Students hanging out in New Hall quad


Master of Public Administration

Jordan Holtzman

Program Director

(650) 508-3637

(510) 375-1348


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) prepares students to meet modern-day demands for accountability and effectiveness in public and nonprofit organizations. The MPA curriculum develops theoretical and practical foundations for the practice of effective public management in a wide range of public service functional areas. Students gain relevant knowledge and skills in public policy, administration, program evaluation, and decision-making in order to be effective advocates for change. This degree program emphasizes close involvement with leaders from a wide variety of public sector organizations, enabling graduates to make contributions to various levels and functions of administration.


Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop competencies for dealing with individual differences in skills and behavior and the basics of personality development as it relates to management and the behavior of people in community organizations.
  • Students will develop communication and information literacy skills necessary for gathering and analyzing data, writing reports, explaining issues and policies, persuasively presenting initiatives, and corresponding with colleagues and public contingents.
  • Students gain experiential knowledge about the challenges and model practices of contemporary public sector administration needed to effectively assess public sector organizations, community partners, and delivery of services.
  • Students will be able to quantitatively assess public policy programs from program formulation through evaluation.
  • Students will develop knowledge of economic, political, legal, and social institutions and learn to problem-solve within the cultural and operational contexts of these macro-environmental institutions.
  • Students apply the NDNU Hallmarks (community engagement and social justice) to course curriculum.



Admission Information

Fully admitted students will need to meet the following requirements:


1. A four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution

2. A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better

3. Two academic and/or professional recommendations

4. Work experience is preferred.

5. A personal interview with the Program Director may be required.

6. The satisfactory completion of undergraduate course work in political science, psychology, sociology and statistics.

International students should also refer to the general graduate admission requirements.


Program Requirements

The MPA program requires 36 semester units of graduate course credit:

  • Core — 24 units
  • Concentration — 12 units
  • Foundation — no credit


Foundational Knowledge

Students in the MPA program are required to have foundational knowledge that will facilitate learning advanced concepts. Foundation courses may have been taken in an undergraduate degree program or subsequent to the completion of the bachelor’s degree. Foundation courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. If the courses have not been completed prior to admission, students can still be admitted conditionally but must complete the undergraduate equivalent of these requirements early in their program of study. The following are the required MPA foundation courses:

  • Introduction to Political Science
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introductory Statistics


MPA Core Courses

These courses are designed to prepare students in the functional areas traditionally comprising the field of Public Administration. Students must complete all of the Core Courses.


Core Courses                                                                                                             Units

BUS4000                     Organizational and Management Theory                                 3

BUS4010                     Introduction to Public Administration                                    3

BUS4020                     Community-Based Research and Analysis                                3

BUS4124                     Government, Budget, and Finance                                          3

BUS4440                     Spatial Analysis for Policymakers                                            3

BUS4500                     Leadership Concepts                                                                3

BUS4508                     Human Resource Management                                                3

BUS4981                     Public Policy and Administration (Capstone)                          3

Total Core Units                                                                                                       24


Areas of Concentration
In addition to Core courses, all MPA students are required to take an additional 12 graduate units. Students concentrating in Human Resource Management or Public Affairs Administration must take at least 9 units from the approved course list for the chosen concentration. The remaining 3 units may be satisfied by any BUS graduate elective approved by the graduate program advisor. Students desiring a broader study can elect to pursue a general degree and select any 12 units of electives approved by the graduate program advisor.


Human Resource Management

BUS4248                      Global Management of Virtual Teams                                                         

BUS4516                     Managing Diversity

BUS4524                     Labor Management Relations

BUS4532                     Conflict Management

BUS4540                     Recruitment, Training, and Development

BUS------                     Elective

Public Affairs Administration

BUS4016                     Contemporary Issues in Administration

BUS4048                     Administrative Law

BUS4516                     Managing Diversity

BUS4456                     Public Relations

BUS------                     Elective