Housed in the School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement (PACE) in the College of Health & Social Sciences, the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program offers students the opportunity to earn their MPA by taking a mix of in-person and hybrid courses in the heart of downtown San Francisco. The MPA Program is nationally accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, & Administration (NASPAA).
The mission of the SF State MPA Program is to enhance individual and organizational capacity to serve the public and nonprofit sectors through engaged and innovative teaching, research and service.
- We teach effective public administration by enriching students with knowledge and skills to inspire innovation and motivate continuous improvement.
- As faculty and students, we work to provide applied research and service to the community.
- We instill an appreciation for public service values such as: accountability, civic engagement, equity, social justice, and sustainability.
The MPA Program is home to five full-time tenured faculty members. In addition, between three and eight part-time affiliated faculty also teach MPA classes. Part-time affiliated faculty include colleagues from other PACE programs, professors emeriti, and practitioners.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students applying to San Francisco State University’s Public Administration Program should familiarize themselves with its prospective student information in addition to the requirements and relevant deadlines for admission set by the Graduate Division.
Applicants to the MPA program are accepted both Fall and Spring. The Public Administration Admissions Committee will begin to review completed applications as of October 1, 2018 for the Spring 2019 admissions cycle. Applicants must submit all application materials by the November 1, 2018, deadline. The Public Administration Admissions Committee will begin to review completed applications as of March 1, 2019 for the Fall 2019 admissions cycle. Applicants must submit all application materials by the April 1, 2019, deadline.
To learn more about the program and the admission process attend a Prospective Student Informational Session.
Public Administration Prospective Student Informational Sessions
The cost to earn the degree is currently approximately $23,000 for in-state tuition and $39,000 for out-of-state tuition. The Bursar’s Office maintains a complete schedule of tuition and fees.
The Program offers three scholarships exclusively to MPA students each year. Information about other scholarships and financial assistance can be found at the University’s Office of Financial Aid or by visiting a financial aid counselor at the Student Service Building during their office hours. In addition, SF State’s Fellowships Office is available to assist undergraduates, graduate students and recent alumni in applying for nationally competitive fellowships, scholarships and grants, as well as system-wide awards offered by the California State University system.
The degree requires students to complete 42 units and is designed to be completed in seven semesters, so that working professionals can take classes part-time. Students choose to specialize in one of seven areas of elective emphasis: Nonprofit Administration, Public Management, Public Policy, Urban Administration, Criminal Justice Administration, Gerontology and Environmental Administration & Policy, or they can self-design an area of elective emphasis. Degree requirements for the MPA program can be found in the University Bulletin.
Seventy-one percent of incoming students in 2012-2013 finished the degree in 7 semesters and 83 percent had finished within 14 semesters.
Division of Graduate Studies
For non major advising for new and continuing graduate students - please visit the Division of Graduate Studies
- Location: Administration building 254
- Website: http://grad.sfsu.edu
The projected MPA course schedule plots the courses for the several years. In order to better plan for the most efficient program possible, the Program provides this projected schedule of courses for each semester, to help students make long-range scheduling plans. These projections are tentative for course offerings, so students should check for updates each semester.
Most of our students are employed full-time and attend school part time. Consequently, only a small minority of students are required to complete an internship to meet the degree requirements; most are able to obtain a waiver of the internship requirement. Requests for waivers to the internship requirement must be made in writing and submitted to the MPA Graduate Coordinator for review and approval. During academic year 2017 – 2018, MPA students held internships at the following agencies:
International Rescue Committee
City of Martinez Park and Recreation Department
Neighborhood Empowerment Network, City & County of San Francisco
San Francisco City Supervisor Malia Cohen’s Office
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Veterans Services, SF State University
SFSU Downtown Campus, 835 Market Street, 6th Floor, Room 679
San Francisco, CA 94103
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- W June 12, the MPA office will close at 4pm. Faculty will have their office hours.
- TH June 13, the MPA office will open at 2pm.
- F June 14, the MPA office will be closed all day. Faculty will have their office hours.
Phone: (415) 817-4455
Fax: (415) 817-4464