The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program at Stanislaus State offers a well-regarded and well-established professional graduate-level course of study designed to prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities of a career in public service, non-profit entities, or for-profit firms that have close ties with the public sector. The MPA Program provides education and training of public administrators and policy analysts for leadership and management careers at the local, state, and national levels--with particular emphasis on government and non-profit organizations in California. The Program covers management science and the political, ethical, and organizational challenges that will be and are encountered in the public sector of the 21st century.
Program faculty and the comprehensive MPA curriculum provide students the foundational knowledge, practical skills, administrative capacities, and intellectual tools necessary for effective public management and the successful fulfillment of their professional duties and responsibilities. The MPA at Stanislaus is nationally accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and the program has served for many of our graduates as a successful launching point for careers in both government service and non-profits as well as providing opportunities for those already working in the public sector to expand and further hone their administrative skills, assisting them in advancing within and beyond their current organizations. Stanislaus MPA faculty are effective and committed teachers and scholars who train students to become tomorrow's productive public sector professionals in an increasingly challenging and complex governance environment. MPA professors promote proficiency in analysis, knowledge of theory and practice, and a genuine appreciation of service in and to the public interest.
Conducted primarily as an evening program—the typical class goes from 6:00 – 8:40 pm, meeting once a week—the MPA Program requires 42 units for graduation. This equates to 14 courses total, which are broken down as 9 core, required courses and 5 electives, with an internship required for pre-service students (students who have not yet worked for a public agency). Students most commonly finish up their studies with comprehensive examinations during their last semester—there is also a master’s thesis option as an alternative to the comprehensive examinations. The normative time to degree is 3 years (6 semesters) with students typically taking 2-3 classes a semester. As a professional degree program, the MPA stresses both hands-on, practical elements of public and non-profit administration and the theoretical underpinnings and scholarly understanding of those structures and accompanying behavior. This critical connection behind theory and practice is a core linchpin of the MPA curriculum. MPA faculty also work in cultivating and fostering in our graduates a strong commitment to the public interest and public service. MPA courses are offered at both the main Turlock campus and the Stockton Center.
The public sector is truly at the heart of democratic governance--every issue that excites people's highest hopes and aspirations, or deepest fears and frustrations, is addressed first and foremost here. Problems concerning healthcare, unemployment, environmental quality, crime and safety, education, transportation, aging, housing, equal opportunity, and emergency preparedness compete for our attention and resources. These problems demand answers--answers developed by men and women in public administration. The effectiveness with which public problems are addressed depends on the education and training received by public service professionals working in government and non-profit agencies. The MPA Program at Stanislaus has a proven history of playing a positive and successful role in this regard.
Program and Learning Objectives
This comprehensive program of professional graduate-level study, which leads to the Master of Public Administration degree, is designed to educate and train administrators and policy analysts to pursue leadership and management careers at local, state, and national levels.
- To provide education and skill acquisition for public service professionals with particular emphasis on the needs of government and not-for-profit organizations in Northern and Central California.
- To maintain and improve the capacity of local and regional governments to provide excellence in public service.
- To conduct research that will broaden the base of knowledge and skills in the field of public administration.
- To serve the regional community through faculty and student involvement in public affairs.
- Students have sound and appropriately comprehensive knowledge of the problem-context and environment of public administration.
- Students have sound and appropriately comprehensive knowledge of organizational decision-making processes.
- Students have appropriate personal competencies in problem analysis and decision-making.
The program serves public service professionals seeking advanced education and training as part-time students and also serves full-time students preparing for careers in public service. Courses are offered on both the Turlock and Stockton campuses.