Business Management Degree Finder

  1. 1

Top 50 Master’s of Public Administration Programs 2018

The Master’s of Public Administration is seen by many as the public sector equivalent to an MBA, with curriculum typically covering the development of leadership and management while providing a unique viewpoint of public service. The University of Michigan’s Political Science Department initially proposed this type of program in response to governmental inefficiency and corruption in 1913. The curriculum in an MPA program is focused on developing students into effective and knowledgeable leaders with advanced communication skills, and ethical leaders who can manage policy development and navigate the societal impacts. It often includes relevant subjects such as Nonprofit Management, Economic Development, Public Financial Management, International Development, Public Health, Environmental Policy, and Community and Regional Planning.

Over the last century, this degree has grown in popularity and there are now hundreds of programs across the country that are offered in both on-campus and online formats. On-campus programs are great for students who enjoy and learn best in an in-person learning environment. These programs are also great for students who are looking for full-time, intensive programs during the day, although there are many with schedules made with working professionals in mind.

The field of public service and public policy is in demand of skilled, ethical, and knowledgeable leaders who understand the sector and the complexities within it. MPA degrees develop these skills and turn students into leaders for executive and management careers in public service, government, non-profit, and even for-profit organizations. To help prospective students looking for the right fit in an on campus MPA program, here is our list of the Top 50 On Campus Master’s of Public Administration programs in the nation.

Note: A detailed explanation of the methodology we used to determine the best MPA programs can be found at the end of the ranking.

#1 University of Georgia School of Public & International Affairs – Athens, Georgia


At the University of Georgia, students can earn a highly recognized, on-campus, Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public & International Affairs. This program earned the number one spot on our ranking due to its many national recognitions, affordable tuition rates, and overall quality of education provided.

Photo credit
The University of Georgia is continually recognized for their outstanding educational programs, including their nationally renowned Master’s of Public Administration. The School of Public & International Affairs holds elite accreditation from theNetwork of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and maintains a standing position in many of the top ranking systems around the nation. This MPA program currently holds the #6 position on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking and the University itself is listed among the Best Southeastern Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review.T his well rounded Master’s of Public Administration includes a comprehensive core curriculum, as well as, research methods and internship opportunities to further enhance student’s learning experience. UGA’s unique program also gives students the ability to choose an area of specialization in Health Policy and Administration, Higher Education Administration, Local Government Administration, Nonprofit Administration, Public Budgeting and Finance Administration, Public Management/Organization Theory, or Public Policy. The University of Georgia’s Master’s of Public Administration degree is an exceptional value with pricing between $14,000 and $19,999, making this program one that graduate students from all backgrounds can feel confident in.

>The University of Georgia is a four-year, public university located in Athens, Georgia. The University’s 17 schools and colleges enroll over 36,000 students each year through 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The UGA holds a regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The School of Public & International Affairs offers a nationally ranked MPA program that can be completed in around two years. Student’s interested in applying to this prestigious program have four dates to submit a full online application, GMAT/GRE scores, transcripts from all universities previously attended, and letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 100.00

#2 University of Nebraska Omaha School of Public Administration – Omaha, Nebraska


At the University of Nebraska Omaha students can earn an on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree that is well respected within the educational community. Dedication to student success, hands on learning opportunities, and state and national recognitions are just a few of the reasons that make this well-rounded MPA program a great choice.

Photo credit
The on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree at the University of Nebraska Omaha holds distinguished accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and is currently ranked within the top 30 on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs ranking. The University itself is mentioned in the National Universities ranking and listed as one of the Best Midwestern Colleges by the Princeton Review. Students can complete their degree in 39 credit hours or around two years and have two specializations of Criminology and Criminal Justice Information or Technology Management. There are also six concentrations to choose from including Emergency Management, Healthcare Administration, Local Government, Nonprofit Management, Public Management, and Public Policy. At the University of Nebraska Omaha helping students become well-rounded leaders is a top priority. Those seeking their MPA will definitely benefit from the student centered approach to higher education and very affordable price-point below $13,999.

The University of Nebraska, Omaha is a four-year, public, university that is considered one of the national leaders in public service education. The Master’s of Public Administration degree at UNO was one of the first accredited MPA programs in the nation and currently holds its regional accreditation through the prestigious Higher Learning Commission. The campus itself has a relatively small student body of around 15,000.This on campus program encourages students to become active participants within the city. Omaha is home to four Fortune 500 companies and offers an array of internship and professional career opportunities for students after graduation. Among the many options available to students at the University of Nebraska Omaha is Master’s of Public Administration offered through the School of Public Administration. Students interested in continuing their educational journey at UNO are encouraged to submit an online application which will include a current resume, transcripts from all universities previously attended, an admissions essay, GRE scores, and two letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 98.81

#3 University of Kansas School of Public Affairs & Administration – Lawrence, Kansas


Students can earn a well respected on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree through the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas. This program offers students a nationally ranked MPA at an affordable price point.

Photo credit
The School of Public Affairs & Administration at the University of Kansas features a highly acclaimed on campus Master’s of Public Administration that is accredited through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The University is currently listed among the Best Midwestern Colleges in the United States by the Princeton Review and US News and World Report currently ranks the MPA program at KU #23 in the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs category. This 43-credit hour program is offered in two formats in order to fit the unique needs of students. The MPA-Internship option has a summer start date and includes a year of full-time, paid, professional internship experience. The MPA-Career option is designed for those who have significant public service experience and would like to earn their degree while continuing their current job in local, state, or federal public management. KU develops well rounded students by providing an interdisciplinary approach to student learning. Graduates of the Master’s of Public Administration program will be prepared to lead dynamic teams, communicate effectively, budget confidently, and use analytical skills to solve problems efficiently. The affordable tuition, along with a well-rounded curriculum makes earning an on campus MPA at the University of Kansas an incredible investment in your future!

The University of Kansas is a four-year, public, university that is home to nearly 28,000 students each year. KU has held membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities since 1909. The main campus is located in Lawrence, with additional locations in Kansas City, Overland Park, Wichita, and Salina. Students are sure to find a field of study they are passionate about, with the University offering over 370 degrees through their 13 academic colleges. Graduate students can earn a highly respected Master’s of Public Administration degree through the School of Public Affairs & Administration. Prospective students must submit an online application, official college transcripts reflecting a minimum of 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, personal statement, a writing sample and GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 98.09

#4 Florida State University Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy – Tallahassee, Florida


The Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University offers a highly acclaimed Master’s of Public Administration. The FSU’s MPA earned its place in this ranking because of the program’s affordability and many national recognitions.

Photo credit
Florida State University’s Askew School of Public Administration and Policy offers students an on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree with accreditation through the distinguished Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This 42 to 45 credit hour program is currently ranked in the top 30 Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs with US News and World Report and the University itself is included on the Princeton Review’s Best Southeastern Colleges ranking. FSU’s MPA offers students an established curriculum that consists of core courses such as Profession of Public Administration, Public Organizations, Public Financial Management, Policy Development and Administration, and Human Resource Management. Participants of the program then move on to elective coursework, and applied research project, and internship opportunities. This is an affordable Master’s with pricing between $14,000 and $19,999. Florida State’s MPA is an intense program designed to create a graduate portfolio that stands out to potential employers.

Florida State University is a four-year, public research university, that was established in 1851. The University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and is an active member of the State University System of Florida. FSU offers over 360 programs of study, through 16 colleges, to over 41,000 students annually. Florida State University’s elite Askew School of Public Administration and Policy gives working professionals the opportunity to earn an campus Master’s of Public Administration degree that is sure to stand out in a crowd. Applications for this competitive degree can be completed online. The program requires GRE scores, current and professional resume, three letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from all universities attended, and a personal statement of no more than two pages.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 97.34

#5 University at Albany, SUNY Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy – Albany, New York


Students at the University at Albany, SUNY can earn a highly accredited Master’s of Public Administration degree through the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. The MPA program at SUNY Albany stands out because of their reasonable tuition rates, exceptional accreditations, and national prestige.

Photo credit
The University at Albany, SUNY offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration that is highly accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, as well as, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The University is currently listed by the Princeton Review as one of the Best Northeastern Colleges in the United States, and US News and World Report also currently ranks them in the top 25 for Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs in the nation. The estimated cost for this 49 credit hour MPA is average compared to others on our list with tuition rates between $20,000 and $29,999. The program includes a fast paced and career relevant core curriculum, personalized elective options, and internship opportunities. Additionally students may choose to concentrate in areas such as Environmental Policy & Politics, Financial Market Regulation, Global Affairs, Government Information Strategy and Management, Healthcare Management, Health Policy, Homeland Security, and many others. At the University of Albany, SUNY students can earn an MPA that is sure to impress potential employers.

The University at Albany is a four-year, public university, that is a part of the highly regarded State University of New York school system. The college was founded 1844 and sits on 586 acres in Albany, New York. Over 17,000 students join the university each year to earn their undergraduate or graduate degree. The university offers 125 graduate degree programs through its nine colleges and schools. Students can earn a well respected on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy. In order to apply prospective students are encouraged to fill out the program’s online application which will include letters of recommendation, resume, GMAT/GRE/LSAT scores, a one to two page personal history, and transcripts from all universities previously attended.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 97.07

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


The School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration. This program is a great option for students with its cutting edge curriculum, program flexibility, and respected reputation within the education community.

