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Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration

College of Health and Human Services

CSULB students have a classroom discussion

Director: David C. Powell

Center Office: Engineering Technology (ET), Room 235
Telephone: (562) 985-4178

Faculty: W. Frank Baber, Martha J. Dede, Edward Martin, William Moore, John W. Ostrowski, David C. Powell, Michelle A. Saint-Germain

Department Coordinator: Robin Quirk

Distance Learning: Shawn Bauer

Telephone: (562) 985-4179

Career Possibilities

Management Analyst • City Manager • Financial Analyst • Project Manager • Presidential Management Intern (PMI) • Non-Profit Management (Some of these, and other careers, require additional education or experience. For more information, see


Public administrators today are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that government is, indeed, the people’s business. They are challenged to be both effective and efficient. They believe that people tend to support what they help to create. Working with citizens, they have brought the practice of public management to its highest level without giving up the desire to constantly change and improve. The difference is that today’s public servants are recognized and rewarded in personal and material ways, making the study of public policy and administration a highly desirable career option.

The Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration offers the Master of Public Administration degree; Options in the degree program include Public Works Administration and Urban Affairs; and graduate certificate programs in Urban Executive Management, the Public Management Analyst, Employer-Employee Relations and Personnel Management, Public Sector Financial Management, and Transportation Policy and Planning. The Center’s graduate program is designed with a professional emphasis and a recognized need to provide course work that will increase the student’s competency in public administrative processes and analysis. The Center’s curriculum also is designed to emphasize the student’s ability to apply new knowledge, skills, and leadership techniques to the solution of public problems.

Admission applications are encouraged from persons with successful government service who wish to pursue, part-time or full-time, a graduate program designed to prepare them for new opportunities in public service or to expand or extend their capacities in a present position. The Center provides education in public policy and administration to professional persons in such fields as public works, social services, public health, community development, criminal justice, educational administration, recreation administration, finance, personnel, policy analysis, urban and regional planning, systems analysis and urban administration. The Center is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (NASPAA, 1120 G Street, NW, Suite 730, Washington, DC 20005, phone: 202-628-8965).

A detailed summary of requirements, current course offerings and procedures for the Master of Public Administration degree program, the Options in Public Works Administration and in Urban Affairs, and the graduate certificate programs, are contained in student handbooks available from the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration and on its website at

Admission Requirements

Faculty will consider each application to the MPA program, based upon the following criteria:

1. Minimum 3.0 Undergraduate GPA

2. Demonstrated competence in professional writing. A listing of ways you can demonstrate writing competence is available in the Center office (ET 235) or on the Center website:

3. Quality of professional experience as evaluated by Center faculty. This evaluation will be based on the applicant’s current job description, resume, any other materials submitted by the applicant, and the length of professional service.

4. Other evidence of applicant’s potential to undertake and successfully complete the MPA course of study: faculty may consider other evidence submitted by the applicant; for example, scores on optional standardized examinations such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or other recognized standardized examinations.

Following admission to the University and acceptance to the Center, each student should meet with a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor will provide advice to the student on program course requirements and elective opportunities, and counsel the student in the chosen elective area.

A student whose overall grade point average is less than 3.0, but who presents acceptable evidence of professional potential shown through recent academic performance and experiential background, may be admitted by special action of the Center.

Advancement to Candidacy

  1. Fulfillment of the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all graduate work completed at this University, or transferred from other sources, to meet degree or program requirements.
  3. Successful completion (grade of "B" or better) of six units in the MPA program.
  4. A grade of "B" or better in all of the following undergraduate courses: microeconomics, basic statistics, American government, and writing or composition.

Transfer of Credit

Students who have completed a graduate certificate program in the Public Management Analyst, Employer-Employee Relations and Personnel Management, Public Sector Financial Management, or Transportation Policy and Planning, may transfer up to 15 units of credit earned in the certificate program to be applied to the Center’s Master of Public Administration degree program. The student must apply to the Center for admission as a degree candidate.

Students who have completed the academic requirements for the Master of Public Administration degree, prior to applying for admission to a graduate certificate program in the Center, may apply up to 6 units of credit earned in the MPA program for the required or elective courses in a certificate program.