Students who plan to get into a business-related career often take an MBA. For government/ nonprofit public service work, there’s the interdisciplinary MPA or Master’s of Public Administration, which attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds.
In this college rankings list, we take a look at the 25 most affordable online masters degree in public administration. That is, graduate public administration degrees at the master’s level that are offered either fully online or as a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. The 25 colleges ranked in this article typically offer at least one of the following or similar academic programs at the graduate level:
- Master of Arts in Public Administration (MAPA)
- Master’s of Public Administration (MPA)
- MBA with Concentration in Public Administration (MBA-PA)
- MA Public Policy with Concentration in Public Administration (MAPP-PA)
Careers in Public Administration
The BLS OOH (Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook) profiles several public administration-related occupations including the following – both of which are expecting average or above average jobs growth between 2014 and 2024:
- administrative officer
- analyst or manager for relief services
- battalion chief
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- chief administrative officer (CAO)
- chief development officer (CDO)
- chief financial officer (CFO)
- chief law enforcement official
- city management and planning
- city/ county manager
- community affairs representative
- community and economic development
- community food and housing
- economic or social consultant
- elected official
- electric power generation
- emergency management agencies
- emergency management specialist
- emergency services director
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- federal government
- fire chief
- general and operations manager
- general medical and surgical hospitals
- health care management
- healthcare administrator
- homeland security
- human resources manager/director
- independent agencies
- international development
- legislative advisor
- local government
- local police departments and sheriff’s offices
- manager or advocate for a non-profit organization
- non-profit and NGO director
- nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship
- nonprofit organizations
- personnel manager
- police administration
- policy analyst
- policy maker
- policy specialist
- political campaign specialist
- private business (consulting businesses, human resources, law and insurance organizations)
- probation officer
- public administrator
- public interest/advocate groups
- public manager
- public policy administrator
- public relations specialist
- public works director
- security specialist
- social and community service manager
- social services
- state and federal government agencies
- state law enforcement agencies
- sustainable resource development management
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- urban and social policy
- urban planner
- We use the average out-of-state tuition listed in NCES for affordability rankings of master’s programs. However, a given program’s actual costs may differ from what we list and is subject to change by the college in question. Check Web sites for up-to-date graduate tuition rates.
- As college accreditation can change or only be valid regionally, please verify accreditation of any college to which you are planning to apply.
- NCES data is subject to change and this ranking list uses the most recently reported data at time of writing.
- The Areavibes cost of living score is from Areavibes.com and represents the city/ town of the college in question. It is independent of each college’s on-campus housing costs.
Rankings: Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Public Administration
Brandman University (source)
Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1958 and located in Irvine, California, about 40 miles roughly southeast of Los Angeles, CA. It is part of the Chapman University System. Original name: Chapman University College.
BU offers online master’s degrees in business (14) and education (11), as well four online graduate certificate programs. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with optional Emphasis in Organizational Leadership; grad certificate in Public Administration. This MPA program covers a range of public administration topics, including: administration, public policy, politica strategy, finance, ethics. Curriculum options include elective courses that can be selected from topics of accounting, leadership, marketing and computer science. Alternatively, there is an option for a formal Emphasis in Organizational Leadership. The 36 credits required for completion include nine courses (27cr) for Core courses and three courses (9cr) for either Electives or the Organizational Leadership Emphasis. Students can take a hybrid delivery option through the Irvine campus, or fully online anywhere in the U.S. There is also a 15-credit grad certificate in Public Administration consisting of three required courses (9cr) and two electives (6cr).
Sample courses: Business Process Analysis and Innovation; Conflict and Negotiation; Data Analysis for Decision Making; Democracy, Ethics, and Leadership; Dynamics of Public and Nonprofit Leadership; Economic Analysis for Managers; Financial Reporting Analysis; Foundations of Organizational Leadership; Frontiers of Public and Nonprofit Leadership; Human Resource Systems; Intro to Public Administration; Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining; Leadership and Innovation; Local Government; Organizational Development and Change; Public Finance; Public Policy; Self, Systems and Leadership; Seminar in Organizational Dynamics
National University (source)
National University (NU) is a 4-year, private, non-profit university that is based in La Jolla, California, about 13 miles roughly northwest of San Diego, CA, with dozens of campuses and learning centers in other parts of CA, as well as four other states (Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Virginia), plus an online division. It was founded in 1971 as Pikeville Collegiate Institute and is a member of the National University System.
