Sep 24, 2023  
2022/2023 University Catalog 
2022/2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Administration

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OFFICE: Adams Humanities 4108
TELEPHONE: 619-594-6224 / FAX: 619-594-1165

A Member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).


Director: Ryan, Sherry, Professor (B.A., Princeton University, M.S., Ph.D., University of California, Irvine)

Undergraduate Adviser: Beltran, Samantha, Academic Adviser (B.A., CSU San Marcos; M.A., United States University); 

Leyva, Nora, Academic Adviser (B.A., M.A., San Diego State University)

Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:

Colvin, Roddrick A., Professor (B.A., Indiana University, Bloomington; M.P.A., Seattle University; Ph.D., University at Albany, State University of New York)

Flanigan, Shawn T., Professor (B.A., M.P.A., University of New Mexico; Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany)

Abdel-Samad, Mounah, Associate Professor (B.A., M.A., American University of Beirut; Ph.D., University of Albany)

Chanin, Joshua M., Associate Professor (B.A., University of Pennsylvania; M.P.A., Indiana University; Ph.D., American University)

Espinosa, Salvador, Associate Professor (B.A. Universidad Panamericana, Mexico; M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University)

Jancsics, David, Associate Professor of Public Affairs, SDSU Imperial Valley (M.A., Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary; M.Phil., Ph.D., City University of New York)

Welsh, Megan B., Associate Professor (B.A., University of California, Berkeley; M.S.W., Temple University; Ph.D., City University of New York)

Bukalova, Dominika, Assistant Professor, SDSU Imperial Valley (B.A., The George Washington University; M.A., San Diego State University; Ph.D., University of San Diego)

Kanaan, David, Assistant Professor, SDSU Imperial Valley (B.S., M.P.A., Eastern Michigan University; Ph.D., University of Central Florida)

Kras, Kimberly R., Assistant Professor (B.A., M.S., Ph.D., University of Missouri)

Vann, Jr., Burrel J. Assistant Professor (B.A., M.A., California State University, Fullerton; Ph.D., University of California Irvine)


Celik, Nihat, Ph.D., Criminal Justice and Criminology, Public Administration

Frosio, Patricia A., M.P.A., Public Administration

Mitchell, Graham L., M.P.A., Public Administration

Parker, Richard A., Ph.D., Public Administration

Pendoley, Andy L., M.A., Public Administration

Sobie, Robert, Ph.D., Public Administration

Wiley, Julie D., J.D., City Planning, Public Administration

Williford, Douglas, M.A., Public Administration


Coates, Breena E., Ph.D., 2000-2007, Associate Professor of Public Affairs, SDSU Imperial Valley

Dobbs, Matti F., Ph.D., 1990-1999, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Urban Studies

Gazell, James A., Ph.D., 1968-2008, Professor of Public Affairs

Lee, Dalton S., Ph.D. 1985-2003, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Urban Studies

Parker, Richard A., Ph.D., 1985-2013, Lecturer in Public Affairs

Pugh, Darrell L.,  J.D., 1981-2017, Professor of Public Affairs

Ryan, Richard W., Ph.D., 1982-2007, Professor of Public Affairs, SDSU Imperial Valley

Sabath, Michael J., Ph.D., 1993-2015, Associate Professor of Public Affairs, SDSU Imperial Valley

Sparrow, Glen W., Ph.D., 1980-2001, Professor of Public Administration and Urban Studies

Stock, Robert L., Ph.D., 1975-2012, Associate Professor of Public Affairs

Wilson, Patricia A., D.P.A., 1990-2007, Professor of Public Administration and Urban Studies

Undergraduate Information

The Major

In an increasingly complex world, the nation is in need of effective leadership and competence in the administration of public affairs. The growth of all levels of government and public service organizations and their increasing responsibilities in a complex society have led to the need for more capable public administrators.

