Admission Requirements

CSUN admits those who apply for admission to the Master of Public Administration program in one of two categories: (1) Classified or (2) Conditionally Classified.

  1. Classified status indicates that the student has all of the following:
    1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
    2. A 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) or higher;
    3. Successful completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE). Applicants who score a minimum of 3 in the Analytical Writing section of the GRE are exempt from the UDWPE.
  2. Conditionally Classified status enables students who do not meet all of the above requirements to be admitted to CSUN graduate-level degree programs with the understanding that they must achieve Classified standing before completing more than 12 units of graduate course work.
    1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
    2. 2.5-.2.99 minimum cumulative GPA in the last 48 units of undergraduate study;
    3. Two years of work experience in the public sector.
    4. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required, with a score at or above the 50th percentile on any one of the three subject areas of the GRE. (The GRE may be taken after the admission process)

Note: Admission to the MPA program is competitive and admission files are adjudicated based on all contents of the file, including the personal statement. In addition, it is important to achieve full classified standing prior to completing more than 12 units of graduate coursework on the program of study. No more than 12 units of work taken prior to attaining fully classified status will be applied to a master’s degree program.

English Proficiency Requirements for International Applicants

The English language tests and minimum scores listed in the table below are accepted by CSUN for graduate applicants for MPA.

Test Name and Website Minimum Score Required for Graduate Students Send Score Directly To CSUN
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language — Computer-based score: 213
— Internet Based score: 79
— Paper-based score: 550
Use CSUN School Code 4707.
IELTS - International English Language Test System 6.5 or higher
Have IELTS send a copy of your Test Report Form to CSUN.
PTE Academic - Pearson’s Test of English 58 or higher Online through your PTE Academic Account

Exception:  If a graduate applicant has earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a college or university in the U.S., the TOEFL or other English language proficiency exam is not required.

If a graduate applicant has earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a college or university outside the U.S. where English is the principal language of instruction, the TOEFL or other English language proficiency exam is not required. Please note:

  • CSUN interprets "where English is the principal language of instruction" to mean that a school is located in a country where English is the daily medium of communication for the majority of residents, and that students receive academic instruction in English at all levels of education.
  • Countries currently meeting the above requirement are: Australia, Belize, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, plus a few nations in the Commonwealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago).

Admission to the University

Students must submit an online application to the MPA program and be admitted prior to taking the first class in the program. Students are required to provide official transcripts from the required institutions of higher education.