PPA Admissions and Eligibility

Capital Fellows and the MPPA

The Center for California Studies administers the Assembly Fellowship, Executive Fellowship, Judicial Administration Fellowship, and California Senate Fellowship (Capital Fellows) programs. Fellows are normally presumed to be strong candidates for admission to the MPPA program.

The Capital Fellows programs covers a combination of internship and six units of seminar. Former fellows may waive the internship requirement and substitute the six MPPA elective units with six Capital Fellows seminar units if they complete both the fellows program and the MPPA program within the seven year time limit. For example, if a former fellow was enrolled in their fellowship seminar in Spring 2000, they would need to have completed all coursework and submitted a thesis by Fall 2006.

Use the CALCULATOR to input the semester and year you were enrolled in your Capital Fellows courses so you can see when those classes expire.

Select the semester  and enter the year  of your fellows courses, then . To use your Capital Fellows units in lieu of MPPA electives, your MPPA graduation date must be   or earlier.

(This is for informational purposes only. Contact the Department for advising.)


Under the right circumstances, a former Capital Fellow who is admitted to the PPA program may take all PPA core courses (27 units) and complete a thesis/project (3 units) to earn an MPPA. Again, for elective units to be substituted, Capital Fellows must have completed the fellowship and all MPPA degree requirements within the seven year time limit.

[The seven year time limit is a CSU requirement enforced by the Office of Graduate Studies. It is not simply a Department policy.]

PPA Student standing in front of their group project

Priority application period for fall 2019 is October 1 - December 1, 2018. We continue to accept applications through March 1, 2019. We do not have spring admissions.

Students 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 and Global Engagement can assist you.

2) Supplemental Program Application

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

Supplemental program application

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

One to two page statement of purpose

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

Please use the Public Policy and Administration recommendation form. 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 or submitted by you in a sealed envelope with your application.

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

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

Submit Your Application

See the Office of Graduate Studies Graduate Admissions page for detailed instructions on submitting your application.

For your supplemental program application documents, you may email (ppa-01@csus.edu), deliver in person, or mail any documents to the Department. This includes letters of recommendation. We will also accept electronic submission of documents online.

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.

Check on your Application

You may log into your http://my.csus.edu account to check on the completeness of your Cal State Apply Graduate Application.

You call the Office of Graduate Studies 916-278-6470 with questions about your Cal State Apply Graduate Application and for technical assistance.

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


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 notifying applicants of admission recommendations in February for those meeting the priority deadline and April for those meeting the regular deadline.

The application period begins October 1 and ends March 1.

Applicant Requirements

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.

Please note: Graduate record exam (aka GRE) scores are valid for five years. The institution code for Sacramento State is 4671. Two department codes work for the Department of Public Policy and Administration: 1903 (Public Policy Analysis) or 4801 (Public Administration).