Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university.
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.50.
  • Two years of work/leadership experience.
  • Three letters of reference from supervisors that include information about work assignments and their completion (e.g. financial management, problem-solving, decision-making, initiative and creativity, collaboration, perseverance, communication skills, etc.), overall work performance, growth in responsibility in the workplace, and potential as a graduate student.

Note: Admission to the MPA program is competitive and admission files are adjudicated based on all contents of the file, including resume and related experience, transcripts, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. Strong candidates will have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, extensive work experience in the public sector, a clear statement of purpose, and stellar letters of recommendation. Students must achieve fully classified standing—which includes successful completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE)—prior to completing no more than 12 units of graduate coursework in 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

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 — 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.