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Department of Public Administration & Policy


  • SPA: Public Administration
    Ward, Room

    Graduate programs: spagrad@american.edu

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Combined Bachelor’s and Master of Public Administration

This program enables qualified students to earn, in a continuous plan of study, both a bachelor’s degree with a major in any related discipline and the Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Admission to the Program

Admission to the combined bachelor’s/MPA program requires junior standing, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, a completed application form, available from the Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP), a written faculty recommendation, an essay on the student’s interests and abilities in public administration, and an interview with an academic advisor.

Acceptance and participation in the combined bachelor’s/MPA program does not automatically guarantee acceptance into the graduate program, but once admitted to the combined program, a student may not be denied entry into the MPA if that student completes the bachelor’s program in good standing and meets university and department minimum standards for admission to the MPA program.

Students must apply for admission to the graduate program through the SPA Office of Graduate Admissions no later than the last undergraduate semester.


All requirements for a bachelor’s degree with a major in any related discipline.

Undergraduate students may apply up to 15 credit hours of approved graduate-level course work to satisfy the requirements for both degrees. Students take courses in statistics, public administration, and other courses approved by DPAP.

All requirements for the MPA, including a minimum of 18 credit hours completed in residence in graduate status after the undergraduate degree has been awarded. Students must finish the master's degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master's program.