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Top 50 Online Master’s Degrees in Public Administration 2015

Public Administration is a complex field that mixes business, policies, and public impact. It consists of the management of public programs, policies, and finances set by governmental authorities that are not performed by private organizations. Organizations in the government and nonprofit sector carry out these tasks and have a great need for efficient, effective, and mission-driven leaders. These leaders must have the efficient and effective skills to lead businesses and people, the ethical and political skills to manage public policies, and the democratic skills to bring about positive sustainable change for the greater public.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

A master’s degree in public administration (MPA) is the widely accepted professional credential for a management career in public service. It is an important step for public leaders to gain knowledge and hone skills to implement policies, projects, and programs within government and nonprofit organizations. The skills focused on in an MPA are very similar, if not the same, to the skills taught in a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Both leaders need skills in finance, human resources, and management, but the why and the where the skills are used are very different. The Public Administrator uses these critical skills for the goal of public service and within a democratic environment. These key points are intrinsically involved in MPA curriculum, and students passionate about public service will find their values mirrored more closely within an MPA program.

In addition, an online master’s degree in public administration will allow students to not only gain the integral education for leadership in the government and nonprofit sector, but allow students to continually build their professional experience without interruption. An online degree can give flexibility without compromising educational integrity. Here is our list of the Top 50 Schools for Online Master’s Degrees in Public Administration.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

The data for this ranking was derived from the most recent and publicly available sources, including The Princeton Review, US News and World Report, National Center for Education and Statistics, and PayScale. This ranking combines the results of two of the most influential higher education rankings in order to give a well rounded ranking of the programs available. This data was additionally calculated with each school’s average graduate school tuition and average early career salary to factor in an ROI on the master’s program. Finally, each school was ranked on 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. The NASPAA accreditation recognizes that a master’s program in public affairs has gone through a rigorous process of voluntary peer review and has met NASPAA’s Standards for Professional Master’s Degree Programs in Public Affairs, Policy and Administration.

#50 Northern Michigan University College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies – Marquette, Michigan

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Northern Michigan University is a 4-year, public university that opened its doors in 1899 to 32 students as the Northern State Normal School. What started as a small institution for education teachers has grown to a university offering over 140 degree programs to a student population of 9,000. NMU offers a wide breadth of programs, from one-year diplomas, to a doctorate in Nursing, and from on-campus programs to fully online programs.

Within the College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies and the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service, NMU offers a Master of Public Administration. This 36-38 credit degree is completed completely online. This program offers theoretical knowledge for future public leaders to develop competencies in methodological and technical areas of public administration. An internship is required within the degree plan, with the option of students with one or more years of work experience in a relevant field gaining an exemption from the internship. Also within the curriculum, students are given the choice of concentrations within the areas of criminal justice administration, human resource administration, state and local government, and public management. Core courses include: Principles of Public Administration, Ethics and Public Administration, Organizational Theory, and Politics of Public Budgeting.

#49 California Baptist University Online and Professional Studies – Riverside, California

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California Baptist University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, Christian university that was founded in 1950 by the California Southern Baptist Convention. In the past 65 years, CBU has grown to offer over 90 bachelor’s, master’s, and credential programs on-campus, as well as online. Offered, as a part of CBU’s Online and Professional Studies, is an online Master of Public Administration.

This 36-unit MPA program is designed in an accelerated format which allow students to finish in 16 months. Coursework within this program covers key areas of finance, leadership, technology, public policy and political process while emphasizing integrity, accountability, honesty, and faith. The program ends in the options of Comprehensive Examination Seminar, Research Project, or Research Thesis. Core coursework includes: Leadership and Management, Public Finance and Budgeting, Public Personnel Management, Information Management & Decision Support in Public Organizations, Public Policy Analysis, Legal and Ethical Issues, Political Economy, and Organizational Theory.

#48 Regent University Robertson School of Government – Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Regent University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was originally founded in 1978 by Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson as CBN University. Since its founding, Regent has grown to offer on-campus and online programs to over 5,500 students annually. Among Regent’s exceptional online programs, is a Master of Public Administration thru the Robertson School of Government. This 36-credit program is designed to cover theory and practice within the public servant sector. Curriculum covers topics of US politics, political history, the US government and constitution, leadership, economic theory, the legislative process, analytical and critical thinking skills, and servant leadership. After the 24-credit hours of core courses, students are able to develop a concentration, and then finish their coursework with electives, a thesis, or an internship.

#47 Ashford University Forbes School of Business – San Diego, California

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Ashford University is a 4-year, private, for-profit university that was founded in 1918 by the Sisters of St. Francis as Mount St. Clare College. What was started as a junior college for women, has now grown into a 4-year, private, for-profit university that offers a wide array of programs on-campus as well as online. Among their online offerings, is a Master’s degree of Public Administration thru the Forbes School of Business.

This 36-credit hour MPA program prepares future public leaders by covering concepts of organizational leadership all within the context of public service. Curriculum topics include financial management, budgeting, quantitative methods, urban planning, redevelopment, personnel management, interpersonal and management skills, decision-making skills, policy implementation, personnel management, and critical thinking skills. Courses within this program include: Organizational Behavior, Human Resources Management, Business Ethics & Social Responsibility, Public Financial Management, Government Budgeting, Urban Planning/Redevelopment, Negotiation, Bargaining, & Conflict Management, and Public Policy Development.

