The MPA program offers a number of concentrations to meet career goals of our students. Each MPA program format has a specific concentration(s).

The Public Management concentration is offered in both the 12 week online and on-campus* formats. Students have a choice of electives offered and must complete nine units to satisfy the concentration requirements.

Specialized concentrations in Criminal Justice Policy and Administration, Health Care Policy and Administration, and Nonprofit Management are offered in the 8 week online format. Students must take all elective courses (nine units) to satisfy the concentration requirements.

Available Electives:


Public Management Concentration:

Required concentration course:

  • PUB 522: Financial Management in the Public Sector (3) Prerequisites: PUB 510 is required. This course offers survey of financial management functions in state and local government such as accounting, fund structures, debt and cash management, and financial reporting. Course provides a theoretical and practical introductions to financial analysis and management in the public sector.

In addition to PUB 522, two of the listed public management courses listed below OR those listed under other concentrations, which can be available in the Campus or 12 week format, are used to meet the elective requirements for Public Management concentration.

  • PUB 520: Leadership in the Public Sector (3) Prerequisites: Seminar PUB 501 and PUB 502 is required. This course provides an overview of the theoretical and practical foundations of leadership in the public sector. It emphasizes the knowledge and skills needed to effectively lead within public and nonprofit organizations.

  • PUB 524: Strategic Management and Planning in Public and Nonprofit Organizations (3)This course aims to prepare current and future managers of public and/or non-profit organizations by focusing in the knowledge, skills, values, and perspectives needed to manage organizations strategically. The course provides an introduction to the theory and application of strategic planning and management in the public and non-profit sectors.

  • PUB 526: Collaborative Governance (3)This course examines theoretical foundations and practical models of collaborative management in local government. Students will collect and review relevant literature fro inter-government relations, public management, and public/private partnerships, and apply findings to a policy issue in local government.

  • PUB 527: Fundamentals of Qualitative Research (3) Prerequisites: PUB 500 is required. This is an introductory course on the most important concepts and methods of qualitative research. The course involves reading and discussion of presentations and examples of qualitative research and a qualitative research project.

  • PUB 528: Economics for Public Managers (3) Prerequisites: PUB 500 is required. This course aims to demystify economics for managers in the public and nonprofit sectors. This course will provide you with the economic principles to better analyze and understand problems facing public managers. You will learn why markets can be so successful in allocating scarce resources and achieving efficient market and social welfare outcomes. You will learn how individuals, firms and government, as producers, consumers, and regulators, interact at the microeconomic level, and why macroeconomic concepts such as inflation, unemployment, economic growth, interest rates, and are important to understand. You will also learn how governments can intervene to solve market failures and hence improve social welfare.

  • PUB 594: Independent Study (3) Repeatable (maximum 6 units) Prerequisite: Consent of Assistant Dean.  Independent investigation of a research problem or directed readings in a selected area of public administration. CR/NC grading.

  • PUB 595: Special Topics in Public Administration (3) FS.  Intensive study of a specialized area of Public Administration (e.g., Urban Administration, Criminal Justice Administration, Health Care, Non-Profit Management) or a selected topic in contemporary public management. Three hours of seminar per week.

  • PUB 596: Internship Seminar and Practicum (3) FS.  Prerequisite: Consent of Assistant Dean. Supervised internship working with a cooperating government agency in a function germane to public administration. Sessions are held to discuss and analyze the problems with which interns are concerned. A written project related to the internship is required. CR/NC grading. 

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 Criminal Justice Policy and Administration Electives

  • CJA 540: Advanced Criminal Justice Issues (3)
    This course will introduce students to advance issues relating to the administration of justice from the perspective of the American criminal justice system.  Emphasis will be placed on policy concerns, crime and its causes, the structure of the criminal justice system, and criminal justice procedures.  Special issues in criminal justice will also be reviewed. **Occasionally offered.

  • CJA 563: Administrative Law, Policy, and Analysis (3)
    This course defines the scope and boundaries of administrative law within the context of public policy. Students will learn the major constitutional issues underlying administrative law bodies at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Students will develop competence in briefing and analyzing published court decisions and analyze basic public policy. 

  • CJA 565: Issues in Police Administration and Ethics (3) 
    This course introduces students to policing in the United States. The theories of policing, police administration, ethics of policing, police obligations and responsibilities are analyzed. Students will consider the historical and contemporary approaches to effecting policing at the local, state and national levels. 

  • CJA 566: Issues in Homeland Security and Terrorism (3) 
    This course defines the scope and boundaries of contemporary issues in homeland security and terrorism. An emphasis on the foundations of homeland security, threats and vulnerabilities, preparedness response and recovery issues.

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Health Care Policy and Administration Electives

  • Pub 570: Administration of Health Care Organizations (3) 
    This course will analyze various health care administration issues as a means of developing professional skills for employment in government, health care, and human services fields. The course exposes students to practical case studies associated with leadership strategies, cultural diversity issues, health care organization performance issues and human resource issues in the public sector.
  • PUB 572: Legal Issues in Health Care Administration (3)  
    Prerequisite: PUB 508
    This course defines the foundation, scope and boundaries of health care policy with an emphasis on public health care systems and The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Students will explore the differences between local, state and federal health policy levels. The California State Legislature will be actively discussed throughout this course as a basis to understand health care reform implementation.
  • PUB 574: Health Care Financial Management (3) 
    This course aims to develop students' financial analytic skills to make management decisions. The course covers financial management concepts throughout the spectrum of the health care system including hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, HMOs and home health agencies. Students will be presented financial tools and methodologies that will help them understand health care financial literature and perform analysis.

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Nonprofit Management Electives

  • PUB 580: Nonprofit Leadership and Management (3) 
    This course provides an overview of the nonprofit sector and addresses leadership and management issues. It emphasizes the context, institutional setting of the sector and nonprofit governance, leadership, ethics, marketing, strategic communications, advocacy, lobbying, program evaluation, and human resources management.
  • PUB 582: Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (3)  
    Prerequisite: PUB 510 
    This course examines financial management functions in government and nonprofit organizations, such as financial planning, accounting, cost control, fund structures, debt and cash management, financial reporting, and financial trend monitoring. 
  • PUB 584: Fundraising and Development for Nonprofit Management (3)  
    Prerequisite: PUB 500 and PUB 502 
    This course aims to develop students’ capacity to think and plan strategically to develop financial resources for nonprofit organizations. This course also examines key aspects of the fundraising process for nonprofit organizations as well as a variety of fundraising techniques, sources of donations, and aspects of managing the fundraising process.

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*Electives for the on-campus Public Management concentration are set by the program faculty.