A career in public administration can provide you with a substantial salary and the satisfaction of serving and helping others. Holding a public administration bachelor's degree qualifies you for a variety of entry-level jobs, but graduates of online public administration master's programs can pursue advanced management and leadership positions.

Public administration professionals commonly work in government and nonprofit service, but they are also found in the private sector, in fields like human resources management, fundraising, and communications. According to Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, professionals with a public administration master's degree earn a median salary of $75,000, compared to the $62,000 median salary earned by those with a bachelor's degree.

Some graduate students eventually decide to pursue further postgraduate education. Earning a doctorate in public administration prepares experienced professionals for careers in academia and research.

2019's Best Accredited Online MPA Programs

Once you decide to pursue a master's in public administration online, you face another major decision: choosing what schools to apply to. With remote learning opportunities available at universities across the U.S., it can be difficult to narrow down your options. To help you along, we've compiled a ranked list of the best MPA programs, which you can find below.

Our college rankings strive to provide the most relevant information sought by prospective students. School- and program-specific details you may encounter touch on subjects like program format (online versus hybrid; synchronous versus asynchronous), unique degree requirements or features, typical degree timelines, and tuition discounts for online students.

If you want to know more about one of the online MPA programs featured here, we encourage you to reach out to an admissions specialist at the school in question.

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 91%

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers one of the best online MPA programs in the country. The flexible program proves ideal for busy students with personal or professional responsibilities.

The curriculum begins with foundational coursework in areas including public service leadership, organizational theory, and public administration analysis. After completing core classes, students can pursue a specialization in local government, nonprofit management, public health, or international relations. Students can further customize their learning through electives, research and portfolio projects, and an optional on-campus immersion experience.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. UNC-Chapel Hill does not require public service experience, though a professional background in the field can improve the applicant's chances of admission. Applicants must submit GRE, GMAT, or LSAT scores and an application fee. Students with significant work experience can apply for an entrance exam waiver.

Approximately 60% of UNC-Chapel Hill students pursuing their master's in public administration online receive financial support through a university fellowship program. These aid programs typically require exceptional academic achievement, and recipients must generally commit to at least three years of public service after graduation. The MPA program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Local government, public management, nonprofit management, public health, international relations
Tuition: $1,209/credit
Credit Requirements: 45 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE, GMAT, or LSAT

Contact
Phone: (919) 966-5381
Email: OnlineMPA@unc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

2

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 94%

Northwestern University's online master's in public policy and administration equips students with the skills necessary to address global challenges in the field of public service. The program offers various courses of study to prepare students for careers in health service, urban and regional planning, politics, and foreign affairs.

The program features fully online, asynchronous coursework; students view lectures and complete assignments on their own schedule and from anywhere. In addition to core classes in public finance, research, and leadership, students can choose from five specializations. For example, an aspiring town manager may specialize in public administration, which covers topics including personnel management in the public sector and local legislative processes.

All students complete either a capstone project or research thesis. In the capstone course, students partner with a local government agency or nonprofit organization and apply theoretical knowledge to a practical public administration issue. Students considering pursuing a doctorate or a career in academia often follow the thesis track, which requires them to collect and analyze original research.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants do not need professional experience or GRE scores, though both can bolster an applicant's chances of admission. Northwestern University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master's in Public Policy and Administration
Available Concentrations: Public administration, public policy, global policy, global health, data analytics for public policy
Tuition: $1,150/credit
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE (recommended)

Contact
Phone: (312) 503-6950
Email: spsadmissions@northwestern.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

3

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 92%

Students in University of Southern California's online MPA program gain practical experience and research skills. The curriculum prepares students for leadership roles at government agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, and public policy institutes. Graduates often pursue careers in financial and personnel management and positions in the private sector.