#46 Walden University School of Public Policy & Administration – Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Walden University is a 4-year, private, for-profit university that was founded in 1970. Walden’s mission is to be an agent of social change. This mission drives their online master’s programs to be practical and applicable to the challenges in the workplace and our communities.

Walden’s School of Public Policy & Administration offers an online Master of Public Administration. This program is designed to prepare future leaders in public administration to serve the public and promote positive social change. Curriculum is designed to enhance skills and expand knowledge of public administration and policy through topics in public-sector problems, building community partnerships, and developing and communicating creative solutions. Specializations within this program include: General, Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, Health Policy, Homeland Security Policy and Coordination, International Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), Law and Public Policy, Local Government Management for Sustainable Communities, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Policy Analysis, Public Management and Leadership, and Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

#45 Strayer University Graduate School – Washington, District of Columbia

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Strayer University is a 4-year, private, for-profit university that has a rich 120 year history of teaching working adults. In 1892, Strayer was founded as Strayer’s Business College of Baltimore City. Over the years, Strayer has grown to offer 27 different degree programs and over 65 concentrations. Not only has Strayer grown over the years, but they have paved the way in online learning. Strayer has been offering online courses since 1996. Among their online offerings is a Master of Public Administration offered by their Graduate School. This MPA program is designed to develop future leaders and managers in government, nonprofit organizations, NGOs, lobbying and consulting firms, and activist organizations. Courses within this curriculum include: Public Budgeting and Finance, Operations Management, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Public Personnel Management, International Public Administration, and Modern Public Administration: Managing Public and Nonprofit Organizations.

#44 University of North Carolina at Pembroke School of Graduate Studies and Research – Pembroke, North Carolina

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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is a 4-year, public university that was founded in 1887 as a small school to educate Native American Teachers. Seated in Pembroke, this UNC campus is surrounded by the nationally known beaches and resorts, and sits midway between Boston and Miami. As a member of the University of North Carolina System, UNC Pembroke has grown to a 4-year public university offering 41 undergraduate programs and 18 graduate programs to the 6200 students.

UNC Pembroke’s School of Graduate Studies and Research offers an online Master of Public Administration. This 45-credit hour program is designed to prepare future leaders in the public sector. Curriculum within this program explores theory and application within topics such as political institutions and process, managerial concepts and skills, and analytical skills and techniques. Within this program, students are offered to customize their studies with a choice of four different concentrations: Public Management, Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, or Health Administration. Core courses within this program include: Leadership and Administration in Public Affairs, Organizational Behavior, Analytical Methods, Human Resource Administration, Quantitative Analysis, Policy Studies, Principles of Budgeting and Finance.

#43 National University School of Professional Studies – La Jolla, California

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National University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1971. National University offers 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees thru five different academic schools to over 18,000 students annually. National University not only offers numerous on-campus courses but also over 1200 courses online. One of their online offerings is a complete Master of Public Administration through their School of Professional Studies.

This MPA program is designed for future leaders in government management. Important topics within this curriculum include financial management, budgeting, quantitative methods, urban planning and redevelopment, personnel policies, politics, public administration in a multi-cultural environment, managing government employees, and grant writing while also emphasizing written and oral communication skills, critical thinking, and decision making throughout. This program is made-up of 54 credit units and includes a choice of specializations in Human Resource Management, Organizational Leadership, and Public Finance. Core courses within this program include: Foundations of Public Administration, Public Personnel Policy, Quantitative Methods, Ethics, Urban Planning and Redevelopment, Finance Management and Grant Administration.

#42 Valdosta State University College of Arts & Sciences – Valdosta, Georgia

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Valdosta State University is a 4-year, public university that opened in 1913 as a normal college for women. Today, Valdosta reaches over 12,000 students with degrees from associate to doctorate. Offered within Valdosta’s College of Arts and Sciences is an online Master of Public Administration degree. This is a 36-credit hour non-thesis program designed to prepare students for careers in public service. The curriculum in this program covers topics of technical skills, ethical skills, oral and written skills, and familiarity of information management systems for public managers and administrators in a multi-cultural environment. Students are given the choice to tailor their degree with a choice of two concentrations, Public Policy and Public Sector Management. Core courses within the program include: Human Resource Management, Quantitative Methods for PA, Performance Analysis, Information Management, Governmental Budgeting & Finance, and Organizational Theory & Behavior.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

#40 California State University-Dominguez Hills College of Business Administration & Public Policy – Carson, California

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California State University-Dominguez Hills is a 4-year public university that was founded in 1960. CSU-Dominguez Hills is a member of the great Cal State University System of 23 campuses that reaches 450,000 students every year. The Dominguez Hills campus itself offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees to over 14,000 students through classes on-campus and online.

Among their many graduate degree offerings, CSU-Dominguez Hills offers an online Master of Public Administration. This program is designed to develop students into effective managers in the public sector and nonprofit organizations. Students can choose between three concentrations within their MPA program curriculum, Criminal Justice Policy and Administration, Healthcare Administration, and Public and Non-profit Management.

#40 Nova Southeastern University H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Nova Southeastern University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was established in 1964 as Nova University of Advanced Technology. NSU has grown over the years to offer a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through 18 colleges and schools to 27,000 students every year. Among their 18 colleges, NSU houses the Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, one of the top business schools in the country. The Huizenga School has more than 40 years of experience in public administration and offers an online Master of Public Administration.