The undergraduate public administration major is an interdisciplinary program. In addition to the courses taken within the department, students select additional courses in areas as diverse as economics, sociology, social welfare, political science, and psychology. Required preparatory courses for the major include classes in accountancy, economics, management information systems, political science, and statistics.

The primary purpose of the public administration major is to provide knowledge and skills for students who wish to prepare themselves for management careers in government, community agencies, private not-for-profit organizations, planning and consulting firms, and private sector organizations that work in partnership with the public sector. Career opportunities in public administration can be found throughout the public and private sectors, and the future is represented by a stable job market. The school employs a full-time internship coordinator and career adviser.

Public administration students are employed in a wide variety of administrative positions within government, the private sector, and community agencies. For example, graduating students have recently been placed with city personnel and finance departments, county operating departments, special districts, hospitals, and consulting firms.

Impacted Program

The public administration major is an impacted program. To be admitted to the public administration major, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete 21 units in the following courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better: P A 200 ACCTG 201 ; ECON 101  and ECON 102 ; MIS 180 ; POL S 102 ; and a three-unit course in elementary statistics. These courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit (Cr/NC);
  2. Complete a minimum of 45 transferable semester units (a minimum of 60 units is required for all transfer applicants);
  3. Have a cumulative GPA of 2.40 or better.

To complete the major, students must fulfill the degree requirements for the major described in the catalog in effect at the time they are accepted into the premajor at SDSU (assuming continuous enrollment).

Major Academic Plans (MAPs)

Visit for the recommended courses needed to fulfill your major requirements. The MAPs website was created to help students navigate the course requirements for their majors and to identify which General Education course will also fulfill a major preparation course requirement.

For information about the Public Administration undergraduate major at SDSU Imperial Valley, please visit their website at

Graduate Information

OFFICE: Adams Humanities 4108
TELEPHONE: 619-594-6224 / FAX: 619-594-1165

General Information

The School of Public Affairs offers graduate study leading to the Master of Public Administration degree, either face-to-face or online.

The San Diego metropolitan community affords significant internship opportunities for the graduate student in federal, state, and local government agencies.

The School of Public Affairs’ M.P.A. degree is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) and listed on its annual roster of accredited programs found to be in conformity with standards established for professional master’s degrees in public affairs and administration.

Master of Public Administration Degree

This degree program prepares students with a generalist background in public administration covering a broad range of topics from fiscal policy and administration to organizational behavior and development, public policy, and urban administration. Also offered are concentrations in criminal justice administration and city planning, each consisting of 15 units within the required program for the Master of Public Administration. Since management responsibilities are shared by administrators in a number of professional areas in public service, students are encouraged to supplement the study of government and administration with graduate courses in economics, sociology, psychology, business administration, and other related areas.

Admission to Graduate Study

All students must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing, as described in Admission and Registration . The student must also have a 3.0 grade point average in the undergraduate major and a 2.85 overall average.

Students applying for admission should electronically submit the university application available at along with the application fee.

All applicants must submit admissions materials separately to SDSU Graduate Admissions and to Interfolio.

Graduate Admissions

The following materials should be submitted as a complete package directly to:

Graduate Admissions
Enrollment Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

  1. Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from all postsecondary institutions attended;

    • Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance.
    • Students with international coursework must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  2. English language score, if medium of instruction was in a language other than English ( SDSU institution code 4682).
School of Public Affairs

The following admissions materials must be submitted electronically before April 1:

  1. Letters of recommendation (three letters from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic ability and accomplishments);
  2. Unofficial transcripts;
  3. Statement of purpose (In no more than 1,000 words, please describe your personal commitment to public service and social equity, any personal experiences that have prepared you for graduate study, and any important information you think would help the committee better understand your academic performance or personal history);
  4. Professional statement (In no more than 500 words, please describe your professional goals and how you believe the MPA degree will contribute to these goals);
  5. Writing Sample (professional work document, school paper, or another document that exemplifies your writing skills)

For information regarding the admissions process, visit the school’s website at


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