Master of Public Policy and Administration

Total units required for MPPA: 36

Program Description

The Capital Campus's graduate programs in Public Policy and Administration prepare future leaders to address the complex issues that face California. We serve the State and the region by developing leaders with strong analytical tools and a deep commitment to public service.

Graduates of our graduate programs are expected to have the ability to: 1) synthesize, analyze, and offer solutions to public policy and administration problems; 2) apply knowledge and skills in a professional setting; and 3) recognize the role of the profession in society (e.g., by considering the ethical dimension of choices about public policy and administration).

Admission Requirements

Admission to classified standing in the program requires:

  • the baccalaureate degree;
  • a GPA of 2.75 for all undergraduate coursework or in the last 60 units;
  • GRE no longer required;
  • completion of the following (or their equivalents at other colleges or universities as determined by the Department Chair):
    ECON 1BIntroduction to Microeconomic Analysis3
    POLS 1Essentials Of Government3
  • a written statement of purpose from one to two pages in length (typewritten), addressing the applicant's purpose in pursuing the Master of Public Policy and Administration;
  • three letters of recommendation from individuals with knowledge of the applicant's academic and professional potential.

All applicants to graduate programs who have not completed a baccalaureate degree from a postsecondary educational institution where English is the primary language of instruction must achieve a minimum score on TOEFL or IELTS.  The minimum score is 83 iBT (560 Paper Based TOEFL) or 6.5 IELTS.

A student with certain deficiencies in the above requirements may be admitted to the program on a conditionally classified status. Admission conditions will be determined on an individual basis.

Admission Procedures

All prospective students must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • an online application for admission;
  • one set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State; and
  • GRE scores.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit

The items below should be submitted to the Department office:

  • written statement of purpose;
  • letters of recommendation;
  • program application; and
  • TOEFL score or IELTS score, if applicable.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the Degree

Units required for the MPPA:  36

Minimum Cumulative GPA:  3.0 with no grade lower than a "B-" in all required courses (and "credit" for  PPA 500).

Advancement to Candidacy

Students must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy listing their program of graduate study. The filing procedure should begin as soon as the student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least five of the program's required courses with a minimum grade of ''B-'' in each and a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0; and
  • Satisfy the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by completing one of our Departmental Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) courses with a grade of "B" or better (either PPA 200 or PPA 220A) or meeting one of the other standards set by the Office of Graduate Studies. 

Department specific advancement to candidacy forms are available in the Department office.

Program Requirements

Required Courses (27 Units)
PPA 200Introduction to Public Policy and Administration 3
PPA 205Research in Public Policy and Administration3
PPA 207Quantitative Methods in Public Policy and Administration3
PPA 210Political Environment of Policy Making3
PPA 220AApplied Economic Analysis I 3
PPA 220BApplied Economic Analysis II3
PPA 230Public Budgeting and Finance3
PPA 240APublic Management and Administration I3
PPA 240BPublic Management and Administration II3
Electives (6 Units)
Select 6 units. Graduate level PPA elective courses include the following: 16
California Land Use Policy
Urban Problems, Economics and Public Policy
Introduction to Collaborative Policy Making
Collaborative Governance Advanced Practice
Urban Policy
Culminating Requirement (3 Units)
PPA 500Culminating Experience 23
Total Units36


1 PPA graduate students are required to take 6 units of elective courses. Ordinarily at least 3 of these units should be chosen from among the graduate level elective courses offered by the Department of Public Policy and Administration. As appropriate, the requirement to take at least 3 units within PPA may be waived with the approval of the student's academic advisor and the Department Chair.  Additionally, the Department has offered experimental PPA 296 electives in the past, and will continue to do so.

Enrollment in PPA 500 is required of students in their last semester of enrollment in the program. Each student will undertake a project or comprehensive examination dealing with a policy or administrative issue and complete a significant written work detailing the problem or issue examined, sources of information used in analyzing the issue, and project findings and conclusions.