Public Administration

College of Health and Social Sciences

Dean: Alvin Alvarez

School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement

Director: Elizabeth Brown

Public Administration Program

Downtown Campus, Suite 679
Phone: (415) 817-4455
Website: http://mpa.sfsu.edu

Graduate Coordinator: Jennifer Shea

Program Scope

The goal of the degree program is to prepare people for responsible positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. This includes positions in government but also in such entities as community development corporations, nonprofit social service agencies, planning and consulting organizations, and activities of private firms in public affairs and public policy areas. Applications are welcome from those with experience who wish to strengthen their capabilities or prepare themselves for new opportunities. Those without any work experience are advised to work in either the public or nonprofit sectors before applying for admission.

The Master of Public Administration is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

The program is based on the premise that policy and administration must be understood in relation to each other.  The core of the program seeks to develop foundational knowledge and analytical skills in public policy, public administration, and research. Beyond the core, the program develops student knowledge and understanding of management perspectives.  In addition, the program offers seven areas of emphasis as an opportunity for specialization. They are nonprofit administration, public policy, public management, urban administration, criminal justice administration, gerontology and environmental administration (offered in conjunction with the Department of Geography & Environment). The requirements for the MPA, in general, and the specialty emphases, in particular, are shown in detail on the following pages. Students may also self-design an area of elective emphasis. Students may choose courses relevant to their professional interests offered by other departments and programs throughout the University.

Career Outlook

Graduates from the MPA program pursue their professional careers in various government agencies at federal, state, and local levels as well in a variety of nonprofit organizations. Some work for consulting or research firms. A few pursue Ph.D.s  at other universities to enter into a career in higher education.

Professor

Stowers

Associate Professors

Gen, Joaquin, Shea, Wang

P A 700 Foundations of Governance and Management (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Introduction to the discipline of public administration and concepts in public administration, nonprofit administration, and public policy. History and theory of the field. Emphasis on basics of professional writing and oral presentations. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

P A 705 Design and Consumption of Research (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Course 1: Applications of research design and data analysis to problems in policy and administration in the public and non-profit sectors. First of a two-part sequence of courses. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

P A 706 Applied Data Analysis (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration; P A 705.

Applications of data analysis to problems in policy and administration in the public and non-profit sectors. The second of a two-part sequence of courses. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

P A 707 Qualitative Data Analysis (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: P A 705 or consent of instructor.

Examination of techniques and approaches to the analysis of data that is qualitative in nature.

P A 708 Qualitative Interviewing (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: P A 705 or consent of instructor.

Examination of methods and protocols involved in conducting and analyzing interviews with qualitative results.

P A 709 Practicum in Statistical Software Applications (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: P A 706 or consent of instructor.

Examination of statistical software applications.

P A 715 Policy Process and Civic Engagement (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Process and politics of policy making and implementation. Impact of economic, social, historical, legal, political, and administrative conditions. Interaction of citizens in civic engagement process. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

P A 720 Organization Design and Change Management (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Structures, goals, and behavior in organizations; focus upon organizational change and development. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

P A 722 Performance Management and Planning (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Strategic planning and performance measurement for public service organizations. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

P A 724 Economic Perspectives (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Macro- and microeconomic perspectives in society. Focus on application of tools in public policy decision making processes and economic impacts on public and nonprofit sectors. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly P A 710]

P A 725 Managing Human Capital (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Concepts, functions, issues, and skills associated with personnel management and human capital in public and non-profit organizations. (Plus-minus letter grade only.

P A 727 Program and Service Delivery (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Contracting process from contracting agency and contractor perspectives, project management, alternative and traditional forms of service delivery. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [CSL may be available]

P A 730 Resource Allocation and Management (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Budgeting process across governmental and non-profit sectors, political processes of budgeting. Budgeting, resource allocation, and budget analysis methods and computer applications. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

P A 740 Public Service Management (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Application of administrative and management systems to public and non-profit sector organizations. Assessment of new trends in the public service field.

P A 741 Emerging Trends in the Public Service (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

New trends, movements, and developments in the public and nonprofit sectors.

P A 743 Collaborative Government (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of collaboration and networking in public affairs.

P A 744 Nonprofits, Public Policy and Society (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Focus on the vital role of nonprofit organizations in today's society as well as on the public policies that affect and influence that role.