Photo credit
Arizona State University’s School of Public Affairs holds prestigious accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Additionally the University itself holds regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and is currently listed on the Princeton Review’s list of Best Western Colleges. The Master’s of Public Administration program at ASU currently holds the #9 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking and offers students a variety of opportunities to develop leadership skills that will help them to advance in careers within the public sector. Arizona State’s MPA program includes a fast-paced 42 credit hour curriculum with a variety of courses focused on meeting the rapidly changing expectations of those working within the field of public services. Students first cover core courses and then have the opportunity to choose an area of concentration in Urban Management, Nonprofit Administration, Emergency Management, or Public Finance. ASU is a great option for anyone looking to catapult their career in competitive public sector.

Arizona State University is a four-year, public university that has been noticed for its educational excellence since its founding in 1885. The University spans seven locations and their main campus in Phoenix, Arizona serves almost 12,000 students each year. They offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs through 15 academic colleges and schools, including a well established on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Affairs. In order to apply students will need to submit a full application which will include official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, current professional resume, and a personal statement.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 96.51

#7 University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs – Austin, Texas


The University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs offers an elite on-campus Master’s of Public Administration program. This MPA is among the most prestigious in the country with its consistent acknowledgement from the top ranking systems around the country.

Photo credit
Students of the prestigious University of Texas at Austin can earn a well rounded public service centered degree through the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. This on campus Master’s of Public Affairs holds elite accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and can be seen ranked within the top 10 in the US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. They are further listed among the Best Western Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review. At the University of Texas students receive exceptional leadership and public management educations with the flexibility to tailor the curriculum to meet their future goals. First Johnson School of Public Affairs MPA students participants complete a set of required core courses. They then can choose from seven unique concentration areas to finish their degree. The concentration options include International Affairs, Natural Resources and the Environment, Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies, Public Management and Leadership, Social and Economic Policy, Technology, Innovation, and Information Policy, and Urban and State Affairs.

The University of Texas at Austin is a four-year, public university that educates over 51,000 students each year. The University holds a regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs through 17 colleges and schools. Those wishing to apply to this competitive program must complete a full application online. Within the application students will need to submit a current resume, essays, one letter of recommendation, official transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, and an interview requirement.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 96.28

#8 University of Central Florida School of Public Administration – Orlando, Florida


Students can earn a NASPAA accredited Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of Central Florida. This program made an excellent addition to our ranking because of its accreditations, reasonable tuition rates, and flexible format.

Photo credit
Students at the University of Central Florida can earn an on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree with esteemed accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This program is currently recognized by US News as #44 in Public Affairs. UCF is additionally listed among the Best 381 Colleges and Best Southeastern Colleges by the Princeton Review. The University itself is regionally accredited by the prestigious Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and is highly competitive. Their on campus Master’s of Public Administration program is 42 credit hours long and includes a comprehensive capstone project during the final semester. Most students graduate within two years but the program can be adapted to meet the needs of working professionals as well. Along with graduate success, expansive alumni, and many degree options, the University of Central Florida also offers an affordable tuition rate between $14,000 and $19,999.

The University of Central Florida was established in 1963 and is now one of the largest public universities in the nation. The impressive 1,415 acre campus and is home to over 63,000 students each year and offers more than 210 diverse and specialized undergraduate and graduate degree programs that can be completed on campus or online. The well respected School of Public Administration offers a comprehensive Master’s of Public Administration degree that is nationally recognized and very budget friendly. Students interested in applying to this top-notch program will simply need to submit the online application and have official transcripts and GRE/GMAT scores available.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 96.06

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


Baruch College, CUNY’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs offers a distinguished on campus Master’s of Public Administration program. This MPA is a great choice for students, combining a national reputation in the education world and reasonable pricing.

Photo credit
Baruch College, CUNY offers a 42-45 credit hour Master’s of Public Administration degree, within the highly esteemed Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. The program is designed to help working professionals become administrative leaders and thoughtful policy analysts within the public sector. Beyond the required core courses in the program students have an opportunity to choose a specialization from the areas of Health Care Policy, Policy Analysis and Evaluation, Non-profit Administration, Public Management, and Urban Development and Sustainability. Other MPA options include a 42 credit Executive MPA for mid-career professionals and a 14-month National Urban Fellows MPA. Baruch College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the MPA program holds additional accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The University is ranked #34 by US News and World Report in the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs category. Their other awards include US News’ Top Regional Universities, and the Princeton Reviews’ the Best 381 Colleges, Best Northeastern, and Colleges that Pay you Back. Tuition rates for this well recognized program are reasonable with a price of $20,000 to $29,999, making it a budget conscious option for students wishing to advance their education while still maintaining a work, life, and school balance.

Baruch College is located in New York, New York and was named after financier and statesman Bernard M. Baruch. They are a member of the 24-campus City University of New York system. The Baruch campus alone teaches more than 18,400 students within its three highly acclaimed schools, the Zicklin School of Business, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. The Marxe MPA students can participate in a full-time or part-time curriculum schedule with classes during the day, evening, or online. Those wishing to participate in the on campus Master’s of Public Administration program will need to submit an online application which will include official transcripts, two official letters of recommendation, a current and professional resume, 500-1000 word essay, and official GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 95.96

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


Students of the University of Missouri’s Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs can earn an elite Master’s of Public Affairs. This top 10 program offers a highly-accredited curriculum at an economical price point.

Photo credit
The Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri offers a Master’s of Public Affairs that is ranked 44th on U.S. News World and Report’s list of the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs. The University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is currently listed among the Best Midwestern Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review. In addition to being accredited by the HLC, the on campus MPA program at the University of Missouri is also accredited by the prestigious Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The program is 45 credits in length and is flexibly scheduled to accommodate busy professionals. In this career focused Master’s of Public Affairs students are trained to be proficient in ethical leadership organizational dynamics and leadership, social entrepreneurship, economic analysis, financial management, research methods, collaborative governance, and public policy strategy. The esteemed accreditations and affordable tuition cost between $14,000 and 19,999 secured Mizzou a top 10 spot in this ranking.

The University of Missouri was established in 1839 as the first public higher education institution west of the Mississippi River. The University, also known as Mizzou, is a land-grant research university located in Columbia, Missouri. They offer a variety of on campus and online degrees through 17 schools and colleges. Included within these programs is the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs’ on campus Master’s of Public Affairs. Prospective students must have completed a minimum of three years of work experience related to public affairs to be eligible for the program. Additionally applicants will need to submit a current and professional resume, three letters of recommendation, copies of all undergraduate transcripts, a statement of interest, and a statement of career eligibility.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 95.92

#11 North Carolina State University School of Public and International Affairs – Raleigh, North Carolina


The School of Public and International Affairs at North Carolina State University offers students an established Master’s of Public Administration degree. This MPA is recognized for its affordable tuition rates and esteemed accreditations.

Photo credit
At North Carolina State University students have an opportunity to earn an on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree with distinct accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The elite MPA from the School of Public and International Affairs is currently listed within the top 50 Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs with US News and World Report and the University is listed among the Best Southeastern Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review. Students enrolled in the 40 credit hour program begin by completing the required core curriculum and then have an opportunity to move on to career-focused concentrations in Nonprofit Management or Public Policy. A few of the core courses within this degree include Public Administration Values and Institutions, Public Policy Analysis, Budgetary Process, Public Organization Behavior, and Management Systems. The program can be completed on a full time basis in as little as two year or take up to five years on a part-time basis.

NCSU is a four-year, public research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The University holds regional accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and offers a variety undergraduate and graduate level degrees through 11 academic schools and colleges to over 33,000 students each year. The on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree offered through the School of Public and International Affairs is well respected by the leading ranking systems in the nation. This high level of recognition across the board reflects the quality of teaching and curriculum in their MPA programs. To apply, students must complete an online application by the applicable deadlines. And will also need to submit GMAT or GRE scores, current and professional resume, and official transcripts from all universities attended.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 95.77

#12 University of Kentucky Martin School of Public Policy and Administration – Lexington, Kentucky


The University of Kentucky’s on campus Master’s of Public Administration is well respected in the educational community. The program made our list because of its excellent education standards, national reputation, and reasonable tuition rates.

Photo credit
The University of Kentucky is committed to creating a personalized college experience for all students. The Martin School of Public Policy and Administration offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration that is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The University is highly recognized and consistently receives recognitions such as being listed at #28 on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking, as well as, making The Best 381 Colleges and Best Southeastern colleges by Princeton Review. They are also regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. University of Kentucky’s MPA program is 40 credit hours long and can be completed in either a two year, one year, or part time format. Students can also choose from several areas of concentration in Economic Development, Education Policy, Environmental Policy, Health Policy, International Policy and Management, Nonprofit Management, Policy Analysis, Public Financial Management or Transportation Systems Management. Students and faculty at UKY hold a strong commitment to honoring their rich history, while using creativity and innovation to shape the future.

University of Kentucky is a land grant university with a passion for improving the world through education. This four year, public, university recently underwent a 2.1 billion dollar renovation that not only improved the campus that is home to nearly 30,000 students, but is also helping to rebuild the economy of its home state of Kentucky through various projects and initiatives. The Master’s of Public Administration offered through the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration strives to continue the University’s mission to encourage growth and transformation by providing graduates with a well rounded and comprehensive degree focused on building integrity, knowledge, and leadership skills. In order to apply to this top-notch program prospective students will need to fill out an online application and be ready to submit transcripts from all universities previously attended, GRE/GMAT scores, two letters of recommendation, and a one to three page biographical sketch.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 95.58

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


Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service offers a nationally recognized on campus Master’s of Public Service and Administration. This program shines with their accreditations, prestigious mentions, and reasonable tuition rates.

