Admissions Process

Admissions Process

Click here for important information and instructions on using the new CalState Apply online application system.

The deadline for Fall 2018 admissions is April 1, 2018.  The deadline for Spring 2019 admissions is November 1, 2018.  Students applying to San Francisco State University and to the Department of Public Administration should be aware of the requirements for admission to the Graduate School of  San Francisco State University, the relevant deadlines for admission, Graduate School Admissions policies and Graduate Division forms. Please be aware of the Graduate Division and their requirements as well as general information about graduate education  at San Francisco State University.

Apply online through Cal State Apply. The Office of Graduate Admissions no longer accepts paper applications to graduate programs.

Submit the following materials by uploading them to the Cal State Apply online application:

  • Your current resume.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all the universities you have attended.
  •  Two (2) letters of recommendation. These should be from individuals who know the candidate well and can address their potential for succeeding in graduate school. The letters do not have to be from faculty members at an academic institution, they can be from supervisors or others familiar with the candidate's work.
  • Statement of purpose to the SF State MPA Program. This statement of purpose should describe the following information in a coherent essay (in no more four pages, double spaced):
  1. Life experiences that have led you to an interest in public service (public or nonprofit)
  2. Background in the public service, including any work or volunteer experience you might have in public or nonprofit agencies
  3. Areas of specific interests in the public service, including what has led you to these specific interests
  4. Career and professional goals and aspiration
  5. How the MPA degree will be helpful and consistent with your career goals and aspirations
  6. Why this is the right time in your career to come into a MPA program and seek the degree
  7. Why the SF State MPA degree program is a good fit for you and your career / professional goals
A 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 units of undergraduate studies is a minimum requirement for admission. 
Foreign students from non-English speaking countries must submit a score of at least 550 on the paper-based, 213 on the computer-based, or 80 in the internet-based TOEFL exam  to be considered for admission in the SFSU MPA Program.  Students who have taken the IELTS test as an alternative must obtain a score of 7.0 or higher.
Foreign Students should contact the International Student Office at (415) 338-1293 for further information on subjects such as visa status, housing, etc.

Pre-Requisites to the M.P.A. degree:

  • There are no longer prerequisites for Admission into the SF State MPA degree program.