The Huizenga MPA is designed for future managers of the public sector, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. This program’s curriculum is focused on current and relevant public sector challenges and teaches students to cultivate their analytical skills, leadership management, decision-making skills, effective communication skills, to use financial, economic, statistical, and technological models within a legal, ethical, and diverse framework. This 42-credit hour program can be completed in as little as 21 months and allows students to select a concentration of State & Local Administration, Non-Profit/Non-Governmental Organizations, Criminal Justice Classes, and Disaster and Emergency Management. Core courses include: Public Administration in Theory and Application, Managing Information and Technology in the Public Sector, Administrative Law and Ethics in the Public Sector, Public-Sector Human Resource Management, Public Finance, Public-Sector Statistical Analysis, and Public Policy Analysis.

#39 Bellevue University College of Business – Bellevue, Nebraska

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Bellevue University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university founded in 1966. Bellevue is regionally accredited and desires to make high quality education accessible to all. Today, Bellevue offers over 70 degrees to nearly 10,000 students throughout their 15 campuses.

Among their online offerings, Bellevue offers a Master of Public Administration. This program is designed for students interested in becoming managers and leaders in government, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and public office. The curriculum is designed to cover topics including strategic planning, funding efforts, assessing human and financial resources, social, and cultural challenges facing the public sector, as well as enhancing written and verbal communication skills. Core Courses within this MPA program include: Foundation in Public Administration, Communications in the Public Sector, Organizational Modeling & Decision Theories, Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness, Strategic Planning and Policy Development, Finance for the Public Administrator, and Public Administration Leadership.

#37 Liberty University Helms School of Government – Lynchburg, Virginia

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Liberty University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was established in 1971 and is said to be the largest Christian university. Liberty University offers more than 250 online certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to more than 95,000 students around the world. Among their extensive offerings is a Master of Arts in Public Policy-Public Administration. This 39-credit hour program designed to develop students to be experts in the professional and administrative issues in policy and government. Core courses included in the program include: Introduction to Writing, Research & Turabian, Economics & Public Policy, Political Philosophy, Leadership, Statesmanship & Governance, Introduction to Geopolitics & International Diplomacy, and Foundations of American Governance. Courses within the Public Administration Cognate include: Fundamentals of Public Administration, Politics, Strategies & Initiatives of Common Economic Development, and Public Policy Analysis.

#37 Thomas Edison State College Watson School of Public Service & Continuing Studies – Trenton, New Jersey

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Thomas Edison State College is a 4-year, public college that was chartered in 1972. It has grown to offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs in more than 100 areas of study to over 21,000 students annually. Thomas Edison State not only offers on-campus courses but online classes as well.

Among their online courses available is a Master of Public Service Leadership. This 36-credit hour program is designed to develop leaders for nonprofit organizations, faith-based and community-based organizations and local, state and federal government. Core courses within this program include: Law, Ethics & Decision Making in Public Service, Project Leadership & Communications, Organizational Management, Public Service Leadership & Governance, and Public Finance. Students are also given the option of selecting areas of study, including: Community and Economic Development, Environmental Policy/Environmental Justice, Information Technology Management for Public Service, Nonprofit Management, Public Municipal Finance, and Public Health/Public Policy.

#36 Norwich University College of Graduate and Continuing Studies – Northfield, Vermont

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Norwich University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1819 as the nation’s first private military college. Today, Norwich offers 30 bachelor’s degrees, nine master’s degrees, and two certificate programs. Norwich educates 2,300 students on-campus and 1,200 students online.

Among their many online offerings is an online Master of Public Administration. This program gives students a solid foundation in topics such as organizational leadership and change, strategic planning, ethics, and financial management and data analysis. Students are also given the choice to focus their studies on a concentration, including public works and sustainability, criminal justice and public safety, leadership, organizational leadership, fiscal management, nonprofit management, municipal governance, and international development and influence. Core curriculum within this program includes: Foundations of Public Administration & Policy, Public Administration Research & Analysis, Public Organization Resources and Processes. The program concludes in a week-long residency on campus at Norwich University in Vermont.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

#35 University of Michigan—Dearborn Horace H. Rackham College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters – Dearborn, Michigan

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The University of Michigan—Dearborn is a 4-year, public that was founded in 1959 with a land grant from the Ford Motor Company. UofM Dearborn has grown from 34 students to over 9,000 today. They offer over 50 major programs and over 50 minor programs. Also available to Dearborn students are online degree programs to accommodate working students.

Through the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, UofM Dearborn offers an online MPA program. The curriculum within this 36-credit hour program is designed for future leaders in government, nonprofit, and educational organizations and develops technical administrative skills and competencies in leadership, finance, personnel, planning, and evaluation. Core courses within this program include: Introduction to Administration, Leadership and Administration, Administration of Financial Resources, Administration of Human Resources, Statistics and Information Systems.

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

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Florida Gulf Coast University is a 4-year, public university that opened its doors in 1997. In the past 18 years, FGCU has grown to offer 51 undergraduate degree programs, 28 graduate degree programs, one specialist program, and two doctoral degree programs to over 14,000 students. Among their many academic offerings is an online Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This program is designed to prepare students for administrative positions in the public and nonprofit sector by enhancing students’ leadership, management, critical thinking, and communication skills. Core classes within this 36-39 credit hour program include: Introduction to Public Administration, Organizational Theory & Behavior, Public Budgeting, Program Planning & Evaluation, Public Policy, and Public Personnel Administration. After the core curriculum, students are then able to choose between two degree concentrations, Public Leadership and Management or Environment Policy and Planning, to direct their studies.