Photo credit
Texas A&M University offers a unique and well recognized Master’s of Public Service and Administration Program that is accredited by both the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The Princeton review listed Texas A&M among the Best Western Colleges in the Nation. This on campus MPSA is additionally ranked #28 by US News and World Report for Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs. The on campus Master’s of Public Service and Administration degree through the Bush School of Government and Public Service is a 48 credit hour program that is generally completed by full time students in two to three years depending on their schedule and availability. The program is very leadership focused and includes many opportunities for experiential learning including a year long capstone course working on projects with real world clients. Additionally students can personalize their degree by choosing a specialized track of study in Public Policy Analysis, Public Management, or Nonprofit Management. Graduates of Texas A&M can earn their degree for the reasonable price of $20,000 to $29,999 and join an expansive network of alumni that totals over 450,000 former graduates. This established University’s highly respected history, esteemed faculty, and prestigious rankings make an MPSA from Texas A&M a wise investment for your future.

Texas A&M University is a four year, public, university located in the small town of College Station, Texas. There are over 350 degrees offered through the university’s 17 schools and colleges. TAMU was the first public institution founded in the state of Texas. Since 1876 the school has grown and now includes over 60,000 students per semester who complete their degrees on campus, online, and in hybrid formats. The Bush School of Government and Public Service offers a distinguished on campus Master’s of Public Service and Administration Program. This program truly offers working professionals a world class learning experience that is sure to pay off. In order to apply to this competitive program students will need to submit a current and professional resume, official transcripts and records, statement of purpose, and GMAT/GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 95.30

#14 University of Utah College of Social & Behavioral Sciences – Salt Lake City, Utah


Students of the University of Utah’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences can earn a well rounded on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree. This program stands out because of its superior quality and value to MPA students.

Photo credit
The University of Utah’s College of Social & Behavioral Sciences offers students an on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree. The program holds esteemed accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and is consistently ranked well by the leading ranking systems in the nation. These distinguished appearances include being ranked #72 on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs list. The on campus Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Utah is focused on developing management and leadership skills that can be directly translated into the workplace after degree completion. The program’s curriculum is 42 semester hours in length and consists of core courses such as Administrative Theory, Research Design, Public Administration and Law, Public Budgeting and Finance, and many more. Students also have the opportunity to select and area of interest in the subjects of Education, Health Administration, Local Government Administration, Natural Resource Administration, Policy Analysis, or an open ended option. The University of Utah offers students a well respected and personalized MPA degree for the very affordable price of less than $13,999. This price point and the quality of education offered makes U of U an exceptional choice for anyone looking to advance their career through higher education.

The University of Utah is a four-year, public research university that was founded in 1850 and holds regional accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and is recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the Best Western College’s in the nation. The University serves over 31,000 students each year and offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through 17 schools and colleges. The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences offers an on campus MPA program that is highly respected and established. Students interested in applying to this competitive program must complete an online application. Additionally, they will need to submit GMAT or GRE scores, transcripts from all universities attended, current and professional resume, a statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 95.11

#15 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Humphrey School of Public Affairs – Minneapolis, Minnesota


The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’ Humphrey School of Public Affairs offers an accredited on campus Master’s of Public Affairs. This elite MPA is consistently seen as one of the leading programs in the United States.

Photo credit
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers a Master’s of Public Affairs that holds distinguished accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This program currently holds the #9 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking and the University consistently carries a place on the Princeton Review’s Best Midwestern Colleges list. In the Humphrey School of Public Affairs MPA program, students will begin by concentrating on foundational leadership and public management disciplines, they will then move further into the experiential-learning-focused curriculum, unique electives relevant to their future career goals, and then complete their degree with a final Capstone project to culminate their learning. The University of Minnesota’s MPA degree is designed with mid-career working professionals in mind. Because of this there are courses offered during the day, evening, weekends, and throughout the summer. Additionally core courses are offered in a cohort format where students meet on campus to form relationships but also complete online learning components as well.

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a four-year, public research university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The campus sits on 2,734 sprawling acres, holds 18 specialized colleges, and educates an impressive student body of over 51,000 students each year. The University holds a regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and offers a well rounded on campus Master’s of Public Affairs that can be completed in around two years. The Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ exceptional MPA is noticed around the nation for its curriculum and teaching excellence. Prospective applicants will need to complete the program’s online application which will include submission of three professional references, current resume, transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, and a personal statement.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 95.07

#16 University of Maryland School of Public Policy – College Park, Maryland


The School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland has many recognitions for its on campus Master’s of Public Management program. This degree made our list because of their distinguished accreditations and many national recognitions.

Photo courtesy of the University of Maryland
The University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy holds a place among the leading public affairs schools in the nation. The University holds a regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers many internationally recognized degree programs, including an on campus Master’s of Public Management that is accredited by the esteemed Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This degree is ranked in the top 30 public affairs programs with US News and UMD is currently listed as a Best Northeastern College by the Princeton Review. The School of Public Policy’s on campus MPM is 36 credit hours in length and begins with an intensive core curriculum intended to build a strong public leadership and management foundation. After completion of core coursework students can choose from 11 distinct specialization tracks including Education Policy, Energy Policy, Environment Policy, Federal Acquisitions, Health Policy, Management and Leadership, and many more. UMD graduates are sure to stand out as they begin the next phase of their careers!

The University of Maryland is a four-year, public, research university located College Park, Maryland. The University currently offers over 280 well-respected degrees through their 12 schools and colleges. Each year the University of Maryland serves a student body of more than 39,000. There are many qualified options at UMD, but the Master’s of Public Management program offered through the School of Public Policy stands out among the rest. Students enrolled can expect an experience that will leave them with a competitive advantage in the job market. In order to apply applicants must complete an online application and submit official transcripts from all universities previously attended, resume, and references.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 94.97

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


Students of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY can earn a fast paced, on campus MPA that is highly recognized by many of the leading educational ranking systems. This degree carries an excellent public affairs reputation and distinct accreditations.

Photo credit
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration program that carries accreditation through the well respected Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. US News and World Report currently ranks John Jay’s Master’s of Public Administration degree #44 on their Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. The University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is recognized as a Best Southeastern College by the Princeton Review. John Jay College’s esteemed MPA program consists of 42-credit hours of core courses, research methods and quantitative skills, specialization courses, and electives. There are several unique areas of specialization offered including Forensic Accounting, International Inspection and Oversight, Investigation and Operational Inspection, Organizational Assessment and Monitoring, Law and Inspection and Oversight, and Independent and Contractual Inspection and Oversight. This on campus MPA program offers prestige, camaraderie, and convenient scheduling options all with average pricing between $20,000 and $29,999, making it an excellent option for working professionals who plan to budget both their time and money while earning their master’s degree.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY is a four-year, public college that was founded in 1964. They offer associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s programs to a student body of over 14,000 students each year. John Jay College, CUNY 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. These programs are provided with many delivery options, including in-person, online, and hybrid courses. The on campus Master’s of Public Administration at John Jay stands out based on the program’s many recognitions and reasonable price point. Those interested in beginning their higher education journey must submit an online application, but have no standardized test requirements.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 94.86

#18 Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs – Columbus, Ohio


Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs offers an exceptional blended Master’s of Public Administration degree. This program ranks well because of its national reputation, elite accreditations, and reasonable price point.

Photo credit
Ohio State University’s blended Master’s Public Administration is designed to prepare working professionals for advancement in public services by providing them with a solid foundation in public policy, economic, management, leadership, and data analysis. In addition to many national recognitions the University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and their Master’s of Public Administration holds esteemed accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Ohio State’s MPA program ranks #18 on US News and World Report’s top Public Affairs ranking. The University is also recognized on the Princeton Review’s lists for The Best 381 Colleges, the Best Midwestern, and Colleges That Pay You Back. This two-year, full-time, 52 credit hour program consists of core courses, skills courses, elective, and an internship. Core courses within the well rounded degree include Public Policy Formulation and Implementation, Legal Environment of Public Organizations, Public Sector Economics, Public Budgeting & Finance, Managing Public Sector Organizations, Managing Human Resources in Public Organizations, and Public Affairs Statistics.

Many of Ohio State’s full-time MPA students work part time throughout the program, making OSU’s blended format a perfect fit for those needing to balance work and academic responsibilities. Ohio State University is a four-year, public university that was established in 1870. Since its founding the University has grown to offer a complete comprehensive education with more than 200 choices for majors, to over 58,000 students every year. OSU’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs gives students an opportunity to earn a highly acclaimed, blended, Master’s of Public Administration degree. In order to apply to this competitive program applicants will need to submit an online application which will include a personal statement, current resume, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GMAT/GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 94.60

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


Indiana University’s prestigious School of Public and Environmental Affairs offers a unique Master’s of Public Affairs degree that is focused on public leadership. This program holds consistent recognition among the nations leading ranking systems.

Photo credit
The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University receives widespread acclaim for its residential, full-time Master’s of Public Affairs program. This elite MPA carries accreditation through the highly respected Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and it currently holds the top spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. Indiana University is additionally recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the Best Midwestern Colleges in the nation. This type of ranking acknowledgement can assure prospective students that they are earning a degree with a presence that will follow them throughout their career. The program’s well-rounded curriculum consists of core and elective courses, major and minor coursework, professional and career development, a capstone experience, and experiential learning components. Students also have an opportunity to customize their experience further by pursuing a certificate in Hazardous Materials Management, Nonprofit Management, Public Budgeting and Financial Management, Public Management, and Social Entrepreneurship.

Indiana University is a four-year, public university, that spans across eight campuses. Since 1913, the university has held a regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and now serves almost 50,000 students annually. The Bloomington campus offers more than 550 bachelor’s, master’s, and professional degree programs through 16 degree-granting colleges and schools. The School of Public and Environmental Affairs’ Master’s of Public Affairs gives alumni a great jump-start into their future leadership careers, as well as, a brand recognition that gives them a competitive advantage in the competitive public sector market. To apply to this distinguished program, students must complete an online application by one of three deadlines. Within the application students will need to submit academic records, current and professional resume, documentation of leadership ability, two essays, three letters of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 94.42

#20 University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service – Denton, Texas


Students can earn a highly recognized Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Health and Public Service at the University of North Texas. This program made an excellent addition to our ranking because of their commitment to excellence and affordability.

