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Best Online Master's in Public Administration Programs 2023

Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) programs offer a flexible and accessible pathway for individuals seeking to advance their careers in public service and government administration. 

These programs provide a comprehensive education in areas such as policy analysis, budgeting, ethics, and leadership, equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in various roles within the public sector. 

As the demand for skilled public administrators continues to grow, online MPA programs represent a convenient and valuable opportunity for individuals to make a meaningful impact in their communities and beyond.

Is Masters in Public Administration worth it?

Obtaining a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) is unquestionably worth it for many individuals, considering the potential benefits it can offer in terms of salary and job growth. 

Graduates with an MPA often command higher salaries compared to those with only a bachelor’s degree, especially in the public sector.  

With the increasing complexity of public policy, the demand for well-qualified public administrators continues to rise, making an MPA a valuable investment for those aspiring to make a meaningful and lucrative impact on society while enjoying promising career prospects.

Rutgers University-Newark

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $12,230
  • Out-of-state: $29,012
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $17,736
  • Out-of-state: $30,144
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
Best

American Public University

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $6,840
  • Out-of-state: $6,840
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $6,660
  • Out-of-state: $6,660
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
Best

Arkansas State University

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $10,200
  • Out-of-state: $10,200
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $11,412
  • Out-of-state: $11,412
  • Acceptance Rate: 63.3%
Best

What can I do with a Master's in Public Administration?

Public Administrator: As a public administrator, you can work in various roles within government agencies, managing programs, budgets, and policy implementation. Salaries can vary significantly depending on your location, level of government (local, state, federal), and specific role, but they generally range from $50,000 to $150,000 or more per year.

Nonprofit Manager: MPA graduates often find fulfilling careers in nonprofit organizations, where they can work as program managers, development directors, or executive directors. Salaries in the nonprofit sector can range from $45,000 to $100,000 or more, with executive director positions typically earning higher incomes.

Policy Analyst: Policy analysts conduct research, analyze data, and provide recommendations to government agencies, think tanks, or advocacy groups. Salaries for policy analysts typically range from $50,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the organization and level of experience.

Healthcare Administrator: MPA graduates can specialize in healthcare administration, overseeing the operations of healthcare facilities or working in public health departments. Salaries in healthcare administration often range from $60,000 to $150,000 or more, depending on the size and type of healthcare organization.

Urban and Regional Planner: Urban and regional planners work to develop sustainable and organized communities. Salaries for planners typically range from $50,000 to $90,000, with senior positions earning more.

Environmental Policy Analyst: Those interested in environmental issues can work as policy analysts, advising organizations and government agencies on environmental policy and sustainability initiatives. Salaries vary but can range from $50,000 to $100,000 or more.

Public Relations Specialist: MPA graduates with strong communication skills can pursue careers in public relations, promoting government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or advocacy groups. Salaries for public relations specialists range from $45,000 to $85,000 or more.

International Relations Specialist: If you’re interested in global affairs, an MPA can lead to roles in international organizations, diplomacy, or foreign service. Salaries can vary widely, with positions in international organizations often paying competitive wages.

Best Online Master's in Public Administration Programs

1. Rutgers University-Newark

Rutgers University-Newark offers an exceptional Online Master’s in Public Administration program that is worth considering. Admission to this program typically requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and is competitive, with a minimum GPA requirement. 

The curriculum is comprehensive, covering topics such as public policy, budgeting, ethics, and leadership. With flexibility in mind, this online MPA program allows students to complete their degree at their own pace, with a range of elective courses available. 

The program typically consists of 36-credit hours, including core courses and electives. Students may also have access to funding support, including scholarships, assistantships, and financial aid options, making it more accessible for those seeking a quality education in public administration. 

Rutgers University-Newark’s Online MPA program equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in a wide range of public service and governmental roles while accommodating the diverse needs of its student body.

Rutgers University-Newark

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $12,230
  • Out-of-state: $29,012
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $17,736
  • Out-of-state: $30,144
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
Best

2. American Public University

American Public University offers a notable Online Master’s in Public Administration program, which caters to the needs of individuals seeking a quality education in public administration. 

