The Department of Public Affairs and Administration at Cal State East Bay offers a program of coursework leading to a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree. Public Administration is a rich and challenging multi-disciplinary field drawing from sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, economics, and urban and organizational studies. The master's degree program provides students with a grounding in major philosophical and social science thinking about the nature of organizations; it helps students to build the intellectual and practical tools they will need to become effective organizational leaders in the public and non-profit sectors. The M.P.A. program is designed to increase the personal and professional effectiveness of people working in public, voluntary, and private organizations. The purpose of the program is to prepare individuals for leadership positions in various kinds of organizations with a sense of commitment to social purpose, the public interest, and effective public problem-solving.
The program proceeds on several assumptions: (1) many pressing problems of society must be dealt with through public agencies, and these agencies must be staffed by well-prepared public administrators; (2) public agencies should be more oriented toward the public interest and be more client-centered than is generally the case at present; (3) public agencies should be humanistically oriented, encouraging personal contribution, growth, and improvements in the quality of working life; (4) public agencies should nurture and support a critical awareness on the part of public administrators, leading to an ability to challenge and change administrative practice; and (5) public administrators need to find creative and innovative solutions to the problems of providing quality public services in times of resource scarcity.
The department strives to expand the meaning of public administration to include the theory and practice of administration in non-profit and community organizations. Overall, emphasis is placed upon developing student sensitivities to a wide variety of human, social, and organizational realities in order to assist public organizations in formulating and obtaining their goals and striving toward responsible social change. In sum, the faculty believes the challenge of the changing post-industrial era is best met by humanizing governments, by strengthening their capacities for intelligent policy analysis and effective action on behalf of the public interest, and by encouraging in public administrators a welcoming attitude toward learning, creativity, and innovation.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with an M.P.A. from Cal State East Bay will: (1) demonstrate the ability to understand core concepts and theories in public administration, that is, knowing the basic concepts in public administration and their fundamental theoretical presuppositions; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the role of theory in public administration, and how to apply these theories toward administrative inquiry; (3) demonstrate the ability to articulate a clear sense of purpose as professionals in the public service; (4) demonstrate an understanding of interpretive and quantitative research methodologies.
The M.P.A. program prepares students for careers in government organizations at the federal, state, and local levels as well as in community organizations and the non-profit sector. The program also offers an excellent preparation for doctoral level study for those seeking careers in university teaching and research. The curriculum offers students opportunities to specialize in public management and public policy development, health care administration, and human resources and organizational change. Cal State East Bay M.P.A. alumni are well represented in positions of leadership throughout the Bay Area as well as in local, state, and federal agencies in the western states.
The Department of Public Affairs and Administration sponsors an optional graduate internship program as an integral part of the master's program. The internship program provides students with an opportunity to complement their academic studies with practical administrative experience in a city, county, state, federal, or non-profit agency. The internships vary from three to nine months and average 10 to 30 hours per week. Some pay a stipend; others are on a volunteer basis. An internship is not a job placement, but an opportunity for gaining experience. Internships are for 300 hours or two quarters.
•Graduate Equity Fellowship
•Herman J. McKenzie Memorial Scholarship Fund
•Robert Odell Scholarship
•VrMeer Family Scholarship
Facts & Figures
In State Tuition (per year):
Out State Tuition (per year):
Master's College or University I
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