After reviewing foundational topics including economics, intersectoral leadership, and program evaluation, students select a concentration in local government, nonprofit management, or public policy. During their final semester, students complete a capstone project with a small group of peers. The capstone involves working on a particular issue for a client agency. For example, students may partner with an elected official to create an online system for communicating with constituents. The group that produces the best capstone project receives a cash prize.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, and USC prefers applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

USC also offers graduate certificates in city/county management and public policy. Each certificate requires fewer than half of the credits of the master of public administration. The MPA program at USC holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Nonprofit management, local government, public policy
Tuition: $1,666/credit
Credit Requirements: 40 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: 213.740.2311
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

4

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 93%

Johns Hopkins University's master of arts in public management is one of the best MPA programs in the country. Johns Hopkins offers a strong core curriculum that includes classes in public financial management, quantitative methods, policy analysis, economics, and public management. In addition, all students must complete a capstone project.

Though the program does not feature formal concentrations, students can take a wide variety of classes. Those interested in fiscal issues can take classes in budget and tax policy. Learners interested in international affairs can complete coursework in European security, the politics of global terrorism, and diplomatic relations in Latin America. Students who want to specialize can apply to one of our combined certificate programs in the fields of government analytics, intelligence, and nonprofit management.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and must submit a resume, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, a policy- or management-oriented writing sample, and an application fee.

While Johns Hopkins does not accept transfer graduate credits, students with previous graduate-level coursework may qualify for advanced standing at the discretion of the program director. The MA in public management program is a member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and is licensed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Arts in Public Management
Tuition: $1,370/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 847-3330
Email: aapinfo@jhu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

5

American University

Washington, DC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

American University offers a flexible online master of public administration and policy program. Students can access virtual classrooms at all hours, which proves ideal for working professionals and students with personal responsibilities. In addition, 100% of program alumni report getting a job or opting to continue their education within six months of graduation.

The 36-credit program consists of 12 courses, covering topics including legal issues in public administration, public managerial economics, and quantitative methods. The program culminates with a policy analysis practicum during which students create a statement of work, develop a project plan, conduct research, and present their findings.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's in any major from an accredited college or university. Applicants must submit GRE or LSAT scores, but AU may waive the requirement for applicants with substantial work experience. International students must provide results from the test of English as a foreign language. Prospective students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher who demonstrate financial need may qualify for an American University online merit scholarship.

One of the most comprehensive online MPA programs available, AU's program incorporates coursework from the university's master in public administration and master in public policy programs, both of which hold accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration and Policy
Tuition: $1,708/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE or LSAT

Contact
Phone: (855) 725-7614
Email: admissions@american.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

6

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

Texas A&M delivers its executive master of public service and administration through asynchronous coursework. The school offers the program entirely online, with the exception of a two-week residency on the College Station campus. Students earning the master's degree in public administration online can schedule the required residency in the summer or fall to reduce conflicts.

After completing coursework in economics and research methods, students choose a specialized track in homeland security, nonprofit management, or public management. The homeland security track features classes in emergency management, cybersecurity, and terrorism — preparing students to prevent and respond to cyberthreats. All students complete a capstone project during the final year of the program.

In addition to a bachelor's degree, applicants need at least five years of professional experience in a public service role; internships and volunteer experience do not meet this requirement. Applicants must also submit a resume, a statement of purpose, an application fee, and GRE or GMAT scores.

Online learners can apply for the Outstanding Online Student Scholarship, which provides up to $1,000 to students with at least a 3.0 GPA, and the Texas Aggie Graduate Grant Opportunity, which provides up to $3,000 per year to Texas residents who demonstrate financial need. The master of public service and administration program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Executive Master of Public Service and Administration
Available Concentrations: Homeland security, nonprofit management, public management
Tuition: $1,750/credit
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online (with a required two-week residency)
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Work experience: 5 years

Contact
Phone: (979) 862-3469
Email: bushschoolonline@tamu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

7

California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

CSULB students can earn a master of public administration online and in an accelerated format. The program caters to working professionals who want to gain skills and knowledge to advance their career. Along with completing asynchronous coursework, students participate in one synchronous session each week.

Though open to all students who aspire to leadership roles in the public or nonprofit sectors, CSULB's program focuses on learners seeking employment in municipal government. Students complete 24 credits in government budgeting, organizational theory and behavior, and research methods in public administration. Learners then take 15 elective credits on topics such as negotiating dynamics, public sector employer-employee relations, and urban affairs.

Each class lasts six weeks, and part-time students can graduate in as few as 22 months. Applicants need a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and at least two years of professional experience in public service. CSULB may waive the GPA requirement for applicants with significant professional or managerial-level experience. Applicants do not need to take any kind of entrance exam.