NU offers 42 online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with two Specializations: (1) Human Resource Management, (2) Organizational Leadership. This MPA program should be of particular interest to anyone pursuing a career in nonprofit or government (any level) management. Skills gained include: financial management, budgeting, quantitative methods, urban planning and redevelopment, personnel policies and more. The curriculum consists of 12 courses totaling 54 quarter credits (qc). Core requirements take eight courses (36 qc) and Electives take four courses (18 qc). Students can opt to pick one of two available specializations instead of Electives.
Sample courses: Compensation and Benefits; Conflict and Power Dynamics; Developing Groups and Teams; Ethics; Finance Mgt and Grant Admin; Foundations of Public Admin; Leadership in the 21st Century; Leading Change and Adaptation; Legal, Ethical and Safety Issues; MPA Project; Public Personnel Policy; Quantitative Methods; Seminar in Training and Development; Seminar in Urban Affairs; Theory and Practice of Human Resource Management; Urban Planning and Redevelopment; Workforce Planning, Development and Outsourcing
Northern Michigan University (NMU) is a public university established in 1899 and located in Marquette, MI, about 176 miles roughly north of Green Bay, WI. NMU is on the northern shore of the Upper Peninsula of the state of Michigan, about 265 miles roughly west of Sault Ste. Marie, MI. It awards associate’s through doctoral (professional) degrees, as well as certificates at undergrad and post-master’s levels.
NMU offers eight online masters degrees, primarily in Education. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with four Concentrations: (1) Criminal Justice Administration, (2) Human Resource Administration, (3) State and Local Government, (4) Public Management. Total credit requirements for this MPA is 36-38, with 23-24cr for Core courses (when choosing Capstone option), 2cr for Internship (can be waived) and 12-13cr for courses in one of the four Concentration areas. For students selecting a Thesis option instead of Capstone, Core courses take 25-26cr, Concentrations take 12cr including thesis (4 cr). Courses are 2-4 credits each.
Sample courses: Directed Study in Public Administration; Ethics and Public Administration; Experiential Applications Seminar; Grant Writing for Public Administrators; Municipal Management; Organizational Theory; Political and Administrative Aspects of Community Development; Political Aspects of Health Care Administration; Politics of Public Budgeting; Principles of Health Care Administration; Principles of Public Administration; Program Evaluation for Public and Nonprofit Agencies; Public Budget Management; Research Methods of Public Administration; Seminar in Administrative Law; Seminar in Public Personnel Administration; Seminar in Public Personnel Law; Seminar in Public Policy Analysis; Seminar: American Government; Seminar: Intergovernmental Relations; Special Problems in Public Administration; Supervised Internship in Public Administration; The Politics of Education; Thesis in Public Administration
Ashford University (source)
Ashford University is a private, for-profit institution established in 1918 and headquartered in San Diego, California, about 120 miles roughly south-southeast of Los Angeles, CA. In 2016, AU closed their physical campus (after a sale to a for-profit education corporation) and became an online-only university. Original name: Mount St. Clare College.
Ashford offers 11 online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA); MBA in Public Administration (MBA-PA) . The MPA program is 36 credits and consists of 12 core courses of three credits each. (Three credits are granted for students with transferable undergrad coursework in Economics, Finance and Accounting.) The program is designed for a 76-week timeline. The 42-credit MBA program with PA concentration is designed for people wanting to gain managerial skills for public, government and NGO organizations, and combines principles of business and public administration. The PA concentration of this program takes three courses (9cr), all of which are part of the MPA curriculum.
Sample courses: Business Ethics and Social Responsibility; Contemporary Issues in Organizational Leadership; Foundations of Public Administration; Government Budgeting; Human Resources Management; Introduction to Quantitative Principles; Management Communications with Technology Tools; Negotiation, Bargaining, and Conflict Management; Organizational Behavior; Public Financial Management; Public Policy Development; Urban Planning / Redevelopment
Anna Maria College (source)
Anna Maria College is a private, nonprofit college established in 1946 and located in Paxton, Massachusetts. about 55 miles roughly west of Boston, MA. It was originally founded in Marlborough, MA, by the Sisters of Saint Anne.
