Offered by the oldest public administration department in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) is for working students interested in a thorough understanding of the processes, issues, policies, and practices associated with the management of inclusive, diverse, and equitable public service and nonprofit organizations at the city, county, state, federal and international levels of governance. The EMPA will introduce students to real-world, real-time knowledge and skills required to function effectively in a managerial or executive role within such organizational settings. The program will expose students to best practices in resilient leadership, succession planning, benchmarking, intergovernmental relations, results-based budgeting, anti-corruption and ethics, privacy and cybersecurity, as well as business and community engagement.
Unlike the traditional MPA, the EMPA program is accelerated, more rigorous, and taught by professors who all have extensive public service experiences. These seasoned professor-practitioners provide in-depth, real-time exposure to executive and supervisory skills and knowledge common to middle and upper-level management in all public and nonprofit organizations. This includes city and urban planning; financial management; human resources and labor relations; organizational development and adaptive leadership; law and social justice; policy formulation, and implementation; accountability and ethics.
The goal of the EMPA program is to provide students with the leadership, organizational, analytical and communication skills, problem-solving techniques and subject-based knowledge required to manage effectively complex organizations. In addition, the program provides a critical understanding of the cross-cutting political, social, economic and environmental problems confronted by communities and citizens particularly the poor, at-risk, minorities, and marginalized. A strong sense of professional commitment to the highest standards of ethical behavior, respect for others, and the core values upon which the profession of public administration is founded on are important goals of GGU’s EMPA program. For the opportunity to socialize and network within their fields, students are encouraged to join the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). GGU also has a chapter of the national public administration honor society, Pi Alpha Alpha and ICMA and has been an institutional member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) since 1973.
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the theory and practice of:
- Ethics, accountability;
- Policymaking and intergovernmental relations;
- Leadership and organizational resilience;
- Business and community engagement;
- Public finance and budgeting;
- Law and social justice;
- Urban planning and innovations;
- Law enforcement and security;
- Human resource management and labor relations; and
- Policy research, analytics, and communications.
Undergraduate Public Administration Pathway Program
Students who elect to pursue the Public Administration Minor have the option of taking graduate-level courses from the Executive Public Administration (EMPA) program and applying them to both the minor requirements and the EMPA program requirements. The Public Administration Minor provides a solid foundation in essential management concepts, techniques, communication, and organizational behavior, while the Executive Public Administration (EMPA) provides a thorough understanding of the advanced processes, polices, and practices associated with the management of inclusive and diverse public service and nonprofit organizations at the municipal, regional, state, federal and international levels of governance. The EMPA will introduce students to advanced real-world knowledge and skills required to function effectively in a managerial or executive role within such organizational settings. Students will learn to engage, motivate, and lead individuals in diverse and inclusive public and private business enterprises. Those who complete both the minor and the EMPA program will be in a unique position to understand and navigate the complex interactions between the public and private sectors, including policymaking, ethics, and the increasing privatization of the public sector.
Declaring Program Concentrations
Students may declare up to two concentrations in a given degree program. Students seeking to declare more than two concentrations will be required to appeal to the dean for approval. Students’ diplomas will list the concentrations that they had successfully completed at the time their degrees were conferred. Students may not declare additional concentrations after their degrees have been conferred.
Students may select from the following concentrations:
Requirements for the Executive Master of Public Administration
The executive MPA requires completion of nine four-semester-hour courses for a total of 36 units, with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or better in courses taken at Golden Gate University that are applicable to the program’s requirements. For further information regarding graduation requirements, see Academic Requirements for Graduate Programs .
Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement
Students are expected to possess proficiency in writing to ensure they can be successful in their course of study. Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria listed under the Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement .
Advanced Program - 36 units
Urban Innovations Concentration (EMPA-URBAN) - 12 units
Designed for city, town, county, regional, and urban managers, planners, analysts, and consultants who seek to gain advanced knowledge, critical thinking, as well as operational and managerial skills in this rapidly evolving and dynamic field. Practitioners will benefit from the core EMPA courses in leadership, organizational development, law, budgeting, data analytics, and policy research. The specialization courses on urban growth, technology, and competitiveness, inclusiveness, diversity, equity, and resilience address economic, social, climate change, and environmental issues and cases facing citizens and communities, and their business, government, and nonprofit agencies.
Required Courses - 12 units