The Combined BA/MPA program between Purchase College and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at SUNY’s University at Albany gives outstanding undergraduate students the opportunity to join Rockefeller’s nationally ranked MPA program before graduation from Purchase College.

Accepted environmental studies students who have elected to pursue the policy concentration will finish their bachelor’s degree at Purchase College while simultaneously beginning to work on a master’s degree in public administration, either online or in person, through the nationally ranked Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany. Successful participants enjoy the benefit of enrolling in graduate courses during their senior year that simultaneously count toward both the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Public Administration degrees.



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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 Rockefeller College is typically at the end of the junior year. Accepted students can earn up to 12 credits through Rockefeller College that count for both their undergraduate degree from Purchase College and for their graduate degree from Albany. This arrangement makes it possible for students 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 toward their MPA.

Why a Master of Public Administration (MPA)?

An MPA allows students to develop a wide range of job possibilities. Rockefeller College 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. Elective areas include Public Management, Public Finance, Nonprofit Management, Health Policy, Homeland Security, Policy Analysis, Information Strategy and Management, Local Government Management, and Environmental Policy. Additional areas of substantive coursework include Crime & Justice Policy, Education Policy, Global Affairs and Social Welfare Policy. Further, students in the program can take advantage of Rockefeller College’s strategic location in Albany to participate in an internship in a nonprofit organization, government agency, or legislative office. Rockefeller College’s 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 Rockefeller College’s students receive paid internships.

Access to Rockefeller College’s Office of Career Development is another advantage of the combined program. The College boasts extremely high job placement rates, with 98% of graduates employed or pursuing further study one year after graduation. The Career Development staff is dedicated to students’ success.

Program Requirements

The combined BA/MPA program is highly competitive. To apply, 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) for consideration in the program and must have completed at least two quantitative courses (with a grade of B or higher). The BA/MPA program is open to all majors and is especially well suited for majors in Political Science and International Studies and those considering law school. Interested students should contact the BA/MPA Faculty Advisor at Purchase College, Dr. Ryan Taylor. 

Application Timeline

The BA/MPA application has two stages. First, you must apply for a nomination by the Purchase Faculty Advisor, Dr. Ryan Taylor. 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 or online) during the spring semester. Students should discuss their personal timeline with Dr. Taylor and the academic advisor for their major before applying.

  • April 1st - Nomination materials due to Dr. Taylor 
  • April 15th - Nomination review completed by Purchase College
  • May 1st - Applications due to the Rockefeller’s BA/MPA program
  • May 15th - Admissions decisions sent to students.
  • End of May – BA/MPA Meet and Greet with Faculty and Staff at Rockefeller

Nomination Checklist

  • Two letters of recommendation (1 must be from faculty at Purchase College)
  • 1-to-2-page statement of background and goals
  • Resume

For more details about the nomination process, please contact the Faculty Advisor at Purchase College, Dr. Ryan Taylor.

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.


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