College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Culminating Experience

Final Examination OR Final Paper and Oral Defense (4 hours)

The final educational component for the MPA is the final examination or a culminating paper (project or thesis).

Final Project: Students are required to develop a major report that focuses on either a policy issue or a management problem confronted by a public service agency with which the student has direct experience. The paper should demonstrate the application of theoretical knowledge to practical problems. Students completing project should enroll in MPA 695. 

Thesis: A thesis is a comprehensive research project similar in scope and scholarship to articles written in peer reviewed journals. A thesis proposal must be approved by the MPA faculty prior to enrolling in MPA 696.

Examination: A culminating examination option is offered once an academic year. Students must enroll in MPA 697 to utilize this option.

An example of a current project for the MPA program is discussed in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin News Website.

Graduate Writing Test

All Cal Poly Pomona students must pass the Graduate Writing Test in order to graduate. The Learning Resource Center University Writing Center offers helpful tips, study skills handouts, and practice essay prompts for students preparing for the GWT.

If you have graduated from a CSU you have already taken this test and you are not required to take it again. However, if you are not an alumnus of the CSU system, you need to contact the Learning Resource Center to register for the test, get an assigned date, time, location and any related information. See for more information.