AMC offers 10 online master’s degrees (including concentrations). For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with five specializations: (1) General Track, (2) Criminal Justice, (3) Emergency Management, (4) Fire and Emergency Services, (5) Homeland Security . This MPA program provides useful skills/ knowledge to public service professionals as well as elected and appointed officials at local, state and federal levels of government. No GRE or other entrance exam is required for admission. The program requires 36 credits and is comprised of 12 courses – eight for the Core and four for the selected Specialization. Students with 4+ years of relevant experience can have two courses (6cr) waived.
Sample courses: Conflict Management; Customer Service: Creating a Customer Friendly Organization; Domestic Threat and Policy Analysis; Emergency Management Operations Framework; Ethical Theory; Executive Leadership; Foundations of Homeland Security; International Threat and Policy Analysis; Justice Administration; Justice and Public Policy; Labor – Management Relations; Management Policies in Government Finance; Managerial Statistics for Public Managers; Organizational Theories and The Public Sector; Partnership for Homeland Security; Professional Government; Public Policy; Public Sector Labor Relations; Special Topics in Emergency Management; Special Topics in Fire and Emergency Services Administration*; Special Topics in Justice Administration; Strategic Management of Human Capital; Strategic Planning for Public Managers
Water fountain, Texas A&M International University (source)
Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) is a public university established in 1969 as Texas A&I University at Laredo. TAMIU is part of the Texas A&M University System and is located in Laredo, Texas, about 155 miles southwest of San Antonio, TX.
TAMIU offers eight online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA). This MPA program is intended for professionals already working in or intending to work in public and nonprofit sectors. Law enforcement professionals who would like to expand career opportunities beyond criminal justice may be interested in this MPA program. The 42-credit requirement consists of 33cr for Core courses and 9cr for Electives.
Sample courses: Advanced Methods of Social Research; Communication for Public Administration; Comparative Political Communication; Latin American Politics and Policy Making; Principles and Politics of Public Budgets; Public Policy Development and Implementation; Surv of Pub Administration and Public Affairs; Survey of Nonprofit Leadership and Management
Sul Ross State University (source)
Sul Ross State University is a public institution established in 1917 and located in Alpine, Texas, about 220 miles roughly southeast of El Paso, TX. It is part of the Texas State University System. Original name: Sul Ross Normal College.
For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, SRSU offers: MA Public Administration (MAPA); dual degree options. The MAPA is intended for anyone in or seeking a career in public service. The 36 credit requirement consists of five Required courses (15cr), two Elective courses (6cr), 3-4 courses (9-12cr) in a related discipline, 1-2 courses (3-6cr) in Political Science. SRSU also offers two dual degree options, combining the MAPA with an MS Criminal Justice (MSCJ) or MS Homeland Security (MSHS). In both cases, 54 credits are required, and 18cr are shared. Note: The MSCJ is online. Contact SRSU regarding whether MSHS courses are available online.
Sample courses: Intergovernmental Relations, Local Government Administration, Public Administration Survey, Public Budgeting and Finance, Public Policy Analysis, Scope and Methods in Social Science, Seminar in Comparative Government and Public Policy, Seminar in International Relations and Public Policy, Seminar in US Government, Special Topics in Public Administration
Belhaven University (source)
Belhaven University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1883 and located in Jackson, Mississippi, about 209 miles roughly south of Memphis, TN. Original name: Belhaven College for Young Ladies. Affiliation: Presbyterian Church.
BU offers 16 online master’s degrees and four online graduate certificates. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with optional Human Resources Concentration. The general MPA from Belhaven is designed for working professionals seeking leadership/ management roles and responsibilities in government and non-profit agencies. There are a total of 12 courses (including Capstone), each running for eight weeks — for a total of 36 credits. For students choosing the HR concentration, the same curriculum applies. As well, three additional courses (9cr) in Human Resources topics must be taken, for a total of 45 credits. Eligibility requirements for these programs include a bachelor’s degree and two years of relevant work experience (or full-time military enlistment).
