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Top 50 Online Master’s of Public Administration Programs 2018

Master’s of Public Administration degrees started back to 1913 when the University of Michigan’s political science department proposed the nation’s very first program in response to governmental inefficiency and corruption. Over the past 100 years, this degree has grown in popularity and now students can choose from hundreds of programs across the United States that are offered in both on-campus and online formats. The Master’s of Public Administration is defined by some 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. This degree is focused on helping develop students into effective and knowledgeable leaders with advanced communication skills, and ethical leaders who can manage policy development and navigate the societal impacts. Curriculum topics for Online Master’s of Public Administration Programs often include Economic Development, Public Financial Management, Nonprofit Management, International Development, Public Health, Environmental Policy, and Community and Regional Planning.

The field of public service and public policy deserves skilled, ethical, and knowledgeable leaders who understand the sector and the complexities within it. An MPA develop students into leaders for executive and management careers in public service, government, non-profit, and even for-profit organizations. To help busy students looking for an Online MPA program to meet their current needs and future goals, here is our list of the Top 50 Online MPA programs in the nation.

Note: A detailed explanation of the methodology we used to determine the best online Master’s of Public Administration programs can be found at the end of the ranking.

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


The School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University offers a distinguished Online Executive Master’s of Public Administration. This program stands above the rest with its cutting edge curriculum, program flexibility, and respected reputation within the education community.

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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 in the United States. The Online Executive Master’s of Public Administration program at ASU offers working professionals a flexible environment to develop leadership skills that will help them to advance in a variety of careers within the public sector and currently holds the #9 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. Arizona State’s Online EMPA program includes a fast-paced and relevant 30-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 move on to relevant and career-focused options such as Ethical Issues for Managers, Strategic Planning for Public Sector Leaders, Global Negotiations, and Federal Budgeting and Tax Policy. ASU offers students a highly prestigious Executive MPA at an affordable price point between $14,000 and $19,999. This is a degree combines excellence in education with affordable tuition.

Arizona State University is a four-year, public university that has continued to be on the front line of educational excellence since its founding in 1885. The University spans seven locations and their main campus serves almost 12,000 students each year. They offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs through 15 academic colleges and schools, including a highly acclaimed Online Executive Master’s of Public Administration through the elite 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: 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 a highly respected and fully online Master’s of Public Administration degree. Dedication to student success, hands on learning opportunities, and state and national recognitions are just a few of the reasons that this well-rounded MPA made our list.

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The Online 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, and six concentrations to choose from. Concentration options include 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. While this program is offered in a fully online format, students are encouraged 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 UNO is an Online Master’s of Public Administration offered through the School of Public Administration. Students interested in continuing their educational journey at the University of Nebraska, Omaha 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: 98.30

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


The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University offers an Online Master’s of Public Affairs that is recognized nationally. This program earned the number two spot on our ranking due to its elite reputation and reasonable pricing.

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Indiana University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Their well-respected School of Public and Environmental Affairs offers an Online Master’s of Public Affairs that is accredited by the distinguished Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Their 48-credit hour program consists of six core courses, up to 10 advanced electives, and an experiential component. Students have an opportunity to choose a focus area in Public Management, Nonprofit Management, Policy Analysis, or Public Budgeting or Financial Management. Core courses within this program include Law and Public Affairs, Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision Making, Public Management Economics, Public Finance and Budgeting, and Capstone in Public and Environmental Affairs. Indiana University’s SPEA is one of the largest and most-respected schools of its kind. The college is consistently recognized as one of the best among public affairs programs by rankings such as the US News and World Report, where they hold the #1 spot in Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs. Indiana University is additionally seen in multiple rankings by the The Princeton Review, including top National Universities, the Best 381 Colleges, Best Midwestern, and Colleges That Pay you Back. This program is top rated and is offered at a reasonable price point of $20,000 to $29,999, giving students a solid return on their investment.

Indiana University is a four-year, public, university that spreads across eight campuses and serves a student body of almost $50,000. The Bloomington campus is the flagship campus of the greater Indiana University system. This University provides students with more than 550 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs through their 16 degree-granting colleges and schools. IU Bloomington’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs is dedicated to preparing students for complex and exciting public service jobs. Among their many high interest programs is a highly accredited and fully online Master’s of Public Affairs. To apply to this top-notch program prospective students will need to fill out the program’s online application and submit official transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, personal statement, and an up to date resume.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 97.95

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


The University of Missouri’s Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs offers an established Online Master’s of Public Affairs. This program ranks highly because of its top-notch accreditation and economic tuition cost.

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The Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri 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. In addition to being accredited by the HLC, the Online MPA program is also accredited by the prestigious Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This Online MPA is 33-credits and is exclusively online for maximum flexibility. Students can progress at their own pace, but it is possible to complete the program in as few as two years. 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 ranking, esteemed accreditations, and very affordable tuition cost of below $13,999 secured Mizzou a top spot on this ranking.

Established in 1839, the University of Missouri was the first public higher education institution west of the Mississippi River. The University, also known as Mizzou, is a land-grant research university located in Columbia, Missouri. The University offers more than 90 online programs through 17 schools and colleges. Included within these programs is he Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs’ accredited Online 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: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 96.48

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


Students can earn an NASPAA accredited and fully online Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of Central Florida. This program made our ranking because of its accreditations, affordable tuition, and flexible format.

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Students at the University of Central Florida can earn an Online 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 Online 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 is also known for their very affordable tuition rates of less than $13,999.

The University of Central Florida is one of the largest universities in the nation and was established in 1963. 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 an Online 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: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 96.47

#6 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 an elite Online Master’s of Public Administration program. This MPA is a great choice for the distance learner looking for a top-notch program.

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Baruch College, CUNY’s 42-45-credit hour online Master’s of Public Administration degree, within the highly esteemed Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, 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 can choose one of the following specialization areas Health Care Policy, Non-profit Administration, Policy Analysis and Evaluation, 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 is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, while the Online 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 an average 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 named after financier and statesman Bernard M. Baruch and is 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. Within the Marxe MPA, students may participate in a full-time or part-time curriculum schedule with classes during the day, evening, or online. Those wishing to participate in the Online 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: 95.86

#7 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 Online Executive Master’s of Public Service and Administration. This program was chosen for our list because of their accreditations, prestigious mentions, and reasonable tuition rates.

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Texas A&M University offers an unparalleled Online Executive 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 EMPSA is additionally ranked #28 by US News and World Report for Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs. The Online Executive Master’s of Public Service and Administration degree through the Bush School of Government and Public Service is a 39-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 students to apply their work knowledge to their class work. Additionally students can personalize their degree by choosing a specialized track of study in Homeland Security, Non-Profit Management, or Public 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 unique University’s highly respected history, esteemed faculty, and prestigious rankings make an Online EMPSA from Texas A&M a wise investment.