#33 Gannon University College of Engineering and Business – Erie, Pennsylvania

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Gannon University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, Catholic university that was founded in 1925. Today, Gannon offers a wide academic scope with nine associate’s degrees, 55 bachelor’s degrees, 22 master’s degrees, three doctoral degrees, and professional degrees to its 4,410 student population. Offered through Gannon’s College of Engineering and Business is a Master of Public Administration through an online format.

This online MPA program is focused on training future leaders in nonprofit, government, and healthcare organizations in the areas of business, political science, personal development, organizational development, and community development. The curriculum consists of 36-credit hours and can be completed in as little as two years. MPA Core Courses include: Elements of Public Administration, Administrative Decision Making Skills, Ethics and Public Policy, Statistical Analysis, Management and Marketing Concepts, Administrative Law and Ethics, Strategic Planning, and Organizational Culture, Creativity and Change. Students are also able to choose a specific specialization to tailor their studies, including an Administrative Specialization, Organizational Leadership Specialization, and a Customized Track.

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

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The University of South Dakota is a 4-year, public university that was established in 1862 as the University at Vermillion. Today, the University of South Dakota teaches over 10,000 students with over 150 degree programs. USD provides their students with the flexibility of choosing on-campus and virtual degree programs, depending on time and distance constraints.

Among their many offerings, the College of Arts and Sciences offers an Executive Master of Public Administration. This EMPA program is designed for professionals with a minimum of five years of professional experience who desires increase their leadership potential in the public and nonprofit sectors. The EMPA curriculum consists of 30 credit hours and is focused on helping students build their core professional competencies in order to lead and manage organizations with integrity, professional competence, and innovation. The required core courses within the program include: Facilitation and Conflict Management, Budgetary & Fiscal Management, Public Personnel Management, Organization and Management, Administrative Law and Government, Administrative Thought and Ethics, Advanced Leadership Theory and Practice.

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

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Texas A&M International University is a 4-year, public university that was founded in 1960. In 1989, TAMIU became a member of the Texas A&M University System. TAMIU now offers over 7,000 students degree plans at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate level. There are 4 colleges at TAMIU: College of Arts and Sciences, A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business, College of Education, and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Offered through the College of Arts and Sciences is an online Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. Since 2001, the MPA at TAMIU has been developing and preparing future leaders of the public and nonprofit sector. This 42 credit hour program focuses on teaching analytical and critical thinking, effective communication skills within public agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

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

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Marist College is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, liberal arts college that was founded in 1929. From its humble beginnings, Marist College has grown to offer 44 bachelor programs, 12 master’s programs, and 21 certificate programs to over 6,000 students annually. Marist not only has a strong background in on-campus education, but has also been teaching high-quality online courses for 15 years.

Among its many online programs available, is an online Master of Public Administration offered through the School of Management. Marist has offered this MPA program to students since 1980. The curriculum within this program covers the critical knowledge, skills, and values for future ethical nonprofit and public leaders to develop effective management, communication, decision-making, critical thinking, problem solving, and qualitative and quantitative analytical skills to work toward the betterment of communities around the world. This 42 credit hour program offers students three concentrations to tailor their studies; Ethical Leadership, Healthcare Administration, and Public Management.

#29 Florida Institute of Technology College of Extended Studies – Melbourne, Florida

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Florida Institute of Technology is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1958 to educated students in the space program. Today, Florida Institute of Technology spans over five academic colleges offering on-campus and online programs to over 9,000 students. Among the 60 online courses available is a complete Master of Public Administration degree.

FIT’s MPA degree is designed for students who desire leadership positions in government and nonprofit organizations. Experienced professors deliver a curriculum to help students develop skills to design and manage policies, programs, and services in nonprofit and government agencies. Students will work within the public administration curriculum and hone teamwork, decision-making, communication, leadership, and ethical skills for a diverse public environment.

#28 Golden Gate University Edward S. Ageno School of Business – San Francisco, California

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Golden Gate University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that started in 1901 as an evening law school making law studies available to the common person. Golden Gate started as a law school for four students and has grown to a wide academic offering to 5,000 students. GGU offers classes at four different teaching sites, but most courses and degrees are available online.

Among the many online degrees offered is an Executive Master of Public Administration by the Ageno School of Business. GGU has been educating public administration professionals for over 50 years. The program is given in an accelerated format consisting of 36 units, and can be completed in as little as 18 months. It is designed to prepare future leaders in the government and public sector with the knowledge of public affairs, policy, and administration. The curriculum covers topics including: problem-solving, law and justice in public service, ethics, organizational leadership, policymaking, government-business partnership, budgeting and financial management, personnel management and labor relations, change management, and productivity and diversity in public service and non-profit organizations. Core courses within the program includes: Theory, Ethics and Practice in Public Service, Organizational Analysis and Development, Public Enterprise Management and Public Sector Business Relations, Budgeting and Financial Management, and Public Service and the Law. Students are also given the choice to pick a concentration between the topics of General Public Administration and Judicial Administration.

