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Combined Program


The combined political science or sociology/public administration degree allows students to complete their bachelors degree in political science or sociology and master of public administration in just five years. By doing so, students are able to complete both their Bachelor's degree 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 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 or sociology 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 or Sociology 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 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 degree within the accelerated timeframe. However, they must complete the MPA degree requirements within seven years of completing their bachelor's degree.)

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  .

Sociology Undergraduate Program: Specific questions should be directed to Dr. Julie Ford, Sociology Chair (585) 395-5656

Application process: To apply for admission to the Combined Degree in political science/sociology 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 12/9/13


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