Sample courses: Administration of Financial Resources; Economics and Public Policy; Ethics and Society; HR Compensation and Benefits; HR Employee Relations; Human Resources Development and Administration; Issues and Innovations in Human Resources; Management Research-Project; Organizational Behavior; Principles of Executive Leadership; Public and Administrative Law; Public Policy Analysis; Research Capstone Project; Research Methods in Public Administration
Concordia University Wisconsin (source)
Concordia University-Wisconsin is a private, nonprofit university established in 1881 and located in Mequon, Wisconsin, about 20 miles roughly north-northeast of Milwaukee, WI. It was originally founded as Concordia College Milwaukee and is part of the Concordia College System (CCS). Another member of the system, Concordia University-Ann Arbor (CUAA), is being merged with CUW. CUAA was originally in the candidates for this list at #17, and CUW at #18. CUAA is keeping its name but operating with CUW as one entity. See the CUAA site (http://www.cuaa.edu) for any programs offered there.
CUW offers 40 online master’s degrees (MA, MBA, MS, MSCI, MSN, MSEd), including concentrations/ specializations. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: MBA with Concentration in Public Administration (MBA-PA). This MBA-PA program is intended for either government-based employees in service roles (police, fire) or nonprofit community organization employees looking to advance their careers to an administrative-level role. No GMAT or GRE is required for admission, and a Capstone course is taken instead of writing a thesis. The 39 required credits consists of 8 courses (24cr) MBA Core courses and five courses (15cr) of Public Administration specialization courses (including an Internship)
Sample courses: Accounting: Financial Analysis for Decision Making; Administrative Law and Process; Applied Statistical Methods; Budgeting in Public Agencies; Business Ethics; Corporate Finance; Human Resources Management; Intergovernmental Relations; Leadership and Organizational Behavior; Managerial Economics; Project Management; Public Personnel Administration; Strategic Management
Bookstore, Wayland Baptist University (source)
Wayland Baptist University (WBU) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1908 and located in Plainview, Texas, about 77 miles roughly south of Amarillo, TX. It was originally founded as Wayland Literary and Technical Institute and is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
WBU offers nearly a dozen online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with three Specializations: (1) Government Administration, (2) Homeland Security/ Emergency Management, (3) Justice Administration. This MPA program requires 36 credits and has a timeline of 18 months. Graduates of the program are prepped for administration roles based on the specializations selected. Students lacking management courses at the bachelor’s level may be required to take the Principles of Management course as a prerequisite for additional management courses in the MPA program. Otherwise, the 36 credits breakdown to 18cr for Core courses and 18cr for Specialization courses. The latter group is split into a maximum 9cr for Management courses, and the rest for Public Administration courses.
Sample courses: Administrative Law; Applied Alternative Dispute Resolution; Criminal/Civil Law: A Comparative Analysis; Cultural Diversity; Current Issues in Public Administration; Diversity Management; Emergency Management; Ethics; International Legal Systems: A Comparative Study; Law Enforcement Administration; Leadership and Management Development; Legal Environment; Negotiations in Management; Organizational Development and Behavior; Organizational Theory; Public Administration; Public Finance; Special Topics in Government Administration; Special Topics in Homeland Security and Emergency Administration; Special Topics in Justice Administration; Strategies of Human Resource Management; Survey of Homeland Security; Weapons of Mass Destruction
Bellevue University (source)
Bellevue University is a private university established in 1966 and located in Bellevue, Nebraska, about 10 miles roughly southeast of Omaha, NE.
BU offers 27 online master’s degrees (MA, MBA, MFA, MHA, MPS, MPM, MPA, MS). For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA). This MPA program is designed for people seeking to advance into management/ leadership roles in public administration, in government, nonprofits, foundations, public office, etc. Total required credits are 36, with a 4-term timeline in which students take two 4-credit courses and complete a project in each term.
Sample courses: Communications in the Public Sector; Contemporary Issues in Public Administration; Finance for the Public Administrator; Foundation in Public Administration; Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness; Organizational Modeling & Decision Theories; Public Administration Leadership; Public Administration Term Project (1-4); Strategic Planning and Policy Development
Grand Canyon University (source)
Grand Canyon University is a for-profit university established in 1949 and located in Phoenix, Arizona, the capital of the state and part of the metropolitan area nicknamed the Valley of the Sun. It was originally founded by Arizona Southern Baptists as Grand Canyon College, a non-profit institution, but has been for-profit since Feb 2004.