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 an elite and fully online Executive 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 reflecting a minimum of five years work experience, official transcripts and records, statement of purpose, and GMAT/GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 94.86

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


The John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY offers a flexible Online MPA that is highly recognized by many of the leading educational ranking systems. This degree carries an excellent public affairs reputation and distinct accreditations.

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John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and their Online Master’s of Public Administration program carries additional accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This esteemed MPA program consists of 42-credit hours of core courses, research methods and quantitative skills, specialization courses, and electives. There are three tracks offered including Inspection and Oversight, Health Care, and Public Policy 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 can also been seen on the Princeton Review’s list of the Best Southeastern Colleges in the United States. This Online MPA program offers prestige and flexibility 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 Online 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: 94.76

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


The University of Pittsburgh offers a notable Master’s of Public Policy and Management. This program offered through the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs is consistently present in the leading ranking systems and is offered in a convenient online format.

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The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh offers an array of highly recognized programs, including an Online Master’s of Public Policy and Management. This unique program holds prestigious accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and the University carries regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college’s consistent level of excellence is noted among the leading ranking systems in the education world. Including being listed among the Best Northeastern Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review, as well as, being ranked #34 in US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs category. The program consists of 30-credit hours of coursework which includes a rigorous core curriculum and then transitions into specialization courses that allow students to tailor their degree to meet future career goals. A few of the specialization courses available include Public Policy Analysis, Financial Management, Leadership, Strategic Management, and Grant Writing and Fundraising. The University of Pittsburgh’s Online Master’s of Public Policy and Management is well rounded and offered at a reasonable tuition rate between $20,000 and $29,999.

The University of Pittsburgh is a four-year, public university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This exceptional university system spans across four regional campuses and offers bachelor’s through doctoral degrees through 16 academic schools and colleges, to almost 29,000 students each year. The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs offers many respected master’s degree options, including fully online Master’s of Public Policy and Management. In order to apply to this distinguished program, students must complete an online application by one of three deadlines. In order to complete the application process, prospective students will also need to submit official GMAT or GRE scores, letters of recommendation, essays, and a current resume.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 94.71

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


Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs offers a hybrid MPA program. This program ranks well because of its outstanding reputation in the public affairs community combined with the university’s outstanding national reputation.

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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. Ohio State’s MPA program ranks #18 on US News and World Report’s top graduate 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. In addition to many national recognitions Ohio State 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. 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. Most of OSU’s full-time MPA students work part-time during the program, because of this, the University is intentional about connecting academics to real life experience.

Ohio State University is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1870. They have since 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. 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: 94.17

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


The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University offers a well recognized Online Executive Master’s of Public Administration degree. This EMPA has a great reputation and is highly ranked among the leading educational ranking systems.

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Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs carries prestigious accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Their Online Executive Master’s of Public Administration program is highly decorated and is currently ranked #2 on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. Additionally, the University itself is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is listed among the Best Northeastern Colleges in the United States by the Princeton Review. Syracuse’s Online EMPA is focused on providing working professionals with the skills needed to lead and manage organizations within the highly competitive field of public administration. The program is 30-credit hours in length and covers highly relevant topics such as leading teams, cross cultural collaboration, ethics and values, managing budgets and public expenditures, and data analysis for policy makers. Working professionals will appreciate the efficiency and flexibility of Syracuse University’s Online Executive Master’s of Public Administration.

The Syracuse University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university that was established in 1870. The University offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through 13 colleges and schools, to a student body of over 21,000 students each year. Students can earn a highly regarded Online Executive Master’s of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. To apply to this established program, students must complete an online application and submit GMAT or GRE scores, official transcripts, current and professional resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 91.79

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


San Diego State University offers a highly accredited Master’s of Public Administration degree. This program holds the great combination of affordability and high education standards.

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Students of San Diego State University can earn a fully online Master’s of Business Administration degree that is focused on building the leadership skills necessary for success in the field of public services. The MPA program at San Diego State is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission and holds additional accreditation with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. SDSU is currently ranked #77 in the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs in the nation by US News and World Report and the Princeton Review also listed them as one of the Best Western Colleges in the country. Students earning a Master’s degree from San Diego State University can complete their degree for an affordable price between $14,000 and $19,999. At SDSU students can feel confident knowing that the hands on networking and learning experience gained through the Online MPA program will benefit them long after graduation.

San Diego State University is a four-year, public, university located in San Diego, California. The campus is a proud member of the California State University system and serves over 34,000 students each year. The College of Extended Studies at San Diego State offers many highly acclaimed degree options including its 100% online Master’s of Public Administration program. This degree allows working professionals to complete their degree while still maintaining balance with their other obligations. Prospective applicants will need to submit transcripts reflecting a minimum of 3.0 for undergraduate course work, GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and current resume. Full time working professionals can also choose to submit an internship waiver form as they fill out their application, this will ensure that they are excused from the internship requirement of the program.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 91.50

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


Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can earn a well respected and 100% Online Master’s of Public Administration degree. The School of Government’s Online MPA is featured in this ranking because of the program’s highly respected brand and unique interactive online format.

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a well respected Online Master’s of Public Administration degree. This distinguished MPA program holds prestigious accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and is currently listed among the top 25 online MPA programs in the country with US News and World Report. The Princeton Review also includes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on their Best Southeastern Universities ranking. UNC Chapel Hill’s Online Master’s of Public Administration is 45-credit hours in length and includes a well-rounded core curriculum with multiple areas of concentration. The focus area options included within the dynamic program are International Relations, Public Health, Community and Economic Development, Local Government, and Non-Profit Management. While the program is fully online students are encouraged to participate in live class sessions that are held on a weekly basis. The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is an ideal choice for working professionals who want the flexibility of online course work with the sense of community that comes with on-campus programs.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a four-year, public university with regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. UNC Chapel Hill serves over 29,000 students each year and offers over 265 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, through 14 schools and colleges. The Online Master’s of Public Administration program offered through the School of Government consistently receives recognition from leading ranking systems. This level of acknowledgment speaks volumes to the return on investment potential offered by this unique and well-respected program. Students interested in applying to this exceptional Online Master’s of Public Administration program will need to complete a full application including a current resume, transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, essays, two professional references and an interview requirement.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 90.31

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


American University offers an elite Online Master’s of Public Administration near the heart of the nation’s capital. This MPA stands out in our ranking because of its dedication to helping students meet their personal and professional goals.