Admission to the program is generally accessible, typically requiring a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and the minimum GPA requirement is reasonable. The curriculum is comprehensive, encompassing subjects like public policy analysis, budgeting, public leadership, and ethics. 

The program is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing students to pursue their studies at their own pace. It typically consists of 36-credit hours, including core courses and electives. 

Furthermore, American Public University strives to make education affordable, with various funding support options, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities available for students, ensuring that aspiring public administrators can access a quality education without incurring substantial debt.

This program equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in various public service and government roles while providing a flexible and accessible platform for professional growth.

American Public University

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $6,840
  • Out-of-state: $6,840
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $6,660
  • Out-of-state: $6,660
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
Best

3. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University’s Online Master’s in Public Administration program offers an excellent opportunity for individuals seeking to advance their careers in public service. 

Admission to the program is typically attainable, with requirements generally including a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and a moderate GPA threshold. 

The curriculum is comprehensive and includes essential subjects such as public policy analysis, budgeting, leadership, and ethics. The program typically consists of 36-credit hours, encompassing core courses and elective options. 

Arkansas State University is dedicated to making education accessible, offering funding support, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities to assist students in pursuing their academic and career goals in public administration. 

This program equips students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in a range of public service and government roles, fostering professional growth and leadership development.

Arkansas State University

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $10,200
  • Out-of-state: $10,200
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $11,412
  • Out-of-state: $11,412
  • Acceptance Rate: 63.3%
Best

4. Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global’s Online Master’s in Public Administration program is a noteworthy choice for those seeking a high-quality education in public administration. 

Admission to the program is typically accessible, with requirements usually including a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a reasonable GPA threshold. The curriculum is comprehensive, covering essential subjects such as public policy, budgeting, leadership, and ethics. 

This program typically consists of 48 credit hours, with a mix of core courses and electives allowing students to tailor their education to their career goals.

 Purdue University Global strives to make education affordable, offering funding support, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities for students, making it accessible to a broader range of aspiring public administrators. 

Purdue University Global

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $10,080
  • Out-of-state: $13,356
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $8,766
  • Out-of-state: $9,740
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
Best

5. Sul Ross State University

Sul Ross State University offers an Online Master’s in Public Administration program that provides an opportunity for individuals looking to enhance their careers in public service. 

Admission to the program is typically attainable, with requirements generally including a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and a moderate GPA threshold. The curriculum covers essential subjects such as public policy analysis, budgeting, leadership, and ethics. 

The program typically consists of 36-credit hours, including core courses and elective options. 

Sul Ross State University is dedicated to making education accessible, and it offers funding support, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities to help students pursue their academic and career goals in public administration. 

This program equips students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in various public service and government roles, fostering professional growth and leadership development, all within a convenient online learning environment.

Sul Ross State University

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $6,547
  • Out-of-state: $18,817
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $4,162
  • Out-of-state: $11,524
  • Acceptance Rate: 81%

6. Walden University

Walden University offers an Online Master’s in Public Administration program that provides a flexible and accessible path for individuals seeking a higher degree in public administration. 

Admission to the program is typically achievable, requiring a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and the GPA threshold is generally reasonable. The program covers a broad spectrum of subjects, including public policy analysis, budgeting, leadership, and ethics. 

Typically, it consists of 48-credit hours, with a mix of core courses and elective options, allowing students to customize their education. 

Walden University offers various funding support options, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities, making it more accessible for students pursuing a career in public administration. 

This program equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in a variety of public service and government roles while offering the flexibility and convenience of an online learning format.

Walden University

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $10,139
  • Out-of-state: $10,139
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $10,272
  • Out-of-state: $10,272
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%

7. University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia’s Online Master’s in Public Administration program is an excellent choice for those looking to advance their careers in public service. 

Admission to the program is typically accessible, with requirements generally including a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a reasonable GPA threshold. The curriculum covers essential subjects such as public policy analysis, budgeting, leadership, and ethics. 

The program typically consists of 36 credit hours, which include a mix of core courses and elective options, allowing students to customize their educational experience. 

The University of West Georgia is dedicated to making education affordable and accessible, offering funding support, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities to help students achieve their academic and career goals in public administration. 