GCU offers online master’s degrees in 10 areas of interest. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with two Emphasis options: (1) Government and Policy; (2) Health Care Management. This MPA program may be of particular interest to anyone looking towards a career in managing government departments or nonprofit agencies. Total credit requirements for this MPA is 38, with up to 12 allowable transfer credits. Students take 10 core courses of four credits each, with the exception of an Intro to Grad Studies course that is two credits.
Sample courses: Acquiring, Developing, and Leveraging Human Capital; Economics for Public Administrators; Intergovernmental Relations; Law and Administrative Process; Leadership and Organizations; Policy Studies; Public Budgeting and Financial Management; Public Governance; Servant Leadership
Hodson Hall, Indiana Wesleyan University (source)
Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) is a 4-year, private, non-profit university based in Marion, Indiana, about 52 miles roughly southwest of Fort Wayne, IN. It was founded in 1920 as Marion College and is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church. The student body represents over 80 Christian denominations.
IWU offers 12 online master’s degrees (including concentrations) and two online graduate certificate programs. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with three Concentrations: (1) Public Management (MPA-PM), (2) Criminal Justice (MPA-CJ), (3) MPA – Non-Profit Leadership (MPA-NPL). This MPA program requires 36 credits, with 24cr (eight courses including Capstone) for Core courses and 12cr (four courses) for one of the three available Specializations. Courses run six weeks in length and program start dates occur several times per year. See Web site for upcoming dates or contact IWU for details.
Sample courses: Capstone in Public Affairs; Criminal Justice Administration; Criminal Justice Leadership; Criminal Justice Policy; Economic Analysis of Crime; Economic Development; Ethical Leadership in the Public Sector; Financing Public Services; Human Resource Management in the Public Sector; Introduction to Public Management; Non-Profit Development and Advancement; Non-Profit Fundraising and Financial Management; Non-Profit Management and Leadership; Non-Profit Strategic Planning; Organizational Management and Behavior; Public Institutions and Values; Public Policy Processes and Strategies; Quality and Productivity Improvement in Government
Dean B. Ellis Library, Arkansas State University (source)
Arkansas State University (ASU) is a public university established in 1909 and located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, about 70 miles roughly northwest of Memphis, TN. It was founded as the First District Agricultural School and is currently part of the Arkansas State University System.
ASU offers 11 online master’s degrees and six online grad certificates. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master in Public Administration (MPA). This MPA program requires 36 credits and can be completed in 18+ months (two courses per semester). The program is particularly focused on enhancing the careers of public sector and law enforcement professionals. The 36-credit requirement breaks down to 6cr in Co-Requisite courses, 21cr MPA courses, 15cr Public Management focus. In addition to courses, students participate in an internship
Sample courses: Administrative Behavior; Administrative Ethics; Administrative Leadership; Economic Issues and Concepts; Grant Writing and Administration; Internship in Public Administration; Introduction to U.S. Government; Public Budgeting and Finance; Public Financial Management; Public Information Management; Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation; Seminar in Human Resources Management; Seminar in Public Administration; Techniques of Political and Public Administration Research
Carnegie Library, Hamline University (source)
Hamline University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1854 and located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, about 17 roughly east-northeast of Minneapolis, MN. Affiliation: United Methodist Church.
Hamline offers 11 online master’s degrees (including concentrations and licensure programs) and seven online grad certificates. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master in Public Administration (MPA); dual degree options. This MPA program requires 48-60 credits for completion, with 36cr for Required courses (nine, including Thesis or Capstone option) and 12cr (three courses) for Electives. Some students may need to take additional prerequisites and/or internship. Online students collectively choose an additional three courses (four credits each). Courses are online, however the program has residency requirements that occur on weekends (Fri and Sat) every two months. Faculty includes experts with experience in government management and policy. Dual-degree options include MPA/MBA or MPA/ Nonprofit Management.
Sample courses: Administrative Law; Advanced Leadership; Civic Engagement; Contemporary Social Policy Issues; Critical Issues in Public Administration; Foundations in Public Administration; Human Resource Management for Government; Municipal and City Government; Organizational Theory and Behavior; Professional Ethics; Project Management; Public Fiscal Management; Public Policy Analysis; Research Methods; Sustainable Enterprise
Western International University (source)
Western International University (West) is a private, for-profit university established in 1978 and is located in Tempe, Arizona, some 10 miles southeast of Phoenix, AZ.
