Master of Public Administration,
Public Sector Management and Leadership Option

Admission Requirements


on campus

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the MPA program, students must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (Please note that the department will not review your application until the receipt of a transcript with a posted bachelor’s degree);
  • A minimum cumulative GPA for acceptance to the MPA program is 2.5 in all units attempted as an undergraduate, independent of when the degree was granted; OR a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units attempted from all post-secondary institutions attended. (The entire semester or quarter in which the 60/90 units began will be used in the calculations.)
    • Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 2.5-2.99 must take the GRE and earn a score of 50th percentile or higher in any one of the three GRE areas on the GRE General exam.
    • Applicants with an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher are not required to complete the GRE.
  • At least two years of work experience.
  • Applicants who do not possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited university where English is the language of instruction must receive a minimum TOEFL* score of 85 (iBT), 223 (CBT), or 563 (PBT, or Paper-based) or an IELTS score of 7 or above.

Note: A 2.5 minimum, cumulative GPA does not guarantee admission to the program; Admission to the MPA program is competitive and admission files are adjudicated based on all contents of the file, including the personal statement.

Note: The only acceptable substitution of the stated TOEFL score is a CSUN Intensive English Program TOEFL waiver.

Admission Requirements - effective Spring 2015

MPA Admission Requirements for Classified status

  1. Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university (Please note that the department will not review your application until the receipt of a transcript with a posted bachelor’s degree);
  2. Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0;
  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.

MPA Admission Requirements for Conditionally Classified status

  1. Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university;
  2. The last 48-units (or equivalent in quarter system credit units) of undergraduate coursework will be reviewed for admission consideration among applicants who demonstrate a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.5-2.99; and
  3. 2 years of work experience in the public sector required.

Note: A 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA does not guarantee classified admission to the MPA program. Similarly, a A 2.5-2.99 minimum, cumulative GPA in the last 48-units of undergraduate does not guarantee conditionally classified admission to the program. Admission to the MPA program is competitive and admission files are adjudicated based on all contents of the file, including the personal statement.

Additional University Admission Requirements

All graduate and post-baccalaureate international applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a Bachelor’s Degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 79/80 on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 213 or above on the computer-based TOEFL. Some Departments or Programs require a higher score for admission.

Additional information about alternative methods of assessing English fluency, including Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the International Test of English Proficiency can be found at http://www.csun.edu/admissions-records/international/apply-masters-student

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.