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Program in Public Sector Management and Leadership The Tseng College of Extended Learning California State University, Northridge

  • Northridge, CA
  • Public
  • Urban
  • 62%38%
    student ratio
  • Not Reported
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • Not Reported
    fall application deadline
  • Not Reported
    acceptance rate
  • 1 Degree
    degrees/awards offered


A Program for Midcareer Professionals at a Leading California University

The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) in Public Sector Management and Leadership (P.S.M.L.) at California State University Northridge (CSUN) is designed for working, midcareer professionals who wish to increase their effectiveness within all types of public organizations.

CSUN is one of the nation's leading providers of M.P.A. degrees, ranking only below Harvard and Columbia in Master of Public Administration degrees awarded. The school -- which has awarded more than 2,000 M.P.A. degrees since 1985 -- is also California's number one provider of M.P.A. degrees.

"U.S. News and World Report" ranks California State University Northridge in the top 200 public affairs graduate schools.

A Flexible M.P.A. Degree Program with an Emphasis on Management

The M.P.A. degree in Public Sector Management and Leadership is offered through the Tseng College at CSUN, which specializes in graduate, international, and midcareer education.

The program, which can be completed online or on campus at California State University Northridge, places emphasis on data-driven decisions as well as the human dynamics of leadership.

Required Courses for the P.S.M.L. Degree

The M.P.A. in Public Sector Management and Leadership at CSUN is a 36-unit program composed of 11 courses, plus a comprehensive exam. Students typically complete the program in 2 to 2 1/2 years.

Students in the program must complete 6 required courses, including Seminar in Public Administration and its Environment; Research Methods for Public Administration; Seminar in Organization Theory and Human Behavior; Public Budgeting and Financial Administration; Seminar in Effective Public Sector Management; and Seminar in Public Policy Process.

P.S.M.L. students must complete 5 additional courses, including Intergovernmental Relations; Strategic Management; Public Sector Labor Relations; Approaches and Methods in Program Evaluation; and Ethics and Professionalism.

The Comprehensive Examination

Upon completion of required coursework, students must pass a 3-hour comprehensive essay examination, which includes both a general public administration component as well as a component related to the P.S.M.L. specialization.

An Online Option for Working Adults

The M.P.A. in Public Sector Management and Leadership degree program at CSUN is available in an online format designed for working adults. Students enrolled in the online P.S.M.L. graduate degree program take 2 required courses per semester and complete the program in cohorts of 20 to 35 students. The "cohort" format encourages students to interact and form strong personal relationships as they complete weekly assignments.

CSUN's online M.P.A. in Public Sector Management and Leadership degree program begins with a 2-week, online orientation. During the orientation, a fully trained CSUN staff member teaches students to use the required program software. After the orientation, ongoing technical support is available to all online M.P.A. degree program students.

Students in the online degree program should each have a Mac or PC with high-speed Internet; Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or 7; Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, or 2013; Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox; and up-to-date versions of Flash player and Acrobat Reader. In addition, online students need basic computer skills, including the ability to send and receive emails; create Word documents; and open and review PDF documents.

Diverse Faculty Members with a Wide Range of Research Interests

Lawrence Becker, professor of political science at CSUN, holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His primary research interest is the link between legislative procedures and policy outcomes. He published a book on the subject, titled "Doing the Right Thing," in 2005. He is currently working on another book that explores the tension between science and democracy in regulatory politics. Professor Becker teaches courses on policy and administration in the M.P.A. degree program.

Professor Zeynep Toker earned her Ph.D. degree in community and environmental design at North Carolina State University, and she completed her post-doctoral studies in the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge, U.K. Professor Toker has participated in community design and planning projects around the world, including Sandhills Community Center in Spring Lake, North Carolina; Designing Dynamic Environments for the Performing Arts in Cambridge, U.K.; and Laguna Child and Family Education Center in Laguna, New Mexico.

Ravi Roy, associate director of graduate and professional education programs at Tseng College, holds an M.A. in public policy and a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Before he came to CSUN, Professor Roy was the director of the master's degree program in international development in the School of Global Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He has co-authored 3 books about the role of ideals and mental role models in shaping people's understanding of choices and policy preferences.

Admissions, Prerequisites, and Required Materials

To be considered for admission to the M.P.A. degree program in Public Sector Management and Leadership, students must have bachelor's degrees from accredited universities, plus 2 years of relevant work experience.

Applicants must have minimum cumulative undergraduate GPAs of 2.5 or higher. Applicants with GPAs between 2.5 and 2.99 must take the GRE test and score at least 50% or higher on at least 1 of the 3 sections. This requirement is waived for applicants with undergraduate GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

International applicants with bachelor's degrees from universities where English is not the primary language must submit TOEFL scores. Students must score 85 on the Internet-based test; 223 on the computer-based test; or 563 on the paper-based test. An IELTS score of 7 or above is also acceptable.

Tuition and Financial Aid Options

Costs for the M.P.A. in Public Sector Management and Leadership degree program at California State University Northridge include application and graduation fees; tuition; books; and supplies.

Financial aid is available. Other types of aid, such as veterans' benefits and third-party sponsorships (typically through an employer, government agency, or an international embassy) may also be available for some students.

Location & Contact

Program in Public Sector Management and Leadership

The Tseng College of Extended Learning
California State University, Northridge

18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330
United States

Henrik Minassians


Phone: 818-677-3332

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Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Management Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Yes
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported




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