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Students of the School of Public Affairs at American University can earn an Online Master’s of Public Administration degree that holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, as well as, the well respected Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. American University is frequently recognized on rankings such as the the Princeton Review’s Best Northeastern list. Additionally the Master’s of Public Administration program recently placed #18 on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. AU works to helps students succeed by focusing on respect for diversity, effectiveness in decision making, and accountability. Their Online MPA degree through the School of Public Affairs can be completed in 39-credit hours and two years, if courses are taken on a full time basis. While this degree is priced at above $50,000, students benefit from the school’s small class sizes and extensive alumni network.

American University is a four year, private, university that was founded in 1893. The campus is located near the heart of the nation’s capital which provides the university’s over 13,000 students with many unique professional and personal networking opportunities. Students enrolled in online programs receive the same world class experiences as those who complete their degree on campus. Making this an online option that working professionals can feel confident in. Those wishing to apply to this exceptional Online MPA simply need to fill out an online application and have transcripts from all universities previously attended, two letters of recommendation, resume, statement of purpose, and GRE/LSAT scores.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 89.49

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


Students at Kansas State University can earn a Master’s of Public Administration degree that can be completed almost completely online. This MPA is a great choice for distance students with flexibility, multiple accreditations, and a great reputation in the education community.

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Kansas State University offers graduate students a flexible Master’s of Public Administration degree with many online class options. This 39-40-credit hour program consists of a variety of hands on courses that were specifically selected to help support student’s critical thinking, problem solving, and knowledge application skills. This balanced MPA program holds esteemed accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The curriculum is designed with working professionals in mind, with flexible schedules and coursework that can be completed online at the student’s convenience. Along with excellent accreditations Kansas State is currently listed among the Best Midwestern Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review and holds the #96 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. When compared to other programs on our list, KSU’s Master’s of Public Administration degree is reasonably priced degree with a base tuition cost between $20,000 and $29,999. The Kansas State online MPA program is a great choice for the working professional.

Kansas State University is a four-year, public, university that holds regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. The University was founded in 1863 and has since grown to serve almost 24,000 students each year. While the University continues to grow, they are still noticed for maintaining low faculty to student ratios. Kansas State offers a wide range of undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral programs in convenient online and on campus formats. Among the degrees offered to graduate students is the Master’s of Public Administration. Potential candidates interested in pursuing this competitive program must submit an application, copies of all official college transcripts, letter of intent, letters of recommendation, and an updated resume.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 88.92

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


Students at the University of Texas at Arlington can earn an Online Master’s of Public Administration at an affordable price-point. This MPA program stands tall in the areas of affordability, program flexibility, and high regard within the educational community.

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The University of Texas at Arlington offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration degree that is highly accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. UTA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, is currently listed by the Princeton Review as one of the Best Western Colleges in the United States, and ranked #108 by US News and World Report in the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs category. The University of Texas Arlington in an active member of the greater University of Texas school system, but at UTA students can get the same world class opportunities for a fraction of the cost. The average tuition at University of Texas at Arlington is affordable with rates between $14,000 and $19,999 for the program in its entirety. This top-notch program is 24 months in length and includes 39-credit hours of relevant course topics such as public budgeting, evaluation research, ethics in public service, and public and non-profit human resources law.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a four year, public university, that is a part of the highly regarded University of Texas school system.The campus sits on 420 acres just 20 minutes west of the metroplex of Dallas, Texas. There are 10 colleges and schools with a variety of bachelor’s, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees to choose from. UTA prides itself on having state of the art technology and educational resources, and the Master’s of Public Administration degree through the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs is no exception. Ideal candidates will need to provide acceptable GRE scores, undergraduate transcripts reflecting a minimum GPA of 3.0, and three letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 88.77

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


The School of Public Service at Old Dominion University offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration. This distinguished program was ranks well due to its flexibility and affordable tuition cost.

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The School of Public Service at Old Dominion University offers a Master’s of Public Administration that is delivered in a 100% online format. This 39-credit hour program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles within the industry, and consists of courses that help students feel confident pursuing careers such as political analyst, program planners, city managers, and general managers at the federal, state, and local levels. The curriculum includes seven core courses in public administration, as well as, six elective courses.The University is currently recognized as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review. They hold regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and the MPA program is additionally accredited by the notable Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Old Dominion offers affordable tuition with rates between $14,000 and $19,999. This Online Master’s in Public Administration will help students excel and feel confident entering into the competitive job market.

Old Dominion University is a four year, public university, that offers over 70 bachelor’s degrees, 50 master’s degrees, and 40 doctoral degrees through their seven academic colleges, honors college, and graduate school. The University serves over 24,000 students each year and 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 Online Master’s of Public Administration program. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the enrollment team and must submit an application, all official college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a two-page Statement of Career Goals, and current copy of resume.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 88.16

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


The University of Southern California offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration degree. Students in the Price MPA benefit from this program’s excellent reputation and flexible format.

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The well regarded Sol Price School of Public Policy offers a fully online Master’s of Public Administration. The University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission their distinguished MPA holds additional accreditation with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The Princeton Review currently the USC as one of the Best Western Colleges in the nation and US News and World Report ranks them an impressive #2 in the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs category. Tuition for a completed Graduate level degree at the University of Southern California is expensive compared to other programs on this list with a cost of over $50,000. However, USC boasts higher than average early career pay in graduates and includes access to an extensive alumni network and carries the highest level of accreditation. Making the University of Southern California an investment that is truly worth making.

The University of Southern California is a four-year private university with a large student body of just under 44,000 students. The Sol Price School of Public Policy offers a highly respected Online Master’s of Public Administration degree. The Price MPA is focused on creating leaders who have exceptional communication skills and content knowledge. In order to help students achieve this goal the Price School of Public Policy offers an intensive MPA that encourages hands on problem solving in real world situations. The degree plan includes three concentration options in Local Government Management, Non-Profit Management, and Public Policy. Students interested in joining this fast paced program should know that while the majority of the coursework is online, the program does include two residency components. To apply students simply need to fill out the programs online application and have official transcripts a minimum of 3.0 GPA, a current resume, three letters of recommendation, above average GMAT or GRE scores, and a statement of purpose.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score:87.65

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


Students at Villanova University can earn an Online Master’s of Public Administration degree that holds an exceptional accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This Online MPA ranks well because of their high education standards and many prestigious mentions.

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Villanova University offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration degree that is highly accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The University itself is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is currently listed by the Princeton Review as one of the Best Northeastern Colleges in the United States. US News and World Report also recently listed Villanova University #87 in the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs category. The cost of the MPA program at Villanova is does fall into the above average price point for this ranking with an average cost between $30,000 and $49,999. However, Villanova University’s notability, above average pay in graduates, and flexible format options all make this MPA program one that is sure to have a definite return on investment.