The program boasts a network of nearly 2,000 alumni, and a large percentage of graduates work in Southern California. CSULB holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Tuition: $500/unit
Credit Requirements: 39 units
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (800) 963-2250
Email: Jenny.Sok@csulb.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

8

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 70%

The University of Central Florida offers an online MPA program that emphasizes service learning. Students hone professional skills while bettering their community. UCF's offering serves as one of the top online public administration master's programs in the country for students interested in combining classroom and experiential learning.

Learners complete core coursework in public budgeting and human resource management, and UCF strongly recommends that all students complete an internship with a government agency or nonprofit organization. UCF may allow online learners to meet this requirement at their current place of employment, or program coordinators can pair distance students with a partner organization in the student's community. Students also complete a capstone course that uses case studies to explore challenges in the public sector.

While the program does not feature formal concentrations, students can pursue a dual degree in criminal justice or nonprofit management. Academic advisers help students select elective classes that match their personal interests and professional goals.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement outlining their qualifications and career plans within public service. Students with exceptional academic and extracurricular achievements may qualify for graduate fellowships. The MPA program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Tuition: $327.32/credit in-state; $694.82/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (407) 823-2766
Email: gradadmissions@ucf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

9

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Florida International University offers a fully online, globally accredited, and largely asynchronous master of public administration program. Full-time FIU professors and experienced practitioner leaders teach all of the program's courses, ensuring online students learn from top scholars and accomplished practitioners in the field.

The program consists of 42 credits, and over 85% of students graduate within two years. Students complete core courses in topics such as policy analysis, human resources management, public budgeting and finance, and quantitative applications. Learners can customize the degree by choosing from one of the five specializations, which includes public finance, procurement, and contract management. This specialization will prepare students for careers as treasurers, CFOs, chief procurement officers, and controllers for government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Students who enter the program with fewer than three years of professional experience in public service must complete an internship. The MPA internship instructor and coordinator help match a student with a partner organization. Internships must consist of at least 300 hours of service.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and those with an undergraduate GPA below 3.25 must submit GRE, GMAT, or LSAT scores. Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation and a three-page essay outlining their career goals. The MPA program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Various scholarships are available.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Nonprofit and community development; human resource policy and management; homeland security and emergency management; international and comparative public administration; public finance, procurement, and contract management
Tuition: $379.95/credit in-state; $520.05/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: less than 2 years

Delivery
Format: Fully Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: Applicants with a GPA below 3.25 must submit GRE, GMAT, or LSAT scores

Contact
Phone: (305) 348-5890
Email: scheng@fiu.edu, Dr. Shaoming Cheng, MPA Director
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

10

Rutgers University - Newark

Newark, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Rutgers trains future government and nonprofit leaders and scholars through its master of public administration program. Full-time students can earn a top-ranked master's degree in public administration entirely online in two years.

The program's core curriculum covers topics such as policy analysis, personnel management, and budgeting. Students choose a specialization in budgeting and financial management, healthcare administration, nonprofit management, or public and nonprofit performance management. All students complete a capstone project during which they apply classroom knowledge to a practical challenge.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, and those with a GPA below 3.0 must submit GRE scores. Applicants must also submit an application fee, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and an essay describing their reasons for applying.

Rutgers offers several scholarships, including the Louis Eckstein Fellowship, which supports graduate students with outstanding academic achievements. The Annette McIntyre Family Endowed Scholarship provides aid to MPA students who commit to public service careers. Students can also apply for part-time research and teaching support positions.

The MPA program holds accreditation from both the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and the International Commission on Accreditation of Public Administration Education and Training.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Budgeting and financial management; healthcare administration, nonprofit management; public and nonprofit performance management
Tuition: $958/credit
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE required if an applicant's GPA is below 3.0

Contact
Phone: (732) 445-4636
Email: spaa@newark.rutgers.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

11

Villanova University

Villanova, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 90%

Students earning their master of public administration at Villanova gain the leadership and analytical skills necessary to succeed in the field. The program features fully online, asynchronous coursework and four start dates throughout the year.

