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
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


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


Comments are closed.