Admissions--Why Come to the SF State MPA Program?

            NASPAA Accreditation
  1. We are a nationally accredited and respected MPA Program, accredited by NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration)
  2. We have a high quality faculty, all of whom have been practitioners in the field and continue to be active scholars and active in the community.
  3. Our face to face classes are conveniently located at the Westfield Center in downtown San Francisco right over the Powell Street BART and Muni
  4. We have a very flexible curriculum so students can tailor their courses for their own career goals-- and move forward with classes at their own pace 
  5. Our classes are scheduled for the convenience of adult learners working full-time.
  6. Even prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, our faculty had taught online and hybrid courses so we are able to provide a variety of alternative modes of instructions taught by experienced faculty.
  7. We have very high retention rates among students to the end of their degree (86.2 %) meaning 86.2 percent of students enrolling in our MPA Program complete their degree
  8. The average number of semesters students needed to complete the degree is only 6.3 (for students enrolling in 2014-2015), for a 39 -42 unit degree; this includes summers, so students can move through the degree program more quickly.
  9. We have a highly diverse student body with 70% of the student body coming from under-represented groups,  matching our highly diverse full-time faculty (80% female, 60% coming from under-represented groups), resulting in inclusive and equitable learning experiences.
  10. Our students are from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and fields, further adding to the richness of learning experiences.
  11. We provide a highly affordable degree!  43.5% of students graduating in 2019-2020 reported taking on NO student debt at all to complete their degree !  Another 8.7% took on only $5,000 of student debt.
  12. Students graduating in 2019-2020 learned so much that 52.2% of them were able to get a NEW JOB DURING their MPA program and 47.8% of them were able to get a PROMOTION during the degree program.

Comments from our Alumni

Shamann Walton, President
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
SF State MPA Graduate 2010

Shamann Walton

"He (Shamann Walton) credits San Francisco State with preparing him for that leap to government. There’s not a day that goes by in his current role that he doesn’t use what he learned at SF State, he says.

¨“The MPA program taught me how government works, how resources flow from all levels of government — federal, state to local,” he added. “The program is second to none in preparing you for a life in government.”

¨“He was drawn to SF State for its historic commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion, something his instructors lived and breathed, he says. “We live in a diverse world. In public service, it’s important to understand and build relationships with the communities and the cultures around you. All of my professors understood that and taught from that perspective,” he said. “It’s a testament to the leadership at SF State that professors know and understand that different cultures are important, that diversity is important and to bring all that to a leadership role is important.”

Source:  Oppenheim, James. 2021.  SF State News .   Available at


Come and hear more by attending one of our convenient (Zoom) admissions information sessions for potential Fall 2021 MPA students, where you will be able speak directly to a faculty member and get all of your questions answered.