Department of Public Policy and Administration

Department of Public Policy and Administration

PPA Admissions and Eligibility

Priority application period for fall 2017 was October 1 - December 1, 2016. We continued to accept applications through March 1, 2017.

The applicaiton period for fall 2017 has passed. We will start accepting applications for fall 2018 on October 1, 2017.

PPA Student standing in front of their group projectStudents may pursue the MPPA degree on a full time or part time basis. While either option is suitable depending on students’ needs, courses are generally scheduled to accommodate the employed or part time student given their time constraints. The program requires a minimum of 36-39 units regardless of whether students are enrolled full or part time. Full time students can expect to complete all degree requirements in about two years; part time students can normally expect to complete degree requirements in about three years. While most of our classes are offered on campus, several of our classes are offered in downtown Sacramento (about six blocks from the State Capitol).



The application process consists of two components which you complete simultaneously: 1) the University application and 2) the supplemental program application.

1) University Application

California State University on-line graduate application

❏ Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
(send transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Studies)

❏ International applicants complete the International on-line graduate application and TOEFL scores for students whose primary language is not English.

(additional TOEFL information)

TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (TOEFL) Our program requires that students whose primary language is not English have a minimum TOEFL score of: 560 (paper based test), 220 (computer based test), or 83 (internet based test).

The Office of International Programs can assist you.

2) Supplemental Program Application

All these materials should be submitted to the PPA department unless otherwise noted.

Document upload option: go to the Office of Graduate Studies application information and procedures page for details.
See the document upload tutorial.
See the online letter of recommendation tutorial.

Supplemental program application
   (see tutorial to upload)

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores -- off site link

One to two page statement of purpose

(see tutorial to upload)

Please attach a one to two page statement of purpose to your supplemental program application (no longer than that please). In the double spaced type written statement, you should address your purpose in pursuing the MPPA. This statement also serves as a writing sample. Tell us your story.

Three letters of recommendation

(see tutorial to upload)

Please use the Public Policy and Administration recommendation form (the form is not needed if you are using the new online recommendation request system). At least three letters of recommendation are required from individuals with knowledge of your academic and professional potential. Letters can be mailed (or emailed) directly to the department by the recommender, submitted with your application by you, or submitted through the online recommendation request system.

Letters should be addressed to the department chair. Recommendations may be from academic or professional sources, and should be on office stationary if possible. One advantage to using the new online recommendation request system is that you have a lot of control over the process. You will be able to see when (and if) your recommenders respond to your request. 

Click here for the supplemental program application and recommendation form in PDF.

Optional -- resume or curriculum vitae 
   (see tutorial to upload)

Optional -- unofficial transcripts or grade report (not a substitute for the official transcripts you send to Graduate Studies).

Submit your application

You may now submit all supplemental documents electronically. This includes letter of recommendation requests. Go to the Office of Graduate Studies application information and procedures page for details.
See the document upload tutorial.
See the online letter or recommendation tutorial.

As always, you may email (, deliver in person, or mail any documents to the Department you would like included in your Supplemental Program Application, including letters of recommendation. 

Click for our mailing address.

Department of Public Policy and Administration
Sacramento State
6000 J Street, TAH 3038
Mailstop 6081
Sacramento, CA 95819

Supplemental Program Application materials will be accepted through the following Monday if the deadline falls on a Saturday or a Sunday.

We continue to accept applications through March 1.



Undergraduate work ~ Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
Prerequisites ~ A grade of B or better is required in all prerequisite courses. Prerequisites are: microeconomics, statistics (recommended), and government/political science. Applicants with prerequisite deficiencies may be required to complete additional course work.

Average GRE Scores and GPA

Here is a year to year chart with average GRE scores and the average GPA of students admitted to our program. Prospective students may find this information both interesting and useful. You can compare your scores and grade point average to previous entering classes.

Graduate Assistantships

Applicants to our graduate programs may now apply for graduate assistantships at the same time that they submit their supplemental program applications. See our graduate assistantship page for more information.

Check on your Application

You may log into your account to check on the completeness of your CSU Mentor Graduate Application.

You may also call the Office of Graduate Studies with questions about your CSU Mentor Graduate Application. 916-278-6470

You may contact the Department to check on receipt of your letters of recommentation and whether an admission decision has been made. 916-278-6557


The priority application period opens October 1. The priority deadline is December 1 for the following fall. We continue to accept applications through March 1. (These are application completion deadlines.) 

We do not have Spring admissions.

We begin to unofficially notifying applicants of admisions decisions in February for those meeting the December 1 deadline and April for those meeting the March 1 deadline.

The application period begins October 1 and ends March 1.