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.

Students are allowed to enroll in our program full-time (completing the program in 4 semesters), part-time (completing the program in 6 semesters), or a combination of full-time and part-time semesters. We also have a fully online MPA program that students complete as six modules over 18 months.

Cost of attendance:

Students will want to check the Student Services 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 $19,216. The cost for full-time out-of-state students is $33,468. 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.

You can find information on scholarships and financial aid at: In 2019-20 80% of full-time and 44% of part-time students received financial aid. 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. Six 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 2021-2022 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

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 our 76 MPA students who graduated in 2019-2020, 83% of survey respondents were employed within 6 months of graduation in the following sectors:
54% work in local government (City, County, local special district, etc.)
6% work in state or regional government
3% work in the private sector
3% work for the federal government
2% work in private research and consulting
10% work in the nonprofit sector
0% obtaining further education
0% were unemployed seeking further employment
17% unknown/ 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