The Villanova University campus sits on 240 beautiful acres, just 12 miles from Philadelphia. This a four-year, private university was established in 1842, and now stands as the oldest Catholic university in the state of Pennsylvania. Students seeking an Online Master’s in Public Administration degree can earn their diploma through Villanova’s well respected College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students in the Online MPA program have the opportunity to complete their degree with two areas of concentration in either Non-Profit Management or City Management. Students interested in this convenient online program will need to submit an online application containing three professional or academic letters of recommendation, a current and professional resume, a statement of goals, and transcripts from all universities previously attended.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 87.46

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


Grand Valley State University’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration offers a flexible Master’s of Public Administration. This Hybrid MPA is a great choice for students because of its budget conscience tuition rates and excellent accreditation.

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Grand Valley State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration offers a Hybrid Master’s of Public Administration with esteemed accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This program is offered in a format with a minimum of 50% of coursework completed online and offers concentrations in Sustainable Community Development, Health Administration, and Nonprofit Management and Leadership. GVSU’s Hybrid Master’s of Public Administration consists of 39-42-credit hours depending on professional experience. Students can earn this degree at an average price point of $20,000 to $29,999. In addition to traditional coursework Grand Valley State aims to develop skills and techniques used by leaders and managers to implement policies, projects, and programs in public-serving organizations. They attract students who are strongly motivated to be an effective, ethical and innovative organizational leader working for the betterment of your community. The Princeton Review highlights GVSU in their Best Midwestern ranking and US News and World Report currently lists them #108 on the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking.

Grand Valley State University is a four-year, public university that was established in 1960. GVSU serves more than 25,000 students from all 83 Michigan counties, as well as, around the country. It is officially one of America’s 100 largest universities as well as the fifth largest in Michigan in terms of enrollment and offers over 200 areas of study, including over 80 undergraduate majors and more than 35 graduate programs that include certificate, bachelor’s, post-bachelor’s, master’s, post-master’s, and doctoral degree levels. The School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration offers a Hybrid Master’s of Public Administration with three distinct concentration options. Students wishing to participate in this well-rounded program are encouraged to fill out an online application so that they can begin their learning journey as soon as possible.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 87.05

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


California State University, San Bernardino offers a well respected Online Master’s of Public Administration degree. The MPA, through the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Administration, was chosen for our ranking because of their elite accreditations and reputation within the education community.

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California State University, San Bernardino is currently ranked among the Best Western Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review and also holds #108 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. Cal State, San Bernardino is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission, and the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration offers a NASPAA accredited online Master’s of Public Administration degree. This accreditation is an elite global accrediting institution for programs in public policy, affairs, and administration, and put this MPA program among the best in the world. The average cost of tuition and fees for two years of graduate level coursework at CSUSB is average compared to other programs on our list with a cost between $20,000 and $29,999. The MPA courses are offered in online and on campus formats, making them a great choice for students seeking schedule flexibility.

California State University, San Bernardino is a four-year, public institution that was established in 1965. The University is located in San Bernardino, California and is a proud member of the 23 highly respected campuses of the California State University system. The campus sits on 440 acres and is home to over 20,000 students each year. CSUSB offers over 40 degrees through their five schools and colleges. The Jack H. Brown College of Business and Administration offers a versatile Online Master’s of Public Administration degree. While this MPA can be completed online it is important to note that the program’s Comprehensive Exam must be taken at the San Bernardino campus. In order to apply prospective students simply need to fill out the program’s online application which will include GRE scores for students with below a 3.0 GPA.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 86.81

#22 University of Delaware School of Public Policy & Administration – Newark, Delaware


At the University of Delaware, students can earn an Online Master’s of Public Administration with esteemed NASPAA accreditation. This Online MPA is perfect for students who are high prestige and flexible format.

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Graduate students at the University of Delaware can earn a highly competitive Online Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Policy & Administration. The University holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the MPA program is additionally accredited by the esteemed Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The Princeton Review currently recognizes UD as one of the Best Northeastern Colleges in the nation and they also currently hold the #34 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs ranking. Their well rounded 36-credit hour Online Master’s of Public Administration includes a variety of courses such as Contemporary Issues in a Global Society, Information Technology and Management in Global and Nonprofit Sectors, Public Policy, and Values and Ethics for for Leadership and Management. Online classes are offered in seven-week classes, and the program can be completed within 30 months on a part-time basis. Students will learn from the same top-ranked professors and will be assigned a personal career coach, as well as numerous other services to ensure success. The flexibility and notability the University of Delaware’s Online MPA sets it apart from other programs.

The University of Delaware was founded in 1743, making it one of the oldest in the nation. The University is the largest in the state of Delaware and serves over 23,000 students each year. UD offers over 135 undergraduate degrees, 140 master’s degrees, and 60 doctoral programs across their seven academic colleges and 82 research centers. Among the many exceptional programs offered at the University of Delaware is a fully Online Master’s of Public Administration. To apply to this flexible program, students must submit an application, official college transcripts, GRE/GMAT scores, and a current resume reflecting previous work or volunteer experience.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 86.72

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


The College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Long Beach offers a distance learning Master’s of Public Administration degree. This unique program uses a hybrid format to provide the convenience of distance education with in-person connections.

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California State University, Long Beach allows students to earn their Master’s of Public Administration with a unique combination of on-campus and distance learning courses. This program is offered at an affordable tuition rate of $14,000 to $19,999. The University holds regional accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission and was recently included on the Princeton Review’s list of the Best Western Colleges in the United States. The Master’s of Public Administration program at California State University, Long Beach is 39-42-credit hours to complete and consists of courses such as Foundations of Public Policy and Administration, Public Sector Human Resource Management, Research Methods in Public Administration, and Government Budgeting and Finance. Instructors in CSU, Long Beach’s MPA program are working professionals from diverse disciplines. The combination of on-campus and online classwork gives students an added benefit of community, as well as, convenience. This Master’s of Public Administration holds national acclaim with the #135 spot on US News and World Report’s Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs list and is accredited by the elite Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, making it a solid choice for students who are planning to enter the field of public administration.

California State University, Long Beach is a four-year, public, university that serves a large community of over 37,000 students each year. The College of Health and Human Services at CSU, Long Beach offers a variety of well respected programs including a distance learning Master’s of Public Administration. California State, Long Beach’s MPA is affordable and attainable for students at every stage of life. In order to apply applicants must submit an online application form through the department, as well as, an additional application through California State University. Prospective students should have two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, transcripts from all universities previously attended available.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 86.21

#24 University of South Florida School of Public Affairs – Tampa, Florida


The University of South Florida offers an accredited and fully online Master’s of Public Administration degree. This established program made our list because of their exceptional affordability and overall prestige.

