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Top 50 Online Master of Public Administration Programs 2017

Top 50 Online Master of Public Administration Programs 2017Public Administration is a complex field that that sits at the apex of business, policies, and public impact. Organizations in the government and nonprofit organizations, and even private organizations that focuses on public service, have a great need for efficient, effective, and mission-driven leaders who understand the complexity of managing public policy and its impact in society.

A master’s degree in public administration (MPA) is the widely accepted professional credential for leadership and management positions in public service. It allows for students to gain knowledge and develop skills to implement policies, projects, and programs within government and nonprofit organizations. While MPA programs and MBA programs has similarities, the arena in which they function are different and thus deserve particular study.

In additionally, an online MPA will allow students to not only gain the integral education, but allow students to continually build their professional experience without interruption and immediately apply what they are learning in the real world. An online degree can give flexibility without compromising educational integrity.

Methodology

This ranking is designed to find the best master’s in public administration available. A list of over 165 MPA programs was obtained and then vetted based on whether it was offered in an online or hybrid format, and additionally by the following six factors:

Accreditation: Each program in this ranking is regionally accredited by one of the six accrediting agencies recognized by the US Department of Education. The MPA was further ranked on if it received an accreditation from the NASPAA. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) is the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This accreditation attests that a master’s program in public affairs has gone through a rigorous process of voluntary peer review and has met specific standards for professional master’s degree programs in the sector of public affairs, policy, and administration.

Affordability: Each program was based upon the average graduate student tuition and fees for an academic year, reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Average salary: This data was collected from PayScale to find the average early-career salary reported by recent master’s graduates. The affordability combined with the average salary helps paint a picture on a possible return on investment from the MPA.

Prestige and Awards: This data was collected US News and World Report and The Princeton Review. Schools were valued on how many rankings and awards they were given from two of the most prestigious education sites today. The awards counted in this criterion are from the rankings of National Universities, Regional Universities, and Top Public Affairs from US News and World Report and The Best 380 Colleges, Best [Regional], Colleges that Create Futures, and Colleges that Pay you Back from the Princeton Review.

All the data from these criterion was collected and averaged to find the best online MPA program in the nation. This average was adjusted to a 100 point scale and offered as the TMD Score below each bio in the ranking. Here is our list of the Top 50 Online Master of Public Administration Programs.

#50 Southern University and A&M College College of Social and Behavioral Sciences – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

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Southern University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers an online Executive Master of Public Administration. This program is selected for this ranking because it combines a highly-accredited MPA curriculum in a conveient online format.

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Southern University is a four-year, public institute that was founded in 1880. Southern University Southern University has six degree-granting colleges and a law school. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers an Online Executive Master of Public Administration that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is listed among the US News and World Report’s top public affairs ranking, and the school is also highlighted as a top regional university in the south. This prestige, coupled with its affordable tuition rate, makes it a great choice for aspiring leaders in the public sector.

Southern University and A&M College, often referred to as Southern University, SUBR or SU, is a historically black college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The campus rests on a huge 512 acres, with an agricultural experimental station on another 372-acre area, five miles north of the main campus. Southern University’s EMPA program is designed for experienced professionals in the public sector, with at least three years of middle to upper level management, who are looking to grow their leadership and advance their careers. Southern Universities diverse staff and curriculum helps students prepare for similar work environments post graduation.

TMD Score: 51.48

#49 Valdosta State University College of Arts and Sciences – Valdosta, Georgia

 

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Valdosta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers an online Master of Public Administration. This MPA program is ranked because of its elite NASPAA accreditation and high-acclaim in the education sector.

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Valdosta State University is a four-year, public institute that was founded in 1906. The university comprises the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Arts, and Nursing. Their prestigious College of Arts and Sciences offers an online Master of Public Administration degree. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the MPA is fully accredited by the NASPAA, the global accrediting body of graduate programs in the fields of public administration, public policy, and public affairs. The program has a level of high-acclaim, with a school listed among the highest public affairs schools and the university seen among the top schools in nation. This high standing in the education field coupled with its elite accreditation makes it a great choice for prospective MPA students.

VSU serves over 11,000 students and sits on a 168 acre campus. Degree levels offered at Valdosta State include: Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Education Specialist, and Doctoral. There are over 200 recognized student organizations offered at VSU and helps give students opportunities to experience life on campus. The highly decorated Master’s of Public Administration program at VSU is a non-thesis program. VSU does not require a specific major to be considered when applying. The MPA is offered in three pathways: Public Sector Management, Public Sector Human Resource Management, and Public Policy. The Public Sector Management and Public Policy concentrations are programs offered online, while the Public Sector Human Resource Management is offered in a traditional setting at the Moody Air Force Base Campus. The MPA program at VSU is a 36-credit hour program.  The MPA degree at VSU will provide a thorough understanding of public administration and government, basic skills and a widened perspective required of manager/administrator’s, strong oral and written communication skills, knowledge of up to date technology used in the fields, awareness and navigations kills surrounding diverse groups, and distinguished analytical abilities.

TMD Score: 53.31

#48 Florida Gulf Coast University College of Arts and Sciences – Fort Myers, Florida

 

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Florida Gulf Coast University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a hybrid Master of Public Administration. This flexible program is selected in this top 50 ranking because of its elite curriculum accreditation and inclusion in top ranking systems around the country.

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Florida Gulf Coast University is a four-year, public, institute that was founded in 1991. The university is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the College of Arts and Sciences offers a NASPAA accredited, hybrid Master of Public Administration. This fully accredited program ensures students that the curriculum has met the highest standards from the nation and around the world. Most of the MPA courses are offered over the internet, helping many students to complete their degree online. This program is the only professionally accredited distance MPA degree in Southwest Florida. The program is housed in a school listed among the top public affairs schools in the nation, while also ranking among the top public schools in the nation and the top regional universities in the south.

Florida Gulf Coast University is part of a 12 State University system in Florida. They award associate’s, 51 different types of bachelor’s, 29 different master’s, and six types of doctoral degrees.  Florida Gulf Coast serves roughly around 15,000 students and is home to a new Residence hall that fits over 1,200 students. The MPA program and Florida Gulf Coast is designed for students who have significant in-service experience as well as for students who have limited or no experience in public or not-for-profit organizations. Students can select one of two degree concentrations: Public Leadership and Management or Environmental Policy and Planning. The MPA program at FGC is a 36-39-credit hour program. Master of Public Administration courses include: Administrative Ethics, Mgmt. of Nonprofit Org, Proposal Writing & Grant Admin, Public Mgmt in Political Env, Public Finance, Strategic Planning, Administrative Leadership, and Administrative Law.

TMD Score: 53.53

#47 Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs – Houston, Texas

 

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Texas Southern University’s Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs offers an Online Executive Master of Public Administration degree. The program is included in this top 50 online MPA ranking because of its flexibility, affordability, and high education standards.

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Texas Southern University is a four-year, public, institute that was founded in 1927. It is a Historically Black University (HBCU) and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs offers an NASPAA accredited Online Executive Master of Public Administration program. The NASPAA is the global accrediting body of graduate programs in the fields of public administration, public policy, and public affairs. Their high educations standards place them among the top public affairs schools in the country, as well as listed among the top national universities by US News and World Report. TSU uniquely couples their prestige and accreditation with one of the lowest average tuition costs from this whole ranking. Prospective students looking for a flexible distance learning MPA program can find a highly regarded program at TSU.

TSU is one of the largest and broadest, in terms of area of study, HBCUs in the nation. It is one of only four independent public universities in Texas, those not affiliated with any of Texas’ six public university systems, and the only HBCU in Texas honored as one of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes magazine. Texas Southern currently services about 11,387 students. Texas Southern’s MPA program prides itself by acknowledging that it’s greatest single asset lies in its potential to alleviate the shortage of professionally educated persons, especially those from minority groups, in local, state, national and international public service. The program at TSU helps prepare professionals to strategize the increasingly difficult task of managing urban growth. The curriculum aims to respond to the increasing importance of planning and management as major tools  in improving and shaping solutions to problems of cities and metropolitan regions. The program seeks to give students a balanced inventory of conceptual, quantitative and professional skills.

TMD Score: 54.44

#46 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Arts and Sciences – Chattanooga, Tennessee

 

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The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a flexible Master of Public Administration available for on-campus and distance students. This MPA is selected for this ranking because of its outstanding reputation and excellent accreditation.

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The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a four-year, public institute that was founded in 1886. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the College of Arts and Sciences offers a flexible Master of Public Administration that is fully accredited by the NASPAA. Courses may be taught in an online, on-campus, or hybrid format in order to provide an accessible program to working professionals. This program is ranking with US News and World Report as having one of the top Public Affairs programs in the country. UT Chattanooga is additionally seen in top rankings from US News and The Princeton Review, including Top Regional University in the South, and featured as No. 25 of the Best Value Schools. This top-notch reputation and excellent accreditation combine for a great MPA brand which positively impacts alumni’s competitive advantage in the job market.

The Chattanooga campus is one of three University of Tennessee’s campuses. Chattanooga is best known for its nationally ranked Business program, Engineering, Nursing, English, Chemistry, Accounting, Psychology, Music, and Education departments. The university offers over 140 undergraduate majors and concentrations, and over 50 undergraduate minors. Chattanooga also offers nearly 100 graduate programs and concentrations. They have currently 11,429 students enrolled at the University. UT Chattanooga’s goal is to prepare students to succeed in the leadership and management of public and nonprofit organizations through an education that focuses on the intersection between theory and practice, critical thinking and analysis, interpersonal and communication skills, ethics, and stewardship. The MPA program is a 36-credit hour program that strives to help students develop a well built foundation in program and policy management skills. The curriculum tries to raise the awareness and acknowledgements of the difficult relationships between governmental entities and between government, the nonprofit sector, and society at large.