Photo courtesy of The University of North Texas
The College of Health and Public Service at the University of North Texas offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree that is highly accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This established MPA is frequently seen among the leading ranking systems. It is listed in the top 75 Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs with US News and World Report, as well as, a Best Western College with the Princeton Review. This well-rounded 36 to 42 credit hour program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and offers students a comprehensive educational experience designed with working professionals in mind.The curriculum begins with students completing core courses such as Public Administration and Society, Leading and Managing Public Organizations, Managing Financial Resources, and Administrative Research Methods. Students can then move on to customize their studies with elective courses, internships, and areas of specialization. Specialization options included are Emergency Management, Financial Management, Local Government Management, Nonprofit Management, Human Resources Management. In addition to exceptional national rankings and many specialization options, UNT offers this degree at an exceptional price point of below $13,999. Why not get started today?

The University of North Texas is a four-year, public research university with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate program through 12 schools and colleges to over 38,000 students each year. UNT’s College of Health and Public Service offers an elite, accredited on campus Master’s in Public Administration program focused on providing students will the skill sets needed to be successful in the future careers. Prospective students must complete an online application, submit GMAT or GRE scores, current professional resume, one essay, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 93.88

#21 Brigham Young University J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott School of Business – Provo, Utah


The Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University offers a highly esteemed on campus Master’s of Public Administration and Executive Master’s of Public Administration. These accredited programs earned recognition on our ranking because of their prominent place among many of the leading MPA ranking systems.

Photo credit
Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business offers students a Master’s of Public Administration and Executive Master’s of Public Administration, accredited through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. These programs are highly regarded and currently ranked #59 on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs list. Additionally, Brigham Young is recognized as one of the Best Western College’s in the nation by the Princeton Review. The University works with community partners to help students enrolled in the MPA’s programs to put what they are learning into action. Course topics covered within the fast paced degree include accounting, communications, organizational behavior, statistics, economics, legal issues, and many more. The program also includes internship opportunities, the option to study abroad, and the chance to advise donors for philanthropic projects. Experiential learning, fast paced curriculum, and affordable tuition rates between $14,000 and $19,999 are all benefits of becoming a Brigham Young Cougar!

Brigham Young University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university with a student population of over 34,000 students. BYU offers over 260 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through seven schools and colleges. The University holds a regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the prestigious Marriott School of Business offers a 57 credit hour Master’s of Public Administration program and 45 credit hour Executive MPA that are designed to train and educate leaders in the public sector. To apply to this well-rounded program students must complete an online application by one of four deadlines. Next, they will need to submit GMAT/GRE scores, ecclesiastical endorsement, essay, resume, letters of reference, and all official transcripts.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 93.77

#22 Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs – Blacksburg, Virginia


The School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech offers an on campus Master’s in Public Administration. This program is a great choice for working professionals because of its flexibility and reasonable tuition rates.

Photo credit
The School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech offers an on campus Master’s in Public Administration. The University holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and is currently listed among the Best Southeastern Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review. The 39 credit hour program is ranked #44 on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs and carries esteemed accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Virginia Tech’s well rounded MPA curriculum covers topics such as management, public policy, methods and analysis, and public service. Students are also given nine credit hours of electives to help personalize their degree experience.Tuition rates for this highly qualified on campus program are average with a price point between $20,000 and $29,999. The Master’s of Public Administration at Virginia Tech is sure to open doors into the competitive public sector.

The Virginia Tech is a four year, public university, that is located in Blacksburg, Virginia. The University offers a variety of bachelor’s through master’s degree programs to over 33,000 students each year. Among the many exceptional degrees offered on campus is a Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public and International Affairs. This dynamic program is designed to meet the growing demand in society for graduates with high-level public service experience. Prospective students must submit an online application, official college transcripts, resume, and references.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 93.61

#23 Portland State University Hatfield School of Government – Portland, Oregon


Portland State University’s Hatfield School of Government offers students two distinct on campus Master’s of Public Administration degrees. These programs have an elite standing among the nations top ranking systems.

Photo credit
At Portland State University students can earn an on campus Master’s of Public Administration or Executive Master’s of Public Administration through the well respected Hatfield School of Government. The University holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the School of Business Administration also maintains prestigious accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The Hatfield School of Government currently holds the #52 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking and the University itself is also currently recognized in the Princeton Review’s lists for The Best 382 Colleges and Best Western Colleges in the United States. Portland State MPA students can enjoy the benefits of a traditional on campus degree, but enjoy the benefits of flexible course scheduling that keeps working professionals in mind. Pricing at PSU is average when compared to other programs on our ranking, with their tuition cost falling between $20,000 and $29,999. Portland State Master’s of Public is made for those planning on going into the public sector, and is sure to catapult their career to the next level.

Portland State University is a four-year, public, university that enrolls over 26,000 students annually. With seven schools and colleges offering a wide variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, there is a degree to meet any student’s needs. The Hatfield School of Government offers a well rounded on campus Master’s of Business Administration degree. Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and complete the application located on the program’s homepage. After completing the application, students will need to submit a current resume, official transcripts reflecting a minimum of 3.0 GPA or higher, official GMAT or GRE scores, two professional references, and personal statement essays.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 93.50

#24 George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government – Fairfax, Virginia


The Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University gives students the opportunity to earn an accredited Master’s of Public Administration degree. This on campus program holds many recognitions from the nations top ranking systems.

Photo credit
George Mason University offers an elite on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree through their highly accredited Schar School of Policy and Government. The University holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the School of Business. The Schar School of Policy and Government currently holds the #44 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking and is also accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. While the University itself is also currently recognized in the Princeton Review’s lists of The Best 382 Colleges, the Best Southeastern, and Colleges That Pay You Back. George Mason students benefit from a distinguished program with a large alumni network. Tuition for the MPA program at George Mason University is average when compared to other programs on our ranking, with their total cost of attendance falling between $20,000 and $29,999. In addition to reasonable pricing George Mason students are taught by experienced faculty and are able to complete their degree in a flexible format with working professionals in mind.

George Mason University is a four-year, public, university that enrolls over 34,000 students annually. There are 13 schools and colleges offering over 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The Schar School of Policy and Government offers a well rounded and leadership-focused on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree. Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and complete the application located on the program’s homepage. After completing the application, students will need to submit a current resume, official transcripts, official GMAT or GRE scores, one letter of recommendation, and one goal statement. There is also an optional video introduction component to the application process.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 93.49

#25 University of Arizona College of Social & Behavioral Sciences – Tucson, Arizona


The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona offers students an elite on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree. This program offers students a unique and highly qualified master’s experience.

Photo credit
At the University of Arizona students can earn an on campus Master’s of Public Administration that carries regional accreditation through the well respected Higher Learning Commission. The on campus MPA at Arizona is ranked #34 in Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs with US News and World Report and the university is currently featured on the Princeton Review’s list of the Best Western Colleges in the nation. The college holds additional accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This 42 credit-hour program consists of core courses such as Economics for Public Policy,Public and Nonprofit Financial Management, Public Organizational Theory, Politics, Policy & Public Management, and Methods for Program Evaluation. There are also a variety of elective courses and concentration options to personalize the degree including Collaborative Governance, Environmental Management and Policy, Nonprofit Management, and Public Management. This exceptional program also offers internship opportunities and a capstone project to culminate student learning. Pricing for this degree is between $30,000 and $49,999 and courses are offered in a way that allows students to complete the program on a part time or full time basis.

The University of Arizona is a four-year public university with 21 schools and colleges that offer an array of bachelor’s through doctoral degrees to an impressive student body of over 43,000. U of A’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers a well respected on campus Master’s of Public Administration. This program is a great choice for students looking to advance their career in the competitive public sector while creating lasting relationships and gaining hands on learning experience. To apply this well developed MPA, students must submit official transcripts from all universities attended with a minimum of 3.0 GPA, current and professional resume, and recommendations. There is no GMAT or GRE requirement for this degree.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 93.45

#26 University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy – Storrs, Connecticut


The Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut offers a well respected on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree. This program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the public sector.

Photo credit
The Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut offers a highly acclaimed Master’s of Public Administration, and is the only MPA program accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration in Connecticut. U.S. News and World Report ranks this on campus MPA program 45th out of 217 MPA programs. Students enrolled in this 37-43 credit hour program may choose a focus area in public finance and budgeting, nonprofit management, public policy, or leadership and management. Students also have the opportunity to complete a six credit hour internship, if they haven’t had sufficient career experience. A capstone portfolio is a required component for all students. Full-time students can complete this program in two years, and part-time students can complete this program in three years if they take courses in the summer. Classes are offered in the late afternoons and evenings to accommodate working professionals. This flexible, convenient Master’s of Public Administration allows students to maintain a work, school, life balance while gaining the skills to become leaders within the public sector.

The University of Connecticut is a four-year, institution of higher learning, founded in 1881, and accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. UConn has a current student body enrollment of over 27,000 students annually, and offers over 100 undergraduate degrees and more than 120 fields of study within the graduate department. U.S. News and World Report ranks UConn 18th in Top Public Schools and 56th in the National Universities category. Additionally, The Princeton Review ranks UConn 18th for Best Value, and has been designated a “Public Ivy” by The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities. Among the many outstanding programs offered is the on campus Master’s of Public Administration. Students interested in pursuing a MPA must complete the graduate school online application, and submit official college transcripts, a current resume, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and official GRE or GMAT scores.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 93.11

#27 University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and Sciences – Birmingham, Alabama


Students can earn an exceptional Master’s of Public Administration degree through the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This on campus program was selected for our ranking due to its outstanding rankings and affordability.