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At the University of South Florida students can earn a well respected Online Master’s of Business Administration with a variety of elective at an affordable price point between $14,000 and $19,999. This Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredited University is also currently ranked #135 by US News and World Report in the Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs category. Their 42-45-credit hour Online MPA is focused on helping students gain real world experience and includes class projects involving local government or non-profit agencies, as well as, mentorships and unique internship opportunities. The foundational courses within this well-rounded degree include classes such as Ethics and Public Service, Public Budgeting, Human Resources Management, and Quantitative Aids for Public Managers. Along with flexible online degree options and exceptional tuition rates the University of South Florida was also recently listed among the Best Southeastern Colleges in the United States by the Princeton Review. USF makes a great option for students seeking a flexible, relevant, and affordable online MPA.

The University of South Florida is a four-year, public, university that was established in 1956. Each year the University serves about 42,000 students and offers a wide variety of on-campus and online degree options through the campus’s 15 colleges and schools. Students can earn a 100% online Master’s of Public Administration degree that is designed with helping working adults in mind. Those interested in applying to this elite program are encouraged to submit an online application, official college transcripts from all universities previously attended, GRE score, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of intent.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 86.20

#25 Arkansas State University College of Liberal Arts & Communication – Jonesboro, Arkansas


A very affordable Master’s of Public Administration program is featured through the College of Liberal Arts and Communication at Arkansas State University. This 36-credit hour program is a great choice for the prudent student because of its exceptional price point and convenient online format.

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Arkansas State University offers one of the most affordable online Master’s of Public Administration programs in the nation through their acclaimed College of Liberal Arts and Communication. This 36-credit hour program is very affordable when compared to other program’s on our list with an average cost of less than $13,999. This Online MPA holds elite accreditation with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and offers a Non-Profit Management track. Additionally, the University is currently recognized as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review and holds regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. A few of the courses within Arkansas State’s Master’s of Public Administration include Economic Issues and Concepts, Public Budgeting and Finance, Administrative Leadership, and Administrative Ethics. This Online MPA is one that is sure to impress future employers without breaking the bank in the process.

Arkansas State University is the second-largest university by enrollment in the state. A-State in Jonesboro is the flagship campus of the greater Arkansas State University system. The scenic campus sits on nearly 1,400 acres on an area known as Crowley’s Ridge and offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to over 14,000 students each year. Their College of Liberal Arts and Communication gives students the opportunity to earn a Master’s of Public Administration degree in a fully online format. In order to apply to this in-demand program prospective students will need to submit an online application which should include three letters of recommendation, official transcripts reflecting a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and a two page statement of purpose.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 84.64

#26 DePaul University School of Public Service – Chicago, Illinois


The School of Public Service at DePaul University offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration. This program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the public sector.

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The School of Public Service at DePaul University offer a highly acclaimed Online Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Students enrolled in this 52-credit hour program will complete a combination of core public management courses, covering topics such as ethical organizational leadership, finance and budgeting, human resources, and public policy design. Students may also choose from one of four specialization areas including Emergency Management, Public Management, Metropolitan and Urban Affairs, or International Public Management. All courses are offered in the evening or fully online, allowing working professionals to complete assignments at a time that works with their busy schedule. Students can complete this program in two years and one additional quarter by enrolling in two classes each semester. 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.

DePaul University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit institution of higher learning, founded in 1898, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. DePaul has a current student body enrollment of over 23,000 students, making it the largest Catholic university and the 13th largest private university in the United States. U.S. News and World Report currently recognizes DePaul as one of the Best National Universities and one of the top schools in the nation for service learning. Additionally, The Princeton Review lists the University on the Best Midwestern Colleges list, and #3 for Best College Cities. DePaul offers a wide array of bachelor’s through doctoral degrees. Among the many outstanding programs offered is the Online Master’s of Public Administration. Students interested in pursuing a MPA must submit an application, official college transcripts, two page personal statement, and current resume or curriculum vitae. Students without 12 months of paid government employment must also complete a four-credit hour internship.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 84.63

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


Students can earn an exceptional Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Social Sciences at the University of West Georgia. This program is a great choice for distance students due to its flexibility and affordability.

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The University of West Georgia features an Online Master’s of Public Administration through their elite College of Social Science. This program is prestigiously accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This MPA is 36-credit hours, and consists of 24 hours of core public administration classes and 12 hours of elective track courses. Students can select a track emphasis in Planning, Management, or customize their own plan for a particular area of public policy. Students not currently employed in the public sector are required to complete a public administration internship. All classes are offered fully online, face-to-face, or hybrid, and students may choose electives to best suit their career goals. This program is a very affordable master’s with pricing below $13,999. Graduates of this program are prepared to pursue research and study at the doctoral level or a variety of careers in government or non-profit agencies.

The University of West Georgia is a four-year, public college, founded in 1906, and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The main campus is located in Carollton, with courses also being offered in Newnan, Atlanta, and Douglasville. The University currently offers 43 undergraduate degrees, 29 master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs, as well as 10 certificates through its seven academic colleges and schools to over 13,000 students annually. News and World Report recently ranked UWG among the nation’s top colleges and universities, and the Princeton Review names West Georgia a Best Regional College. Graduate Students may pursue a Master’s of Public Administration through the University’s well respected College of Social Sciences. Prospective students are encouraged to submit an application, official college transcripts, official GRE total score of 291, and three letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 84.50

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


The College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia College & State University offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration degree. This distinguished program stands out with exceptional accessibility due to its flexibility and very affordable tuition.

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The College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia College & State University offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration degree, accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This MPA is 36-credit hours, and consists of 24 hours of core courses, nine hours of emphasis electives, and either a three hour Capstone component or a thesis. Full-time students typically complete this program within two years. Students are able to engage with classmates and professors via video conferencing, and have additional opportunities for face-to-face interaction and learning through two honor societies and a plethora of internships. Each summer, 40 internships are offered in 31 countries, providing students with experiential learning in a multitude of fields including planning and zoning, communications, health, and finance. The department frequently hosts academic conferences with guest speakers, as well as annual meetings. Georgia offers very affordable tuition with rates below $13,999. This online MPA is affordable and flexible, opening doors to the competitive public service sector.