West offers nine online degrees (including concentrations). For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA). This MPA program emphasizes the skills and knowledge for a public/ nonprofit service or management role involving responsible and ethical leadership. Of the total 39 credits required for completion, 24cr are for Core courses, 15cr are for Major courses. The program takes about 58 weeks, with courses starting monthly.
Sample courses: Corporate Power, Politics, and Negotiations; Ethical Leadership and Corporate Responsibility; Global Communication for Professionals; Graduate Research Methods; Human Behavior and Resource Administration; Information Resource Management; Managing Public Policy; Procurement and Contract Administration; Public Administrator and the Law; Public Finance: Government Accounting and Control; Public Finance: Politics of the Budgetary Process; Strategic Management in the Public Sector; Strategic Planning and Implementation in Public Administration
Texas Southern University (source)
Texas Southern University (Texas Southern or TSU) is a public comprehensive HBCU that was established in 1927 as Houston Colored Junior College. TSU is located in Houston, Texas, some 200 miles east and slightly north of San Antonio, TX, and around 245 miles southeast of Dallas, TX.
TSU offers four online master’s degrees and three grad certificates. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Executive Masters of Public Administration (eMPA). This eMPA program emphasizes public policy, for mid-career professionals in the public sector. Credit requirements are 36, with a timeline of about 16 months full-time. Students can choose from seven focus areas: (1) Human Resources; (2) Development Administration; (3) Public Policy; (4) Sustainability; (5) Community Development and Housing; (6) Public Participation; (7) Government and Community Relations.
Sample courses: Government Budgeting and Financial Management; Intergovernmental Relations; Introduction to International Development; Leadership and Decision Making; Policy Making Process; Public Administration Theory and Practice; Quantitative Methods; Research Methods in Public Administration; Science, Technology and Public Policy; Seminar in Organizational Theory
DeMoss Learning Center, Liberty University (source)
Liberty University is a private, nonprofit, Christian institution established in 1971 by noted Pastor Jerry Falwell. The university was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College and renamed in 1984. Liberty, which claims to be the world’s largest Christian university, is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, approximately 115 miles west of Richmond, VA.
Liberty offers dozens of online master’s degrees across 18 topic categories. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: MBA with Specialization in Public Administration (MBA-PA); MS Criminal Justice with Specialization in Public Administration (MSCJ-PA, with or without Thesis Track); MA Public Policy with Specialization in Public Administration (MAPP-PA, with or without Thesis Track). The 45-credit MBA-PA program consists of LU’s 36-credit MBA curriculum plus 9cr for the Public Administration Specialization. The MSCJ-PA program consists of 36 credits, with 18cr for the CJ major and 12cr for the PA Specialization. Students can choose a Thesis or Non-Thesis track for the additional 6cr. The MAPP-PA requires 39 credits and allows 9cr transfer. The PA Specialization is one of four available and can be selected with a Thesis or Non-Thesis track.
Sample courses: Fundamentals of Public Administration, Politics, Strategies and Initiatives of Com. Econ. Dev., Public Policy Analysis, Communication and Conflict. See Web site for Specializations courses.
Park University, Mackay Hall (source)
Park University is a private, non-profit university established in 1875 and located in Parkville, Missouri – a suburb of Kansas City, MO, about 10 miles approximately northwest.
Park offers eight online master’s degrees (including concentrations/ specializations). For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Affairs (MPA) with four Concentrations: (1) Public Management; (2) Business, Government and Global Society; (3) Nonprofit and Community Services Management; (4) Disaster and Emergency Management; three grad certificates: (1) Business and Government Leadership, (2) Disaster and Emergency Management, (3) Nonprofit Leadership. This MPA program prepares graduates for multi-sector/ cross-sector public policy and administration roles for both local and global settings. The curriculum has six core public affairs courses. Credit requirements are 36 overall (for all four concentrations), with 18cr for Core courses, 15cr for the chosen Concentration (9cr) and its electives (6cr); and 3cr for cross-sector courses. For students instead taking any of the three aforementioned grad certificate programs, their respective credits can be applied towards the MPA degree.