#27 Franklin University College of Health and Public Administration – Columbus, Ohio

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Franklin University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit University founded in 1902. Franklin was founded to educate adult students in continuing education and has now grown to be the second largest private university in Ohio, educating over 6,000 students every year. Franklin is dedicated to serving the student and making their graduate experience as concise and affordable as possible, to the extent that they will accept more previous college credits than most other colleges.

Among the online programs available, is a Master of Public Administration through the College of Health and Public Administration. This program is designed to prepare students for leadership and management careers in government and nonprofit sectors. Topics covered within the MPA curriculum include: policy-making, budgeting and financial management, personnel administration, ethics, critical thinking, process improvement, fundamental budgeting and financial analysis, practical leadership skills, strategic organizational communication, and applied analytical techniques for decision making and problem solving. Core courses within the 40 credit hour program include: Political Advocacy & Legislative Analysis, Management, Budgeting & Financial Management, Personnel Administration, and Government & Nonprofit Leadership. Also, students are able to choose a specific track to tailor their studies, including Criminal Justice Administration, Healthcare Administration, and Human Resource Management.

#26 Southern Utah University College of Humanities & Social Sciences – Cedar City, Utah

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Southern Utah University is a 4-year, public university that was established in 1897 as a teacher training school. Today, Southern Utah offers 90 academic majors through six schools and colleges to over 7,000 students every year. Through Southern Utah’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, students are able to receive a Master of Public Administration online. This 36-credit hour program is designed for future leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors and can be completed in two years. The curriculum within the program is focused on critical thinking, communication, ethics, decision-making, leadership, and management. Core classes include: Theory of Public Administration, Public Sector Economics, Administrative Law, Public Human Resource Management, and Critical Thinking and Ethics in the Public Sector. After the core courses, the program concludes in a choice of Internship, Thesis, or Professional Project.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

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

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Georgia College & State University is a 4-year, public college that was founded in 1889 as the Georgia Normal & Industrial College emphasizing teacher training and business skills. Today, Georgia College employs over 300 faculty, offers over 60 degree programs, and has nearly 6,700 students. Among the many degree programs, Georgia College offers an online Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This 36-credit hour program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to ethically lead and manage complex and diverse organizations in the public sector as well as promote effective public policy. In addition to the public administration topics, students will also hone skills in critical thinking, analytical skills, and research methodology and tools necessary to lead public organizations.

#24 California State University-San Bernardino College of Business & Public Administration – San Bernardino, California

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California State University-San Bernardino is a 4-year, public university that is a member of the greater 23-campus strong Cal State System, teaching more than 400,000 students. Cal State San Bernardino, like other Cal State campuses, offers on-campus as well as online courses and programs. Cal State San Bernardino offers 10 accredited online programs available to over 15,000 students every year.

Among the online degree plans available is a Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. The program is designed to teach future leaders in public service about serving the public interest and managing in a democratic environment. Students are given the choice of concentrations to tailor their studies between a Generalist, Cybersecurity, Leadership, or Public Financial Management Track. All courses are delivered online with a final comprehensive exam that must be taken on campus. Courses within the program include: Administrative Leadership, Management of Private Nonprofit Organizations, Management of Public Organizations, Public Sector Labor Relations, Policy and Regulation, Public Management Information Systems, Diversity and Public Organizations, and Public Budgeting and Finance.

#23 Eastern Kentucky University College of Arts and Sciences – Richmond, Kentucky

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Eastern Kentucky University is a 4-year, public university that was established in 1906 as the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School. EKU has grown over the years to seven different Regional Campuses and enrolling over 16,000 students every year. Within the EKU College of Arts and Sciences, students can enroll in an online Master of Public Administration.

This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This program is designed to prepare students for leadership and management positions in public and nonprofit organizations, with a special emphasis on regional and local government. Students are able to choose between a General Track or a Community Development Track to customize their degree. Core courses within the 39-credit hour program include: Administrative Law, Research Methods, Administration, Ethics, and Public Policy, Public Sector Leadership, Public Sector Organizations and Management, Public Human Resources Management, Public Finance Administration, and Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation. Students then complete their program with a final exit requirement of an internship with a capstone paper or an analytical research paper.

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

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Troy University is a 4-year, public university founded in 1887 as the Troy State Normal School. Today Troy University offers a full range of degrees in a traditional classroom as well as online to over 20,500 students every year. Troy offers an online Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This MPA program consists of 12 courses and can be completed in as little as a year and ten weeks. The curriculum is designed to teach future ethical public leaders skills in governmental budgeting, program evaluation, public human resource management, policy analysis, strategic planning, and grant-writing. Students can choose between one or two concentrations to tailor their studies. Concentrations include: Public Management, Government Contracting, Justice Administration, Healthcare Administration, Non-Profit Management, Public Human Resource Management, and National Security Affairs. Students without at least one year of related professional experience may need to complete an internship.

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

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Kent State University is a 4-year, public university that was founded in 1910 as the Kent State Normal School. Kent State has grown to offer more than 300 degree programs on eight campuses to more than 46,500 students every year. Through Kent State’s 16 academic departments, centers, and institutions, students are able to complete degrees on-campus and online.