Georgia College & State University is a four-year, public university, that is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The college was founded as a women’s educational center in 1898, but has transformed into a co-educational institution with nearly 7,000 students, and currently offers a wide range of bachelor’s through doctoral degrees. GCSU has received numerous awards and recognitions, including U.S. News and World Report’s ranking as #10 in the Top Public Schools, Regional category and #31 in the Best Regional Universities in the South category. Among the many flexible degrees offered at Georgia is the academically rigorous Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences. Prospective students must submit an application, all official college transcripts, and MAT scores of at least 670 on the MPA admissions formula or GRE scores of at least 1200 on the MPA admissions formula.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 84.30

#29 University of South Dakota College of Arts & Sciences – Vermillion, South Dakota


The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota offers a fully online Executive Master’s of Public Administration degree. This distinguished program was chosen for our ranking because of its outstanding recognitions and NASPAA accreditation.

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The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota offers an Executive Master’s of Public Administration, prestigiously accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. U.S. News and World Report ranks the MPA program 130th out of 272, placing it in the top half of all schools ranked. The 30-credit hour fully online curriculum consists of ten core courses covering advanced topics within public administration including leadership, conflict management, budgetary and fiscal management, personnel management, law and government, research, ethics, and a capstone component. Students can also participate in study abroad trips to Italy and Ireland, as well as complete domestic internships with the U.S. Congress and South Dakota State Legislature. USD offers very affordable tuition with rates below $13,999. This Executive MPA is a very economical choice for seasoned professionals within government and the public service sector ready to advance in their careers.

The University of South Dakota is a four-year, public university, that is regionally accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. USD was founded in 1862, making it the state’s oldest University, and the only university in South Dakota with a medical school, law school, and accredited business school. The University of South Dakota is home to over 10,000 students, who have the opportunity to choose from 205 undergraduate programs and 75 graduate programs through its seven academic colleges. Class sizes are small, with a 17:1 student/faculty ratio. Among the many flexible degrees offered at USD is the Online Executive Master’s in Public Administration offered through the College of Arts & Sciences. Prospective students must submit an application, college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and a current resume documenting a minimum of five years of professional experience.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 84.00

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


Graduate students can earn an accredited Online Master’s of Public Administration at Northeastern University. This elite program has a reputation of excellence and distinguished accreditations.

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A flexible, Online Master’s of Public Administration is offered through the highly acclaimed College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern University. This academically rigorous MPA program holds prestigious accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The 42-credit hour program consists of 27-hours of core courses, 12-hours of electives, and a three-credit hour internship, and can be completed full-time in two years. Core courses cover topics such as research, statistics, economics, personnel, management, leadership, budgeting, policy analysis, and organizational theory. Students are taught by an expert team of faculty with experience in local, state, and federal government agencies. The alumni also maintain strong ties to the campus, offering students access to internships, graduate co-op programs, and employment after graduation. Those graduating with this unique Master’s of Public Administration degree from Northeastern outshine other contenders for leadership roles in a wide variety of policy analysis, nonprofit management, and government careers.

Northeastern University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit higher learning institution, accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Learning. Northeastern currently serves over 20,000 students annually and offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs through nine colleges and schools, and has over 245,000 alumni in 164 countries. U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked Northeastern among the top 50 national universities for five consecutive years. Additionally, the Princeton Review names them as one of the best in the Northeast. Graduate students can earn a competitive Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Prospective students must submit an online graduate school application, a personal statement, transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 83.98

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


The College of Business & Public Administration at the University of North Dakota offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration. This program offers a flexible schedule with the ability to finish in just two years.

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The University of North Dakota offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Business & Public Administration. This highly respected 36-credit hour program holds elite accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Students enrolled in the flexible program will complete live web classes held one evening each week, and can expect to finish the program in about two years. Additionally, they will complete a combination of core courses, an administrative internship, independent study, a capstone component, and courses tailored to a specific track. The tracks offered are General MPA, Health, or Social Entrepreneurship. Tuition for this distinguished program is affordable, with rates between $14,000 and $19,999. All students pay in-state tuition for online classes, regardless of residency. A Master’s of Public Administration from the University of North Dakota is a great choice for students who want to advance in their career in the government, non-profit, healthcare, and social sectors.

The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883, making it the state’s oldest and largest university with an annual enrollment of nearly 15,000 students. UND is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, and offers over 300 programs, degrees, or certificates, including 40 online degree programs and 80 graduate education programs. Additionally, North Dakota is one of only 47 public universities in the nation to offer both accredited graduate schools of law and medicine. North Dakota is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having high research activity, and is home to the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks UND on its Top 25 Most Innovative schools list. Graduate students can earn a prestigious Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Business & Public Administration. Applicants interested in the MPA program must submit an online application, official college transcripts, Statement of Goals, and GRE or GMAT scores.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 83.36

#32 Southern Utah University College of Humanities and Social Science – Cedar City, Utah


Southern Utah University offers a prestigious Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. SUU has a reputation for being one of the top programs for students pursuing management careers in the public and non-profit sectors.

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The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Southern Utah 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 Master’s of Public Administration at Southern Utah is 36-credit hours and consists of experiential learning, including either a research project or thesis, and a required internship by all students with less than one year of work experience. Students can choose from a general MPA, State and Local Government emphasis, or Higher Education emphasis. Students can complete coursework in person or fully online, allowing them the flexibility to balance career, family, and education. This is an affordable master’s, with pricing between $14,000 and $19,999. The Princeton Review ranks SUU as a Best Value College. Graduates of this elite MPA program go on to pursue a variety of careers within government and non-profit agencies and command competitive salaries.

Southern Utah University is a four-year, public, college founded in 1897. SUU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. They serve nearly 9,300 students annually and offer over 140 programs ranging from associate’s degrees through master’s degrees through its six colleges. The University has received numerous accolades, and is home to some of the best sports teams, academic honor societies, rich campus traditions, and outstanding experiential learning experiences, as well as recognition as a top college city. The Princeton Review names SUU as a Best College in the West, and U.S. News and World Report also lists SUU on its Regional Universities West ranking. Graduate students can earn a flexible Master’s of Public Administration degree through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In order to apply for the MPA, students must submit a graduate application, official college transcripts, letter of intent, resume, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 83.18

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


Students can earn an Online Master’s of Public Administration from the School of Management at the University of San Francisco. This program made our list with their reputation as a leader in the public services industry.

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The University of San Francisco offers a highly recognized and well respected Online Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Management. This esteemed 39-unit MPA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, and can be completed in approximately 21 months. All courses are three units, and are 100% online, to help working professionals balance their busy lives. Students who prefer a traditional class setting, have the option to attend Saturday classes. Students can also pursue an emphasis in Health Services Administration. U.S. News and World Report ranks this MPA #108 nationally, and has consistently continued to rise over the last four consecutive years. The high caliber professors and academically challenging curriculum at the University of San Francisco will place graduates of the Online MPA on the road to a bright future in a broad range of organizations in public sector, nonprofit, and healthcare industries.