Photo credit
The University of Alabama at Birmingham features an on campus Master’s of Public Administration through their elite College of Arts and Sciences. This program is prestigiously accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This MPA is 39 credit hours, and consists of nine core public administration courses and four specialization courses. Students may choose a specialization in either Non-profit Management or Public Management and Planning. Students not currently employed in the public sector are required to complete a three credit public administration internship. Students have the option of selecting a thesis or a non-thesis program. Those who choose to take the non-thesis route, will complete a graduation research portfolio. This program is an affordable master’s with pricing between $14,000 and $19,999. Graduates of this program are prepared to pursue successful career in public service, such as managers in local, state, and federal government positions, and in non-profit organizations.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a four-year, public college, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. UAB currently offers 140 fields of study leading to bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees through its 12 academic divisions to nearly 20,000 students annually. U.S. News and World Report ranks UAB 159 in the best National University category, and The Princeton Review lists Alabama in the Best Southeastern category. Additionally, UAB is the only university with the R1 research classification in Alabama, and is home to the UAB Hospital, the only Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAB receives more research funding than all other Alabama universities combined. Graduate Students may pursue a Master’s of Public Administration through the University’s well-respected College of Arts and Sciences. Prospective students are encouraged to submit an online application, all official college transcripts, online references, and official GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 92.67

#28 University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance – Seattle, Washington


The Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington offers a superior Master’s of Public Administration degree. This distinguished on campus program stands out with its strong presence in the education community.

Photo credit
The Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington offers an outstanding Master’s of Public Administration degree, prestigiously accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This MPA is 72 quarter credit units, and consists of a combination of core courses, electives, a 400-hour internship, and a capstone project. U.S. News and World Report ranks many areas of concentration within the Public Affairs program amongst the best in the nation; Environmental Policy and Management #2, Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy #4, Public Finance and Budgeting #5, Public Leadership, Management, and Decision-Making #7, Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation #11, Social Policy: Poverty, Education, and Social Welfare #12, and Metropolitan and Urban Policy #19. With so many highly ranked public affair concentration areas, the Evans School is the perfect place for students dedicated to making a real difference in their communities, the country, and the world.

The University of Washington is a four-year, public university, founded in 1861, with regional accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. UW has an annual student body enrollment exceeding 45,000 students, and offers 606 degree options across 314 programs. The main campus is located in Seattle, with two additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. UW has received numerous awards and recognitions, including U.S. News and World Report’s ranking as #10 globally, and #13 globally by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranks 52 of UW’s graduate programs among the nation’s top 10. UW receives more federal research dollars than any other public university in the nation. Among the many elite degrees offered at UW is the academically rigorous on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. Prospective students must submit an application, unofficial college transcripts, one-three letters of recommendation, and GMAT/GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 92.54

#29 Florida Atlantic University School of Public Administration – Boca Raton, Florida


The School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration. This distinguished program was chosen for our ranking because of its many outstanding recognitions.

Photo credit
The School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University offers an exemplary Master’s of Public Administration, prestigiously accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The 42 semester hour program consists of 30-hours of core curriculum covering advanced topics within public administration including public organization theory, financial management, personnel, public policy, analytical techniques, analytical methods, law and procedures, ethics and democratic values, and a capstone seminar. Students also complete 12 hours of electives, including a government internship for students without public sector work experience. Courses for this on campus program are offered in the evenings, Monday through Thursday, to allow students to maintain their professional careers. Part-time students will take one or two courses each semester, and full-time students will enroll in three courses each semester. FAU offers very affordable tuition with rates below $13,999. This MPA is a very economical choice designed for students interested in leadership and management roles in social, economic, and political sectors.

Florida Atlantic University is a four-year, public university, that is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. FAU is home to over 30,000 students, who have the opportunity to choose from more than 170 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its 10 academic colleges. The main campus is located in Boca Raton, and five additional satellite campuses are located in Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, and Fort Pierce. The Princeton Review currently lists FAU as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges. Among the many degrees offered at Florida Atlantic is the on campus Master’s in Public Administration offered through the School of Public Administration. Prospective students must submit an application, three letters of recommendation, a personal essay, a current professional resume, an undergraduate statistics course, and official college transcripts with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5 on the last 60 hours of coursework. Students who don’t meet the undergraduate GPA requirement, are required to submit official GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 91.85

#30 University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Graduate students can earn an accredited Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Pittsburgh. This elite program allows students to choose from five different majors and offers on campus courses with working professionals in mind.

Photo credit
A well-rounded Master’s of Public Administration is offered through the highly acclaimed Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. This academically rigorous MPA program holds prestigious accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The 48 credit hour program allows students to choose from one of five majors in Energy and Environment, Public & Nonprofit Management, Urban Affairs & Planning, Governance & International Public Management, or Policy Research & Analysis. Students may further select a minor in one of those areas or in Civil Security & Disaster Management, Human Security, International Political Economy, Non-Governmental Organizations & Civil Society, or Security & Intelligence Studies. All students must complete a 300-hour internship with an approved public, private, or nonprofit organization. Pittsburgh is home to 130 local municipalities, 40 school districts, and nearly 3,000 nonprofit organizations, so students are able to find an internship that matches their future career goals. Those graduating with this unique Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of Pittsburgh are sure to outshine other contenders for leadership roles due to their specializations.

The University of Pittsburgh is a four-year, public, higher learning institution, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Pitt currently serves over 28,000 students annually and offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs through 17 colleges and schools. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Pittsburgh 24th for universities in the U.S. and 68th among national universities, and The Princeton Review also places them among its Best Value Public Colleges. Graduate students can earn a competitive on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. The prestigious GSPIA has also received many awards, including U.S. News and World Report’s ranking as #7 for International/Global Policy & Administration, #19 in Local Government Management, and #34 in Public Affairs. Prospective students must submit an online application, resume, personal essay, GRE or GMAT scores, academic transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 91.75

#31 Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs – Syracuse, New York


The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University offers an elite on campus Master’s of Public Administration. This program consistently receives high praise among the leading educational ranking systems.

Photo courtesy of Syracuse University/Steve Sartori
Syracuse University offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. This highly respected 40 credit-hour degree holds elite accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This program is nearly 90 years old, and was one of the first professional programs in public management and policy in the United States. Students will complete nine core courses, and select a specialization area. The specializations offered are International and National Security Policy, Environmental Policy and Administration, International and Development Administration, Public and Nonprofit Management, State and Local Government Financial Analysis and Management, Social Policy, and Technology and Information Management. Full-time students complete this program in 12 months. All students will complete a one-week Public Affairs Colloquium in July, which meets all day long, and a final capstone course in May-June, which also requires full-time attendance. A Master’s of Public Administration from Syracuse University prepares students for leadership and management careers in the public sector!

Syracuse University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit institution of higher learning, founded in 1870, and accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Syracuse offers more than 200 majors and 100 minors for undergraduate and graduate students within its 13 academic schools and colleges, and serves nearly 22,000 students annually. The Carnegie Foundation classifies Syracuse as a research university with highest level of research activity. The Princeton Review recognizes Syracuse in its Best Northeastern College category, and U.S. News and World Report currently ranks Syracuse 61st among undergraduate national universities, and ranks The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs as the top graduate school for public affairs in the United States. Graduate students can earn a prestigious Master’s of Public Administration through the elite Maxwell School. Applicants interested in the highly competitive MPA program must submit an online application, official college transcripts, personal statement, resume, and three letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 91.51

#32 Louisiana State University E.J. Ourso College of Business – Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Louisiana State University offers a prestigious Master’s of Public Administration through the E.J. Ourso College of Business. LSU has a reputation for being one of the top schools for students pursuing management careers in the public and non-profit sectors.

Photo credit
The E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University is well known for its outstanding Master’s of Public Administration degree. Their distinguished MPA program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The on campus Master’s of Public Administration at LSU is 45 credit hours and consists 33 hours of core courses and 12 hours of elective. Students can choose from a Public Policy or Public Management specialization. Students without prior public sector experience will complete an internship, and students currently working in the field will complete a practicum. All students will complete a portfolio to showcase their work. Full-time students can complete this degree in two years with part-time students spending approximately three and a half years. This is an affordable master’s, with pricing between $14,000 and $19,999. Graduates of this elite MPA program go on to pursue a variety of careers within the public and non-profit sectors.

Louisiana State University is a four-year, public college, founded in 1853, and accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools, Commission on Colleges. They serve over 31,000 students annually and offer more than 235 fields of study ranging from bachelor’s degrees through doctoral degrees through their 14 academic schools and colleges. LSU has received numerous accolades, and is currently ranked 63rd among Public Universities, 133rd in the National Universities category, and 16th most popular university in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, The Princeton Review names LSU as a Best Southeastern College. Graduate students can earn a Master’s of Public Administration degree through the E.J. Ourso College of Business. In order to apply for the MPA, students must submit a portfolio which includes a graduate application, official college transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and any additional documents pertaining to participation in activities related to public management/public policy.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 91.19

#33 Auburn University College of Liberal Arts – Auburn, Alabama


Students can earn a Master’s of Public Administration from the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. This program made our list with their reputation as a leader in the public services industry.