Among the online degree programs available is a Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This program consists of 36-39 credit hours and can be completed in two years. The master’s degree is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills for senior management positions in local, state and regional governments, and nonprofit organizations. MPA Program Core Courses include: Public Budgeting and Financial Management, Public Personnel Administration, Strategic Planning, Personal Accountability in the Public Service, and Public Sector IT Management. Students within the MPA program with relevant professional experience may waive the required internship requirement.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

#20 Marywood University College of Health and Human Services – Scranton, Pennsylvania

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Marywood University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, Catholic university that was founded in 1915 as the first college for women in northeastern Pennsylvania. Marywood has grown to offer a wide array of academic programs to over 3,000 students annually. Within the College of Health and Human Services and the School of Social Work and Administrative Studies, Marywood offers students an online Master of Public Administration. This 36-credit hour program weaves theory and practice of public policy and administrative studies to develop students into the future government, nonprofit, and public leaders. Students are given the choice of three specializations within the program, including: General Public Administration, Nonprofit Leadership, and Homeland Security. Core Courses within the MPA include: Principles of Public Administration, Public Policy Analysis, Human Resource Management, Research Methodology, Public Budgeting and Finance, Law and Public Affairs, and Ethics.

#19 Pennsylvania State University—World Campus School of Public Affairs – University Park, Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania State University—World Campus is the online campus of Penn State, a 4-year public university. Penn State has been offering distant learning for over 100 years and was one of the first major colleges to offer online education. The online courses through Penn State World Campus are the same academically challenging courses taught on campus.

In partnership with the Penn State School of Public Affairs, Penn State World Campus offers an online Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of public policy, affairs and administration. This 36-credit online program is designed to develop future government and nonprofit leaders within topics of organizational behavior, governmental fiscal decision making, public organization and management, human resources in the public and nonprofit sector, research methods, and management information systems for public and health administration. Core courses within the program include Public Organization and Management, Governmental Fiscal Decision Making, Human Resources in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors, Management Information Systems for Public and Health Administration, and Organizational Behavior. In addition to core courses, a 300-hour internship is required of students without two years of full-time
relevant professional experience.

Penn State World Campus also offers three graduate certificates: Policy Analysis and Evaluation, Public Budgeting and Financial Management; and Public Sector Human Resources Management. Credits from the certificate programs can be applied toward the requirements for the MPA.

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

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The University of Illinois—Springfield is a 4-year, public university that was established in 1969 as Sangamon State University. Today UIS stands as one of three distinguished campuses of the University of Illinois. UIS alone offers 44 degree programs, through four different academic colleges, to over 5,000 students. The same faculty that provides the highly esteemed on-campus courses also provides online courses for the students needing flexibility in their education.

Among the online programs available, is a Master of Public Administration offered through the College of Public Affairs and Administration. The UIS online MPA program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. The program is designed to prepare students to be professional and administrative leaders in public and nonprofit organizations.

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

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Old Dominion University is a 4-year public university that was founded in 1930 as the Norfolk division of the College of William and Mary. ODU offers over 160 degree programs, through seven colleges, to more than 8,600 students with more than 70 virtual degree plans. ODU is one of the largest providers of distance learning in the country.

Among the online offerings is a Master of Public Administration through the Strom College of Business and the School of Public Service. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This program is designed to enhance students’ knowledge and skills in the areas of public management processes, public budgeting, personnel systems, organizational design processes and behavior, political, legal, and ethical concepts and issues of public administration, quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques, and policy analysis and program evaluation. The core curriculum courses within the 39-credit hour program includes: Administrative Theory I: The Context of Public Administration, Administrative Theory II: The Process of Public Administration, Public Budgeting and Financial Management, Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation, Legal and Ethical Foundations of Public Administration, Research Methods for Public Administration, and Capstone Seminar in Public Administration.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

#16 Florida International University College of Arts and Sciences – Miami, Florida

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Florida International University is a 4-year, public, research university that was founded in 1965. With a student body of nearly 50,000, Florida International University is among the top 10 largest universities in the nation. Within FIU’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of International and Public Affairs, students can enroll in an online Master of Public Administration degree. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. The core courses within the 42-credit hour program includes: Political, Social & Economic Context of Public Administration, Policy Analysis & Program Planning, Human Resources Management & Policy, Quantitative Applications, Public Finance & the Budgetary Process, Leadership & Decision Making, Applied Research Methods for Accountability in Public and Non-Profit Organizations, and The Practice of Public Management. In addition to the core courses, students are able to choose between specializations in Human Resources Management, Public Management, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Community Development, Comparative and International Public Administration, or an Outside Field.

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

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The University of Colorado Denver is a 4-year, public university that was founded in 1973. CU Denver is a member of the greater University of Colorado System and alone offers over 130 degree plans through 13 academic schools and colleges to over 22,000 students every year. CU Denver’s Schools of Public Affairs offers an online Master of Public Administration program for students interested in management and leadership positions in government, nonprofit, and public organizations. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. The MPA program is designed to impart knowledge and skills in communication, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, management, and leadership while students become experts in the field of policy, public governance, and public service. Core courses with this MPA program include: Introduction to Public Administration and Public Service, Organizational Management and Behavior, Research and Analytic Methods, Economics and Public Finance, The Policy Process and Democracy, and Leadership and Professional Ethics.

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

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Arizona State University is a 4-year, public university that was founded in 1885 as a Normal School. Today, ASU consists of four campuses educating over 76,000 students every year through on-campus and online degree programs. Among the highly acclaimed schools at ASU, is the hybrid online Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. The MPA program consists of 42-credit hours and two weekend intensive courses, that focuses on developing students’ analytical, decision-making, management and leadership skills for future leaders and managers in the government and nonprofit sectors. Course topics include: organizational structures and dynamics, financial management, personnel management, statistics tools, research methods, ethics, administrative decision-making, problem solving, policy analysis, leadership, communication skills, organizational development, and team building.