The University of San Francisco is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. USF was established in 1855, and currently has an annual student body enrollment of just over 11,000 students. They offer 45 undergraduate areas of study, and over 80 master’s, doctoral, and credential programs. U.S. News and World Report lists USF as a Tier One National University, and The Princeton Review ranks USF 5th on the “College City Gets High Marks” list, and among the best colleges in the West. Among the many programs offered, is the Online Master’s of Public Administration through the distinguished School of Management. Students interested in pursuing the Online MPA program must submit an online application, official college transcripts, a professional resume or CV, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose or essay. Students may also submit an optional self-evaluation and scholarship statement. Students who are selected for an interview will be e-mailed an invitation.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 83.03

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


Students can earn a top-notch Online Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Management at Marist College. This competitive MPA gives students the edge needed to succeed in the public services sector.

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Marist College features a Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Management, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 39-42-credit hour program is flexible, with classes available fully online, to allow working professionals to balance study and employment. Students who have professional experience, may receive an internship waiver. The Princeton Review lists Marist as one of the 25 Most Connected Campuses, so online students can rest assured they will have access to the greatest technology methods available. Students can select a concentration in Public Management, Ethical Leadership, or Healthcare Administration. There are also special courses for MPA students working in emergency management careers. Part-time students typically complete the program in three years, and full-time students can graduate within two years. If you are interested in earning a MPA degree, Marist College will prepare you to impress leaders in local, state, and federal agencies.

Marist College sits on a beautiful 210-acre campus overlooking the Hudson River. Marist is a four-year, private, not-for-profit college, regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The University offers 47 bachelor’s degrees, 14 master’s degrees, one doctoral degree, and 14 certificate programs, and serves an estimated annual enrollment exceeding 6,500 students. U.S. News and World Report ranks Marist 9th in the Regional Universities North category, and the University also consistently has high rankings for the Northeast category from The Princeton Review, as well. Among the many prestigious programs offered at Marist College is the innovative Master’s of Public Administration offered through the School of Management. Prospective students interested in this highly competitive program must submit a graduate admissions application, official college transcripts, a current resume, official GRE scores, and a personal essay. Some applicants may be eligible for a GRE waiver based on professional work experience.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 82.60

#35 Seton Hall University College of Arts and Sciences – South Orange, New Jersey


Students can earn a well respected Online Master’s of Public Administration in Non-profit Management through the College of Arts and Sciences at Seton Hall University. This program is perfect for students looking for a specialized curriculum in non-profit management in a convenient online format.

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The College of Arts and Sciences at Seton Hall University features a highly acclaimed Online Master’s of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, and mapped to the curriculum guidelines of the Non-profit Academic Centers Council. Additionally, this academically rigorous MPA program ranks 17th nationally for Non-profit Management by U.S. News and World Report. This program is 42-credit hours and covers all areas of non-profit management, including non-profit leadership, public finance, research and statistical analysis, human resource management, public policy, ethics, and social advocacy. Students can complete this program in two years. Incoming students are paired with alumni as part of a mentorship program. The bonds created help students network and gain a better understanding of non-profit organizations. Graduates of this distinguished MPA in Non-Profit Management program will be well prepared for careers in both the private and public non-profit sectors.

Seton Hall University is a four-year, private, Roman Catholic university, founded in 1856, making it the oldest diocesan university in the United States. Seton Hall is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Nearly 10,000 students are able to choose to pursue undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees from 70 academic fields, spanning 11 academic colleges each year. Seton Hall ranks 118th in Best National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, and one of the top five universities for undergraduate internships by the International Business Times. Additionally, Forbes recognizes Seton Hall as One of America’s Best Value Colleges and One of America’s Top Colleges. Graduate students can earn a highly respected Master’s of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management through the College of Arts and Sciences. Prospective students must submit an application, official college transcripts with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, a statement of purpose, resume, and three letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 81.30

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


Students can earn a top-rated Online Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. This elite program has received many national rankings, and offers an affordable degree in a convenient format.

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The University of Colorado Denver offers a prestigious Online Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Affairs. The School of Public Affairs is ranked as the #1 public affairs school in Colorado. Their 36-39-credit hour program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Students can select a concentration in Gender-Based Violence, Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Environmental Policy, Local Government, or Non-profit to achieve their personal career goals. There is also an Executive MPA offered for students with extensive professional experience. Additionally, students may choose the accelerated option, and complete the program within one year. Students have numerous opportunities for internships, including options at the state’s capitol. This is an affordable master’s degree, with pricing in between $14,000 and $19,999. The ability to choose a concentration, along with high national rankings makes the University of Colorado Denver the perfect place to advance your career in leadership positions in the public service field.

The University of Colorado Denver is a four-year, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The University is home to nearly 24,000 students, and offers over 130 programs through its 13 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional levels. UCD also grants more master’s degrees than any other institution in the state, and is considered the leading University in Colorado for academic research. U.S. News and World Report ranks the Public Affairs program #34 in the nation. A 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, at least three letters of reference, resume, statement of purpose, and official GRE scores or an equivalent exam.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 74.75

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


Students at John Hopkins University can earn an Online Master’s of Arts in Public Management through the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences. This competitive MA in Public Administration prepares emerging leaders to face complex problems in governmental and non-profit sectors.

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John Hopkins University offers graduate students a flexible Master’s of Arts in Public Management through the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. This highly acclaimed program can be completed in Washington, DC, or fully online. Students may also choose to carry a part-time or full-time schedule, based on their career and other commitments. U.S. News and World Reports ranks this MA 34th in the Public Affairs Programs category. When compared to other universities on this listing, the tuition is considered average, with pricing between $20,000 and $29,999. The curriculum consists of fundamental courses in public management, including policy analysis and evaluation, financial management, economics and fiscal policy, and public policy and administration. All students must also complete a capstone project. Alumni of this prestigious program have gone on to careers in the White House, Treasury Department, Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Busy professionals will appreciate the convenience offered by the online MA in Public Management at John Hopkins University.

John Hopkins University was founded in 1876, as America’s first research university, and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Hopkins offers more than 260 programs ranging from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees to nearly 24,000 students each year through their nine schools, and has three additional international campuses located in Italy, China, and Singapore. U.S. News and World Report ranks John Hopkins 10th among global universities and 11th in the undergraduate programs at national universities category, and The Times Higher Education World University Rankings lists Hopkins 13th globally. Graduate students seeking a Master’s of Arts in Public Management can earn their degree through the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Potential candidates interested in pursuing this MA program must submit an application, official copies of college transcripts, resume, statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and a two to five page writing sample that is policy oriented.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 73.75

#38 Virginia Commonwealth University L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs – Richmond, Virginia


At Virginia Commonwealth University, students can earn an exceptional Master’s of Public Administration. This MPA has outstanding rankings and is highly accredited.

