Executive Master of Public Administration

A dynamic graduate degree program designed to prepare students to manage public sector organizations at all levels of government.

ProGRAM Highlights

The executive master of public administration (Executive MPA) is offered to students interested in a thorough understanding of the processes and practices associated with the management of public sector organizations at the federal, state and urban levels of government. It will introduce you to the relevant set of knowledge and skills required to function effectively in a managerial or executive role within such organizations.

Unlike the traditional MPA which includes a core of common classes and an emphasis program to prepare the student for work in a specific focus area of their choice, the executive MPA assumes that you already have developed competence within a specific functional area. It provides in-depth exposure to the critical areas of executive and managerial focus common to middle and upper level management in all public organizations. This includes: planning; process management; financial management; human resources and labor relations; organizational development and change; law and administrative process; public policy formulation, analysis and implementation; and ethics. The courses are designed to be heavily student-directed online seminars, with numerous short written projects, case studies, online presentations, debates of current practices and policies, and in-depth discussion of issues of good currency in the world of practice.

As the work of our nation's courts becomes more and more complex, court managers and managing judges must keep up to date regarding modern public administration techniques and practices. In response to the need for high-performing courts, GGU has partnered with the California Administrative Office of the Courts to offer an Executive MPA degree with a Judicial Administration (EMPA-JA) concentration. GGU agrees with the National Association of Court Managers that the judicial branch of government needs good people; competent, up-to-date, professional, ethical people who are committed to public service. High-performing courts get the very best from their judges, administrators, and employees no matter what their particular assignment or job. Hence, the Courts, like the service units and programs of the executive and legislative branches, must also have well-trained people who can carry out public administration functions such as civil service recruitment and selection, policy research and presentation, policy analysis, leadership and organizational analysis, and public-private partnership building, public budgeting and finance, and program evaluation.

At Golden Gate University, it is our goal to train our students to become the individuals that the Courts come to first when they need to fill a position. Our Executive MPA program grounds students in the theory and practice of ethics and governance in public service, organizational reform, law in public service, and policy research and presentation. GGU's Executive MPA program has a firm commitment to the academic standards of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). GGU has organized curricula leading to professional graduate degrees in public affairs and administration since 1976.


Upon completion of the Executive MPA, students will be able to:
  • Provide the leadership and organizational skills necessary to effectively and efficiently manage change, productivity, and diversity in public service and non-profit organizations;
  • Critically but constructively analyze and evaluate public policies and programs within dynamic political, economic, environmental, and social contexts at municipal, state, national, and international levels of governance;
  • Develop collaborative professional relationships and partnerships with consideration for the legal, ethical, and moral influences that affect governmental, non-governmental, and business organizations; and
  • Synthesize and apply knowledge from the scholarships on public affairs, policy, and administration to form a solid intellectual basis for professional practice and action.


EMPA Courses: $2,560 per 4-unit course

Tuition varies for other courses. See Tuition & Fees for details.


This program is offered at the following locations: San Francisco , Online , Silicon Valley .

Student Success rates

Students who began this program in Fall 2005:

Graduation rate after 3 years:
Graduation rate after 5 years:
Continuing after 5 years:
Stopped taking classes:
59% 68% 5% 27%

General Public Administration -- 12 Units

A focused graduate degree concentration designed to prepare public administration students to lead successful careers in the public or nonprofit sector.

Required Courses — 12 units

EMPA 301
Research Methods and Analysis
EMPA 302
Public Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation
EMPA 307
Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Judicial Administration — 12 Units

As the work of our nation's local, state and federal courts becomes more and more complex, judicial administrators must keep up-to-date with modern public administration techniques and practices.

Required Courses -- 12 Units

EMPA 308
Judicial History and Governance
EMPA 309
Trends and Challenges in Judicial Administration
EMPA 310
Judicial Management and Leadership


Golden Gate University's instructors are what sets us apart from similar institutions. Most of our faculty are professionals working in their fields of expertise. They bring their firsthand experiences and knowledge to the classroom, incorporating cutting-edge practices from the business and legal communities.

View a Directory of Public Administration Faculty



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Golden Gate University does not accept international applicants to its undergraduate degree and certificate programs.


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