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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Combined B.S./B.A. in Public and Nonprofit Administration and Master of Public Administration Program

Qualified undergraduate public administration students may be admitted to a combined bachelor's/master's program and obtain both a B.S. or a B.A. and an M.P.A. within an accelerated time frame. Students admitted to this program may take graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits, and up to 12 credits of graduate work may be used in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree.

Undergraduates may apply to the program after a student has achieved

  • junior standing or 75 credit hours with at least 30 credit hours completed at GVSU;
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or above with the expectation to maintain that throughout the current semester;
  • completion of PNH 270, PNH 300, PNH 307, PNH 360, PNH 375, PNH 449, STA 215, and MTH 215 with B or better; and
  • completion of PA 520 - Foundations of Public Management taken during an undergraduate student's fifth or sixth semester with a grade of B or better.

Graduate Course Substitution

Undergraduate Course

Credit Hours

PNH 612

PNH 376

3 graduate credit hours

PNH 614

PNH 420

3 graduate credit hours

PNH 668, PNH 620, PNH 630, PNH 641, or PNH 660 (choose one)

Additional Elective

3 graduate credit hours

Note: PNH 668 requires no prerequisite but does require admission into the M.P.A. program. PNH 520 must be taken in a student's fifth or sixth semester prior to enrolling in PNH 612, PNH 614, PNH 620, PNH 630, PNH 641, or PNH 660.

PNH 612 and PNH 614 fulfill the B.S./B.A. undergraduate core requirements in personnel management and organization theory, while the other courses fulfill the B.S. undergraduate College of Education and Community Innovation elective requirements. No more than four 500-or 600-level courses can be counted toward the minimum 39 hours of the M.P.A. degree as a combined B.S. or B.A./M.P.A. student.

If students earn at least a grade of B in each of these graduate-level classes, they are able to continue in the Master of Public Administration program and must then complete an additional 27 credits (nine classes) to receive the master's degree.

All combined degree students will be required to take one, three-credit hour, graduate-level internship (PNH 690) prior to graduating with a master's degree. This internship requirement is in addition to the undergraduate internship requirement (PNH 490). After completing 120 credits and all requirements for the bachelor's degree, students are awarded a bachelor's degree.

A minimum of 27 graduate credits must be completed after the 120 credits for the bachelor's degree have been completed. The M.P.A. program requires 39 hours, plus one three-credit internship for a total of 42 graduate credit hours for B.S./M.P.A. and B.A./M.P.A. students. B.S./M.P.A. and B.A./M.P.A. students should refer to the M.P.A. Program of Study for a list of courses required for the degree.


Students will normally apply for the combined B.S./M.P.A. program during their third academic year. Acceptance recommendations will be made by the School of Community Leadership and Development Admissions Committee after evaluation of the application and the completion of all application requirements. Other application requirements include:

  • 3.3 overall undergraduate GPA at the time of application
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Three letters of recommendation, applicants must include one letter from SCLD faculty
  • Students must meet with M.P.A. graduate program director prior to applying to the program

Requirements during Undergraduate Studies

An undergraduate student enrolled in the combined degree program is required to successfully complete a minimum of 12 credits each semester until all undergraduate courses required for the degree have been completed (except when completing an internship or other extenuating circumstances).

  • Students will maintain a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3, earning a C or better in each undergraduate course attempted; and
  • Students will earn a B or better in each graduate course attempted.

All university requirements, including general education courses, must be completed before the final year of the combined B.S. or B.A./M.P.A. program.

Graduation without Completion of the Combined Program

If a student decides at some point to pursue only the undergraduate portion of the combined degree, the School of Community Leadership and Development will still recognize the graduate courses taken in lieu of undergraduate courses. Graduate credits used for the undergraduate degree cannot be used toward a graduate degree at a later date.

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