M.Sc. On Campus

Public Administration

Sonoma State University

12 months
6336 USD/credit 190080 USD/year
6336 USD/credit 190080 USD/year
9386 USD/credit 281580 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Offered primarily as an evening program, the Public Administration program at Sonoma State University provides a rigorous 40 unit curriculum that emphasizes the background and skills required to effectively analyze, formulate, and implement public policy in local, state, and national government, and to achieve similar programmatic goals in nonprofit agencies. 


The Public Administration program at Sonoma State University recognizes a need for a strong combination of theoretical and practical learning. Students choose from two concentrations: 1) Public Management; or 2) Nonprofit Agency Management.

Each student is required to complete a 20-unit analytic core, a 16-unit concentration, 4 units of electives, and a culminating experience of either a comprehensive exam, a capstone project or master's thesis. If students choose the thesis or capstone option, they can apply those four units to the elective requirement. Students who choose the comprehensive exam must use regular coursework for the elective units, and register for an additional four units of Pols 596 Graduate Tutorial, in the semester they take the exam. Courses are based upon the professional curriculum established for public administration programs by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Core courses include: organizational theory; fiscal and budget administration; research methods; program implementation; planning and evaluation; and nonprofit dynamics. The two concentrations include specialized courses oriented toward the operation and management of public and nonprofit agencies. Concentration courses typically include fiscal management; personnel administration; legal issues; public policy; labor relations; marketing and resource development for nonprofits; and grants and contract management. Electives cover a wide range of important topics, including: ethics; organizational computer usage; and internships. Electives are generally taken from the MPA curriculum.

Learning Goals and Objectives

As a professional degree program, the MPA emphasizes both the theoretical and practical aspects of public and nonprofit administration. Students are expected to develop an understanding of the theoretical principles informing the field, and the practical management techniques necessary to administer public and nonprofit organizations. The link between theory and technique is a special emphasis of the program. Students are trained in organization analysis, and in the research, analytical, and communications skills necessary to implement public policy and to become successful managers. The program strives to foster in students a commitment to social purpose and the public interest. Students are encouraged to take advantage of internship opportunities and to undertake course and masters thesis research in areas that directly affect their career interests or other objectives.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Administrative State
  • Public Finance
  • Public Personnel Administration
  • Organizational Theory and Analysis
  • Budget and Fiscal Administration
  • Research Methods
  • Planning and Evaluation
  • Nonprofit Dynamics: Politics and Community Environment

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines


30 SCH


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association;
  • Be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended;
  • Have attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 (A=4.00) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted;
  • Proof of English proficiency via TOEFL or IELTS examination scores

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    190080 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 6336 USD per credit during 12 months.
  • National

    190080 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 6336 USD per credit during 12 months.
  • In-State

    281580 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 9386 USD per credit during 12 months.

Living costs for Rohnert Park

1100 - 1600 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Public Administration
Sonoma State University


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