Photo credit
Auburn University offers a highly recognized and well-respected Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Liberal Arts. This esteemed 42-credit hour on campus MPA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, and can be completed by full-time students in two years. Students in this program can earn a certificate in Election Administration or Nonprofit Management or choose a minor in Economic Development. Students without previous public service experience will gain hands-on experience by completing an internship and students currently working may choose to do an additional research project in lieu of the internship component. Students will also compose an ePortfolio demonstrating their research and internship experience. The high caliber professors and ability to earn a professional certificate will place graduates of the MPA at Auburn University on the road to a bright future in a broad range careers in public agencies, nonprofit organizations, or the private sector.

Auburn University is a four-year, public university, founded in 1856, and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Auburn currently has an annual student body enrollment of over 28,000 students, and offers more than 140 majors through its 15 academic schools and colleges. U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked Auburn in the top 50 Public Universities for 25 years and The Princeton Review lists Auburn as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges in the nation. Among the many programs offered, is the Master’s of Public Administration through the distinguished College of Liberal Arts. Students interested in pursuing the MPA program must submit an online application, official college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a professional writing sample, and a statement of intent. Students may also submit GRE scores if they’d like, but this is not a required component.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 91.18

#34 University of New Mexico School of Public Administration – Albuquerque, New Mexico


Students can earn a top-notch MPA degree through the School of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico. This competitive MPA gives students the edge needed to succeed in the public services sector.

Photo credit
The University of New Mexico features an on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 42 credit hour program consists of 18 hours of core courses, 15 hours of concentration courses, three hours of elective courses, and six hours towards a research paper or thesis option, and can be completed in approximately two years by full-time students. Students may select a concentration in Public Management, Human Resources Management, Health Policy and Administration, or Public Budgeting and Financial Management. Students may attend Public Administration Speaker Series events, as well as join the Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. This is a very affordable master’s degree, with tuition rates between $14,000 and $19,999. If you are interested in earning a MPA degree, the University of New Mexico will prepare you for professional and management policy positions in public service.

The University of New Mexico is a four-year, public college, founded in 1889, and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The main campus is located in Albuquerque, with additional campus locations in Gallup, Los Alamos, Taos, and Valencia. UNM offers more than 200 degree programs ranging from bachelor’s through doctoral degrees and 27 certificate programs. They serve an estimated annual enrollment of approximately 27,000 students, making the campus the largest post-secondary institution in New Mexico. UNM is the only predominantly Hispanic institution in the U.S. that is also classified as a Carnegie Research University with Very High Activity and the Princeton Review lists UNM as a Best Western College. Among the many prestigious programs offered at UNM is the innovative Master’s of Public Administration offered through the School of Public Administration. Prospective students interested in this highly competitive program must submit a graduate admissions application, official college transcripts, a current resume, letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 91.13

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


Students can earn a well respected Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This on campus program stands out due to their world class faculty and high rankings.

Photo courtesy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill features a highly acclaimed Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This academically rigorous MPA program ranks 5th nationally in the specialty area of City Management by U.S. News and World Report. This program is 45-credit hours, and consists of nine core courses and 15 hours of elective credits. Students can complete this program in two years. Students may select an on-campus focus area in Community and Economic Development, Local Government, or Nonprofit Management. Additional online focus areas are offered in International Relations and Public Health. Students will complete a professional work experience in their chosen focus area. Students with significant prior work experience may receive a practicum waiver. Graduates of this distinguished MPA will be well prepared for careers in both the private and public non-profit sectors.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a four-year, public college, regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. UNC began enrolling students in 1795, making it one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. UNC currently offers over 75 bachelor’s degrees, 110 master’s degrees, 65 doctoral degrees, and seven professional degrees to nearly 30,000 students annually. UNC is listed as a Best Southeastern College, and ranks the 5th Best Public University according to U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranks the School of Government 23rd among public affairs schools in the country. Graduate students can earn this highly respected on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Government. Prospective students must submit an online application, an unofficial college transcript, statement of purpose, recent resume or CV, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 91.06

#36 San Diego State University School of Public Affairs – San Diego, California


Students can earn a top-rated Master’s of Public Administration from San Diego State University. This elite on campus program consistently receives many national rankings and is highly accredited.

Photo credit
San Diego State University offers a prestigious on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Affairs. This 36 credit hour MPA program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Students can select a concentration in City Planning or Criminal Justice Administration, or a specialization in Public Personnel and Labor Relations, Urban Administration, or Public Policy to achieve their personal career goals. There is also a joint MPA and MA in Latin American Studies. Students can complete the MPA program in four or five semesters, depending on whether they meet the internship waiver criteria. As a final component before graduation, students will choose to either complete a thesis or take comprehensive exams. The ability to choose a concentration, along with high national rankings makes San Diego State University the perfect place to advance your career in leadership positions in the government, private, or public sector.

San Diego State University is a four-year, public university, founded in 1897, and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. SDSU is home to nearly 35,000 students annually, and offers 195 programs at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional levels. U.S. News and World Report ranks SDSU among the top 140 national universities, top 70 public universities in the U.S, and in the nation’s top 25 for ethnic diversity. Additionally, The Princeton Review recognizes SDSU as a Best Western College. An on-campus Master’s of Public Administration can be earned through the School of Public Affairs. Students interested in pursuing this academically rigorous program must submit an application, official college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and official GRE scores, and a statement of purpose. Students who wish to submit an internship waiver, should also include a copy of their resume.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 90.56

#37 University of Missouri-Kansas City Henry W. Bloch School of Management – Kansas City, Missouri


Students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City can earn a competitive Master’s of Public Administration. This distinct on campus MPA prepares emerging leaders to make a difference through public service.

Photo credit
The University of Missouri-Kansas City offers graduate students a challenging Master’s of Public Administration through the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. This highly acclaimed 42 hour program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The on campus curriculum consists of 24 hours of core courses, 9-12 hours in an emphasis area, a three hour internship, and up to six hours of electives. Students may select an emphasis area in Health Services Administration, Nonprofit Management, or Urban Policy and Administration. When compared to other universities on this listing, the tuition is considered average, with pricing between $20,000 and $29,999. Full-time students typically complete the program in three years, and part-time students generally take approximately four years. Classes are typically offered in the late afternoon and evening. Busy professionals will appreciate the convenience of courses offered after they finish their work day. The Bloch MPA will allow you to soar to new heights in the public service sector!

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is a four-year, public university, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. UKMC offers more than 50 majors and 125 areas of study leading to bachelor’s through doctoral degrees to nearly 17,000 students each year through their 12 academic divisions. UKMC has received numerous outstanding accolades, including The Princeton Review naming UKMC a Best Value College and also recognizing the University in its Best Midwestern Colleges category. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranks UMKC 189th in the National Universities category and the Public Affairs graduate program ranks 73rd. The Nonprofit Management emphasis within the MPA program ranks 15th. Graduate students seeking an on campus Master’s of Public Administration can earn their degree through the Bloch School of Management. Potential candidates interested in pursuing this competitive MPA program must submit an application, official copies of college transcripts, official GRE scores, current resume, and a goal statement.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 90.41

#38 Kansas State University College of Arts and Sciences – Manhattan, Kansas


At Kansas State University, students can earn an exceptional on campus Master’s of Public Administration. This MPA is a great choice for prospective students with its multiple recognitions and accreditations.

Photo courtesy of Kansas State University
Graduate students at Kansas State University can earn a distinguished Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences. This on campus MPA is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The well-rounded and highly respected 39-40 credit hour program consists of 24 hours of core courses, nine hours of electives, six hours in an emphasis area, and a one-credit hour internship for pre-service students. Students may select an emphasis in Public Budgeting and Finance, Planning, Security Studies, or State and Local Government to prepare for their future career goals. All required classes and most electives are offered in the evenings, to accommodate the needs of busy students. This convenient MPA has affordable tuition, with pricing between $14,000 and $19,999. Graduates of the Master’s of Public Administration program at Kansas State University are highly sought out due to their quality education and industry relevant emphasis areas.

Kansas State University is a four-year, public institution of higher education, regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. K-State was founded in 1863, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Kansas. Them main campus is located in Manhattan, Kansas, with additional branch campuses in Salina and Olathe. K-State is home to an annual student body enrollment of nearly 24,000, and offers over 250 academic undergraduate majors and programs and over 150 graduate degrees and certificates through nine academic colleges. The Wall Street Journal ranks K-State No. 12 university in the nation for improving students’ critical thinking skills the most. Additionally, The Princeton Review recognizes the University as a Best Midwestern College. Graduate students can earn an on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences. Students wishing to apply to this flexible program must submit an online graduate program application, official college transcripts, statement of career objectives, and three letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 90.19

#39 University of Texas at Dallas School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences – Richardson, Texas


Students can earn a Master’s of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Dallas. This exceptional on campus program offers a highly accredited curriculum in a short 36 credit hours.

Photo credit
The University of Texas at Dallas features an on campus Master’s of Public Affairs through their elite School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences. This program is prestigiously accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This well rounded degree is 36 credit hours, and consists of 24 hours of core courses, nine hours of electives, and a three-credit hour capstone seminar. Elective credits can be applied towards a specialization in Public Management, Local Government Management, Nonprofit Management, or Policy Analysis. Students who select the Local Government Management or Nonprofit Management specialization will also earn a graduate certificate, giving them a competitive edge in the public service sector. Students may complete a one week international/comparative public management summer intensive program in Seoul, Korea. Full-time students typically complete this program in two years. Students in this first-class Master’s of Public Affairs are fully prepared for management positions in government and nonprofit agencies.

