Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree prepares professionals to capably manage public sector processes and effectively implement public policy decisions. Graduates will be ready to advance their careers in management and leadership positions in a wide range of public- focused organizations, including government agencies, non-profit and other nongovernmental organizations, private firms and advocacy groups. As the only MPA program offered by an ABA accredited law school in the nation, special attention is given to statutes, regulations, and strategic use of legal processes.

A 30 unit core of required courses must be completed to receive the MPA. Optional areas of concentration require an additional six (6) units.

The MPA may be pursued part-time or full-time. Admissions are made in the fall and in the spring.

MPA Requirements

All core courses in four areas, including:
LAW 212Intro. to Legal Analysis2
LAW 517Statutes and Regulations3
PUB 218Professional Skills1
PUB 251Pub Admin: Values, Roles and Skills3
PUB 241Leaders, Organization Behavior3
Elective: any PUB course(s)3
PUB 252Capstone: Strategy, Implementation3
PUB 211Pub Pol: Conflicted, Complex, Uncertain3
PUB 214Budgets, Financial Management3
PUB 222Finance for Public Policies3
PUB 221Economic Concepts and Tools3
PUB 233Public Manager Analytics3

MPA Concentrations

Environmental and Water Policy - 6 Units
Complete 6 or more units from among these courses
LAW 230Water Resources Law (This course is offered in a 2 and 3 unit format. If taken as 2 units, you must take 1 additional elective unit.)3
LAW 507Environmental Law3
LAW 235Environmental Practice3
LAW 500Administrative Law3
LAW 509Special Topics in Environmental Law2 or 3
LAW 510Natural Resources Law3
PUB 219Directed Research1-3
Capital Policy Making - 6 units
Complete 6 or more units from among these courses
LAW 513California Lobbying & Politics2
LAW 576Cap. Lawyering and Pol. Making2
LAW 822Lawmaking in California2
Legislative & Public Policy Clinic *
PUB 219Directed Research1-3

*LAW 853 requires students to register for 3 units in each Fall & Spring.      

Public and Non-Profit Leadership - 6 Units
Complete 6 or more units from among these courses
LAW 101Contracts/Analytical Skills4
LAW 110Contracts4
LAW 209Local Agency Practice2
LAW 500Administrative Law3
LAW 513California Lobbying & Politics2
LAW 560Land Use Planning2
LAW 802Negotiation and Settlements Seminar2 or 3
LAW 822Lawmaking in California2
LAW 826Negotiating Disputes Into Deals1
PUB 213Enhancing Societal Capacity3
PUB 219Directed Research1-3
Policy Change, Institutional Reform, Sustainability - MPA ONLY- 6 units
Complete 6 or more units from among these courses:
LAW 500Administrative Law3
LAW 822Lawmaking in California2
PUB 213Enhancing Societal Capacity3
PUB 219Directed Research1-3
PUB 222Finance for Public Policies3
PUB 234Advanced Policy Analytics3

Total Units: You must complete 36 units to earn the MPA with an area of concentration.

Minimum GPA:  Your cumulative grade point average must be 3.00 or higher in those courses required for award of the MPA, MPA with concentration, or MPP.

Application for Graduation:  Students in the final semester of their degree program must complete the Application for Graduation form no later than the Add/Drop Deadline of that semester and return completed forms to the Office of the Registrar.


Contact Distinguished Professor of Public Policy John J. Kirlin
Email | 916.520.7471

Learning Outcomes

1. Lead and manage in public governance

Habitually use feedback and own self-assessments to identify and further advance the skills needed to master various aspects of Governance--including the use of formal authority and competencies of governments, roles of non-profits and businesses, and citizen engagement--in a way that addresses the particular demographic, economic, and cultural factors that shape possible actions.

2. Participate in and contribute to the public policy process

Identify, describe, and proactively engage in activities congruent with establishing a suitable career that contributes to public policy processes, which may include working in government agencies, non-profit and other nongovernmental organizations, private sector firms, and advocacy groups that connect with public service organizations.

3. Analyze and synthesize information in support of complex decision-making

Independently select and use appropriate qualitative and quantitative analytic tools to support effective decisions in socially and managerially complex situations that require integrating competing perspectives of diverse stakeholders

4. Articulate and apply a public service perspective

Across a wide range of issues and public administration settings, articulate how institutions, policies and programs support achieving central values of democracy and the role of public service professionals in advancing those values.

5. Communicate and interact productively with diverse public stakeholders

Communicate and interact productively across public, private and nonprofit sectors, and with a wide variety of stakeholders, to solve problems.