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

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San Diego State University is a 4-year, public university that was founded in 1897 as the San Diego Normal School. What started out at a training facility for elementary school teachers has grown to a leading public research university. Today, SDSU offers 91 bachelor’s degrees, 78 master’s degrees, and 19 doctorates to over 33,000 students every year.

Among the online degree offerings at SDSU is an online Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This MPA program consists of 36 credits and two on-campus experiences. The program is designed for students currently employed in management positions in government and nonprofit agencies. Courses within the program include: public administration theory, research methods, administrative theory, public personnel administration, public finance management, and public policy.

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

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The University of North Dakota is a 4-year, public university that was founded in 1883 as a College of Arts & Sciences with a Normal School for the education of teachers. Today, UND is North Dakota’s oldest and largest University reaching over 15,000 students with 225 fields of study, nearly 40 online degree programs, and 84 graduate education programs. UND’s commitment to online education not only shows in the number of programs available but also through the availability of in-state tuition regardless of residency. Among the many programs offered online is a Master of Pubic Administration that is offered through the College of Business and Public Administration.

This online MPA program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This 36-credit hour program is designed for students looking to gain administrative roles in government, nonprofit, healthcare, and social organizations. Students will not only hone skills in communication and decision-making, but also gain knowledge and tools in the areas of ethics, leadership, financial management, human resource development, public policy, research methods, management theories, and governmental institutions. In addition to the core courses within the program, students are able to choose between a General, Health Administration, or Social Entrepreneurship Track to tailor their studies. Also available with just 12 more credits are Graduate Certificates in Health Administration, Public Administration, Policy Analysis, or Social Entrepreneurship.

#11 University of Texas at Arlington Distance Education Center – Arlington, Texas

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The University of Texas at Arlington is a 4-year, public university that was established in 1895 as Arlington College. In 1967, Arlington College joined the nationally acclaimed University of Texas System. UT Arlington offers over 180 degree awarding programs through ten colleges and schools to over 41,000 students every year. UT Arlington offers quality on-campus programs as well as online programs, including an online Master of Public Administration.

The UT Arlington online MPA program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This program consists of 39-credit hours and an internship and can be completed within 24 months. The curriculum is focused on the knowledge and topics needed for leaders and managers within the government, nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Courses within the program include: Public and Non-Profit Human Resources, Ethics in Public Service, Foundations of Urban Research and Analysis, Public Budgeting, Financial Management in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors, Intergovernmental Relations, and Public and Non-Profit Organization Theory.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

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

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The University of Pennsylvania is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, Ivy League university that was chartered in 1755. The University of Pennsylvania is stated to be first American university as well as the first medical school in the American colonies. Today, the University of Pennsylvania educated over 24,000 students and awards over 100 different degrees every year. Among the highly acclaimed academic schools at Penn, is the Fels Institute of Government that had been educating future public leaders for 75 years.

Penn’s Fels Institute offers a hybrid Executive MPA program to emerging public leaders that have an average of 5-10 years of professional experience. This program meets one weekend per month on campus with all coursework and discussion supported online in between weekend intensives. This program focuses on delivering the knowledge and practical tools needed for students to excel as public and nonprofit leaders. Courses within the program include: Planning for Performance, Public Innovations, The Art of Politics, Negotiations, Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis, Economic Principles for Public Policy, Financial Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations, and Critical Issues in Public Finance.

#9 University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Public Affairs & Community Service – Omaha, Nebraska

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha is a 4-year, public university that started as a small private college in 1908. Since its inclusion in the Nebraska System in 1968, UNO has grown to offer 70 undergraduate degrees, 44 master’s degrees, one specialist degree, and six doctoral degrees to over 15,000 students annually. UNO not only offers nationally acclaimed on-campus programs, but online programs as well. Among their online degrees available, is a Master of Public Administration through the College of Public Affairs and Community.

This online MPA program is not only accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA, but was the very first online MPA program to be awarded this accreditation. The coursework is delivered through an online format with one on-campus requirement at the beginning of the program as a beginning orientation. This 39-credit hour program includes core courses including: The Public Economy, Public Administration and Democracy, Seminar in Organization Theory and Behavior, Research Methods, Policy Design and Implementation, Organizational Development, Strategic Planning and Management, Policy Evaluation, Advanced Management Analysis, Policy Analysis. Additionally, students can choose between the following concentrations and specializations to tailor their studies: Aviation, Emergency Management, Local Government, Nonprofit, Public Management, and Criminology and Criminal Justice. Online MPA students are also given the opportunity to complete a dual degree, combining the MPA degree with either a Master of Social Work or a Management of Information Systems degree.

#8 University of South Florida College of Graduate Studies – Tampa, Florida

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The University of South Florida is a 4-year, public, research university that was founded in 1956. Since its founding, USF has grown in prestige and size, now offering 180 degree plans to over 47,000 students annually. The USF College of Graduate Studies offers an online Executive Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This 36-credit hour program is designed for experienced professionals wanting to enter into careers as successful leaders and managers in nonprofit and public organizations. Core courses within the program includes: Public Administration Theory and Practice, Ethics and Public Service, Public Budgeting, Policy Analysis, Implementation, and Program Evaluation, Quantitative Aids for Public Managers, Collaborative Governance, Executive Leadership, Political Economy for Public Managers, Public Information Management, and Project Management.