TMD Score: 56.02

#45 University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public & International Affairs – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

 

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The University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public & International Affairs offers a fully online Master of Public Policy and Management program. This degree stands out in this ranking because of its outstanding reputation and awards received in the education ranking community.

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The University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public & International Affairs provides an online Master of Public Policy and Management Degree (MPPM). This program sits at number 34 on the US News and World Report top Public Affairs degree ranking. Pitt is widely respected in the education community and continually seen in prestigious ranking systems, including Top National Universities, Top Public Schools, The Best 381 Colleges, Best Northeastern, Colleges that Create Futures, and Colleges that Pay You Back. Alumni from master’s programs at Pitt report a solid return on investment with an average early career salary of $54,800. The university is well known for their educational excellence, and the online MPPM is a flexible program that embodies that same excellence for distance students.

The University of Pittsburgh is a four-year, public institute that was founded in 1787. It is made up of 17 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges located at its urban Pittsburgh campus. Pitt’s MPPM program is designed for experienced professionals looking to expand their knowledge and develop their leadership skills in the public and nonprofit sectors. This flexible 30-credit hour program allows students to enroll in a part-time or full-time basis. Courses are taught by the same professors that teach the on-campus courses, and cover the important topics in public service. Topics include: personnel management, strategic management, administration of public affairs, policy analysis, leadership, and economics with public affairs applications. Applicants are required to have five or more years of professional experience, showing increased responsibility, and submit a full online application, but no GRE scores are required.

TMD Score: 56.86

#44 University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

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The University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government offers a hybrid Executive Master of Public Administration. This program is highlighted in this ranking because of its excellent reputation and ability to set alumni on their leadership path in public service.

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The University of Pennsylvania stands as one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Their Fels Institute of Government offers a hybrid Executive Master of Public Administration. This program is designed to offer advanced skills and training in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to busy working professionals. This program is listed in the top 50 schools for public affairs, and UPenn is consistently awarded top rankings with the most prestigious systems in the country. Some of their rankings include: Top ten for National Universities, Top 15 for Best Value Schools, The Best 381 Colleges, Best Northeastern,Colleges That Create Futures, and Colleges that Pay you Back. This level of prestige makes this MPA a great launching point into leadership and executive roles in public service.

UPenn is a four-year, private, Ivy League university, located in Philadelphia that was founded in 1740. Penn is driven by their “three-pronged” approach of context, analysis, and practice. The EMPA degree program provides varied and robust tools, specialized knowledge, practical experience, and valuable connections you need to reach your goals and spark sustainable change. Penn’s curriculum covers the fundamental skill sets needed for effective public management, preparing you for impactful leadership in government, nonprofit organizations, and private firms that serve the public interest. Courses within this program include: Economic Principles of Public Policy, Public Management, Financial Management of Public & Nonprofit Institutions, Negotiations, and Art of Politics. Students in this hybrid EMPA are required to attend one weekend residency each month and then engage in lectures and discussion work over the cutting-edge online platform. Applicants are required to complete an online application, fulfill an interview requirement, and submit official GRE or LSAT exam scores.

TMD Score: 57.23

#43 Arkansas State University College of Liberal Arts – Jonesboro, Arkansas

 

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Arkansas State University’s College of Liberal Arts offers two 100% online MPA programs. These programs are listed in this ranking because of their outstanding reputation and affordability.

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Arkansas State University is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1909. The university is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the College of Liberal Arts offers an NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration. This program is offered on-campus, but also offers two distinct completely online programs, an MPA Public Management track and an MPA Non-Profit Management track. The academic programs at A-State have a great reputation across the nation. They have been highlighted as one of the top regional universities in the South and one of the top public schools in the nation. This MPA combines this excellent accreditation and national reputation with an affordable degree making it a great option for aspiring public servant across the nation.

Arkansas State is a public research university and is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System, Arkansas second largest college system and second largest university by enrollment. The campus sits on 1,376 acres on Crowley’s Ridge at Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States. Arkansas State has more than 75,000 alumni with around 13,410 current students. The MPA Program at Arkansas State University stands to engage individual, organizational, social and governmental capacity in the public and nonprofit sectors by help shaping pre-service and mid-career students with sound management skills and public/non-profit philosophy to lead public institutions of the future with good character, creativity, excellence and professionalism. The MPA program at ASU is a 36-credit hour program.  This program offers students to gain necessary business skills and for students striving towards leadership roles and managerial roles in the public sector. Master of Public Administration courses include: Public Budgeting & Finance, Administrative Leadership, Techniques of Political & Public Administration Research, Grant Writing & Administration, and Administrative Ethics.

TMD Score: 57.41

#42 Southern Utah University College of Humanities & Social Science – Cedar City, Utah

 

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Southern Utah University’s College of Humanities & Social Science offers a Master of Public Administration in an online format. This program is selected for our top 50 ranking because of its excellent reputation and college reputation.

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Southern Utah is a four-year, public, institute that was founded in 1897. The university is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the College of Humanities & Social Science offers an NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration program. This degree allows students to enroll in online or on-campus courses, or finish their degree with a combination of the two. This MPA is housed in a College that is listed among the top Public Affairs schools in the country. Additionally, SUU is ranked highly among the top public schools in the nation, and for the last five years The Princeton Review has ranked SUU as a Best Value College. In July 2012 the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges recognized SUU, one of only 27 universities in the U.S., as a designated public liberal arts and sciences university. SUU has a national reputation for quality programs, and their online MPA program continues in that tradition.

Southern Utah University graduates around 1,700 students each year with baccalaureate and graduate degrees from its six colleges affiliated with SUU. SUU provides more than 85 undergraduate degrees and 8 graduate programs. There are more than 8,800 students currently enrolled at SUU. The online MPA program is a professional degree that works for all students interested in obtaining a career in management within the public or nonprofit areas. The MPA program provides an intellectual, joint collaboration and interactive learning environment where practical and theoretical concepts of public administration are presented within the historical, political, social, cultural and economic contexts. The MPA program at ASU is a 36-credit hour program. This program stands out because students can customize the program to suit their personal interests and career objectives. A variety of electives can be taken within the MPA program and through other graduate programs at SUU.

TMD Score: 57.63

#41 Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences – Baltimore, Maryland

 

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Johns Hopkins University’s Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences offers an online Master of Arts in Public Management. This MA is selected for this program because of its excellent reputation and high early-career salary.

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Johns Hopkins University is a four-year, private, nonprofit university with a regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences houses a Master of Arts in Public Management. This program is offered on the DC campus or in a 100% online format. The Krieger School stands as number 34 on the US News and World Report Public Affairs ranking. Johns Hopkins ranks very highly in ranking lists around the country. They can be seen at number 10 for the top National Universities, number 20 for Best Value Schools, among the Best 381 Colleges, Best Northeastern, and among the Colleges that Pay you Back. This MAPM program has a higher than average tuition, but makes up for the tuition costs with one of the highest average early-career salary of $65,000. Alumni from this program can be sure of a great start in leadership careers in public service.

Johns Hopkins is made up into 10 sections of campuses in Maryland and Washington, D.C. with centers internationally in Italy, China, and Singapore. Johns Hopkins provides students with number of degrees options that include BA and BS for undergraduate student and MA, MS and Ph.D. Because Hopkins offers both undergraduate and graduate areas of study, many tracks have multiple degrees available. The Master of Arts in Public Management seeks to develop students to be strategic leaders equipped with the necessary skills needed for public management. The program consists of 12 courses. Topic of study include: policy analysis and evaluation, financial management, economics and fiscal policy, and public policy and administration. John Hopkins University’s MA program is shaped to help young professionals to continue working in their field while taking courses to obtain their MPA.

TMD Score: 57.64

#40 University of West Georgia College of Social Sciences – Carrollton, Georgia

 

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The University of West Georgia’s College of Social Sciences offers a Master of Public Administration tat can be completed in an online, on-campus, or hybrid format. This program is selected for this ranking because of its reputation, affordability, and flexible format.

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The University of West Georgia is a four-year, public institute that was founded in 1906. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the College of Social Sciences offers an NASPAA accredited online Master of Public Administration. The Princeton Review has ranked the university as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges for the past 10 years. US News and World Report lists the them among the best national universities, and the College of Social Sciences among the best schools in public affairs. UWG combines their outstanding reputation with an affordable tuition and an extremely flexible format. This combination increases their accessibility, and makes their programs a great option for master’s students and aspiring leaders in the public sector.

The MPA curriculum that University of West Georgia designed is made for those students who are either now in the public service or who are seeking a career in government or nonprofit agencies. The MPA program at UWG is a 36-credit hour program. Students have the option to either have course that are 100% online, face-to-face, or hybrid. Courses within this program include: Public Budgeting and Financial Management, Theory of Public Administration and Ethics, Public Organizational Theory, Administrative Law and Procedures, and Public Human Resource Management. Applicants to the MPA are required to complete and online application and submit official GRE scores.

TMD Score: 58.32

#39 Texas A&M International University College of Arts and Sciences – Laredo, Texas

 

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Texas A&M International University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers an online Master of Public Administration. This program is ranked because of its outstanding flexibility and affordability.

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TAMIU is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1969. TAMIU is a Member of the Texas A&M University System, which is one of the largest university groups of universities in the nation. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the College of Arts and Sciences provides an NASPAA accredited Online Master of Public Administration. The college is ranked among the best public affairs schools, and the university is listed among the best regional universities in the West and in the top 20 public schools in the nation. Students at TAMIU also benefit from one of the more affordable programs from this ranking. This combination of flexibility, affordability, and prestige makes this MPA a great choice for the online student.

