Master of Public Administration Accreditation

Length of degree:

A student attending full-time (9 units) can complete the program in 4 semesters if their internship is waived, or 5 semesters if an internship is required. Students also have the option of attending part-time, and many students do so, sometimes enrolling in as little as one course (3 units) per semester. Our online MPA program is a fast-track, 16-month program.

Cost of attendance:

Students will want to check the University Bursar's website for the most up-to-date information on current tuition and fees. In-state students attending full-time (9 units per semester) can complete the two-year MPA degree for $19,448. The cost for full-time out-of-state students is $33,704. The online MPA program is subject to different pricing and those rates can be found here. Please note that this figure does not include additional fees, books, supplies, or cost of living expenses.

SDSU offers several financial aid opportunities.  While we typically do not have funding for incoming students, some scholarships and teaching assistantships are offered by the School of Public Affairs to students who are already enrolled in our graduate programs. Two of our current MPA students serve as graduate assistants.  Current students receive e-mails about these opportunities and the application processes on a regular basis.

Current admissions data for 2022-2023 across the three modalities
(online, main campus, site-specific)


Graduation Information

YearTotal Number
Incoming Students
Graduated Within
2 Years
Graduated Within
3 Years
Graduated Within
4 Years
2017-184526 (58%)36 (80%)37 (82%)

Nucleus Faculty for the MPA program

Last NameFirst NameRankTenure
Full or
ChaninJoshuaAssociateTenuredFull-TimeJD, Ph.D.
JoseJustinaAssistantTenure-TrackFull-TimePh. D.

Where do our graduates work?

Of the 58 MPA students who graduated in 2022, at least 85% were employed within 6 months of graduation in the following sectors:
64% work in local government (City, County, local special district, etc.)
2% work in state or regional government
12% work in the private sector
2% are in the military
5% work in the nonprofit sector
5% are seeking work
10% did not respond.

(Numbers add up to greater than 100% due to some respondents reporting multiple occupations. For example, some respondents reported working and pursuing further education, or reported engaging in private consulting in addition to their full-time job.)

Recent Internship Placements

City of San Diego, Office of the City Attorney
City of Chula Vista, Department of Economic Development
City of Chula Vista, Sustainability Programs
City of El Cajon, Office of the City Manager
City of Poway, Finance Department
City of National City, Office of the City Manager
City of National City, Housing Authority
City of Escondido, Department of Community Development
County of San Diego, Office of the Public Defender, Homeless Court Program
Town of Prescott Valley (AZ)
Lakeside Fire Protection District
Balboa Park Conservancy
Community Advocates for Just and Moral Governance
Center for Employment Opportunity
CSA San Diego County
Children’s Initiative
Metro Community Ministries
Downtown Partnership
GE Permit