The goal of the Department of Public Administration is to prepare people for responsible positions in the public sector. This includes positions in government but also in nonprofit organizations such as community development corporations, nonprofit social service agencies, planning and consulting organizations, and activities of private firms in public affairs and public policy areas.
The Master of Public Administration at San Francisco State University is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
The Department is based on the premise that policy and administration must be understood in relation to each other, and the core of the program seeks to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding in both public policy and public administration. The common core of the program is heavily focused on essential knowledge and skills for public management. Beyond the core, the program offers four areas of emphasis as an opportunity for specialization. They are Nonprofit Administration, Policy Making andAnalysis, Public Management, and Urban Administration.