Laredo, Texas is a city surrounded by culture and commerce. TAMIU offers over 70 undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degrees in the arts and sciences, business administration, and nursing in the four colleges of the University. TAMIU retains a lot of their undergraduate students and about 64% of them stay to finish a graduate degree. The program consists of 42-credit hours, 33-hours of core courses and nine-hours of electives. The curriculum is designed to develop professionals to lead and manage organizations in the public and nonprofit sectors. TAMIU leverages their culturally diverse community to prepare students for leadership in a culturally diverse world. Applicants must complete an online application and fulfill an interview requirement.

TMD Score: 58.77

#38 John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY – New York, New York

 

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The John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers a flexible online MPA with many options to tailor the program to meet student’s needs and careers. The MPA is ranked in this list because of its excellent public affairs reputation and accreditation.

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John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a four-year, public college that was founded in 1964. The college is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and offers an NASPAA accredited online Master of Public Administration. This online program is offered with three tracks, Inspection and Oversight, Health Care, and Public Policy and Administration. John Jay College was established as the only liberal arts college with a  criminal justice and forensic emphasis in the United States. It is known for its criminal justice, forensic science, forensic psychology, and public affairs tracks and programs. US News and World Report lists it at number 56 for public affairs schools. It is also seen listed in rankings for the top regional universities in the North and the top public schools in the nation. Forbes also ranked John Jay College as number 175 in the ranking for Best College in the Northeast and number 169 in the ranking for Best Public Colleges category respectively.

John Jay College offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s programs to a student body of 14,700 students. The student-faculty ratio is 16:1, and the average freshman retention rate is 78%. The college provides many options for students, including in-person, online, and hybrid courses. The Master of Public Administration Program consists of 42-credit hours of core courses, research methods and quantitative skills, specialization courses, and electives. The three tracks of MPA programs offers specializations in Investigation and Operational Inspection, Organizational Assessment and Monitoring, International Inspection and Oversight, Inspection and Oversight of Health Services, Criminal Justice Policy and Administration, Emergency Management, Human Resources Management, Management and Operations, Public Health Policy and Administration, Health Services Fraud, Waste and Abuse, and Inspection and Oversight of Health Care Delivery. Applicants  to this online MPA must submit an online application, but have no standardized test requirements.

TMD Score: 58.93

#37 Kent State University College of Arts and Sciences – Kent, Ohio

 

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Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a flexible online Master of Public Administration. This program is ranked among the top MPAs in the country because of its outstanding accreditation and world-wide reputation.

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Kent State University is a four-year, public research university in Kent, Ohio. The university is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the College of Arts and Sciences offers an NASPAA accredited Online Master of Public Administration. The college is ranked among the top public affairs schools in the nation, and the university is consistently listed among the top universities in the nation and one of the top public schools. It is additionally ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as one of the top 77 public research universities in the US and one of the top 76 in community engagement. The Times Higher Education ranked Kent State as one of the top 200 universities in the world. Kent State alumni benefit from this excellent national and world reputation, as well as a solid early-career salary.

Kent State University was established in 1910 as a teacher-training school. Today, Kent State is one of the largest universities in Ohio and has approximately 40,782 students enrolled in their eight-campus system, and over 30,000 students at the main campus in Kent. Kent State’s Master of Public Administration program aims to provides the skills and tools to help advance their students career in the public sector. Using unique learning techniques that help students apply what they learn in real time, this program positions students for senior management positions in local, state and regional governments, as well as in nonprofit organizations. Students also will experience a flexible online program structure created to fit the lives of full-time working professionals.

TMD Score: 59.98

#36 University of Baltimore College of Public Affairs – Baltimore, Maryland

 

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The University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs offers a 100% online MPA program. This degree is selected for this ranking because of its flexibility, accreditation, and national reputation.

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The University of Baltimore is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1925. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the College of Public Affairs offers an online Master of Public Administration fully accredited by NASPAA. University of Baltimore is known for their Masters in Public Administration program. UB’s College of Public Affairs is ranked 68th nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of “Best Grad Schools” and the university is listed among the top regional universities in the north. This high recognition allows students to leverage their degree for a competitive advantage in the job market. Alumni additionally benefit from an average early-career salary of almost $47,000. This program is sure to start public servants with a great foundation for leadership and management.

The University consists of undergraduate, graduate, and professional universities located in the heart of the state’s largest city. University of Baltimore schools and colleges offer undergraduate and graduate programs in education in business, law, public affairs, and the applied arts and sciences to a student body just over 6,200. UB believes that public administrators in government and nonprofit organizations must keep reinventing themselves to be able to meet the new challenges of a changing environment and society. Their online MPA program is a 42-credit hour program with a specialization in Public and Nonprofit Management. Courses within this program include: Public Personnel and Human Resource Management, Public Budgeting and Fiscal Administration, Bureaucracy and the Political Process, Legal and Ethical Environment of Public Administration, and Analytical Techniques in Public Administration.

TMD Score: 61.04

#35 Georgia College & State University College of Arts and Sciences – Milledgeville, Georgia

 

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Georgia College & State University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a convenient online Master of Public Administration. This degree is ranked because of its incredible reputation and exceptional accreditation.

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Georgia College & State University is a four-year, public, institute that was founded in 1889. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the College of Arts and Sciences offers an Online Master of Public Administration accredited by NASPAA. GC has been Georgia’s top-ranked public affairs’s university in the U.S. News and World Report ranking for the past four years. The university also receives top marks in university rankings around the nation. They can be listed among the best schools in rankings from US News, including the best regional universities in the South and in the number nine spot for top public schools. Princeton Review additionally names them among the best Southeastern schools. This level of recognition boosts the brand name of this online MPA, and thus gives alumni a competitive advantage when looking for advanced careers in public service.

Georgia College offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs to approximately 7,000 students every year. The Georgia College MPA program helps students develops skills used by managers to implement policies, projects, and programs in the public sector. This 36-credit hour program is delivered in a flexible online format in order to be more accessible to busy working professionals. Professionals can work on preparing for their future leadership careers in public service, as well as immediately implement what they learn in their current workplace. GC’s MPA program graduates work in all levels of government, in nonprofit organizations delivering services in health care, youth and human services, in housing and community development, in international development and in public service-related private businesses. Applicants must submit a complete online application, as well as official GRE, MAT, or GMAT scores.

TMD Score: 61.05

#34 West Chester University College of Business and Public Management – West Chester, Pennsylvania

 

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West Chester University’s College of Business and Public Management provides an NASPAA accredited online MPA program. This degree is selected because of its exceptional education standards and high average early-career salaries.

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West Chester University is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1871. Wester Chester is one of the 14 state universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). The University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the College of Business and Public Management offers an NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration. This program is offered in an online or blended format. West Chester is routinely listed among the top schools in the country. The College of Business and Public Management is highlighted in US News and World Report’s Top Public Affairs Ranking, and the university is ranked as one of the top public schools and top regional universities in the North. Alumni from West Chester also report a solid early-career salary of almost $50,000. With these attributes combined, prospective students can be assured of a great foundation for their future careers in public service.

West Chester University provides bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to over 15,500 students every year. West Chester’s mission of the Department of Public Policy and Administration is to provide high quality accessible public service education for a diverse group of emerging and existing public service leaders. This online MPA is designed to equip students with the skills needed to improve the field of public service. This program is designed for students with professional work experience wanting to further their career and enhance their skills, as well as pre-service students who do not have any experience. Students can tailor their degree and develop a specific expertise by studying one of the concentration areas: Human Resource Management or Nonprofit Administration.

TMD Score: 61.35

#33 Eastern Kentucky University College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences – Richmond, Kentucky

 

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Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences offers an online Master in Public Administration degree. This program is included in this top 50 ranking because of its flexible format, excellent NASPAA accreditation, and high average early-career salary.

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Eastern Kentucky University, commonly referred to as Eastern or by the acronym EKU, was established in 1906. EKU is an undergraduate and graduate teaching and public research institution located in Richmond, Kentucky. EKU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences provides students with an online master’s program in public administration accredited by NASPAA. The NASPAA is the membership organization of graduate education programs in public policy, public affairs, public administration, and public & nonprofit management. The College is listed among the top public affairs schools in the nation by US News and World Report. The university can also be seen ranked among the top regional universities in the South and the top public schools. Alumni from EKU also report a high early-career salary of almost $52,000. These attributes attest the quality of programs available at EKU.

Eastern Kentucky is a four-year, public university offering more than 160 associate’s through doctoral degree programs to almost 17,000 students every year. EKU is committed to accessible degree programs with more than 40 undergraduate and graduate options in an online format. The online MPA is designed to develop students for advanced positions in the administration of public, nonprofit, and even private programs and organizations. This 39-credit hour curriculum consists of 24 hours of core classes, 12 hours of electives, and a three-credit hour final field study. Students can choose to cap off their program with an internship with an applied capstone paper or an analytical research paper. Students can further tailor this degree with a general MPA track with available certificates in Homeland Security, Emergency Management, and Occupational Safety; or with a Community Development Track.

TMD Score: 62.31

#32 California State University, San Bernardino Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration – San Bernardino, California

 

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California State University, San Bernardino’s Brown College of Business and Public Administration offers a highly acclaimed online Master of Public Administration. This MPA is included in this ranking because of its lower than average tuition costs and high level of prestige.