University of West Georgia

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $10,716
  • Out-of-state: $10,716
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $12,632
  • Out-of-state: $12,632
  • Acceptance Rate: 69.7%

8. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida’s Online Master’s in Public Administration program offers a high-quality and flexible education for individuals looking to excel in public service. 

Admission to the program is generally accessible, typically requiring a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a competitive yet reasonable GPA threshold. The curriculum is comprehensive, covering crucial subjects such as public policy analysis, budgeting, leadership, and ethics. 

The program typically consists of 42 credit hours, comprising core courses and elective options that allow students to customize their academic journey. 

UCF provides a range of funding support options, including scholarships and financial aid opportunities, making education more affordable and accessible for students pursuing a career in public administration. 

University of Central Florida

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $5,954
  • Out-of-state: $5,954
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $13,747
  • Out-of-state: $48,372
  • Acceptance Rate: 36.4%

9. University of North Carolina at Pembroke

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Online Master’s in Public Administration program offers a valuable opportunity for individuals seeking a higher degree in public administration. 

Admission to the program is generally accessible, typically requiring a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a competitive yet reasonable GPA threshold. 

The program provides a comprehensive curriculum covering key subjects such as public policy analysis, budgeting, leadership, and ethics. Typically comprising 36 credit hours, which include core courses and elective options, this program allows students to tailor their education. 

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers various funding support options, including scholarships and financial aid, to ensure that students from diverse backgrounds can pursue a career in public administration. 

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $3,495
  • Out-of-state: $7,495
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $10,746
  • Out-of-state: $37,946
  • Acceptance Rate: 91.8%

10. Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University’s Online Master’s in Public Administration program provides a compelling educational option for individuals looking to advance their careers in public service. 

The curriculum encompasses essential subjects such as public policy analysis, budgeting, leadership, and ethics, providing students with a comprehensive foundation. 

The program typically consists of 36 credit hours, including core courses and elective options to tailor the educational experience. 

Valdosta State University offers various funding support options, including scholarships and financial aid, making education more affordable and attainable for aspiring public administrators. 

This program equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in various public service and government roles, all while enjoying the convenience and flexibility of an online learning format.

Valdosta State University

  • Average Undergrad Tuition
  • In-state: $3,550
  • Out-of-state: $10,459
  • Average Graduate Tuition
  • In-state: $11,988
  • Out-of-state: $11,988
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%

What is an online Master's in Public Administration (MPA) program?

An online Master’s in Public Administration program is a graduate-level degree program that focuses on preparing students for careers in public service and government administration. It is typically offered through accredited universities and is accessible via online platforms.

What are the admission requirements for an online MPA program?

Admission requirements can vary by institution, but they often include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a competitive GPA. Some programs may also require standardized test scores, such as the GRE.

Are online MPA programs as reputable as traditional on-campus programs?

The reputation of an online MPA program depends on the university offering it. Many accredited universities offer online MPA programs of high quality. It’s essential to research the program’s accreditation and the university’s reputation to ensure credibility.

Can I work while pursuing an online MPA program?

Yes, one of the significant advantages of online MPA programs is the flexibility they offer, allowing students to work while studying. Many programs are designed to accommodate working professionals.

How long does it take to complete an online MPA program?

The duration of an online MPA program can vary but typically takes two to three years to complete, depending on whether you study full-time or part-time.

What types of courses can I expect in an online MPA program?

Coursework usually covers topics such as public policy analysis, budgeting, ethics, leadership, and various specialized areas like healthcare administration, environmental policy, or nonprofit management.

Are there any financial aid options available for online MPA programs?

Yes, many universities offer financial aid, scholarships, grants, and fellowships to help students with the cost of their MPA education. Be sure to research and apply for these opportunities.

Can I specialize in a particular area within public administration through an online MPA program?

Yes, many programs offer specialization options, allowing you to focus on specific areas like healthcare management, environmental policy, or nonprofit administration.

Can I transfer credits from previous graduate courses into an online MPA program?

This depends on the institution’s policies. Some universities may accept transfer credits if they align with the program’s curriculum and meet certain criteria.

What career opportunities are available with an online MPA degree?

Graduates of online MPA programs can pursue various career paths in public administration, including roles in government, nonprofit organizations, healthcare administration, urban planning, and more. Career options may vary based on your specialization and experience.

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