The MPA program includes 18 credits of required courses, such as public administration theory, human capital management, and applied data analysis. The remaining 18 credits comprise elective classes that match each student's professional aspirations. Learners can take a class in fundraising to prepare for careers in nonprofit management or a course on urban politics to prepare for work in municipal government.

MPA students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in all courses and must pass a comprehensive exam. The essay-based exam requires learners to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills they developed during their coursework.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, but Villanova requires no minimum undergraduate GPA or standardized test scores. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and a two-page statement outlining their career goals. Villanova offers a 10% tuition discount to military personnel, veterans, and their families. The MPA program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Tuition: $925/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (855) 300-1473
Email: gradinformation@villanova.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

12

University of Illinois at Springfield

Springfield, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Students pursuing an online master of public administration at UIS can customize their education by pursuing online certificates in addition to the degree. For example, an MPA student who aspires to lead a nonprofit can earn a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, while a student interested in municipal government may pursue a graduate certificate in community planning.

The MPA program begins with foundational coursework in organizational dynamics, public policy for managers, and information-driven decision-making. Students complete a capstone course, which involves identifying a pressing challenge in public service leadership, collecting research, and writing a major paper outlining proposed solutions. Students present capstone findings to classmates or a faculty committee.

Applicants need at least a bachelor's degree and either a 2.5 undergraduate GPA or a sufficient GRE score. UIS offers about 170 scholarships, including the Julia J. Henderson Award, which provides funding to students committed to improving the delivery of vital government services.

UIS also offers a joint MPA/master of public health program that prepares students for roles as medical administrators and leaders of government health agencies. The MPA program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Tuition: $362.25/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (optional)

Contact
Phone: (217) 206-6310
Email: mpa@uis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

13

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 74%

San Diego State University offers an accelerated path to earning a master's degree in public administration online. Through asynchronous coursework and on-campus experiences at the beginning and end of the program, part-time students currently working in the public sector can graduate in just 16 months.

After completing a one-week residency, students enroll in eight-week foundational classes in quantitative approaches, administration and public policy development, and public personnel management. Students may then choose four elective courses based on personal and professional interests, such as urban government administration, employer/employee relations, and comparative public administration.

Most students enter the program with at least two years of professional experience at a government agency or nonprofit organization. These students can waive the internship requirement, allowing them to graduate faster. Students without sufficient experience must partner with a local public service organization to develop practical experience in the sector.

All applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. SDSU recommends an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, but students may receive provisional admission with a GPA of 2.85 or higher. Applicants without an advanced degree must submit results from the GRE. Admissions officers recommend a score in the 35th percentile or better. The public administration program at SDSU holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Tuition: $509/unit
Credit Requirements: 36 units
Program Length: 16 months

Delivery
Format: Online (with two on-campus residencies required)
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.85 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work experience: 2 years (waivers available)

Contact
Phone: (619) 594-5821
Email: extended@sdsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

14

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

Indiana University Bloomington combined the curriculum of its on-campus master of public administration and master of public policy programs to create its innovative and fully online master of public affairs degree.

Students begin by exploring foundational subjects, like public management economics, law and public affairs, and statistical analysis for effective decision-making. As they progress through the program, students select an advanced curriculum track, specializing in public management, nonprofit management, policy analysis, or public budgeting and financial management. All students must meet the program's experiential requirement by participating in an approved internship, submitting a portfolio of professional experience in public service, or completing an independent or group research project.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree, though IU Bloomington's O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) does not require a minimum undergraduate GPA. Students may also optionally submit scores from the GRE to bolster admission chances. All applicants automatically receive consideration for the SPEA Fellowship Program, which provides aid to prospective students who demonstrate exceptional academic potential and significant financial need.

Students unsure of whether to pursue a full master's may instead earn a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, public management, or public budgeting. Certificate programs require roughly half of the time and cost of a graduate degree. IU Bloomington holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Affairs
Available Concentrations: Public management, nonprofit management, policy analysis, public budgeting and financial management
Tuition: $619/credit in-state; $1,268.75/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE (optional)

Contact
Phone: (800) 765-7755
Email: speaapps@indiana.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

15

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 80%

Rutgers hosts one of the nation's best online MPA programs, providing students across the country with exceptional training in government and nonprofit management. Offered through the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, the program consists of 42 credits and takes part-time students about two years to complete. Asynchronous coursework enables students to watch lectures, engage with classmates, and complete assignments whenever and wherever is most convenient for them.

