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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below we've shared answers to some of the questions most frequently asked by both current and prospective PA Division students. Please also check out the links to additional information, and feel free to contact us if you'd like to learn more!


Prospective Students:

  1. How much does the program cost? 
  2. How long does a master’s program typically take to complete?
  3. Are there any minimum requirements for undergraduate GPA or GRE scores? 
  4. What is the school code and department codes? 
  5. What is the basis for admission? 
  6. What is the difference between each program?
  7. Do I need to have a specific undergraduate major? 
  8. How do students pay for school? 
  9. How many credits do I have to take each quarter? 
  10. Can I apply credits taken prior to admission to my degree? 
  11. Are there evening classes available in the programs? 
  12. Are all classes held on campus? 
  13. I'm an international student - what do I need to know about applying to your programs? 

Current or Recently-Admitted Students:

  1. Can I substitute other comparable courses for required courses in the programs?
  2. Can I take courses in other departments?
  3. How do I register for classes at PSU?
  4. How do I get a PSU email account?
  5. How do I access my enrollment files and transcripts?
  6. How do I register for graduation? 
  7. How do I sign up for the MPA and/or MPH listservs?
  8. How is Summer Session different from Fall, Winter or Spring term?
  9. What is a “510” course?

Prospective Students

  1. How much does the program cost? This online tool allows you to calculate estimated Tuition and Fees using the current rates for resident and nonresident students. Full-time graduate students typically enroll in nine credits per term.

  2. How long does a master’s program typically take to complete? Full-time students typically complete the program in 2 years (including one summer term). Our program also has many part-time students who choose to work full-time or part-time while taking 1 or 2 classes per term, which lengthens the time to degree. Students work with their advisors to set up a schedule that meets their needs. 

  3. Are there any minimum requirements for undergraduate GPA or GRE scores? Detailed information about our admission criteria is available on our Application Guidelines page. See also Question 5 below.

  4. What is the school code and department codes? The school code is 4610 and the department code is 4801.

  5. What is the basis for admission? The admissions committee will consider all aspects of the application, including letters of recommendation, GPA, GRE scores, and previous work and/or volunteer experience. Our students include recent college graduates as well as young and mid-career professionals looking to take the next step into management. As such, admissions decisions are made based on a holistic assessment of the candidate’s academic and professional performance, interests, and aspirations.

  6. What is the difference between each program? Learn more about our ten different programs.

  7. Do I need to have a specific undergraduate major? Our students come from all academic backgrounds and disciplines! Previous coursework in the social sciences may be useful, as well as skill development in verbal and written communications.

  8. How do students pay for school? Many of our students are employed part- or full-time off campus. However, there are on campus funding opportunities available in the form of graduate assistantships and student employment, financial aid, and scholarships. Learn more on our Student Resources page.

  9. How many credits do I have to take each quarter? The College of Urban and Public Affairs requires that students be continuously enrolled for at least three credits per quarter until the completion of their degree unless they are on an approved leave of absence. Graduate students are considered to be full-time if enrolled in a minimum of nine credit hours per term. All students who take five or more credits are eligible for health insurance through SHAC. Our graduate programs include both full- and part-time (eight credits or less per term) students.

  10. Can I apply credits taken prior to admission to my degree? You may apply 12 credits (with a B- or higher) completed pre-admission to your degree in the MPH:HMP, MPA or MPA:HA program. You may apply 7 credits (with a B- or higher) completed pre-admission to the Graduate Certificate. If you apply to the MPA or MPA:HA program from the Graduate Certificate, it is possible to then apply all 21 pre-admission credits (with a B- or higher) into the program.

  11. Are there evening classes available in the programs? Most of our courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening in order to accommodate working schedules, from 4-6:30pm or 6:40-9:20pm. Some courses are offered as weekend intensives, meeting three times during the term on Friday evening and all-day Saturday. Some courses are also available online.

  12. Are all classes held on campus? All regular courses are held on the PSU campus, but a few courses are available online or are partially conducted outside of the classroom. Some elective public administration courses are held in sites such as Washington, DC; Hanoi, Vietnam; Oaxaca, Mexico; Canada; and India. In addition, it may be possible to take a class at another university in the Oregon University System through a process called “By Arrangement.” Be sure to meet with your advisor to discuss this prior to enrolling in such a course. 

  13. I'm an international student - what do I need to know about applying to your programs? Please check out detailed admission criteria on our Applications Guidelines page.

Current or Recently-Admitted Students

  1. Can I substitute other comparable courses for required courses in the programs? This may be possible on a case-by-case basis. Please meet with your advisor regarding any potential substitutions before enrolling in an alternative course. 

  2. Can I take courses in other departments? The majority of required courses are taught within the Division of Public Administration. Students may be able to enroll in elective courses offered by other departments, such as Urban Studies, Political Science, Dispute Resolution, Communications, Community Health, Sociology, and more. Students should consult with their advisor to ensure that such coursework will satisfy requirements of their respective area of specialization or skill development.

  3. How do I register for classes at PSU? Detailed registration directions and the registration calendar are available at the Office of the Registrar.

  4. How do I get a PSU email account? You can activate your new PSU computer account through the Odin Account Manager. If you have any questions, please contact the PSU Helpdesk online or at 503-725-HELP (4357).

  5. How do I access my enrollment files and transcripts? Students may request to view their official files by contacting the division administrator, or may access their transcripts online via Banweb.

  6. How do I register for graduation? Detailed directions about graduation, hooding, and commencement are available on our Student Resources page.

  7. How do I sign up for the MPA and/or MPH listservs? Please email publicad@pdx.edu with the message “subscribe MPA” or “subscribe MPH” in the subject area; in the body of the message, please provide your name and the program in which you are enrolled. The listserv is open to all graduate students currently enrolled in the Division’s programs, as well as faculty, staff, and program alumni. This listserv is a great resource for job opportunities, internships, course offerings, seminars, upcoming events, fellowships, and other items of interest to public administration and public health professionals (no personal messages or fundraising requests, please). 

  8. How is Summer Session different from Fall, Winter or Spring term? During Summer Term classes are offered on a condensed scale. Check out our inaugural CUPA Summer Institute with exciting learning opportunities on campus, in the community, and abroad!

  9. What is a “510” course? PA 510 is the course number for new or experimental courses that have not received a permanent course number. Consult your advisor to find out if specific PA 510 courses can be applied to your degree requirements. 

Don't see your question answered here? Please contact us!