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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

 A combined bachelor’s/master’s program involves tentative admission to graduate standing so that both a bachelor’s and master’s degree may be earned as the result of a planned program of study. Highly qualified students in good academic standing may apply to a graduate program for a combined degree as soon as they have completed 75 earned credits. With rare exceptions, students will apply no later than the semester in which they have 90 completed credits toward their degree. Admission during the junior year or equivalent allows sufficient time and preparation for curricular sequences and other research experiences that distinguish this option from separate bachelor’s and master’s degrees. No more than one graduate degree can be earned as a combined degree.  

To apply for the BA/MPA program students complete the regular online application form for the MPA program, and should apply for the semester following the one in which they will complete their bachelor’s degree .

Students will be admitted to the combined program at two levels, i.e., for both the undergraduate degree and the graduate degree.

Once admitted during the junior year, students must follow a prescribed program of work, and their record must show which courses will be applied toward the undergraduate degree and which courses will be applied toward the master’s degree. Once all undergraduate requirements have been satisfied, the student will be officially enrolled in the graduate program if they complete their bachelor’s program in good academic standing, and if they meet all University and academic unit or teaching unit requirements for admission to the master’s program for the combined degree. Each academic unit or teaching unit sets its own admission standards and procedures for graduate students. Once enrolled in the master’s program, students are then subject to the academic regulations governing graduate students.

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