The school organizes its core curriculum around four foundational areas: the history and current context of public administration, research and analytical skills, human resources and organizational management, and financial management. After finishing the 33 core credits, students earn nine additional credits within one of four concentrations: healthcare administration, nonprofit management, finance and budgeting management, or public and nonprofit performance management.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 during college must also submit GRE results. Applicants submit three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and a personal statement. The MPA program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master's in Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Public and nonprofit performance management, healthcare administration, nonprofit management, finance and budgeting management
Tuition: $1,058/credit
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE is required if an applicant's GPA is below 3.0

Contact
Phone: (888) 896-7601
Email: TLT@docs.rutgers.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

16

Golden Gate University

San Francisco, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 56%

The online public administration master's program at Golden Gate University serves working professionals seeking to advance their career. Through asynchronous classes and course credit for professional experience, students can meet the requirements of the program's accelerated curriculum in just 18 months.

The program begins with 24 credits of required courses in public policy analysis and program evaluation, public enterprise management and public sector business relations, and personnel management and labor relations. All students must complete a graduate research project, involving the collection of original data or the analysis and synthesis of multiple existing datasets.

To earn the last 12 credits required for the degree, students must choose a concentration. The judicial administration specialization prepares students for leadership roles in court systems, while the law enforcement and security concentration prepares students to serve in public safety roles. The urban innovations concentration allows students to explore subjects like urban growth and economic development, preparing for service as municipal managers or planners. Students unsure of their career path may pursue a general concentration.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree, though GGU does not set a minimum GPA or require GRE scores. Applicants may optionally submit a personal statement to detail additional qualifications. GGU holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Executive Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Judicial administration, law enforcement and security, urban innovations
Tuition: $795/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (415) 442-7800
Email: info@ggu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

17

California State University - Northridge

Northridge, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

Students pursuing the master's in public administration online at California State University, Northridge benefit from a versatile program. Learners can study online, on the school's campus in Southern California, or through a hybrid blend of the two. Students can also select one of three concentrations: healthcare administration, nonprofit sector management, or public sector management and leadership.

Students specializing in healthcare administration take courses in healthcare ethics and professionalism, the management of change in healthcare organizations, and health delivery systems in the United States. This curriculum prepares students to take on leadership positions at hospitals and state or federal health and human services agencies.

All students, no matter which track they choose, must complete a culminating research project. In this course, students revise a research paper they wrote for an earlier class, adjusting and enhancing their argument with the full scope of knowledge they developed in their graduate studies. Students submit this manuscript as a conference paper or journal article.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree, at least a 3.0 college GPA, and two years of professional experience in the public sector. While CSUN does not require GRE scores, applicants who score higher than three on the exam's analytical writing section may waive the upper-division writing exam requirement. Prospective students with a GPA lower than 3.0 may submit three letters of recommendation to apply for provisional admission. CSUN holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Healthcare administration, nonprofit sector management, public sector management and leadership
Tuition: $738/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (866) 873-6439
Email: exl@csun.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

18

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

Through one of the best MPA programs in the United States, the University of San Francisco prepares students to lead in the public arena. USF offers all MPA courses online in an asynchronous format, enabling students to learn on their own schedule and at their own pace. Part-time students typically graduate in two years.

The 39-credit program features coursework in organizational behavior, public finance and economics, strategic planning, and information technology and digital trends in the public sector. After completing core classes, students can choose a course of elective study or enroll in the health services administration concentration, preparing for careers leading healthcare organizations or government agencies.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree. The school does not require GRE scores, but it encourages students with lower undergraduate GPAs to take the exam to bolster their application. Applicants must submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Transfer students may apply up to six credits from another institution toward their MPA, provided they maintained at least a 2.0 GPA in those courses.

