MPA Student's Fall 2019Spring 2018 MPA Convocation Grad Fair Don Edwards Event Grant Writing WorkshopU.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Frances Edwards

Frances Edwards
Professor, MPA Director

Political Science
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0119


NASPAA accredited The Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation

San José State University
is accredited by the
Western Association
of Schools and
Colleges. The Public
Administration Program
is an accredited member
of the National Association
of Schools of Public Affairs
and Administration.

NASPAA has partnered with
creating a new website:
Public Serivce Careers.

Mission Statement

The mission of our MPA program is to educate and train individuals to become the leaders, managers and analysts in public and non-profit agencies that serve the Silicon Valley and its diverse population, using tools that enable them to recognize and value diversity, behave with high ethical standards, manage personnel resources fairly, recognize and manage risk, and manage programs and policies efficiently and cost-effectively.  Upon completion of the degree students will employ critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and public service focus in the delivery of community services through the city, county, special district, state agency or non-profit agency.

The program includes core courses, advanced seminars and elective courses from within the program and also from related areas, such as communications studies, political science and urban planning. A faculty of academically and professionally-qualified professors impart both education and inspiration leading to a community-focused view of a public service career. The curriculum emphasizes the values of social equity, transparency, and community engagement, and includes:

  • Core courses in the theory and practice of public management at the local and state government levels, and in locally-focused non-profit agencies, focused on management skills and tools, and policy development and analysis recognizing community needs;
  • Opportunities for practical experience through internships in local public and non-profit organizations for those without public or non-profit agency administrative experience;
  • Encouragement to use the culminating experience project as a service to a public or non-profit agency, providing research and survey services, analysis and recommendations for implementation of policies and programs to enhance their service delivery.

The program is focused primarily on expanding the knowledge and skills of fully employed professionals in public and non-profit agencies, on adults seeking career changes, and on selected recent graduates who are highly motivated toward a career in public service or non-profit agencies. The MPA Advisory Committee, made up of leaders in community public and non-profit agencies, provides guidance on curriculum development to meet the evolving needs of their organizations and communities.

The MPA Program Stresses:

  • The special environment and problems of administration in local government.
  • Government’s place in the social and economic systems.
  • The human side of administration, including theories of motivation and leadership.
  • Techniques and strategies for program analysis, planning, evaluation and implementation.
  • The nuts and bolts of budgeting, public personnel management, emergency management and labor management relations.

Emphasis is given to the practical application of administrative theories and skills. The courses require students to master written and oral communication, interpersonal relations, computer applications, and the art of problem solving.

MPA Program Learning Outcomes

MPA Program Student Outcomes

Degree Completion Rate

MPA Program Student Outcomes—Enrolled 2014
Enrolled Graduated at 100%
3 years
Graduated at 150%
4 years
Graduated at 200%
5 years
33 13 17 18

Note: Students have until their 7th year to complete the degree program.

MPA Program 2018-2019 Graduates Placements
City, county, special district 11
Higher Education  03
Non-profit  02
Private sector  
Unemployed, seeking work  
Total 16