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Brockport / Pub. Admin. / Graduate / Combined Program

Combined Program


The combined political science/public administration degree allows students to complete their bachelor of science in political science and master of public administration in just five years. By doing so, students are able to complete both their BS and MPA in a time-shortened program, and enter the workforce one full year ahead of their peers.

The first three years of the program students take undergraduate courses, then in the fourth year students may take four graduate courses, with a fifth year (including the summer) used for the remaining MPA graduate courses. Students will have a fallback position, which is to complete a BS in political science with a minimum of 120 credits as required for a normal BS at SUNY Brockport, should they decide to change course before completing the master's program.

The Department of Public Administration offers three emphases within the MPA from which students can choose: General, Health Care Management and Public Safety Management.



Students may apply for admission to the Combined Program during the first semester of their junior year. Before applying to the combined program, students must have met the College admissions criteria and been admitted to the political science program. They must have completed a minimum of 54 undergraduate credits to be considered for admission. (Second baccalaureate degree students are not eligible to apply for admission to the  Combined Program.) Admission to the  Combined Program is selective, restricted to up to 10 students with exceptional records. Students must have a cumulative 3.0 or better GPA through the end of their sophomore year to be eligible to apply to the program. Qualified applicants will be interviewed by the chairs of the Departments of Political Science and Public Administration.

The Public Administration Faculty review applications on an ongoing basis. However, apply in advance to ensure a timely review. Applications are to be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.


Students admitted to the Combined Program must maintain a continuing 3.0 or better GPA each semester to remain in the program. Students admitted to the  Combined Program who fail to meet this academic standard will have a fallback position, which is to complete the normal BA/BS program. Once students complete the undergraduate component of their combined degree program they will shift over to graduate student status, and will pay full graduate tuition.

Typical Course of Study:

The  Combined Program is designed to allow students to complete their bachelor's degree in political science and master of public administration in an accelerated fashion (in as little as 5 years), by taking four graduate public administration (PAD) courses in the senior year, three graduate PAD courses over two special sessions(following completion of the undergraduate degree), and eight graduate PAD courses in their “fifth” year. (Students are not required to complete the  Combined Political Science/Public Administration BS/MPA within the accelerated timeframe. However, they must complete the MPA degree requirements within seven years of completing their bachelor's degree.)

Required Political Science Undergraduate Courses for the  Combined Degree:

Political science majors accepted into the  Combined Degree must complete these political science undergraduate courses as part of the combined degree:

PLS 111 International Relations
PLS 112 Comparative Politics
PLS 113 American Politics
PLS 203 Political Thought
PLS 303 Political Research Methods
PLS 312 Introduction to Public Administration
PLS 318 State and Local Government or PLS 319 Urban Politics
Two other upper division electives

Four MPA graduate courses are taken as an undergraduate in the senior year. The remaining MPA course requirements are completed in one post-graduate year, plus two summers.

What are the advantages of pursuing the  Combined Program?

-Qualified students can obtain an undergraduate and a graduate degree in much less time than two separate degrees.
-The cost of a graduate degree may be reduced, since 12 credits are taken at the undergraduate tuition rate. (Tuition rate is subject to College policies when students progress into taking graduate courses.)
-A number of professions now require a master’s degree for entry-level positions

What can I do with an MPA?

For a comprehensive list of the types of jobs held by our MPA students and alumni, visit

Where can I get more information?

MPA Program: questions should be directed to Dr. Celia Watt, Public Administration Chair (585) 395-5568 .

Political Science Undergraduate Program: Specific questions should be directed to Dr. Dena Levy, Political Science and International Studies Chair (585) 395-5893   .

Application process: To apply for admission to the Combined Degree in political science and public administration contact the Office of Graduate Admissions directly. An application can be obtained by calling (585) 395-5465, or by e-mailing .

Last Updated 11/4/13


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