This accelerated, dual-degree program at Rutgers-Camden is designed to graduate students with a master’s degree in as little as five years. The combined Bachelor of Arts in economics and master of public administration in the graduate Department of Public Policy and Administration prepares students for professional careers in government and public service or for further study in law or doctoral programs. It also provides the training and credentials necessary for career advancement in the public sector. Whether one wishes to move directly into the job market or to pursue another degree, the master’s degree provides a clear, competitive edge.


Since students in this innovative program begin the transition to graduate studies in their fourth undergraduate year, highly motivated individuals with strong academic records should consider this option. Individuals come from a variety of backgrounds including (1) traditional four-year undergraduates moving directly from high school to Rutgers, (2) transfer students from community colleges, and (3) professionals holding associate degrees and working in the public sector. In the case of a student returning to college, professional experience is considered in the admission.


In order to qualify for the joint-degree program, economics majors must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 and complete the three prerequisite courses for admission to the graduate program (statistics, economics, and American government). Statistics (and econometrics) and economics are already required for the economics major. American government must be taken as an undergraduate elective for the economics major before admission to the Graduate School.

Students will apply for admission during the first term of their senior year. Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 GPA can have their admission revoked. Students must be cleared by the chairs of the economics department and the M.P.A. program in order to register for graduate credit in the second term of their senior year. Students admitted to the M.P.A. program may count 9 of their graduate credits toward their economics requirements as well as their M.P.A. requirements, i.e. these courses will be double-counted toward the B.A. and M.P.A. degrees. This substitution has been approved by the economics faculty.

Fall/Junior Year

Students are identified, informed about the program, and referred to the Graduate Directors. Interested students may also meet with the Graduate Director to determine eligibility.

Spring/Junior Year

  1. The Graduate Program Director sends the student a letter of acceptance into the dual degree program before the April preregistration period. A copy of this letter is sent to Admissions, the Records Division of the Registrar’s Office, and to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.
  2. During the preregistration advising on the student’s senior year schedule, using a special permission number, the student is registered for one graduate course in the fall of the senior year. This course is taken along with his/her regular undergraduate courses. The undergraduate tuition rate is charged for it, and the credits are double counted (i.e. they are part of the 120 credits required for the BA or BS and are also counted toward the MA or MS).

Fall/Senior Year

Following the registration procedure described above, the student is registered for one graduate course to be taken in the spring semester of the senior year.

Spring/Senior Year

  1. The student formally applies to the Graduate School, following all normal procedures.
  2. The student is awarded the Baccalaureate degree.

Having been formally admitted to the graduate school, the student may begin taking courses in either the summer or the fall after graduation. Upon entering the graduate school, the student will already have completed two of the courses required for the Master’s degree. He/she will also have saved approximately $3,400 in graduate tuition.


The BA/MPA program allows students to take three graduate (MPA) courses while an undergraduate student.

No student will be classified as a graduate student or coded school 56 until after the Baccalaureate degree has been awarded.

Questions about this option should be directed to the appropriate program director.