California Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Degrees
Why Earn a Masters in Public Administration?
Are you hoping to make a positive impact in the field of public administration and policy? Then perhaps earning a masters in public administration or master of public policy degree is a perfect next step for you! Prospective students with interest or past experience in public administration and policy may have big dreams. They may want to make a difference in areas like government, public service, nonprofit organizations, and more. If that describes you, it’s time to learn more about Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy programs. In these programs, you could earn an MPP or MPA that could potentially help you pursue your goals!
What Careers Could I Pursue After Earning a MPA Degree?
This may depend on a lot of factors such as the program you choose, your potential area of focus, and your goals! For example, you may be able to pursue a master of public administration degree with a concentration in areas like public management, nonprofit management, or environmental policy (depending on your interests). Hoping to pursue a political science career track? Most political scientists earn a master of public administration (MPA), master of public policy (MPP), or master of public affairs degree.[i] In other words, “what can you do with a masters in public administration” has no one-size-fits-all answer. But, by exploring some prospective master’s programs, you may be able to find one that suits your passions and professional ambitions!
What kinds of MPA Programs may be available?
When deciding on the master of public policy or administration program that may be perfect for you, there are a few factors to keep in mind. For starters, choose your Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy program type. You might consider one of the following Masters degree:
The Master of Public
Policy, or MPP, is a professional graduate degree that may help students prepare for their goals in political science and other potential areas. Curriculum may include research methods, program evaluation, policy formation, and other key topics. Ideally, candidates should have taken courses in statistics, political science, and writing at the undergraduate level.
The Master of Public Administration, or MPA, may share some overlapping areas with the MPP; for example, students may study areas like statistics, research methodology, policy formation, and program evaluation. However, this graduate professional degree program may focus on managing aspects of public and nonprofit organizations, such as budgets and human resources. Students could even explore the private sector. They may also potentially choose a concentration like public management or nonprofit management.
Next, you’ll need to consider program format. Your choice could depend on what may be available at the graduate schools you’re interested in. Also, your lifestyle and learning preferences may affect your decision. Here are three formats you may encounter:
Pursuing an online public policy masters or online masters in public administration program may be a perfect choice if you have a busy life. If you are struggling to fit traditional graduate courses into your schedule, an online MPA program may be a good choice. There could be many reasons why online learning appeals to you such as: a full-time job that makes it tough to take classes during the day, or family responsibilities that call for a bit more flexibility than a campus-based program may offer. In some cases, students may live too far away to commute to their school of choice. And some candidates may simply prefer to learn independently, from anywhere with an internet connection! If any of these reasons apply to you, consider pursuing an online masters in public administration or policy.
Some students opt to earn their MPP or MPA on campus. Potential benefits of traditional, campus-based learning could include social opportunities, in-person networking, and the chance to get involved in your school’s community. Depending on your learning style, you may also prefer a face-to-face classroom setting. And if you’re hoping to take advantage of some potential resources and amenities like the computer lounge or fitness center, you’ll probably need to come to campus!
Can’t decide between online and campus programs? Hybrid programs may offer the best of both worlds! You could potentially pursue your master of public administration or master of public policy degree mostly online while taking a few classes on campus, or vice versa.
What should I consider when choosing a public policy schools?
If you’re hoping to earn a masters in public administration or policy, it’s natural to wonder about how to pick a public policy school that is a perfect fit for you. A school that’s great for one student may not suit somebody else’s needs and goals. You may have to evaluate potential Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy programs based on your personal criteria. Here are just a few points to consider:
Academics – Does your prospective school offer the program and concentration you are looking for? For example, some schools may have an MPP program but not an MPA program, or vice versa. Also, what does the program curriculum look like, and do the courses appeal to your interests and goals? Ideally, you’ll be excited by the course descriptions and eager to start learning!
