of financial management and other business skills for the public and nonprofit sectors. Student can pursue specializations in human resource management and organizational leadership.

University Programs Offered Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of Southern CaliforniaMPA$44,712
California State University, Los AngelesMPAIn-state: $7,176
Out-of-state: $16,680
California State University, FullertonMPA
MPA Human Resource Management
MPA Public Finance, MPA Local Government Management
MPA Public Policy
In-state: $7,176
Out-of-state: $16,680
California State University, Dominguez HillsMPA
MPA Criminal Justice Administration
MPA Nonprofit Management
MPA Health Care Policy and Administration
MPA Public Management
In-state: $7,176
California State University, Long Beach MPA
MPA Public Works
MPA Urban Affairs
In-state: $7,176
Out-of-state: $16,680
California State Polytechnic University - PomonaMPAIn-state: $7,176
Out-of-state: $16,680
San Diego State UniversityMPA
MPA City Planning
In-state: $7,176
Out-of-state: $16,680
Brandman UniversityMPA
MPA Organizational Leadership
University of La VerneMPA Urban Management and Affairs
MPA Nonprofit
MPA Gerontology
MPA Public Health
National UniversityMPA
MPA Organizational Leadership
MPA Human Resource Management

Source: *NCES

How to Get into a Master's Degree Program in Public Administration

While the exact entrance requirements for MPA degree programs in Southern California vary, there are a few requirements common to the majority of programs. Applicants send in transcripts from their bachelor's degree, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and GRE test scores. Some universities waive the GRE scores if students have maintained a high enough GPA throughout their undergraduate degree.

Southern California offers plenty of options if you want to study public administration. Both private and public universities across the region offer acclaimed MPA programs that prepare students for careers as managers, leaders and innovators in public and non-profit sectors.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Strayer University

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  • University of Pennsylvania

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