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California State University, San Bernardino is a four-year, public, institute that was founded in 1965. CSUSB is one of the 23 general campuses of the California State University system. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission, and the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration offers an NASPAA accredited online Master of Public Administration. The College is listed among the top 150 public affairs schools by US News and World Report, and the university is additionally ranked among the best regional universities in the west and one of the top public schools in the nation. The Princeton Review also names them as one of the best colleges in the Western Region. Alumni benefit from this high level of recognition, as well as a lower than average tuition cost.

The Master of Public Administration offered at CSUSB prepares students for leadership in public service. CSULB’s mission is to offer a high quality education in public administration founded on public service values. These consists of diversity, and inclusiveness and democratic governance. The MPA at CSUSB is offered through both on campus and online classes. Classes are thoughtfully offered each year in both formats so students can choose the method that fits their life and learning style. CSUSB’s 48-credit hour MPA curriculum provides students with a public administration education, including tools for decision-making, an understanding of the democratic system of governance in the United States, and a capacity to work ethically and professionally in the public interest. Classes within this program include: Administrative Leadership, Public and Non-Profit Project Management, Public Sector Labor Relations, and Accounting for Government and Not-for-Profit Organizations.

TMD Score: 63.08

#31 University of San Francisco School of Management – San Francisco, California

 

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The University of San Francisco’s School of Management offers a flexible Master of Public Administration in a 100% online format. The program is selected for this ranking because of its excellent accreditation and reputation.

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The University of San Francisco is a four-year, private, nonprofit institution that was founded in 1955. USF is a Jesuit Catholic university located in San Francisco, California. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission, and the School of Management offers an NASPAA accredited online Master of Public Administration. USF was ranked as tied for 107th in the National University category by U.S. News & World Report, and the college is additionally ranked by them as a top public affairs school. The Princeton Review also lists them in rankings of the Best 381 Colleges and the Best Western. The school has a higher than average tuition rate, but makes up for it with a higher reported alumni early-career salary. With the many attributes of the USF MPA, prospective students can feel assured of a great foundation for a rewarding career in public service.

USF offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to over 10,700 students every year. USF strives for excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship, creative expression, and service. The MPA program is offered at their downtown San Francisco campus, as well as 100% online. The 38-credit hour program will prepare students for effective leadership in government, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors. Courses within this program include: Managing Budgets, Finance and Economics; Public Policy Analysis and Implementation; Management Practice, Organizational Behavior, and Human Resources, and Information Technology and E-Trends. Applicants must complete an online application process and fulfill an interview request.

TMD Score: 63.80

#30 California State University Dominguez Hills College of Business Administration and Public Policy – Carson, California

 

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CSUDH offers a convenient online Master of Public Administration through their College of Business Administration and Public Policy. This program is listed in this ranking because of its optimal accreditation and high early-career salary.

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California State University of Dominguez Hills is a four-year, public institution that was founded in 1960. CSUDH is part of the 23-school California State University system. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission, and the College of Business Administration and Public Policy offers an NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration. This program is offered on-campus or online to accommodate working students. The college is listed at number 168 for US News and World Report’s top public affairs school ranking. The university is additionally ranked among the top regional universities in the West. To add to the great attributes to this program alumni of master’s programs at CSUDH report an average early-career salary of $63,900, one of the highest in this ranking.

CSUDH offers 46 majors for a bachelor’s degrees, 22 different master’s degrees, and a number of certificate and credential programs to a student body of over 14,600 students. The mission of the College of Business Administration and Public Policy is to educate the leaders who shape the future. The program aims to advance the knowledge, research, and practice of public affairs and administration. CSUDH’s Master in Public Administration program is a flexible program that aims to meet your needs and attempts to emphasizes the multi-disciplinary skills in demand in today’s dynamic work environment. CSUDH’s MPA program has multiple specialized concentrations for students to tailor their studies. Options include Criminal Justice Policy and Administration, Healthcare Administration, Public and Non-Profit Management, and Public Management. Core courses within this program include: Environment and Practice of Public Administration, Public Management, Administrative Theory and Behavior, Public Budgeting, and Foundations of Ethical Administration.

TMD Score: 64.91

#29 Marist College School of Management – Poughkeepsie, New York

 

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Marist College’s School of Management offers a highly respected online Master of Public Administration. This degree program is selected for this ranking because of its flexible format and excellent accreditation.

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Marist College is a 4-year, private, nonprofit college that was founded in 1929. Marist College offers a wide detailed liberal arts education, offering 56 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and 21 certificate programs. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the School of Management offers a top-notch, NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration. This MPA is offered 100% online and as a hybrid program from both Albany and Queens locations. U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review consistently rank Marist as one of America’s top colleges. Rankings they are featured in, include top public affairs schools, regional universities in the North, the Best 381 Colleges, best Northeastern, and Colleges that Create Futures. Additionally, Kiplinger considers Marist as one of the best private schools for value in the country. While the tuition may be slightly higher than the average from this list, the high early-career salary of $56,600 allow for a solid return on investment.

The MPA program at Marist College helps shape students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for an innovative leaders of public and nonprofit organizations in a diverse, technologically engaged, and global society. When you commit to the Master’s in Public Administration graduate degree students have the opportunity to concentrate in specific areas of study such as Ethical Leadership, Healthcare Administration, or Public Management. The graduate degree program emphasizes applied course content through dynamic delivery platforms and is dedicated to the spirit of continuous evaluation and improvement. The MPA consists of 39-42 credit-hours with each course delivered in eight-week sessions.

TMD Score: 65.98

#28 Florida International University Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs – Miami, Florida

 

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Florida International University’s Green School of International & Public Affairs offers an online Master of Public Administration. This MPA is included in this top 50 ranking because of its elite accreditation and strong return on investment.

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Florida International University is a four-year, public institute that was founded in 1965. The university is classified as a research university with highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. FIU has classes provided at two major locations, Miami-Dade County and University Park, as well as online. FIU is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the Green School of International & Public Affairs offers an NASPAA accredited online Master of Public Administration. This school is listed as the 68th top public affairs school in the nation. The university is additionally ranked among the top national universities. This program gives students the advantage of a low tuition cost and solid early-career salary, offering a great return on investment.

FIU offers 191 programs you can choose from with more than 280 majors in 23 colleges and schools. FIU offers many graduate programs, including architecture, business administration, engineering, law, and medicine, offering 81 master’s degrees, 34 doctoral degrees, and three professional degrees. FIU is the largest university in South Florida, the 2nd-largest in Florida, and the 4th-largest in the United States. Enrollment at FIU is about 49,700 students. FIU’s 42-credit hour MPA degree is comprised of 24-credits of core courses and 18-credits of electives. Students have the choice to pursue a specialization with their elective credits. Specializations available include: Human Resources Management, Public Management, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Community Development, or Comparative and International Public Administration. Core courses include: Political, Social & Economic Context of Public Administration; Policy Analysis & Program Planning; Human Resources Management & Policy; Public Finance & the Budgetary Process; and Leadership & Decision Making. Several MPA recipients have held significant positions in federal, state and local government as well as in the nonprofit and private sectors.

TMD Score: 67.30

#27 Grand Valley State University School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration – Allendale, Michigan

 

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Grand Valley State University’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration offers a flexible Master of Public Administration. This MPA is included in this ranking because of its excellent accreditation and highly esteemed educational programs.

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Grand Valley State University is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1960. GVSU  serves more than 25,460 students from all 83 Michigan counties and dozens of other states and foreign countries. It is officially one of America’s 100 largest universities as well as the fifth largest in Michigan in terms of enrollment, and employs more than 3,000 people with about 1,657 academic faculty and 1,623 support staff. the university is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration offers an NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration. This program is offered in an online/hybrid format and offers concentrations in Sustainable Community Development, Health Administration, and Nonprofit Management and Leadership. US News and World Report lists the schools within the top 100 public affairs schools in the nation, and additionally lists the university as a top regional university in the Midwest and in the number three position in their Top Public Schools ranking. The Princeton Review also highlights GVSU in their Best Midwestern ranking. Coupled with this excellent reputation, alumni benefit from a solid early-career salary of almost $51,000.

GVSU offers over 200 areas of study, including 82 undergraduate majors and 36 graduate programs that include 74 graduate emphases and certificate programs at the certificate, bachelor’s, post-bachelor’s, master’s, post-master’s, and doctoral levels. The MPA program at Grand Valley State aims to develop skills and techniques used by leaders and managers to implement policies, projects, and programs in public-serving organizations. The MPA degree is similar to the Masters of Business Administration offered at GVS, except the MPA focuses on the finance and management of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, philanthropic institutions, and healthcare providers rather than for-profit corporations. They attract students who are strongly motivated to be an effective, ethical and innovative organizational leader working for the betterment of your community. The M.P.A. degree consists of a 39-42-credit hours depending on students’ professional experience. Core courses within this program include: Human Resources in Organizations, Organization Theory, and Public Financial Management.

TMD Score: 67.36

#26 Texas State University College of Liberal Arts – San Marcos, Texas

 

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Texas State University’s College of Liberal Arts offers a hybrid Master of Public Administration. This MPA is selected for this ranking because of its excellent reputation and solid ROI.

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Texas State University is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1899 with a focus to educate students to become teachers. Since that time it has grown into the largest institution in the Texas State University System and the fourth-largest university in the state of Texas, boasting an enrollment of over 38,000 students. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the College of Liberal Arts, one of Texas State’s nine colleges, offers an NASPAA accredited hybrid Master of Public Administration. Texas State has many nationally recognized programs. They are listed among U.S. News & World Report’s rankings in top public affairs schools and national universities. The Princeton Review has also ranked Texas State as one of America’s Best Western Colleges. Texas State students benefit from a low tuition rate which is coupled with a solid average early career salary recorded just below $49,000.

