Sep 22, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2021 - 2022 
Graduate Catalog 2021 - 2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Administration, MPA

Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Areas of Study

Public & City Management
Economic Development
Nonprofit Management
Public Financial Management


The Master of Public Administration program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Additionally, the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, which houses the MPA program, has been designated a Center of Excellence in Public Administration by Cleveland State University. The MPA program also was ranked seventh in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in the area of city management/urban policy.


The Master of Public Administration program’s mission is to advance intellectual and administrative leadership in public administration by preparing students to assume the challenges of public service. Course work gives a diverse student body a foundation in general public administration and specialized skills grounded in one of the program’s areas of expertise. It also helps students to discover, construct, interpret, and disseminate knowledge and understanding about the practice of public affairs. The MPA program also serves the Northeast Ohio region, including the professional community, by extending intellectual resources and applying knowledge.

The MPA program has built this mission on a commitment to nationally recognized excellence in public administration education and research, to the development of leadership in government, to public service for solutions to urban problems, and to an enhanced understanding of public policy and management in a global and diverse society. Through its activities, the Master of Public Administration program supports the educational, research, and public-service missions of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and Cleveland State University.

The Master of Public Administration program is multidisciplinary, drawing on the faculties of the Monte Ahuja College of Business, the Levin College of Urban Affairs, and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. The principal objective of the program is to prepare its graduates for administrative positions in government, nonprofit, and public-service organizations. The program provides a broad educational base, as well as specific administrative techniques as preparation for positions carrying administrative responsibility. The program is designed both for in-service students and recent college graduates seeking careers in government and public-service organizations. Most courses are offered in the evening and a few on weekends, allowing students to take classes after work hours.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

For updated MPA program information, visit the Web site at

Research Units

Students have the opportunity to work with the faculty and staff in the research, public-service, and training centers of the Levin College. See for information on the Levin College facilities.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Career Information

The Levin College- through the Office of Student and Enrollment Services and the faculty- provides a variety of services related to career planning to help students and graduates find employment related to their program of study. Current job postings are maintained in the Office of Student and Enrollment Services and on the College website. Cleveland State’s Career Services Center also provides graduate students and alumni with career advice and career-development assistance, including resume review. 

Financial Assistance

For fullest consideration, GA applicants should submit the Levin College of Urban Affairs GA application and be admitted with degree-seeking status by March 1st. 

Student employment opportunities are available to eligible degree-seeking students. Internship information is available through the Levin College Office of Student and Enrollment Services and student employment information is available through the CSU Career Services Center.

Admission Information

Applicants to the Master of Public Administration Program must meet the minimum requirements established by the College of Graduate Studies and the MPA program faculty:

  1. A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, with an average Verbal and Quantitative score at the 40th percentile or above, and an Analytical Writing score of at least 4.0. Students with a graduate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university are exempted from this requirement. The LSAT may be substituted for the GRE only by JD/MPA applicants. Other standardized admission examinations may be substituted at the discretion of the Program Director. For information about applying for waiver of the GRE requirement please visit
  3. Two letters of recommendation, using the Recommendation Form for Graduate Admission.
  4. Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English-language proficiency as indicated under “Admission Requirements for International Students and Permanent Residents” in the Admissions  section of this catalog.

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Types of Admission

The academic status of a graduate degree-seeking applicant is determined after a review of admission credentials. Graduate Program Committees, in concurrence with the Office of Graduate Admissions, may recommend admission of applicants as regular or conditional graduate students. Please refer to the Admissions  section of this catalog for information on admission categories.

Admission for CSU Honors College Graduates

The Levin College of Urban Affairs offers expedited admissions for students graduating through Cleveland State University’s Honors College. Interested students should contact the Levin College’s Office of Student Services ( for details. 

Program Requirements

The curriculum for the MPA program consists of forty-two credit hours of study. The program is divided into core courses, a specialization and a Public Administration Capstone.


Capstone Requirement

This is a generalist public administration capstone course that provides a final common experience for MPA students. In this course, students integrate learning from the MPA core curriculum with professional practices encountered in public and nonprofit organizations. Students are expected to prepare and defend a capstone paper.

Areas of Specialization

All students complete a minimum of three courses totaling 12 credit hours in an area of specialization. Areas of specializations are listed below.

Public Financial Management

The 5-year BA+MPA Program

See the Public Administration, Accelerated 4+1 BA/MPA  page.