Program Outcomes

SF State MPA Student Competencies
Graduates are expected to be able to:
  • Lead and manage in public governance / Meet challenges of rapidly changing world
    • Apply a wide range of knowledge about the public service
    • Apply a wide range of knowledge about an elective area within public service
    • Provide evidence of professional skills necessary for the public service
  • Participate in and contribute to the public policy process
  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions
  • Articulate and apply a public service perspective
  • Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry
    • Write effectively and concisely for an audience of professionals
    • Present effectively to small and large groups
    • Work effectively in groups and teams
  • Communicate and work to ensure social justice, equity and other public service values highlighted by the Program

Student Competencies in an Elective Area

In an elective area, students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethics 
  • Understand the roles and relationships (leaders, officials, citizens and stakeholders) 
  • Articulate the purposes of and processes for communicating with citizens and stakeholders 
  • Develop strategies for engaging citizens and stakeholders
  • Lead, manage and serve to provide services and functions in the elective field
    • Apply the management of local government financial resources. (for Urban Administration)
    • Apply the management of local government human resources.  (for Urban Administration)
  • Develop an understanding of the current policy issues, challenges and solutions 
  • Understand the complexities of network relationships and develop skills in collaborative management 
  • Develop skills to lead, manage and serve and to provide solutions challenges

Selected Student Learning Outcome (SLO) Assessment Results 
  • 93.6 % of students graduating in Spring 2021 exhibited a Developed or Highly Developed level on their Knowledge of Public Affairs (part of SLO 1, Leading and Managing in Public Affairs)
  • 83.8 % of students graduating in Spring 2021 exhibited a Developed or Highly Developed level on their ability to identify and analyze issues (part of SLO 3, Analyze and Make Decisions)
  • 83% of students graduating in Spring 2021 exhibited a Developed or Highly Developed level on their ability to effectively make recommendations (part of SLO 3 Analyze and Make Decisions)
  • 96.4 % of students graduating in Spring 2021 demonstrated Developed or Highly Developed skills in their control of the syntax and mechanics of their writing.
  • 100% of students highlighting Roles and Relationships demonstrated a mastery of content about this aspect of their elective field.
  • 100% of students graduating in 2018-2019 demonstrated the application of specific professional skills like budget analysis, program evaluation, workforce forecasting, revenue forecasting, data visualization, survey research, and others.

Time to Degree for MPA Graduates

The MPA degree is a 39 unit graduate program (42 units, with an internship) and can be completed within four semesters for full-time students.  However, almost 85 percent of our students are part-time students, usually taking two courses per semester.

Students Incoming in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

  • 13.8 % of incoming students from Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 completed the MPA degree program within 2 years.
  • 70.7 % completed the degree within three years of beginning the program.
  • 84.5 % completed the degree within four years.
  • 84.5% persisted to degree completion.

Comparisons to Earlier Incoming Students

  • The current four-year completion rate -- 84.5 %-- is nine points more than the five-year completion rate of students initially entering the program in 2008-2009.
  • Why the reductions in time to degree?  A complete overhaul of the MPA curriculum, expansion of time slots and scheduling to allow more convenience for working adults, and careful attention to scheduling to accomodate student demand.