P A 745 Perspectives on Nonprofit Management (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Social policy roles, economic and political dimensions, and administrative issues for non-profit organizations. Regulation, governance, and organizational management issues. [CSL may be available]

P A 746 Application of Organizational Learning in Nonprofits (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of how nonprofit organizations can learn by using results of performance measurement and program evaluation to improve outcomes. [CSL may be available]

P A 747 Organizational Ethics: Doing Good, Being Good (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of ethical behavior in nonprofit organizations; overview of ethical theories; discussion of ethical values relevant to nonprofit practitioners and nonprofit organizations; and review of a code of ethics for nonprofit organizations.

P A 748 Negotiation and Compromise (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Focus upon methods and techniques of negotiation and compromise in conflicted situations.

P A 750 Financial Management in the Public Service (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Theoretical and practical aspects of financial management in both public and non-profit organizations.

P A 751 Pensions and Pension Administration (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Overview of major issues of state and local public retirement programs. Covers fundamental concepts and practices of pension management with special emphasis on pension benefit design, actuarial valuation and funding methods, financial reporting, and pension asset investment management.

P A 753 Decision Making in the Public Sector (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of decision making in different disciplines and their use in public policy making and agency decision making. Includes new research on ways individuals and organizations make policy decisions. Skill building on different techniques and tools for making public decisions.

P A 754 Comparative Perspectives in the Public Service (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of public and nonprofit administrative and managerial processes across countries around the world.

P A 755 Information and Knowledge in the Public Service (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Management and effective use of data, information, and knowledge in public and nonprofit sectors. Focus upon the organization, maintenance, use and successful transfer of knowledge to enable organizations to succeed in strategic goals.

P A 756 Data Mining and Visualization (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of current data movements with trends in data mining and visualization.

P A 757 E-Government (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Overview and strategies for improving the development and effectiveness of public and nonprofit online services and information. Relevant policies and management issues.

P A 762 Leading Change Across Sectors (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Contemporary leadership theory and practice with attention to the unique concerns of public service; applications of leadership to initiating and managing change across sectors.

P A 763 Personal Leadership Development (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: P A 720, P A 725, P A 762, or consent of instructor.

Focus on personal development of leadership potential and style.

P A 770 Policy Analysis (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Policy analysis and program evaluation used by legislatures and public sector agencies. Policy models, cost benefit evaluation techniques, evaluation research methods.

P A 775 Program Evaluation (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: P A 705, P A 706 or consent of instructor.

Evaluation design, measurement, impact analysis, project implementation and management, and the design and evaluation of requests for proposals and proposals themselves.

P A 776 Environmental Policy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Covers scope and theories of US and CA environmental policy.
(This course is offered as P A 776 and GEOG 776. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

P A 777 Criminal Justice Administration (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of the managerial processes, problems and policies particular to criminal justice agencies-policy, court and corrections.

P A 780 Urban Administration (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Administrative environment, governmental system and structure, administrative innovations, and decision making in urban government in the U.S.

P A 781 Sustainable Development in Cities (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Theories and strategies of sustainable urban development and management.

P A 783 Urban Housing Policy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of urban housing policy in a comparative perspective across localities (e.g., cities, regions, states, countries). Analysis of trends in housing markets and evaluation of the outcome of alternative government policy choices.

P A 784 Intergovernmental Relations (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Focus on the relationships (competition, conflict, cooperation and stalemate) between various levels of government and other governmental /quasi-governmental institutions. Focus on political, administrative and managerial.

P A 791 Prevailing Issues in Public Administration (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Exploration of prevailing issues in public administration with an emphasis on emerging theories and concepts in the field and applied analytic techniques. Topics to be specified in the Class Schedule. May be repeated for a total of 12 units as topics vary.

P A 795 Applied Field Experience (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate students in Public Administration.

Applied, project-based agency experience. Student works with a public, nonprofit, or voluntary agency to gain specific, substantive research or other professional skills to complement the MPA curriculum. May be repeated and included in ATC for up to 3 units.

P A 803 Public Affairs Internship (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Graduate students in Public Administration Program; P A 700; consent of instructor.

Professional work experience: students will work 300 hours in a public or nonprofit agency under the supervision of a faculty member and an on-site work supervisor. [CSL may be available]

P A 890 Capstone Course in Public Administration (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy for M.P.A. degree; approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies.

Case study analysis as the culminating experience option in fulfillment of the requirements for the master's degree. (Plus/minus letter grade only)

P A 898 Master's Thesis (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy (ATC) and consent of candidate's thesis committee, and approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies.

ATC and Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement forms must be approved by the Graduate Division before registration. (CR/NC grading only)

P A 899 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites: Consent of graduate major adviser and supervising faculty member.

Study is planned, developed, and completed under the direction of a faculty member. Open to graduate students who have demonstrated ability to do independent work. Enrollment by petition. May be repeated for a total of 6 units.