The University of Texas at Dallas is a four-year, public college, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The University currently offers over 45 undergraduate degrees, 55 master’s degrees, and 30 doctoral programs, as well as 30 undergraduate and graduate certificates through its eight academic colleges to nearly 27,000 students annually. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University as a doctoral research university with highest research activity. UTD was the only school in Texas to make the Times Higher Education’s ranking for the world’s most outstanding young universities that have been in existence for less than half a century. Additionally, The Princeton Review recognizes UTD as a Best Western College. Graduate Students may pursue an on campus MPA through the University of Texas at Dallas’ School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences. Prospective students are encouraged to submit an online application, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and an admissions essay.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 90.14

#40 Binghamton University, SUNY College of Community and Public Affairs – Vestal, New York


The College of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton University, SUNY offers an elite Master’s of Public Administration. This on campus MPA degree stood out on our ranking with its many experiential learning experiences.

Photo credit
The College of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton University, SUNY features a well-respected Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This on campus degree is 42 credit hours and consists of 25 hours of core courses, 12 hours of electives, a two-credit hour internship, and a three-hour culminating experience courses. Students may earn a specialization certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership or Local Government Management and Leadership. Those enrolled also have the opportunity to complete a 300-hour public service internship. Additionally the program also offers participation in a two-week study abroad program in Malawi, Africa working with the Malawi Children’s Mission or a three-week program in Cusco, Peru that focuses on sustainability, cultural identity, social equality, and environmental justice. The numerous experiential learning experiences, along with the specialized certificates offered through the Master’s in Public Administration will help graduates of Binghamton University, SUNY earn their dream job!

Binghamton University, SUNY is a four-year, public university with a student body of over 17,000 students and is accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Binghamton offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degrees through its six academic colleges. Binghamton has received numerous accolades, including New York Times’ ranking of #44 of all colleges in the nation “doing the most for the American dream.” U.S. News and World Report currently recognizes Binghamton as one of the nation’s top 50 public universities, and ranks the graduate program in Public Administration 63rd. Additionally, The Princeton Review lists the University in its Best Northeastern Colleges category and 10th for Best Value for Public Universities. Among the many top-rated degrees offered is the on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Community and Public Affairs. Interested applicants must submit an online graduate application, official college transcripts, personal statement, resume or curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 89.98

#41 University of Texas at Arlington College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs – Arlington, Texas


Students can earn a top-notch Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. This competitive on campus MPA ranks well due to their multiple recognitions in the public administration field.

Photo credit
The University of Texas at Arlington features an on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 39-42 credit hour program is flexible, allowing students to enroll part-time or full-time. Full-time students can complete this program in two years. The curriculum consists of 30 hours of core courses, nine hours in a specialization, and a three-hour internship. Students may select a specialization in Public Budgeting and Financial Management, Local Government Management, Urban Nonprofit Agency Management, or Strategic Human Resources Management. U.S. News & World Report ranks this MPA #77 in the nation for Public Affairs Graduate Programs. This is a very affordable master’s with pricing under $13,999. If you are interested in earning an MPA degree, UT Arlington will prepare you for entering management careers in government or for those seeking upward mobility in public management.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a four-year, public university, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. UT-Arlington is home to over 45,000 students annually, making it the second largest school in The University of Texas System. UT-Arlington offers more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a broad range of disciplines. U.S. News and World Report awarded UT-Arlington with numerous accolades including fifth for ethnic diversity, second-lowest average student debt, more than 20 graduate programs included in the Best Graduate Schools rankings, and recognition as a Best Global University. Additionally, The Princeton Review recognizes UT-Arlington as a Best Western College. Among the many programs offered at UT-Arlington is the Master’s of Public Administration offered through the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs. Prospective students to this highly competitive program must submit an online application, official college transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 89.52

#42 James Madison University College of Arts and Letters – Harrisonburg, Virginia


Students can earn a distinguished Master’s in Public Administration through James Madison University. This on campus program stands out in this ranking due to its many specialization areas and many recognitions within the education community.

Photo credit
James Madison University students can earn a competitive Master’s in Public Administration through the College of Arts and Letters, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 42 credit hour program is comprised of 36 hours of coursework and a six-credit hour internship. The internship is a wonderful opportunity for students to gain 400 hours of experience in a government or non-profit agency. Students may choose from a wide variety of specializations including Public Management, Nonprofit Management, International Stabilization and Recovery Operations, or Management of International Nongovernmental Organizations to enhance their future career goals. Most classes meet one evening per week to accommodate the schedules of working administrators. Full-time students typically graduate within two years of entering the program. This is an affordable on campus master’s program, with tuition between $14,000 and $19,999. The well-respected reputation of James Madison University makes earning a Master’s in Public Administration an excellent launching pad for your public services career.

James Madison University is a four-year, public university, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. JMU offers over 120 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to over 21,000 students annually. U.S. News and World Report ranks JMU #2 Public School in the South. Approximately one-quarter of all master’s level students participate in study abroad programs, making it one of the highest master’s level institutions for study abroad participation. Additionally, The Princeton Review recognizes JMU as a Green College, College That Pays You Back, and a Best Southeastern College. Graduate students can earn an on campus Master’s in Public Administration through the College of Arts and Letters. Students interested in pursuing this academically rigorous MPA program are required to submit an online application, copies of official transcripts from all universities attended, statement of purpose, GRE scores, and a professional resume. Required prerequisite courses are U.S. Government and Statistics.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 89.47

#43 University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences – Columbia, South Carolina


Students at the University of South Carolina can earn a highly respected on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences. This program offers an intensive course of study to prepare students for careers in government and nonprofit agencies.

Photo credit
The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina offers a superior Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This on campus program is 39-48 hours, depending on the students previous coursework and work experience. Students who have not taken a course in Statistics or American Government will be required to complete these prerequisite courses. A three-credit hour internship will be required for students lacking significant administrative experience. Students who fulfill the prerequisite courses and are eligible for an internship waiver, will only need to complete 18 hours of core courses, 18 hours of electives, and a three-credit hour capstone course. Students are also currently able to choose to pursue a concentration in Emergency Management and Planning, with other concentration areas being developed. Graduates of the prestigious Master’s of Public Administration will be highly coveted by recruiters in a variety of public service positions.

The University of South Carolina is a four-year, public institution of higher education, founded in 1801, and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. USC has a current student body enrollment exceeding 34,000 students, making it the largest in the state of South Carolina, and offers more than 350 programs of study leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees spanning 14 colleges and schools. Carolina is only one of 32 public universities with both Research and Community Engagement designations from the Carnegie Foundation. U.S. News and World Report ranks USC 46th in Public Universities. Additionally, The Princeton Review recognizes USC as a Best Value Public College and a Best Southeastern College. Graduate students may obtain an on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences. Prospective students must submit an application, official college transcripts, GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 89.14

#44 University of Louisville College of Arts & Sciences – Louisville, Kentucky


The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville offers an academically rigorous Master’s of Public Administration. This on campus program helps ensure that students are well-prepared to serve the public in leadership roles.

Photo credit
The University of Louisville offers a highly respected Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This well-established on campus program is 42 credit hours in length, has an urban focus, and offers concentrations in Urban Governance, Non-profit Management, and Sustainable Urban Development to meet students’ interests and career aspirations. Students will complete 18 hours of core courses, 12 hours in a concentration area, six hours of electives, and six hours of an internship, practicum, or thesis. In-service students will complete a practicum, a research project at their current job. Pre-service students will complete a 400-hour internship. Students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree may complete a thesis. Full-time students typically complete the program in two years, and part-time students graduate in four years. Graduates of the Master’s of Public Administration program will demonstrate competencies needed by executive-level managers in the public and nonprofit sectors, as well as a commitment to public service.

The University of Louisville is a four-year, public university, established in 1798, making it the first city-owned public university in the United States. UofL is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Louisville currently enrolls over 21,500 students each year and offers 70 bachelor’s degrees, 78 master’s degrees, and 22 doctoral degrees through their 12 academic schools and colleges, including a medical, dental, and law school. U.S. News & World Report ranks UofL 171st among Public National Universities, and the Princeton Review lists Louisville on its “Best Southeastern” list. Among the many, academically challenging programs at UofL is the Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences. Students wishing to apply to the dynamic program must submit a graduate application, official transcripts from all colleges attended, GRE scores, statement of intent, two letters of recommendation, and may choose to include an optional resume.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 89.03

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


Students at American University can earn a highly respected on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Affairs. American University is among the nation’s top ranked schools for public affairs.

Photo credit
The School of Public Affairs at American University offers a distinguished on campus Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Full-time Students can complete this 39 credit hour course of study in two years. The curriculum consists of foundational public administration courses on policy analysis, project management, economics, legal, budgeting and financial management, leadership and managing human capital, quantitative methods, organizational analysis, and other engaging topics. All students will also complete a public policy practicum during their last semester, which will give students exposure to institutional, legal, and ethical dimensions of policy analysis in an organizational setting. The campus’ location in Washington D.C. offers students numerous opportunities to find a practicum that meets their specific interests and future career goals. The well-rounded curriculum and exciting practicum opportunities makes American University an excellent choice for students ready to dive right into an innovative Master’s of Public Administration program.

American University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university, chartered by an act of Congress in 1893. They have a current enrollment of over 13,300 students and the University holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. AU offers a wide array of associates through doctoral programs across their seven schools and academic colleges. American University participates in a unique program that allows students from other universities to spend a semester studying at AU, participating in seminars three days a week led by different guest speakers who are experts in their industries and working internships two days a week. The University has also received many recognitions, and is ranked 69th among National Universities according to U.S. News and World Report. Graduate students may obtain a Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Affairs. Prospective students must submit an application, official transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and complete a phone interview.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 88.91

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


Students can earn a top notch Master’s of Public Administration degree through Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. This competitive on campus MPA is highly accredited and nationally known for excellence.