Texas State University offers degrees in 97 bachelor programs, 88 master programs and 12 doctoral programs. The Master of Public Administration Program at Texas State has a mission to “cultivate practical, research-oriented students and help them enter careers as reflective practitioners guided by democratic values, integrity, and service.” Most of our full time students complete the MPA degree within two to two and one half years. The MPA core will require about 30 hours of public administration courses. Courses range across many different areas in public administration and management, including public finance, organization theory, public personnel administration, research methodology, and public law. Texas State’s MPA program has concentration areas, so that students can customize their career support areas to reflect their professional needs and goals. These areas are public management, state and local government management, environmental policy and management, urban policy and planning, public finance, and non-profit sector management.

TMD Score: 67.89

#25 Troy University College of Arts & Sciences – Troy, Alabama

 

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Troy University’s College of Arts & Sciences offers a convenient online Master of Public Administration. This MPA is selected for this ranking because of its flexibility, accreditation, and reputation.

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Troy University is a four-year, public institute that was founded in 1887. It is the flagship university of the Troy University System. Troy University serves the students that are a part of four Alabama campuses, sixty teaching sites in 17 U.S. States and 11 countries through on-campus and online programs. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the College of Arts & Sciences offers an NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration. This MPA is offered onsite or in an online format. Troy University’s graduates number more than 100,000 alumni representing all 50 states and from numerous foreign countries. Troy University is known as Alabama’s International University for its relationships and extensive international program in attracting foreign students from around the world. The Princeton Review named Troy to its “Best in the Southeast” list due to excellence in academic programs and institutional data collected from the university. The university is also listed in rankings from US News and World Report, including top public affairs schools, top regional universities in the South, and among the top 25 public schools in the nation.

Troy University provides associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to a main campus enrollment of 6,998 students and the total enrollment of all Troy University campuses of over 17,000 students. It can take as  little as a year and ten weeks for students can achieve their Masters of Public Administration degree onsite or online with top-notch instructors that teach real world skills, including governmental budgeting, program evaluation, public human resource management, policy analysis, strategic planning, grant-writing, and more. The program is designed to train future public leaders and provide a solid foundation for a career or advancement in the public and nonprofit sectors. The program requires a total of 12 courses, nine core courses and three concentration courses. This MPA offers students a choice of seven concentrations to tailor their studies to meet their interests and future career plans. Concentrations available include: Public Management, Government Contracting, Justice Administration, Public Health Administration, Non-Profit Management, Public Human Resource Management, and National Security Affairs.

TMD Score: 67.95

#24 University of South Dakota College of Arts and Sciences – Vermillion, South Dakota

 

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The University of South Dakota’s College of Arts and Sciences offers an online Executive Master of Public Administration. This program is selected for this ranking because of its outstanding national reputation combined with its affordable tuition rates.

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University of South Dakota is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1862. The university consists of seven colleges and and schools, the College of Arts and Sciences, Beacom School of Business, School of Education, College of Fine Arts, School of Health Sciences, School of Law, and the School of Medicine. The university is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the College of Arts and Sciences houses an NASPAA accredited Online Executive Master of Public Administration. The college is listed among the top public affairs schools in the country, and the university can be consistently featured in many rankings around the country. Among the most prestigious rankings highlighting USD is US News and World Report’s National Universities and Top Public Schools, and The Princeton Review’s Best 381 Colleges and the Best Midwestern. USD combines this national prestige with an affordable tuition rate, making it a great choice for aspiring public servants.

USD is the oldest university in the state and is home to South Dakota’s only medical school, law school, and accredited business school. They offer 202 undergraduate and 66 graduate programs to almost 10,000 students annually. USD’s public administration programs aim to strengthen the administrative competencies of public service professionals who are committed to leading public and nonprofit organizations with personal integrity, professional competence, constitutional principles and respect for human dignity. USD developed their EMPA curriculum to help students garner the critical skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the complex public service arena. The online EMPA program consists of 30-credit hours. Courses within this program include: Leadership Theory and Practice, Budgetary and Fiscal Management, Public Personnel Management, Organization and Management, and Administrative Law and Government.

TMD Score: 69.68

#23 University of Colorado Colorado Springs School of Public Affairs – Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

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The University of Colorado Colorado Springs offers a flexible online MPA program through their School of Public Affairs. This program is selected for this ranking because of its reputable standing in the education world and outstanding accreditation from NASPAA.

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The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is a four-year, public university that was established in 1965 as an extension of the University of Colorado System. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the School of Public Affairs offers an NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration degree. Students can study finish the MPA program entirely online, in a face-to-face classroom, or in a combination of both. The School of Public Affairs is listed in the top 100 public affairs schools from US News and World Report. UCCS is additionally ranked among the top regional universities in the West and sits as number nine for top public schools. Alumni from UCCS report a high early-career salary of over $63,000. Students can be sure that this flexible MPA will set a strong foundation for professionals in the sector of public service.

UCCS’s offers 39 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and five doctoral degrees to over 10,500 students annually. The campus has 11,000 undergraduate and 1,700 graduate students, with 26% ethnic minority students. The MPA degree at UCCS is multidisciplinary and created to provide graduate professional education for individuals who want to prepare themselves for administrative and/or policy careers in public, nonprofit, national security and criminal justice systems. They also have built a solid core curriculum covering essential problem-solving and decision-making skills and diverse elective choices, students with less professional experience participate in internships with public and nonprofit agencies. Advance public service through improving the quality of public, nonprofit, national security, and criminal justice systems. The school also aims to teach students from diverse backgrounds to work collaboratively to meet societal challenges ethically, with compassion, vision, analytic rigor, and practicality. The MPA degree takes 36-39 credit hours depending on individuals internship requirements.

TMD Score: 69.75

#22 Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration – Newark, New Jersey

 

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Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration has a Master of Public Administration offered in a completely online format. This program is selected for this ranking because of its flexibility and excellent reputation.

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Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration offers a 100% online Master of Public Administration. This program is fully accredited by the NASPAA and regionally by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. This program has been highlighted by US News and World Report and sits at number 34 for Public Affairs programs. Rutgers additions has received recognition around the country for their tradition in educational excellence. They are seen listed in the Top National Universities ranking, as well as one of the Top Public Schools in the nation. The Rutgers MPA is built with a strong support network of competitive tuition rates, career services, and job placement assistance in order to assist alumni to find new careers or advance to greater responsibilities and roles. Alumni from Rutgers master’s programs report an average early-career salary of $57,200, giving professionals a great start in a long rewarding career.

Rutgers University is a four-year, public university and member of the greater State University of New Jersey. They offer associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to over 11,700 students every year. The MPA is one of the 11 degrees that are offered at Rutgers in an online format. The program allows students to enroll on a full-time or part-time schedule, with the ability to complete the full program in as little as two years. Students will explore the critical areas of ethics, economics, finance, and strategic planning to develop their skills to lead effectively in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. Students can tailor their studies by choosing one of the following concentrations: Public and Nonprofit Performance Management, Healthcare Administration, Nonprofit Management, or Finance and Budgeting Management. Applicants have the additional advantage of choosing from one of three starting points throughout the year, as well as benefit from no GRE requirement.

TMD Score: 69.98

#21 American University School of Public Affairs – Washington, District of Columbia

 

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American University’s School of Public Affairs offers a flexible online Master of Public Policy. This MPAP degree is selected for this list because of its flexible format and commitment to excellence.

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American University was chartered in 1893 and is affiliated with the Methodist Church, though the curriculum is non-sectarian. This private, research university is located in Washington, D.C. The Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public Affairs offers on online Master of Public and Policy (MPAP). The Princeton Review considers American University to be one of the best colleges in the U.S. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the school 5th in public management and administration, 19th in best public affairs schools and 74th in National Universities. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award baccalaureate, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) provides accreditation for the online MPAP program.

There are over 13,000 students enrolled in a program at American University. The school offers programs out of the College of Arts & Sciences, Kogod School of Business, School of International Service, School of Communication, School of Professional and Extended Studies, School of Public Affairs, and the Washington College of Law. The School of Public Affairs houses the online MPAP program through the Department of Public Administration and Policy. The MPAP is a 36-credit program with a three-credit capstone project. The program provides students with ethical, contextual, analytical, and substantive skills and knowledge to influence public policy and lead programs for the private sectors as well as the government and non-profit organizations. While a GRE is usually required for admissions, applicants with extensive professional experience who received their undergraduate degree more than five years prior to their date of application may have their GRE requirement waived.

TMD Score: 71.34

#20 DePaul University College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences – Chicago, Illinois

 

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DePaul University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers an online Master of Public Administration degree. This program is listed within this ranking because of its winning combination of elite accreditation, flexibility, and national prestige.

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DePaul University is a private, Roman Catholic university founded by the Congregation of the Mission in 1898. The university is located in Chicago, Illinois and does an excellent job at creating avenues for first-generation students and others from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve a high quality degree. The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers an online Master of Public Administration. The U.S. News and World Report lists DePaul in the top 100 for public affairs schools and in the top 150 for National Universities. The school is ranked #70 by the Princeton Review for Best Value Schools. Recent graduates from graduate programs report a high entry level salary of $59,600. The Higher Learning Commission’s North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides regional accreditation for Depaul. The online MPA is accredited by the NASPAA.