Accreditation[ii] – Is your prospective masters in public administration or master of public policy school accredited by an agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education? Accreditation helps ensure a program meets important quality standards. Approved regional and national accrediting agencies can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Resources and opportunities – Hoping to take advantage of tutoring, childcare, professional organizations, the student theater group, etc.? You may not be able to find a program that offers everything you want, but ideally your school may have some or most of the resources you’re looking for.
Reputation[iii] – Check with the Better Business Bureau or your state education agency to learn more about how your school handles student concerns. You can also talk to current and former students, or ask to review stats such as graduation and retention rate, if available.
Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy: Ready to get started?
Below, you may find some Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy program listings that may interest you. Feel free to narrow your Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy search by format or location. Or simply click a listing to learn more. Best of luck finding the masters in public administration or master of public policy degree that is great for you!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html | [iii] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider
Managing in the public sector requires as much expertise and knowledge as any other executive endeavor, and perhaps more. In this specialization you will focus on acquiring administrative knowledge and skills in diverse areas such as budgeting, gover...
- Norwalk, CANorwalk, CA
California State University, Northridge
Join the largest MPA program in California and the third-largest in the nation. Graduate with a network!...
- Northridge, CA
- Glendale, CA
- South El Monte, CA
Develop professional competence in a world of rapid change with a Master of Arts in Organizational Management degree from Ashford University. Study organizational change, marketing, decision-making, strategic thinking, and innovation while learning t...
- Chico, CAChico, CA
California State University, Chico
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
The program is especially designed to provide public sector managers with the knowledge, skills and abilities required to deal...
- Long Beach, CA
- Belmont, CABelmont, CA
Notre Dame de Namur University
The Master of Public Administration offered at Notre Dame de Namur University is offered on campus or 100% online. Additionally, the program has long been recognized for our faculty's dedication to preparing professionals to work effectively in manage...
- Riverside, CARiverside, CA
University of California - Riverside
Prepares students for careers in government, politics, and public affairs within public, non-profit, or private sectors.
- Oakland, CAOakland, CA
Mills College offers a master’s degree in public policy for students who want to turn professional passion into policy change.
- Bakersfield, CABakersfield, CA
California State University, Bakersfield
California State University, Bakersfield offers a Master of Public Administration degree for individuals who wish to enter a management career in the...
- Fresno, CAFresno, CA
California State University, Fresno
The Graduate Public Administration Program offers a multidisciplinary Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree.
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
- Pomona, CAPomona, CA
California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Program trains persons for the public and/or non-profit sectors.
- Monterey, CAMonterey, CA
Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Prepares highly effective professionals for leadership positions in social change organizations throughout the world.
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
California State University, Los Angeles
- Rohnert Park, CARohnert Park, CA
Sonoma State University
This program has a cross-disciplinary emphasis, is designed to build administrative skills for use in both the public and the private not-for-profit s...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
Presidio Graduate School
The most distinctive aspect of our Master of Public Administration (MPA) is the comprehensive integration of management education with public policy and administration. The cornerstone of our MPA program is our signature “integrated curriculum” designed...
- San Bernardino, CASan Bernardino, CA
California State University, San Bernardino
Public Administration is concerned with the formulation and implementation of public policy.
- Fullerton, CAFullerton, CA
California State University, Fullerton
The MPA degree is designed to disseminate the knowledge and skills needed for efficient and effectivepolicy making and for the management of governmen...
- Sacramento, CASacramento, CA
University of The Pacific
The McGeorge School of Law two year, full-time Master of Public Policy program, located in Sacramento, includes concentrations in water, health, finance, sustainability, institutional reform, and data analysis.
- Sacramento, CA
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
The Master of Public Policy degree program (MPP) is professionally oriented and open to students who wish to pursue analytic careers in government, nonprofit organizations, consulting, advocacy, and/or related policy occupations.
- San Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Northridge
The Public Sector Management and Leadership option within CSUN's MPA program develops and enhances management skills, enabling graduates to function more effectively within all types of public organizations.
- Northridge, CA
- Irvine, CAIrvine, CA
University of California, Irvine
UC Irvine's public policy program provides training for highly motivated & talented individuals to become public policy leaders.