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The Combined BA/MPA program between the State University of New York at Potsdam and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY gives outstanding undergraduate students the opportunity to join Rockefeller's nationally ranked MPA program before graduation.

The Advantages

Eligible students are granted admission to Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy without the need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). For selected students, admission to the College occurs during the junior year. As a result of enrolling in Rockefeller's nationally ranked graduate coursework as an undergraduate, students will be able to complete the MPA degree more quickly. After completing the bachelor's degree, students should be able to finish the MPA in about one-and-a-half years.

The combined program results in significant monetary savings. By finishing a semester early, students will save a full semester of tuition and fees.

Why a Master's in Public Administration?

An MPA allows students to develop a wide range of job possibilities. Our graduates are prepared for careers in nonprofit organizations, federal, state, and local governments, and for-profit organizations that coordinate with the public sector.

Rockefeller's MPA program is nationally ranked. It provides excellent training in public administration in a variety of specialized fields. Concentrations include Public Management, Public Finance, Nonprofit Management, Health Policy, Homeland Security, Policy Analysis, Information Strategy and Management, and Local Government Management. Further, students in our program can take advantage of our strategic location in Albany to participate in an internship in a nonprofit organization, government agency, or legislative office. Our Office of Career Development can also assist students who wish to pursue internships, and careers, outside of the Capital Region. In addition to access to a variety of internship areas, 85% of our students receive paid internships.

Access to the College's Office of Career Development is another advantage of the combined program. The College boasts extremely high job placement rates, with 100% of our 2013 graduates employed or pursuing further study one year after graduation. The Career Development staff is dedicated to students' success and MPA graduates have access to the office's services for life!

Requirements

The combined BA/MPA program is highly competitive. In order for your application to be reviewed, students must have completed at least 56 credit hours towards their undergraduate degree, but have at least 12 credit hours remaining in their undergraduate program.  In addition, applicants must have a minimum 3.3 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to be considered and must have completed at least two quantitative courses (with a grade of B or higher). The BA/MPA program is especially suited for Politics Majors, International Studies Majors, and Economics Majors. Students in other majors are welcome to apply; interested students should contact the BA/MPA Faculty Advisor at Potsdam, Dr. Phil Neisser.

Application Timeline

The BA/MPA application has two stages. First, you must apply for a nomination by the Faculty Advisor at Potsdam, Dr. Phil Neisser. Second, if nominated, you must apply for admission to Rockefeller College.
Most applicants will apply for the combined BA/MPA program near the end of their junior year. Most admitted students will complete their undergraduate coursework (or all but 12 elective upper division hours of coursework) during the fall of their senior year and begin graduate study at Rockefeller College (in Albany) during the spring semester. Students should discuss their personal timeline with Dr. Neisser before applying.

April 1 – Nomination materials due to Professor Neisser
April 20 – Nomination review completed by Potsdam
June 15 – Applications due to the Rockefeller's BA/MPA program

Potsdam Nomination Checklist

  1. Unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate work to date
  2. Two letters of recommendation (1 must be from faculty at Potsdam)
  3. 1 to 2 page statement of background and goals
  4. Resume  

For more details about the nomination process, please contact the Faculty Advisor at Potsdam, Dr. Phil Neisser.

Rockefeller College Application Checklist

  • Completed Degree Application
  • Official transcripts* of all undergraduate work to date
  • two letters of recommendation (1 must be from faculty at Potsdam and 1 must be from the BA/MPA Faculty Advisor at Potsdam)
  • 1 to 2 page statement of background and goals
  • Resume
  • $75 Application Fee

*Scanned copies of transcripts will not be accepted as official.  Applications will not be reviewed without official copies of the transcripts.

Instructions for the Statement of Background and Goals:

In a 1-2 page double-spaced essay, state your reason for undertaking graduate study in Public Administration and Policy. Convey how graduate study enhances your career plans. Also, discuss any substantial accomplishments, either collegiate, professional, or in the community, which cannot be inferred through other areas of your application. Finally, explicitly talk about your area of interest, such as nonprofit management or public finance, as this information directly impacts your advisor assignment if accepted to the public administration program.

Welcome Week

If admitted, the College's Department of Public Administration and Policy requires all new MPA students to attend a Welcome Week orientation program. The week long program is typically held in August; the week prior to the first day of classes. Based on your date of admission, and which semester you begin studying at Rockefeller, the College will let you know when you will be required to attend.

Contact Information

Jaclyn Napoleon, Director of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy

Dr. Phil Neisser, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences; Chair, Department of Politics; Coordinator, Environmental Studies, SUNY Potsdam; Faculty Advisor, BA/MPA program