More than 23,000 students from 50 states and 100 countries are enrolled in Depaul University. An incredible 93% of graduate degree recipients were employed, continuing their education or not seeking employment within six months of graduation in 2015. DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers students a 52 degree hour online MPA. Core courses include: Government Financial Administration, Cross-sector Analysis, Economic Foundations of Public Service, Fundamentals of Human Resource Management, Policy Design and Analysis, Ethical Leadership in Public Service, and Research Methods. Students can choose a specialization in Emergency Management, Public Management, Metropolitan Planning and Urban Affairs, and Metropolitan Planning and Urban Affairs. MPA students can also additionally gain a graduate certificate in Metro Planning and Development or Community Development. This program is designed to educated students to be ethical leaders, who practice justice, accountability, sensitivity, professionalism, and transparency.

TMD Score: 71.41

#19 Arizona State University School of Public Affairs – Phoenix, Arizona

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Arizona State’s Schools of Public Affairs offers an Online Hybrid MPA program. This MPA is selected for our Top 50 ranking because of its flexibility, top-notch accreditation, and solid ROI.

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Arizona State University is a four-year, public institute that was founded in 1885. The 2016 university ratings by U.S. News & World Report ranks ASU as No. 1 among the Most Innovative Schools in America. ASU’s School of Public affairs offers an online hybrid Master of Public Administration program that is often shown on top rankings and continues to separate themselves through innovation and creative teachings models.ASU is the largest public university by enrollment in the U.S. A large part of that is due to their large enrollment in their online programs. ASU online offers more than 100 different degree programs on the bachelor, master’s, and doctoral levels are offered to over 13,750 students every year. The MPA is fully accredited from the NASPAA and the university holds a regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Their commitment to affordability combined with a strong early-career salary of $62,600 offer a strong return on investment for each alum.

The highly acclaimed School of Public Affairs develops business leaders confident in the fields of public management innovation and urban governance. The program consists of internationally recognized professors who are very hands on with their students. They make sure that each student’s workload pairs well with each student’s work schedule. The MPA program at ASU is a 42-credit hour program. This program offers students to gain fundamental business skills and for students aspiring towards leadership and management positions in the public sector. Master of Public Administration courses include: Public Service Research, Public Service Research, Public Affairs, Microeconomics of Public Policy, Public Policy Analysis, Public Budgeting and Finance, Public Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Public Affairs Capstone.

TMD Score: 72.55

#18 University of Illinois, Springfield College of Public Affairs and Administration – Springfield, Illinois

 

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The University of Illinois, Springfield offers a flexible online Master of Public Administration. This program is highly ranked because of its high early-career salary, excellent accreditation, and national reputation.

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Established under a different name in 1969, the University of Illinois, Springfield (UIS) is a public, liberal arts university in Springfield, Illinois. The school became part of the University of Illinois system in 1995. The College of Public Affairs and Administration offers an NASPAA accredited online Master of Public Administration degree. The Princeton Review ranks UIS 13th for Top Public Schools. The U.S. News and World Review ranks the university 63rd in Regional Universities, Midwest and 96th in public affairs schools. Not only does the online MPA come with a low tuition rate but alumni from UIS graduate programs report an entry level salary of $58,700. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award baccalaureate, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University of Illinois, Springfield had a total enrollment of almost 5,500 students in the fall of 2016. The school has 31 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees, and 1 doctoral program. There are approximately 1,700 students who have online majors. The online Master of Public Administration is essentially taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus programs. The degree involves 10 four-hour courses, half of which are core courses. The five core classes include an intro course, Organizational Dynamics, Analytical Tools, Budgeting and Finance, and Human Resources Management. While completing the online MPA students can work towards certificates in Nonprofit Management, Community Planning, and Child Advocacy Studies. UIS also provides a joint-degree in MPA/MPH online. Prospective students wishing to enroll in fall courses must apply before March 1. For those shooting for a spring enrollment applications are due by October 15.

TMD Score: 72.80

#17 University of Delaware College of Arts & Sciences – Newark, Delaware

 

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The University of Delaware’s College of Arts & Sciences offers an online Master of Public Administration. This MPA is included in this top 50 ranking because of its NASPAA accreditation, national reputation, and high early-career salary.

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The University of Delaware (UD) has a main campus is in Newark and satellite campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown. Though this private school was officially launched in 1743, it was not considered an institution of higher education until the 1830’s. UD’s College of Arts & Sciences offers an online Master of Public Administration through the School of Public Policy and Administration. The U.S. News and World report ranks UD at #45 for best public affairs schools and #79 for National Universities. The university is also ranked by reputable organizations like the Princeton Review and Kiplinger. Though the tuition is on the higher side for this list, recent graduates of graduate programs at UD report an entry level salary of nearly $60,000 giving the online MPA a good return on investment. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides regional accreditation for the university. The MPA program is additionally accredited by the NASPAA.

UD is has around 23,000 students enrolled. In 2015 the university awarded over 5,500 degrees. Master of Public Administration online program is specifically crafted to ensure that public service professionals expand their knowledge of current societal issues and bolster their administrative skills by using a curriculum that combines contemporary case studies and applied research. The program is 36-credits and can be completed in as few as 30 months. Online programs at UD include on-demand video resources that enable students to access lessons at any time via smart phones, tablets, or computers. Students have interactive assignments and collaborative learning communities to inspire peer learning. UD also provides quality student services with 24 hour a day, seven day a week technical support. The online MPA has no required on-campus visits though students are invited to attend events of interest such as career fairs and graduation.

TMD Score: 74.46

#16 University of North Dakota College of Business & Public Administration – Grand Forks, North Dakota

 

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The University of North Dakota’s College of Business & Public Administration houses a flexible online Master of Public Administration. This program is highly ranked because of its high education standards and high ROI.

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Located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the University of North Dakota is a public, research, and space-grant university. UND was founded by the Dakota Territorial Assembly in 1883 and is considered the oldest and largest university in the state. The College of Business & Public Administration at North Dakota provides professionals who need flexibility with an online Master of Public Administration. The online MPA program has a very affordable tuition and is accredited by the elite Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The university has notable rankings by institutions like the U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Recent graduate students report an entry level salary of $56,400 upon completion of master’s degrees at UND. The University of North Dakota is fully regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a commission of the North Central Association.

UND is the state’s flagship university with nearly 15,000 students enrolled in at least one of the 3,000 courses offered. The university has a reputation for scholarship and research in entrepreneurship, health sciences, aerospace, and energy and the environment. Nearly 40 programs are offered exclusively online. The 100% online MPA is 36 credits and takes around two years to complete. The courses are semester-based with a live component facilitated online one evening per week. The weekly web class usually lasts three hours. The university offers in-state tuition regardless of residency making this program one of the most affordable in the country. Students can choose a general online Master of Public Administration or an online MPA with a Health Administration track. UND has excellent student support services, such as online tutoring, library, tech support and advising services. Application deadlines are mid-March and mid-October.

TMD Score: 75.05

#15 Old Dominion University Strome College of Business – Norfolk, Virginia

 

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Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business offers a flexible online Master of Public Administration degree. This program is ranked because of its exceptional reputation, NASPAA accreditation, and affordable tuition.

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Old Dominion University was originally established as the Norfolk division of the College of William and Mary in 1930. The school transitioned to an independent university in 1962 and grew into the fine public, research, space-grant, and sea-grant university that it is today. The Strome College of Business at Old Dominion offers an online Master of Public Administration. The Princeton Review places ODU at #118 for Top Public Schools. The U.S. News and World Report has the school at #96 for public affairs schools. The alumni of graduate programs at the university report an entry level salary of $59,800 upon graduation. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation to award baccalaureate, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. The MPA is NASPAA accredited by the Commission on Peer Review & Accreditation. These things combined with a very affordable tuition makes the online MPA at ODU an immensely valuable option.

With a main campus in Norfolk, Virginia and extension campus centers in Hampton, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth, Old Dominion has an enrollment of nearly 25,000. The university has been an innovator in distance learning since the mid-1980’s. ODUOnline offers over 100 online programs. The courses are taught by the same professors who teach on-campus. Ninety-six percent of online students reported that they were satisfied with the education experience. The online MPA is 39 credits with a core curriculum of seven courses and six electives. This program is specifically tailored to cultivate knowledge and competencies in five context areas: organizational design processes and behavior, quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques, policy analysis and program evaluation, political, legal, and ethical concepts and issues of public administration, and public management processes.

TMD Score: 76.01

#14 University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences – Tampa, Florida

 

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The University of South Florida’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a flexible MPA program with classes available in an online format. This MPA is selected for this ranking because of its prestige, affordability, and excellent accreditation.

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The University of South Florida, also known as USF, is a four-year public university with undergraduate, graduate, specialist, and doctoral level degrees. The university is positioned near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, in Tampa, Florida. USF’s College of Arts and Sciences provides professionals with an opportunity to earn a Master of Public Administration with classes online and on-campus through the School of Public Affairs. The U.S. News and World Report ranks USF in the top 150 for public affairs schools and in the top 200 for National Universities. The Princeton Review places the university at 83rd for Top Public Schools. Notable rankings, an affordable tuition, and a prestigious accreditation by the NASPAA places this online MPA high on this list. The institution itself is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

The USF has serves more than 49,000 students through three different campuses – the main campus, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The school has offered an MPA degree since 1977. The MPA is 42-credit hours for students holding public and nonprofit sector management positions and 45-credit hours otherwise. Students can complete the program in as few as two years though, part-time students tend to take three to four years. The MPA program has a mentorship component which allows a wide variety of students to partner with senior administrators in the region. The program also has an internship program which is required for those who enter without relevant management experience and recommended for everybody else. Note that not all classes may be offered online, so check with admissions representatives before you apply.

TMD Score: 76.59

#13 Villanova University Department of Public Administration – Villanova, Pennsylvania

 

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Villanova University’s Department of Public Administration offers a flexible Master of Public Administration in an online format. This program is highly ranked based off its accreditation and alumni early-career salary.

