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 Student Services website for the most up-to-date information on current tuition and fees. A student attending full-time (9 units per semester) can complete the MPA degree for $8,944 per semster, if it is in-state student, or for $17,888 per year, if the student is out-of-state. 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: http://starter.sdsu.edu/fao/. 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. Current students receive e-mails about these opportunities and the application processes on a regular basis.

Graduation rate

A total of 31 students began our MPA program in the 2014-2015 academic year. Of those 31 students:

Graduated within 2 years Graduated within 3 years Graduated within 4 years
10 19 22


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.

Where do our graduates work?

Of our 19 MPA students who graduated in 2018-2019, 63% of survey respondents were employed within 6 months of graduation.

Our 2018-2019 MPA graduates for whom we have data were employed in the following sectors within 6 months of graduation:

26% work in local government (City, County, local special district, etc.)

10% work in state or regional government

5% work in the private sector

16% work for the federal government

0% work in private research and consulting

5% work in the nonprofit sector

5% obtaining further education

0% were unemployed seeking further employment

31% 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.)