The degree requires students to complete 39-42 units (the difference is dependent upon whether or not a student needs to take an internship or already has significant work experience) and can be completed in six to seven semesters; most students in the Program are working professionals who 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.
Fourteen percent of incoming students in 2013-2014 finished the degree in 2 years and sixty seven percent had finished within 4 years. With eighty-one students initially enrolled in 2013-2014, fourteen percent of them finished the degree in 2 years and sixty seven percent had finished within 4 years.