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Villanova University was established by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. This private research university is situated on a 254 acre campus just northwest of Philadelphia in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The Department of Public Administration offers a Master in Public Administration in the online format. This department is ranked in the top 100 by the U.S. News and World Report. Villanova also listed as #50 for National Universities by the U.S. News and World Report as well as #51 Best Value School by the Princeton Review. The alumni of graduate programs at the university report an entry level salary of $66,800 upon graduation. This figure ties with the second highest on this list. Accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The online MPA program is additionally accredited by the prestigious NASPAA.

This Roman Catholic university has over 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University’s six colleges—the Villanova School of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Nursing, the College of Engineering, the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, and the College of Professional Studies. According to the online MPA program’s website, students in the 36-credit program will receive a “solid foundation of core competencies through highly interactive courses focusing on strategic planning and management, preparing you to lead across local/state/federal government, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the nonprofit sector.” There are a few options for those enrolled in the online MPA program at Villanova. Students can get a general degree or specialize in either city management or nonprofit management. For those who are not able to complete an entire MPA, the university offers standalone online graduate certificates in Public Administration, Nonprofit Management, or City Management.

TMD Score: 78.06

#11 (Tie) Northeastern University College of Social Sciences and Humanities – Boston, Massachusetts

 

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Northeastern University’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities offers an online MPA program for busy professionals. This MPA is ranked because of its flexible format, national reputation, and high early-career salary.

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Established in 1898, Northeastern University is located in historic Boston, Massachusetts. This private research university is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern offers an online Master of Public Administration program for busy professionals hoping to propel their career. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the university at #39 and the public affairs program at #77. The school is designated R1 research university by the Carnegie Classification system, meaning it is rated one of the highest level of research schools in the United States. Alumni of graduate programs report earning an average of $66,600 upon graduation, one of the highest salaries on this list. The online MPA program is accredited by the NASPAA, the specialized accreditor of graduate programs in public affairs, public policy, and public administration.

Northeastern has been cultivating leaders and qualified professionals for over a hundred years. Indeed, an impressive 92% of graduates are employed within nine months of graduation. The university provides a large amount of undergraduate and graduate programs through nine colleges and schools, and a number of advanced degrees at graduate campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Silicon Valley, Toronto, and Seattle. The online MPA program consists of 42-credit hours. Most students must participate in an internship of at least fifteen hours per week with a nonprofit, private, or public organization that focuses on urban and regional policy. The internship may be waived for qualified students. Full-time students can complete the program in as few as two years. Part-time students may take three to seven years to complete the program. Prospective students may any time throughout the academic year, though those needing financial aid should apply as early as possible. Applicants must include GRE scores to complete the application.

TMD Score: 78.23

#11 (Tie) University of Texas at Arlington College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs – Arlington, Texas

 

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UT Arlington’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs offers an online Master of Public Administration. This programs is ranked highly because of its exceptional accreditation and affordability.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is a public research university located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area. Founded in 1895, the school was a member of the Texas A&M University System before joining The University of Texas System in 1965. UT Arlington’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs offers a highly rated MPA program. Both the online and on-campus programs are ranked #77 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 ranking of the Best Public Affairs programs. Recent graduates of graduate students at UTA report an entry level salary of $63,600 which is one of the top from this list. Furthermore, the program is very affordable. Accreditation for the university is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Both the online and campus MPA are fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

In 2015 UTA had more than 51,000 students enrollment in on-campus and online programs. The university has approximately 200,000 alumni, most of whom continue to live, work, and thrive in Texas. The online MPA is a 39-credit hour degree that takes students 24 months to complete. Core courses include subject matter such as public human resources, public budgeting, organizational theory, financial management, ethics, and research training. Online students can choose between two electives: Capital Budgeting and Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship. UTA has a required internship for individuals with less than one year of professional public sector work experience. While the application has a preferred Verbal GRE score of 450 and a Quantitative GRE of 450 (combined total of 1,000), the GRE requirement may be waived if applicants meet certain criteria.

TMD Score: 78.23

#10 California State University, Long Beach College of Health & Human Services – Long Beach, California

 

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California State University, Long Beach offers an online MPA program through their College of Health & Human Services. This program sits in our number 10 spot with a tradition in excellent education standards, low tuition costs, and reported high early-career salaries.

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With a picturesque campus located near the coast of the Pacific Ocean, California State University, Long Beach is a public, space-grant university rich in diversity. The university’s College of Health & Human Services provides students with an MPA in both on-campus and distance learning formats through the Graduate Center for Public Policy & Administration. Cal State University, Long Beach has programs that consistently rank high by reputable ranking organizations such as Washington Monthly, Forbes, the Princeton Review, and the U.S. News and World Report. In fact, CSU Long Beach is #35 on U.S. News and World Report’s list for regional universities, west and #7 on Princeton Review’s list of Top Public Schools. Considering that the school has a low tuition and a high reported salary for recent grads of nearly $60,000, the MPA program is an excellent investment.

CSU, Long Beach is a large university with nearly 38,000 students enrolled. The school is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The Graduate Center for Public Policy & Administration’s distance learning MPA program is accredited by the NASPAA (through 2016), an elite accrediting body. This distance learning degree is an accelerated program designed for in-service practitioners that combines both on-campus and online education. The core curriculum consists of courses in human resource management, budgeting and finance, policy analysis, organization theory and behavior, and research methods. The program is 39 units of pre-selected courses that last six weeks long with a two week break between courses. MPA electives include a wide variety of such as negotiating dynamics, leadership, employee-employer relations, nonprofit management, strategic planning, and urban affairs. Overall, the program takes students 24 months to complete.

TMD Score: 81.32

#9 San Diego State University College of Extended Studies – San Diego, California

 

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San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies offers a flexible Master of Public Administration. This program sits in the top 10 because of its combined high quality education and affordability.

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Instituted in 1897 as San Diego Normal School, San Diego State University is a public, research university and a member of the 23 school California State University system. As the name indicates, the university is located in San Diego, California. The university’s College of Extended Studies offers an online MPA program for students who need a combination of quality, affordability, and flexibility. The department is ranked in the top 100 best public affairs schools. The MPA program itself was ranked #1 by the U.S. News and World Report back in 2012. This combined with the low tuition cost and the reportedly high entry level of salaries of alumni makes this online MPA program a top contender. Regional accreditation is provided by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Further accreditation for the MPA is provided by the highly respected NASPAA.

Every year over 35,000 students enroll in a program at SDSU. The school offers nearly 160 undergraduate majors and minors, 16 preprofessional programs, or nearly 100 graduate degrees and credentials. The College of Extended Studies provides an online Master of Public Administration with an intensive at the beginning of the program and one at the end of the program. This MPA is one of the shortest on this list at only 16 months in duration. This 36-unit fast-track degree is taught in six, two-month modules. The last module is a capstone research course that requires students to develop an applied research project. Students present their research to a panel of professional practitioners and faculty while attending the final intensive. The program focuses on bolstering the careers of professionals who currently work in government and nonprofit agencies.

TMD Score: 81.78

#8 University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs – Denver, Colorado

 

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The University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs offers an online Master of Public affairs with multiple concentrations. This flexible program is ranked highly because of its commitment to affordability and excellent academic standards.

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The University of Colorado Denver is a public research university located with a main campus in downtown Denver and a medical campus 10 miles away in Aurora. The School of Public Affairs offers an online Master of Public Affairs. With one of the lowest tuitions on this list, the University of Colorado Denver’s online MPA is sure to be a great value. The School of Public Affairs is rated #34 by the U.S. News and World Report. Upon graduation, alumni from the university report an early salary of around $56,000. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission. The school is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. UC Denver’s School of Public Affairs is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration.

UC Denver is a member of the University of Colorado system. Nearly 24,000 students are enrolled in courses. Last year the school awarded over 1,500 graduate degrees. The university is intentionally looking creating avenues for diversity. In fact, students of color represent 54% of new freshmen and 39% of undergraduates. The School of Public Affairs offers an MPA exclusively online. The program is 36-39 credits and includes 21 credits of core classes, 12 credits of electives, a 3 credit capstone, and 3 credits of internship (for some concentrations). Students can choose among several concentrations such as Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Environmental Policy, Management, and Law, Gender-Based Violence (on-campus intensives required), Local Government, and Nonprofit Organizations. The program takes about two years to complete.

TMD Score: 82.24

#7 University of Missouri Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs – Columbia, Missouri

 

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The University of Missouri’s Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs offers an online Master of Public Affairs. This program ranks highly because of its top-notch accreditation coupled with a low tuition cost.

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Established in 1839, the University of Missouri was the first public higher education institution west of the Mississippi River. The university, also known as Mizzou, is a land-grant research university situated in Columbia, Missouri. The Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs at Mizzou offers a mid-career Masters of Public Affairs online. The Truman School of Public Affairs is ranked 33rd on U.S. News World and Report’s list for best public affairs schools. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition to being accredited by the HLC, the online MPA program is also accredited by the prestigious NASPAA. The ranking, the accreditation, and the low tuition secured Mizzou a high spot on this list.

The University of Missouri offers more than 90 online programs from 17 of MU’s 18 schools and colleges. Recently over 16,000 students were enrolled in one of the school’s 1,000 plus online classes. The Truman School of Public affairs the online MPA program as well as a handful of online graduate certificates. Prospective students must have completed a minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience related to public affairs to be eligible for the program. The online MPA is 33-credits and is exclusively online for maximum flexibility. While students can progress at their own pace, it is possible to complete the program in as few as two years. Students in the online MPA are trained to be proficient in ethical leadership organizational dynamics and leadership, social entrepreneurship, research methods, collaborative governance, economic analysis, financial management, and public policy strategy.