Photo credit
The University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy features an on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. U.S. News and World Report ranks USC second among public affairs schools nationwide and fourth for the public management/administration specialty. This 40-41 unit program can be completed by full-time students in two years, and by part-time students in three years. Students select a specialization in Local Government, Nonprofit Management, Health, Public Finance, International, or Arts Leadership. Additionally, there are many unique opportunities for learning outside of the classroom as well, including MPA labs, where students meet with officials in local government and non-profit agencies, and International labs, where students provide policy-related consulting services in China, Brazil, or Italy in the summer. All students will also complete an internship, and have the option to take courses at the USC State Capital Center. At the end of their studies graduates will have local and global policy experience, allowing them to take their career anywhere in the world they want to go!

The University of Southern California was founded in 1880, and is the oldest private research university in California. The University is home to 21 academic colleges, offering over 95 majors and 145 minors for undergraduate students, and 130 master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees, and serves an estimated annual enrollment of nearly 44,000 students. USC is accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. The University consistently receives numerous accolades, including U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of 21st among National Universities and 62nd Globally, and as a Top Ten Dream College by both students and parents according to The Princeton Review. Among the many programs offered at USC is the on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree through Sol Price School of Public Policy. Prospective MPA applicants must submit an online application, official transcripts, GRE/GMAT scores, USC Price supplemental form, current resume, three letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 88.89

#47 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Department of Political Science – Greensboro, North Carolina


The University of North Carolina at Greensboro offers a well-rounded Master’s of Public Affairs. This on campus program is a great choice for students with their combination of prestige and affordability.

Photo credit
Students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro can earn an exceptional Master’s of Public Affairs degree through the Department of Political Science. This 40-43 credit hour on campus MPA is prestigiously accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Pre-service students will be required to complete a three-hour internship to gain hands-on experience. Students may select a concentration in Nonprofit Management, Community and Economic Development, or Local Government Management. This flexible program allows students to take classes in the evenings or on Saturdays to accommodate the schedules of professionals. Full-time students can complete this program in two years, and part-time students generally take three or four years. This is an affordable master’s program, with pricing between $14,000 and $19,999. Graduates of the highly recognized Master’s of Public Affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro have gone on to successful leadership careers in government and nonprofit agencies.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a four-year, public university, founded in 1891, and regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. UNC Greensboro serves nearly 20,000 students each year, and offers over 85 undergraduate degrees in more than 100 areas of study, 70 master’s programs, and 30 doctoral programs. Greensboro ranked second for Best Value by The Princeton Review and is also currently listed as a Best Southeastern College. Among the many prestigious and competitive programs available, the Department of Political Science offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration. Students wishing to apply to this elite MPA program must submit a graduate application, official college transcripts, personal statement form, three recommendations, and GRE scores. Students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher are exempt from the GRE requirement.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 88.58

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


Villanova University offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This distinguished program is a great addition to this ranking due to their outstanding accreditation and innovative curriculum.

Photo credit
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University features a superior Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This MPA program is 39 credit hours and is offered with convenient on campus scheduling options. Students who have at least three years of professional experience will be waived from the three-credit hour internship, making the program 36 hours. Full-time students typically complete the program in two years, and part-time students generally take three to four years. The curriculum consists of 18 hours of core courses and 18 hours of elective courses. Students will learn how to develop an organizational change plan, write a professional memo, analyze an organization’s budget and overall financial health, and analyze data. Classes are offered in the evenings, and some electives are offered on the weekends, allowing students with a full-time job to maintain a balance between work and school. Students will find that the convenience offered by the MPA meshes well with their professional and educational goals.

Villanova University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university, founded in 1842, and regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Villanova is also a member of the Augustinian Secondary Education Association. Nova is home to a student body population of nearly 11,000 students each year, and offers over 60 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees, as well as doctoral, law, and certificate programs through its six academic colleges and schools. The University has received many recognitions and is currently ranked 46th in the National Universities category by U.S. News and World Report, and recognized by The Princeton Review as a Best Northeastern College. Among the many distinguished degrees offered is the on campus Master’s of Public Administration. In order to apply, prospective students should submit an application, all official transcripts, GRE scores, three recommendation letters, statement of goals, and a resume.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 88.46

#49 University of Oregon School of Planning, Public Policy and Management – Eugene, Oregon


The University of Oregon offers an established Master’s of Public Administration. This on campus program is made up of a curriculum with elite accreditation and student customized course plans.

Photo credit
The University of Oregon’s School of Planning, Public Policy and Management offers students a Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 72 credit program, equivalent to 48 semester credits, consists of 33 hours of core courses, 24 hours of electives in a field of interest, 11 hours of synthesized applied research and policy analysis project, and a three-credit internship. Students may select a field of interest in Public Management, Nonprofit Management, Community and Regional Planning, Environmental Policy, Education and Labor Policy, Health Policy, Transportation Policy, Economic Development, International Development, Research Methods, or General Policy. Students also participate in a 48-hour project, meant to simulate a real world situation in which students must research policies, write a professional memo with policy recommendations, and give an oral presentation all in the course of just 48 hours. The wide variety of specializations, coupled with the experiential learning projects makes the on campus MPA at the University of Oregon the perfect degree for students interested in a government or nonprofit careers.

The University of Oregon is a four-year, public university, accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Oregon was founded in 1876 with just 155 students, and has flourished into a diverse student body population of over 23,500 students each year and offers more than 300 academic programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through its nine academic schools and colleges. The Princeton Review recognizes UO as a Best Western College. Many of Oregon’s alumni have gone on to successful political careers, including seven Oregon governors, eight U.S. senators, and 20 U.S. Representatives. Students can earn a reputable on campus Master’s of Public Administration through the highly commended School of Planning, Public Policy and Management. Those wishing to apply to this vigorous program must submit an application, official college transcripts, resume, personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. GRE scores are optional, but highly recommended.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 88.41

#50 Old Dominion University School of Public Service – Norfolk, Virginia


The School of Public Service at Old Dominion University offers an on campus Master’s of Public Administration degree. This distinguished degree is a great in-person program with its many learning and networking opportunities.

Photo courtesy of Old Dominion University
The School of Public Service at Old Dominion University offers a Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 39 credit hour program consists of 18 hours of core courses and 18 hours of electives. Students may choose to focus their elective credits in Human Resource Administration, Port and Maritime Management, Urban Research and Planning, or Nonprofit Management. Students with promise may also be selected to participate in research with professors, with the possibility of having their work published. All pre-service students will complete an internship in the public or nonprofit sector to apply principles they have learned in the classroom to real world experiences. Old Dominion offers affordable tuition with rates between $14,000 and $19,999. This economical on campus MPA will help students excel in public service careers.

Old Dominion University is a four year, public university, that is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The main campus is located in Norfolk, with two satellite campuses in the Hampton Roads area. ODU is classified as a Carnegie Doctoral, Higher Research Activity University. This University offers over 70 bachelor’s degrees, 50 master’s degrees, and 40 doctoral degrees through their seven academic colleges, honors college, and graduate school, and serves over 24,000 students each year. The University also features over 100 online degrees through ODU Online, which is affiliated with the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus. Among the many flexible degrees offered at Old Dominion University is the on campus Master’s of Public Administration. Prospective students must submit an application, all official college transcripts, minimum of two letters of recommendation, a written statement, and GRE/GMAT scores. Test scores may be waived for applicants with three years of professional government, military, or nonprofit experience.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 88.24

For more information on public administration, check out our Public Administration Resource Guide and online MPA Ranking.

Also, check out our Frequently Asked Questions about public administration:

What are the advantages of pursuing a full-time Master’s in Public Administration?
Which schools offer the most affordable Master’s in Public Administration degrees?
What are the admission requirements for a Master’s in Public Administration?

METHODOLOGY

This ranking is designed to find the best Master’s in Public Administration degrees available. A list of over 320 schools was obtained and evaluated on the following factors: Accreditations, Affordability, and Prestige.

Regional Accreditation (20%): Institutional accreditations are very important and attest to each program’s value and university education standards. Each bachelor’s program in this list is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting institutions recognized by the US Department of Education.

Public Administration Accreditation (20%): In addition to regional accreditation, each MPA program is ranked upon if it upholds an accreditation from the NASPAA. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) is the highest recognized global accrediting institution for master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This accreditation certifies that a master’s program in public affairs has gone through a rigorous process of voluntary peer review and has attained specific standards for professional master’s degree programs in the sector of public affairs, policy, and administration.

Affordability (20%): Each MPA was evaluated for the estimated total base tuition cost. Tuition costs directly affect accessibility and is an important criterion to research when deciding upon a program. The base tuition was calculated for the whole degree plan, but does not included fees, books, or room and board. For schools that offer a lower in-state tuition rate, the in-state pricing is used. Based on this base tuition data, each program was then given an Affordability Score:

Expensive = $50,000+
Above Average = $30,000-$49,999
Average = $20,000-$29,999
Affordable = $14,000-$19,999
Very Affordable = $0-$13,999

Regional College Prestige (20%): This information was collected from one of the most prestigious sources in educational rankings, the Princeton Review. Each program was ranked on if their college or university was included in one of the Princeton Review’s 2018 Best Regional Colleges Rankings.

Graduate Public Affairs Program Prestige (20%): This criterion was collected from one of the most prestigious sources in educational rankings, US News and World Report. Each program was ranked based on their score within the US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Program Ranking.

All of the data was collected, weighted equally, averaged, and then calculated on a 100-point scale. This score is the TMD Ranking Score, which provides the ranking order for this list. By evaluating the accreditations, affordability, and prestige, this ranking helps prospective students find the highest quality on campus Master’s of Public Administration Programs.

Business Management Degree Finder

  1. 1