USF offers several scholarships to MPA students. Students working in local, state, or federal civil service, for example, may apply for the Civil Servant Merit Scholarship. In addition, the Dean's Merit Scholarship supports students based on academic achievement. USF holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Health services administration
Tuition: $1,170/credit
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE (recommended)

Contact
Phone: (415) 422-2221
Email: management@usfca.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

19

Brandman University

Irvine, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

Brandman University provides an affordable and flexible path to earning a master's in public administration. Students can complete all coursework online, preparing for careers in government service and nonprofit administration. The program also offers a hybrid format, so students can choose whether to learn at a distance or alongside their classmates on the university's campus in Irvine, California.

Brandman's MPA core curriculum consists of 27 credits, covering topics like public finance, labor relations and collective bargaining, data analysis for decision-making, and local government. Students must also complete an action learning project in which they work to solve a practical challenge at a partner public service organization. After meeting core requirements, students may choose elective classes or pursue a formal emphasis in organizational leadership.

To pursue the online MPA at Brandman, applicants need a bachelor's degree. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA meets the academic requirements for the program; students with a GPA between 2.5-2.9 should submit scores from the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT. Brandman also allows students to submit a portfolio demonstrating their readiness to study at the graduate level. These portfolios typically include examples of professional work, academic writing samples, and letters of recommendation from former professors. Brandman holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Organizational leadership
Tuition: $650/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE required if an applicant's GPA is below 3.0

Contact
Phone: (877) 516-4501
Email: apply@brandman.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

20

Appalachian State University

Boone, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

Appalachian State University's master of public administration program caters to students looking to combine the support of a traditional classroom environment with the convenience of online education. While most classes meet face-to-face during the evenings, Appalachian does integrate online elements to enhance the learning experience and support students who find it difficult to travel to campus.

In addition to required classes in public policy analysis, public personnel administration, and budgeting and fiscal administration, students must complete two capstone courses. The first course, focused on developing students' analytical skills, requires learners to identify a research question, collect original data, and present their findings. The second, more practice-oriented seminar involves discussion of ethical dilemmas faced by public service professionals, leadership skills refinement, and activities to help graduates secure employment, such as networking and resume building.

All prospective MPA students at Appalachian need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Admissions officers give preference to candidates with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA who score higher than the 25th percentile on the GRE or GMAT.

To help finance their degree, students may apply for a graduate assistantship or fellowship. Appalachian awards these positions based on academic achievement, professional qualifications, and financial need. The MPA program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Tuition: $266/credit in-state; $896/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 recommended
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (828) 262-3113
Email: online@appstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

21

Clemson University

Clemson, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

Clemson University's online master's in public policy and administration attracts students with diverse professional backgrounds in local and state government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academia. This mix of experience and perspectives strengthens the learning experience, as students synchronously log in to a virtual classroom to learn from and alongside their classmates. Classes typically run once per week during the evenings, and most part-time students take roughly two years to earn the degree.

After completing foundational coursework in the public policy process, American government, and research methods in public administration, students can specialize in emergency management, government administration, homeland defense and security, nonprofit administration, or regional sustainability. Students may also design their own course of study, using electives on topics like education, youth development, and city and regional planning to prepare for specific careers.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree and recent GRE scores above 140 on the verbal and quantitative sections. Applicants may apply for a GRE waiver if they possess more than 10 years of professional experience in public service or five years of experience and at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Transfer students may apply up to 12 graduate-level credits from a regionally accredited institution to the degree. Clemson holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Emergency management, government, homeland defense and security, nonprofit administration, regional sustainability
Tuition: $742/credit
Credit Requirements: 39-42 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (864) 656-3400
Email: kemmons@clemson.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

22

The University of West Florida

Pensacola, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Through its online master of science in administration with a specialization in public administration, the University of West Florida prepares students for leadership roles in public and nonprofit management. Along with core classes in public service ethics, public budgeting, and public personnel management, students complete one of two specialized certificates: acquisition and contract administration or leadership in public service and nonprofit administration.

The acquisition and contract administration certificate offers training outlined by the United States Congress and the federal Office of Management and Budget, preparing students for roles in government and civilian contracting. Students complete coursework in government contract law, acquisition administration, and government cost and pricing analysis.