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

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The University of San Francisco is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, Jesuit Catholic University that was established in 1855 as Saint Ignatius Academy. USF was founded on the values of social justice, leadership in service, diversity, and ethical responsibility. Today USF reaches more than 9,500 through its five campuses and online resources. Among the programs that USF offers online is a Master of Public Administration offered through the School of Management. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This program is designed to develop skills in the working professional to become greater managers and leaders in the public sector. The curriculum within the program will cover topics including management principles, public policy, ethics in public service, budgeting, human resource management, and emerging technology, and how it affects public sector leadership.

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

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American University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was chartered in 1893 by Congress. American University houses seven schools and colleges, and offers over 150 academic programs to over 12,000 students annually. The highly acclaimed School of Public Affairs at AU delivers a unique experience with access to the nation’s capital and world-renowned faculty and research.

Through the School of Public Affairs, AU offers an online Master of Public Administration. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. Students can expect the curriculum within this 36-credit hour program to provide them with the analytical, contextual, ethical, and substantive skills and knowledge to effectively lead and manage programs, processes, and people within public, private, and government organizations. Courses within the program include: Foundations of Policy Analysis, Project Management, Legal Issues in Public Administration, Public Managerial Economics, Budgeting and Financial Management, Leadership in a Changing Workplace, Managing Human Capital Assets, and Organizational Analysis.

Recommended Online Master's in Public Administration

#5 University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs – Columbia, Missouri

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The University of Missouri is a 4-year, public university that was founded in 1839 and this campus stands as the flagship campus of the greater University of Missouri System. Mizzou is Missouri’s most comprehensive university, offering more than 300 degrees through 19 different academic colleges to over 35,000 students every year. Mizzou Online is the branch of the university that brings online courses and over 90 degrees to students with geographical and time constraints.

Mizzou’s Truman School of Public Affairs offers a Master of Public Administration that is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This program is for students who desire to take their career in public service to the next level. This 33-credit hour MPA degrees will cover the critical topics of ethical leadership, organizational dynamics and leadership, social entrepreneurship, collaborative governance, public policy strategy, economic analysis, financial management, and research methods.

#4 Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Villanova, Pennsylvania

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Villanova University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, Catholic university that was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. Villanova strives to prepare students to be ethical leaders, to think critically, and to act compassionately, and to succeed while serving others. Villanova offers over 100 graduate degrees through on-campus and online formats.

Among the online programs available is an online Master of Public Administration through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This 36-credit hour program is designed to develop effective leaders and managers in government, non-governmental, private, and public organizations. The curriculum is focused on developing a solid foundation in the following topics: strategic planning, personnel management, leadership skills, effective communication skills, value-based decision-making strategies, professional ethics, financial management, and lobbying, advocacy, legal and political skills. Courses within the program include: Public Administration Theory, Organization Theory, Financial Management, Public Personnel Management, Administrative Communication, Leadership Ethics, and Strategic Planning. The MPA program concludes with students sitting with a comprehensive capstone exam.

#3 Northeastern University College of Social Sciences and Humanities – Boston, Massachusetts

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Northeastern University is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, research university that was founded in 1898. Northeastern offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs in nine colleges and schools at three campuses across the US. Northeastern not only offers highly acclaimed on-campus programs, but online programs as well. Among the online programs available is a Master of Public Administration.

Northeastern’s online MPA is designed for students desiring management and leadership roles in public and nonprofit organizations. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This 42-credit program is focused on developing students’ analytical, conceptual, and practical skills required for effective leaders in public administration. Core courses within the program include: Quantitative Techniques, Techniques of Policy Analysis, Public Personnel Administration, Organizational Theory and Management, Budgeting and Financial Management, Economic Analysis and Institutions, and Institutional Leadership and the Public Manager.

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

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the nation’s oldest state university that started teaching students in 1793. Today UNC Chapel Hill is a 4-year, public university that reaches over 29,000 students on-campus as well as in virtual classrooms. Among the online programs available at UNC Chapel Hill is a Master of Public Administration offered through the School of Government.

The online MPA program at UNC Chapel Hill is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. This MPA program teaches students the skills required for leadership roles government and nonprofit organizations. Core courses will lay a solid foundation in public administration law, institutions, and values, financial and human resource management, organizational theory, professional communication, and data analysis and evaluation for decision-making. Available focus areas for students to tailor their studies include: Community & Economic Development, Local Government, Nonprofit Management, International Relations, and Public Health. This program consists of 45-credit hours that can be completed in as little as 18 months.

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

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The University of Southern California is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that started in 1880 with 53 students. Over the past 134 years, USC has grown to one of the nation’s leading research universities and teach over 41,000 annually. Among the many highly acclaimed schools at USC is the Sol Price School of Public Policy. Within the Price School, students are able to enroll in an online Master of Public Administration.

The Price School online MPA program is designed for students who desire to be ethical leaders and innovators in the public sector and pursue management level careers. This program is accredited by the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, the NASPAA. Students can expect to develop their analytic capabilities, political leadership, and communication skills needed to solve complex social problems. Topics to be covered in the MPA curriculum includes: finance, leadership, human resource, project and program management, organization and social processes, and problem-solving strategies. This program requires two residency components as well as an intensive weekend class session.

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