TMD Score: 82.28

#6 University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy –Los Angeles, California

 

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The University of Southern California’s prestigious Sol Price School of Public Policy houses a top-notch online Master of Public Administration. This program stands highly ranked because of its outstanding reputation in the public affairs community, university reputation, and high alumni average early career salary.

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The University of Southern California (USC) is California’s oldest private university with a launch year of 1880. This private, research, sea-grant, and space-grant university is located in Los Angeles, California. Though tuition for the online MPA program may be on the higher side for this list, USC graduate students report high entry level salaries upon graduation making the degree well worth the cost. Furthermore, USC is ranked highly by many reputable organizations such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, Washington Monthly, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities, to name a few. Sol Price School of Public Policy, which houses the online MPA, is ranked 4th among 272 schools of Public Affairs in 2017 by the U.S. News & World Report. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges provides regional accreditation for undergraduate and graduate degree programs at USC. The Masters of Public Administration degree is also accredited by the NASPAA.

For over 85 years USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy has been providing outstanding education opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Price currently offers three undergraduate programs and over a dozen graduate programs. The online MPA is the Price’s exclusive online program. According to the program’s website, the online MPA “connects cutting-edge research to the practice of public policy and management, equipping students with the skills required for all the challenges and opportunities of the ever-changing nature of public administration—sound management, analytical, and policy-making skills.” Students are required to attend two units of residency, one at the beginning of the program and one at the end. To help with flexibility, the residency components are on the weekends and are located at a few locations throughout the United States. The intensives allow students to meet faculty and classmates face-to-face.

TMD Score: 83.97

#5 University of Nebraska Omaha College of Public Affairs and Community Service – Omaha, Nebraska

 

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The University of Nebraska Omaha offers an online MPA program through their College of Public Affairs and Community Service. This program is ranked in the top five because of its excellent accreditation, affordability, and reputation.

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Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) is a public research university. Though the school was originally founded as a private Christian college with a different name in 1908, the university became a public institution in 1930 and then was integrated into the University of Nebraska system in 1968. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission’s North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition to being regionally accredited, UNO’s online MPA program is also accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Having launched in 2000, this online program was the first accredited MPA program in the U.S. to be delivered completely via the Internet. UNO’s extremely affordable online MPA program is highly ranked by U.S. & World Report.

UNO has over 15,000 students registered participating on one of the more than 200 programs of study across six different colleges. The College of Public Affairs and Community Service’s School of Public Administration offers eight programs on-campus and two programs online. The same high quality faculty who teach the on-campus programs facilitate the online MPA program. Students can choose to concentrate in Aviation, Emergency Management, Local Government, Nonprofit, Public Management, or Public Policy. The school also offers an online specialization in Criminology and Criminal Justice. In an effort to allow students a chance to get to know professors and fellow students all new online students are required to attend the one-day on-campus mandatory orientation prior to the start of beginning their course work. Students living out-of-state can apply for the Advantage Scholarship through College of Public Affairs Community Service to offset distance-learning costs. The low tuition and the high quality of faculty make this online MPA program a great value.

TMD Score: 85.91

#4 Baruch College, CUNY Marxe School of Public and International Affairs – New York, New York

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Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs offers a flexible Master of Public Administration program. This MPA is selected for this ranking because of its outstanding reputation in the education world and high average early-career salary.

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Baruch College is a four-year, public college,regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college is named after financier and statesman Bernard M. Baruch, and is a member of the greater City University of New York. It consists of undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. programs through its Zicklin School of Business, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. The Marxe School of Public and International Affairs houses a Master of Public Administration, one of the best in the nation. It is fully accredited by NASPAA, the nation’s chief accrediting body for schools of public affairs and administration. This program is very flexible, giving students a choice of attending classes on-campus during the day or at night, or in an online format. The school is ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top 50 public affairs schools. Baruch can additionally be seen in rankings across the country, including the Best 381 Colleges, Best Northeastern, Colleges that Pay you Back, one of the best Regional Universities in the North, and one of the Top Public Schools in the country. In addition to this highly-acclaimed education, students also benefit from a higher than average early career salary.

Baruch College has a student body numbering over 18,400 students, and has been highlighted for the past seven consecutive years as the ‘Most Ethnically Diverse College’ in United States by US News. Baruch’s MPA students develop skills in budgeting, communications, economic analysis, fundraising, management, program evaluation, and research methods, and additionally cover topics around American government and public policies in such areas as immigration, the environment, housing, economic development, health care, and foreign affairs. Students also have the choice of tailoring their studies with one of the following specializations: Health Care Policy, Nonprofit Administration, Policy Analysis and Evaluation, Public Management, and Urban Development and Sustainability. The MPA requires a minimum of 42 credits for those with at least one year of administrative experience and 45 credits for those required to complete a three credit internship. Baruch’s admissions is known to be selective, and follows their version of a holistic admissions process by considering teacher recommendations, application essay, and extracurricular activities, in addition to standardized test scores and GPA.

TMD Score: 87.67

#3 Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs – Bloomington, Indiana

 

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Indiana University’s SPEA offers an online Master of Public Affairs. This program is highly ranked because of its unparalleled recognition in the public affairs sector and greater education world.

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Indiana University is a four-year, public institution that began back in the 1820s. The university is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the highly-esteemed School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) offers a NASPAA accredited Online Master of Public Affairs. This program curriculum is a combination of a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Public Policy. It is currently ranked as the number one public affairs degree by US News and World Report. Indiana University is additionally seen in multiple rankings from US News and The Princeton Review, including top National Universities, the Best 381 Colleges, Best Midwestern, and Colleges That Pay you Back. Students also benefit from a high early-career salary. Alumni from Indiana University report a salary at $56,800, giving students a solid return on their investment.

Indiana University is a four-year, public university, that spans across eight campuses, with a large student body of over 48,500. The Bloomington campus is the flagship campus of the greater system, and offers more than 550 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs through their 16 degree-granting colleges and schools. IU Bloomington’s SPEA is dedicated to preparing students for complex and exciting public service jobs. This 48-credit hour program consists of six core courses, up to 10 advanced electives, and an experiential component. Students are required to choose a focus area from one of the following areas: Public Management, Nonprofit Management, Policy Analysis, or Public Budgeting and Financial Management. Core courses within this program include: Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision Making, Public Management Economics, Law and Public Affairs, Public Finance and Budgeting, and Capstone in Public and Environmental Affairs.

TMD Score: 90.51

#2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

 

The Old Well, the symbol of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers one of the most sought after online Master of Public Administration programs. The MPA stands out with its high accreditation and highly respected and well known School of Government.

Photo courtesy of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s prestigious School of Government offers a top-notch Online Master of Public Administration. This program combines the flexibility of an online program with the rich curriculum of a traditional program. The MPA is fully accredited by the NASPAA, the global accrediting body of graduate programs in the fields of public administration, public policy, and public affairs. The School of Government is widely viewed as one of the top 25 public affairs schools in the country. UNC Chapel Hill additionally receives awards from US News and World Report and The Princeton Review for their outstanding education and practices. Among their rankings and awards is Top National Universities, Best Value Schools, Best 381 Colleges, Best Southeastern, and Colleges That Pay You Back. Alumni from UNC Chapel Hill have reported an early-career salary  of $55,800, ensuring students of a return on their financial and time investment.

UNC Chapel Hill is a four-year, public university that stands as one of the oldest state universities in the country. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and they offer undergraduate and graduate programs to a student body of over 29,000 students through traditional and online classrooms. The Online MPA program is designed to teach the critical skills needed for leadership and executive roles in government and nonprofit organizations. The 45-credit hour program has a flexible format, allowing students to finish in as little as 18-months or up to five years. The curriculum consists of core courses, electives, a professional work experience practicum and course, and a final portfolio project. Students can customize their degree to fit their career goals with one of five tracks: Community & Economic Development, International Relations, Local Government, Nonprofit Management, or Public Health. Applicants have four starts dates to enter the program, and must submit an online application and official GRE, LSAT, or GMAT scores.

TMD Score: 90.90

#1 Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service – College Station, Texas

 

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Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service offers a prestigious and flexible Online Executive Master of Public Service and Administration. This program is ranked at the top of our list because of its excellent attributes across the board, in reputation, accreditation, affordability, and return on investment.

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Texas A&M University tops our 2017 Top 50 Online MPA ranking with an Online Executive Master of Public Service and Administration. This EMPSA program is delivered in an online format with one week residency each year, in order to make it fully accessible to working students. The curriculum in the EMPSA is fully accredited by the NASPAA and the highly esteemed Bush School of Government and Public Service is viewed among the top Public Affairs schools in the country. US News and world report ranks the Bush School at number 31. The University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and can be consistently seen in regional and national rankings from US News and The Princeton Review. Rankings and awards given to Texas A&M include top National Universities, Best Value Schools, Best 381 Colleges, Best Western, and College that Pay You Back. This program is sure to be a great return on investment with alumni reporting an average early-career salary of $68,700, the highest from this ranking.

Texas A&M University is a large, four-year, public school offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to over 63,800 students every year. The Bush School is one of 12 colleges and schools at TAMU. The two to three-year, non-thesis, 39-credit hour EMPSA program is designed to help students develop in-depth and advanced skills in public service, leadership, decision making, and investigative and evaluative skills specifically for the public sector. Students have the choice to tailor their studies by choosing one of three tracks: Homeland Security, Nonprofit Management, or Public Management. The program requires applicants to have five or more years of professional experience and submit an online application and official GRE or GMAT scores.
TMD Score: 100.03

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