The leadership certificate develops broader expertise, making it ideal for students who want to build skills that are useful across a variety of industries. Earning this certificate requires completing classes in leadership, the nonprofit profession, and strategic management for public organizations. All students must complete a capstone course in which they design an action research project to address a challenge in the public sector.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA. In addition, applicants must submit three references and results from the GRE or GMAT; UWF does not set a minimum score for these exams. UWF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Administration, with a specialization in Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Acquisition and contract administration, leadership in public service and nonprofit administration
Tuition: $384.60/credit in-state; $1,044.24/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT (min. Verbal: 140; Quantitative: 140; Analytical: 3.5)

Contact
Phone: (850) 474-2036
Email: halibasic@uwf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

23

California State University - San Bernardino

San Bernardino, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Students at California State University, San Bernardino can earn a master's degree in public administration on campus or almost entirely online. The program offers advanced training in financial management and leadership, small class sizes, and a variety of career resources.

The program's leadership concentration explores theories and best practices in human resource management, administrative law, and distributed and collaborative leadership. The public financial management concentration focuses on topics like economic development, public sector labor relations, and public procurement principles.

All students must pass a comprehensive examination. This exam, which students must take on the CSUSB campus, requires demonstration of critical thinking skills and mastery of core and specialization coursework. Students must also complete career development activities, such as a personalized career counseling session, mock interview, and professional resume critique.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students with GPAs between 2.75 and 2.99 may apply for provisional acceptance, though they must also submit GRE scores. The MPA program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Affairs, Policy and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Leadership, public financial management
Tuition: $535/credit in-state; $799/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE if an applicant's GPA is below 3.0

Contact
Phone: (909) 537-5758
Email: tditty@csusb.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

24

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

Nova Southeastern University offers a customizable master's in public administration for working professionals. With the exception of a one-weekend residency on the university's Fort Lauderdale campus, students can meet all the degree requirements entirely online through asynchronous coursework.

Offered through the university's H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship, the MPA program begins with required courses in subjects like public sector statistical analysis, managing information and technology in the public sector, and administrative law and ethics. The program also features concentrations in criminal justice, disaster and emergency management, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, and local and state administration.

After finishing coursework, students must complete a program capstone. The capstone requires a research project or a public service internship or practicum. Alternatively, students can enroll in a one-week integrative seminar, which requires an additional visit to NSU's Florida campus.

Prospective students need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants with a lower GPA must submit GRE or GMAT scores to apply for provisional admission. Admission officers at NSU recommend scores of at least 306 on the GRE and 450 on the GMAT. Applicants also submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a brief essay. This program holds accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Affairs, Policy, and Administration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Criminal justice, disaster and emergency management, nonprofit organizations, state and local administration
Tuition: $899/credit
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: 16-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online (one brief residency required)
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE required if an applicant's GPA is below 3.0

Contact
Phone: (800) 672-7223
Email: hcbeinfo@nova.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

25

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 84%

Based in Coral Gables, Florida, the University of Miami offers a fully online master of public administration which learners can complete in two years. The 36-credit program requires learners to progress through 12 classes, one at a time, in a predetermined order. Each course lasts seven weeks. Topics include organizational dynamics, human resource management in public service, and productivity improvement in the public and nonprofit sectors. The program does not require set login times and uses Blackboard to deliver its asynchronous coursework.

The program offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. For students who reside nearby, UM offers several on-campus networking events during which students can meet faculty, classmates, and employers. Professors hold weekly live office hours and students can also access class discussion boards, online career services, and around-the-clock tech support. Entrepreneurial students can also use the university's Launchpad service to start a business.

Applicants must complete an online application and submit official transcripts, GRE scores, two professional recommendations, a resume, and a personal statement detailing their career background and goals. Applicants may receive a test score waiver if they have completed at least 18 credits of graduate-level coursework or can demonstrate significant work experience in nonprofit, public, or government-related private sector fields. UM is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Administration
Tuition: $2,030/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (800) 411-2290
Email: onlineinfo@miami.edu Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

If you would like to learn more about what to expect when earning a master's degree in public administration online, visit our degree guide for information on admissions, curricula, and more.

The best online MPA programs prepare graduates for leadership roles within government, human services, and nonprofit organizations. Take control of your future with our comprehensive career guide.