Applicant FAQs

A Message on Student Fees

The CSU makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum. Fees listed in published schedules or student accounts may need to be increased when public funding is inadequate. Therefore, CSU must reserve the right, even after fees are initially charged or initial fee payments are made, to increase or modify any listed fees. All listed fees, other than mandatory systemwide fees, are subject to change without notice, until the date when instruction for a particular semester or quarter has begun. All CSU listed fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to change upon approval by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, or the Presidents, as appropriate. Changes in mandatory systemwide fees will be made in accordance with the requirements of the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act (Sections 66028 - 66028.6 of the Education Code).

Tuition Increase Approved
The Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase at their March 21-22, 2017 board meeting. Details about the increase can be found at

How many classes are required in the MPA Program?

Effective fall 2021, program requirements include 42 units (eleven 3-unit Core and three 3-unit Elective courses) to earn the degree. Bridge or pre-requisites are no longer required for degree completion.

Students admitted prior to fall 2021 must complete 36 units: nine 3-unit core courses and three 3-unit electives.  If you have not completed coursework equivalent to the bridge courses in the last 3 years (for the Fundamentals of Applied Statistics for Public Administration bridge course) or in the last five years (for the Fundamentals of Public Administration or Fundamentals of Financial Resource Administration bridge courses) with a grade of B or better then you are required to take the bridge courses unless you prove to have extensive professional experience in those areas.

The MPA program may enforce limits on the number of units for which a student can register during each registration period. Effective Fall 2019, graduate students are not to exceed 9 units of study in any given session.

How long will it take to complete the program?

That depends on how many classes you take each session.  Students may take up to nine units a session. Most working students enroll in two classes (6 units) each term and complete the program in 2-3 years.  It is possible, but unusual, to complete the program within 18 months. However, demands of the courses and the work schedule of students often require students to reduce their course load and, therefore, the program cannot usually be completed within 18 months. Variations in the schedule of classes offered may also delay completion of the program within an 18 month period. Students who need the bridge courses may need up to an additional 6 months (2 sessions) to complete these requirements. University regulations require that the MPA degree be completed within 5 years.

Is the MPA Online Program accredited? Is the MPA On-campus Program accredited?

Yes - the MPA Online and On-Campus Programs are fully accredited. The MPA Program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. California State University, Dominguez Hills is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

What is the tuition for the MPA Online Programs? On-campus?

There are two tuition rates for the MPA Online program. The tuition for the Public Management (12 week) concentration is $497 per unit. The tuition for the specialized concentrations (8 week) is $600 per unit.  Course fees are the same for both resident and international students.

The MPA On-campus program tuition is set by the University. For the 2019-2020 academic calendar year, the tuition rate is $2,686 up to six units and $4,192 for more than six units per semester. There is an additional $396 per unit for non-residents. All fees are subject to change. Current fee schedules can be found here.

I am an employee of California State University. Is the tuition fee waiver applicable to this program?

Employees are eligible for the waiver program if a program is funded by the state. The MPA On-Campus Program is a state funded program and fees are set by the University. The MPA Online Program is not a state funded program and is not eligible for fee waiver.

What are acceptable methods for payment of tuition?

For the on-campus program, the University Cashier's Office can be found in your portal. Payment for tuition and fees may be made by personal check, company or cashier's check, money order, or Visa/MasterCard/Discover Card. Payment is made to CSUDH.  For more information, see the Cashier's Office website.

For the online program, the School of Extended Education manages the registration and tuition payments. Students can pay through the my.csudh portal or contact the School of Extended Education Registration Office.

Are there additional fees?

Some courses may require additional material and shipping costs. A late fee of $25 (U.S.) will be levied if tuition is paid after a class begins. A $70 (U.S.) application fee is required when applying to the program. Application fees can be paid when the application is submitted online on or paid by check or money order. Check payments must be mailed to the Cashier's Office and include student's name and date of birth or application confirmation number. Please do not send in payment until submitting the application online.

Checks can be mailed to:

CSUDH Cashier's Office

1000 East Victoria Street

Carson, CA 90747 

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid is available in the form of federal loans.  For official information about what sorts of financial aid might apply and the forms that must be filed, visit the Financial Aid website or contact Michelle Matthews in the Financial Aid Office at (310) 243-3618 or  Be sure to identify in the subject line which program you are inquiring. For example, MPA Online students should indicate "MPA Online" in the subject heading. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that their financial aid is in order.

What is the refund policy?

The MPA On-Campus Program refund policy is set by the University. Please refer to the University Student Records page for guidelines.

The MPA Online Program refund policy is set by the College of Extended Education policies.

How are courses taught? Is online different from on-campus?

The MPA On-Campus courses are taught in the classroom. Teaching methodologies can vary depending on the subject matter and instructor. Instructors may use lecture, case study analysis, or speakers to engage students.

The MPA Online courses are taught in a combination of presentations, lecture notes and case study. Online lecture typically involves text materials provided, video presentations, video conferencing, NetMeeting, individual and group threaded discussions. Grades may be based primarily on assigned case studies. Some courses may use examinations administered online.

Can coursework be transferred to the MPA Online Program?

A maximum of three MPA classes (9 units) may be transferred from an accredited institution with approval from the MPA Online Program Director. The grade(s) received and the institution where the course(s) were taken will be considered in making this determination.  Requests for transferring in units need to be made to the MPA Coordinator during the application process - not after a student has begun the program.

What equipment will I need for the program?

Our comprehensive technical requirements page on this website is will provide you with equipment, software, access and contact information.

Do I need to be near a university library?

As a research oriented program, students can access the library by coming onto campus or accessing the electronic resources available at the University Library website. Most of the academic research articles needed can be available online or on campus through the University Library. Some instructors may utilize articles available through the University Library as course materials.

Where can I learn more about Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) and the General Writing Examination (GWE)?

Effective Fall 2019, the Graduate Writing Exam (GWE) is no longer a requirement to complete the MPA degree.

What is the application procedure?

Apply on Cal State Apply and have official transcripts from ALL previous institutions sent directly from the college(s) you attended to the Office of Admissions and Records.  They will give your application an initial review and forward the transcripts and a summary of your application to the MPA office.  

Send transcripts to:

CSUDH Admissions and Records Office

1000 East Victoria Street

Carson, CA 90747

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

All graduate applicants who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full time where English is the principal language of instruction and/or attend a foreign institution where English is the official language of instruction must demonstrate English competency. Graduate applicants must submit a score of 550 on the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper exam or 80 on the TOEFL internet based exam. TOEFL score (if required) should be sent directly from ETS to the Admissions and Records Office. Applicants may also take the IELTS exam and achieve an overall score of 6.5.

Applicants seeking to waive out of the TOEFL or IELTS exam may contact the Office of American Language & Culture Program at 310.243.3830.

Whom do I contact for additional information?

The MPA Program Office can be contacted by email or by phone (310) 243-3646.

Are there any residency requirements for the online program?

Within the US, citizens and residents can apply and be admitted to the online program with the exception of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oregon, and Wyoming. If you are a resident of any of these states, you cannot be admitted into the online program.