Sample courses: Administrative Law and Public Organizations; Administrative Leadership; Budgeting and Finances of Public Organizations; Business, Government and Society; Communications and Marketing for Nonprofit/Community Organizations; Continuity of Government Operations; Corporate Finance: Concepts and Strategies; Disaster and Society; Financial Management for Nonprofit/Community Organizations; Global Hazard Reduction; Leadership Development and Organizations; Management of Nonprofit, and Nongovernmental Organizations; Natural Hazards and the Urban Environment; Personnel Systems of Public Organizations; Planning Nonprofit/Community Services; Policy Development, Evaluation and Impact for Organizations; Principles of Disaster and Emergency Management; Public Affairs Concepts and Theory; Public Management; Public Policy and Disaster; Research and Analysis; Technology, Accidents, and Organizations; The Environment of Public Organizations; The Global Environment of Business; World Economics and Comparative Capitalism
Post Tree, Post University (source)
Post University is a for-profit university established in 1890 and located in Waterbury, Connecticut, about 30 miles roughly southwest of Hartford, CT. It was originally founded as Post College.
Post offers over 20 online master’s degrees (including concentrations) and a dozen online grad certificates. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) . This MPA program has been combined with Post’s MBA program, to provide students with more than just public-sector related skills. The 37 total credits consists of 12cr for Foundation courses, 21cr for Core courses, and 6cr for two Capstones.
Sample courses: Labor Law and Labor Relations; Organizational Creativity, Discovery, and Innovation; Organizational Dynamics and Effectiveness; Project Management; Public Finance Policy and Application; Public Policy; Readings and Research in Public Administration; Risk Management for Public Administrators; The Future of Management and Leadership; The History and Future of Public Administration
Arlington County skyline (source)
University of Management and Technology (UMT) is a private, for-profit institution established in 1988 and located in Arlington, Virginia, about six miles roughly southwest of Washington, DC.
UMT offers 17 master’s degrees – some of which are available in online format. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with two Concentrations: (1) Public Administration; (2) Criminal Justice Administration; Executive Certificate in Public Administration (15-credit). The MPA program takes 36 credits, with six core courses of 18 credits, and six concentration courses of 18 credits. The Public Administration concentration is designed for people seeking a a role in government that involves budget process, business law and ethics, etc. The Criminal Justice concentration is for professionals wanting to improve skills and knowledge for public sector management and criminal justice.
Sample courses: Business Basics; Business Law and Ethics; Contracts and Procurement; Criminal Courts System; Criminal Justice Management; Criminal Justice System; Criminal Law; Criminology; Decision Making; Information Technology; International Relations; Leadership and Organization; Management of Major Programs; Principles of Public Sector Management; Project Management; Research Methods in Criminal Justice; Structure and Function of Government; The Budget Process
American Public University System (source)
American Public University System (APUS), which includes APU (American Public University) and AMU (American Military University), is a private, for-profit system of universities founded in 1991 and based in Charles Town, West Virginia, about 63 miles roughly northwest of Washington, DC. APUS is organized as an entirely online learning institution and has no campus.
APUS offers 36 online master’s degrees via both APU and AMU branches. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with seven Concentrations: (1) Disaster Management; (2) Human Resources; (3) Security Management; (4) Environmental Policy; (5) National Security; (6) Health Policy; (7) Organizational Management. This MPA program requires 36 credits, and accepts up to 15 applicable transfer credits. It is intended for working professionals already in public management or service, or wishing to enter such careers from a different work background. Topics include but are not limited to: public policy, research methods, ethics, public management and finance and more. The program Capstone can be a project or thesis. Each Concentration consists of four courses (12cr) and focuses specifically on that topic (no electives).
Sample courses: Administrative Theory; Applied Research Methods in Public Administration; Applied Statistics; Ethics in Government; Grant Writing for Government and Non Profit Agencies; Law and Public Policy; Legislatures and Legislative Behavior; Local Political Administration; Program Appraisal; Public Administration in Society; Public Finance; Public Management; Public Policy; The U.S. Presidency, Congress, and Bureaucracy
Clark Activity Center, Southern University (source)
Southern University and A&M College (SUBR or SU) is a public, comprehensive HBCU established in 1880. SUBR — the flagship of the Southern University System (SUS), the only HBCU system in the U.S. — is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, about 90 miles northwest of New Orleans, LA, and some 155 miles southwest of Jackson, Mississippi.
SUBR offers two online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) with five concentrations: (1) Generalist, (2) Healthcare Administration, (3) Public Policy Analysis, (4) Finance, (5) Non-profit Management. This EMPA program is intended for students who have public sector experience and wish to gain skills and knowledge that could lead to additional opportunities in the public sector. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree and 3+ years of middle or upper level experience, with two years in the public sector. Total credit requirement for the program is 48-54, regardless of concentration selected. The credits for the Generalist concentration break down to 27cr for Core courses, 15cr for electives, 6cr for research or thesis option, 3cr writing seminar (if not exempted), 3cr for internship (if not waived). There is also an option for a joint degree MPA/JD program.
Sample courses: Ethics and Public Policy; Government Financial Management; Grantsmanship and Fund Development; Health Services Administration; Human Resources Management; Management Decision Models; Management of Non-Profit Organizations; Marketing and Strategic Planning; Methods of Public Policy Analysis; Microeconomics; Organization Systems Management; Organizational Theory; Principles of Public Administration; Public Budgeting; Public Finance; Public Health Organizations and Programs; Public Policy; Statistics; The Management of Non-Profit Organizations; Topics in Healthcare Management
Waterfront view of Orange Beach, Alabama (source)
Columbia Southern University (CSU) is a private university established in 1993 and located in Orange Beach, Alabama, about 54 miles east and south of Mobile, AL, and about 27 miles roughly southwest of Pensacola, FL. It has affiliated colleges in Iowa and Vietnam.
CSU offers over a dozen online master’s degrees, as well as a selection of graduate certificates. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: MPA – General with three Concentrations: (1) General, (2) Criminal Justice Administration, (3) Emergency Services Management; MBA with Concentration in Public Administration; grad certificate in Public Administration. The MPA program requires 36 credits, with eight Majors courses (24cr) and four Concentration courses (12cr). The MBA program with PA concentration also requires 36 credits, with same credit split: 24cr for Major courses, 12cr for concentration courses. While the MPA covers standard public administration topics, the MBA-PA combines those principles with business administration, to help program graduates build skills for leadership, policy, etc. in businesses. Time for completion of the MBA-PA is about three years. Alternately, students can take CSU’s 12-credit graduate certificate in Public Administration.
Sample courses: Administration of Public Institutions; Emergency Management, Leadership and Decision Making; Learning Strategies for Success; Local Government Planning; Organizational Theory; Public Administration Ethics; Public Budgeting; Public Finance and Budgeting; Public Policies; Public Policy; Quantitative Research Methods; Strategic Planning; Theory of Crime and Criminology
Library, Regent University (source)
Regent University is a private, non-profit, Christian research university that was established in 1977 as CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) University. Regent is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, about 100 miles southeast of Richmond, VA, and around 185 miles northeast of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Regent offers over 40 online master’s degrees, including concentrations/ specializations. For online master’s level programs in Public Administration, they offer: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with seven Concentrations: (1) General Public Administration, (2) Healthcare Policy & Ethics, (3) Law, (4) Non-Profit and Faith-Based Organizations, (5) Emergency Management and Homeland Security, (6) Public Leadership and Management; (7) Federal Government. This MPA program is intended for anyone seeking a career in a managerial or leadership role in public service. Total credit requirement is 36 and the timeline is 24+ months, with start dates occurring three times per year. There are 11 Core and co-requisite courses, including three 0-credit courses (grad writing, research, career management). Another three courses (9cr) are for the General PA concentration, and one course (3cr) for an Internship. The other six concentrations follow a similar credit breakdown.
Sample courses: American Foreign Policy, American Politics, Christian Foundations of Government, City and County Management, Congressional Leadership, Constitutional Law and Policy, Crisis/Disaster Consequence Management, Intelligence and National Security, Intergovernmental Relations, International Political Economy, International Relations Theory, Managing Not-For-Profit & Faith Based Org., National Security Affairs, Not-For-Profit & Faith Based Org. Fund. Dev., Principles of Economics, Principles of Public Administration, Public Budgeting and Taxation Policy, Public Human Resources Management, Public Policy Initiatives, Public Program Evaluation and Planning, Special Topics in NPRF Management, Terrorism and Homeland Defense