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Graduate students at Virginia Commonwealth University can earn a distinguished Master’s of Public Administration through the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. This MPA is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, and was actually the proud recipient of the Social Equity Award in 2016. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranks this program 44th for Best Graduate Public Affairs Program. This well-rounded and highly respected 36-39-credit hour program can be completed online, in the evenings, or on-campus. During this program, students may also earn a certificate in Non-profit Management or Public Management. Students have opportunities to intern with government, non-profit, and business organizations. This convenient MPA has average tuition, with pricing between $20,000 and $29,999. Graduates of the Master’s of Public Administration program at Virginia Commonwealth University are highly sought out due to their quality education and numerous internships with state agencies.

Virginia Commonwealth University is a four-year, public institution of higher education, regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The campus is home to an annual student body enrollment of nearly 31,000, and offers over 220 degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional levels. VCU is one of only 54 universities nationwide to be recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as “Community Engaged” with “Very High Research Activity.” Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranks VCU 84th in its Public Colleges and Universities in the United States category, and #156 Overall National Universities rankings. Graduate students can earn a Master’s of Public Administration through the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Students wishing to apply to this flexible program must submit an online graduate program application, official college transcripts, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 72.71

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


The School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration. This flexible program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the public services sector.

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The School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark offers a highly acclaimed Online Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. U.S. News and World Report ranks Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration 10th in Urban Policy, 13th in Public Management & Leadership, and 33rd in Public Affairs. Students enrolled in this 33-credit hour program will complete fundamental coursework in ethics, economics, finance, and strategic planning, as well as select an industry-related concentration. Concentration options include Public and Nonprofit Performance Management, Healthcare Administration, Nonprofit Management, and Finance and Budgeting Management. All courses are offered fully online, allowing working professionals to complete assignments at a time that works with their busy schedule. This flexible, convenient Master’s of Public Administration can be completed in as few as two years, and allows students to choose a specialized concentration to prepare for their future in private, non-profit, and government sectors.

Rutgers University-Newark is one of three regional campuses of Rutgers University, and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The other two regional campuses are located in New Brunswick and Camden. Rutgers has a current student body enrollment of over 12,000 students annually, and offers over 40 majors leading to bachelor’s through doctoral degrees through its seven academic schools. With a student body representing more than 100 nations, U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked Rutgers the most diverse National Universities since 1997. Among the many outstanding programs offered at Rutgers is the Online Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Students interested in pursuing an online MPA must submit an application, official college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. There is no GRE requirement.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 72.23

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


The Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs at Florida International University offers an elite Online Master’s of Public Administration. This MPA degree stands tall with top accreditations, national reputation, and affordable tuition.

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The Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs at Florida International University features a well respected Online Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. U.S. News and World Report ranks the MPA program among the Best in the South Florida Region. This degree is 42-credit hours and consists of 24-hours of core courses and 18-hours of electives. Students may specialize in Human Resources Management, Public Management, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Community Development, or Comparative and International Public Administration. Students also have the opportunity to complete a public service internship. The Public Administration department has its own career development coordinator to help place students in internships and find post-graduation employment. This is an affordable master’s, with pricing in between $14,000 and $19,999. The affordability of the program, along with the specialized career pathways offered through the Master’s in Public Administration will help graduates of Florida International University advance in a meaningful career.

Florida International University is a four-year, public university with a student body of over 55,000 students and is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. FIU offers more than 190 degrees, including South Florida’s only public schools of law and medicine. Among the many top-rated degrees offered is the Online Master’s of Public Administration through the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs. Interested applicants must submit an application, official college transcripts, current resume, three letters of recommendation, and a three page essay outlining career goals. Students should submit GRE, GMAT, or LSAT scores if the last 60 credits of the undergraduate degree is below a 3.25 GPA.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 72.04

#41 University of Massachusetts Boston College of Advancing and Professional Studies – Boston, Massachusetts


Students can earn a top-notch Online Master’s of Public Administration in Global Comparative Public Administration through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. This competitive MPA gives students the 21st century skills needed in the changing global public service arena.

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The University of Massachusetts Boston features a unique Master’s of Public Administration in Global Comparative Public Administration through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies. This 39-credit hour program is flexible, with classes available fully online, to allow working professionals to balance study and employment, and can be completed in two years by full-time students. The curriculum consists of 30 hours of core courses and nine hours of elective credits. As part of the core course requirements, all students will complete a final capstone research project. U.S. News & World Report ranks this MPA #77 in the nation for public affairs graduate programs, and 2nd for Local and State Focused MPA programs in New England. If you are interested in earning an MPA degree in Global Comparative Public Administration, UMB will prepare you for public service careers and leadership positions in state, national, and international governments and nongovernmental organizations.

The University of Massachusetts Boston sits on a beautiful scenic oceanfront property. UMass Boston is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. UMass Boston offers over 80 undergraduate programs and 130 graduate programs through its 11 academic colleges and schools, and serves an estimated annual enrollment of nearly 17,000 students. U.S. News and World Report ranks UMass Boston in the first tier of National Universities and the Princeton Review recognizes UMB as one of the best colleges in the northeastern region of the nation. Among the many programs offered at Marist College is the Master’s of Science in Information Systems offered through the School of Computer Science and Mathematics. Prospective students to this highly competitive program must submit an online application, official college transcripts, a resume or CV, a statement of purpose, three letters of reference, and a three to five page academic writing sample.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 69.19

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


Students can earn a distinguished Online Master’s in Public Administration through the University of Baltimore. This online program is a great choice for the working professional with its flexible schedule and high standards of education.

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The University of Baltimore students can earn a competitive Online Master’s in Public Administration through the College of Public Affairs, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 42-45-credit hour program consists of 33-credit hours of core courses, nine hours in a specialization area, and a three-hour internship for students who need to gain professional experience. Students may choose from a wide variety of specializations including Budgeting & Fiscal Administration, Global Affairs & Human Security, Health-Care Policy & Administration, Negotiations & Conflict Management, Public Policy & Administration, Public & Nonprofit Management to enhance their future career goals. All classes are offered fully online, so students never have to step foot on campus, but there is an on-campus program for students who wish to take advantage of a more interactive program. The well-respected reputation of the University of Baltimore makes earning an Online Master’s in Public Administration an excellent launching pad for your public services career.

The University of Baltimore is a four-year, public university, founded in 1925, and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. UB offers a wide array of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through its four academic schools to nearly 6,000 students annually. The typical student body population is geared towards working professionals and adult learners, with 28-years old as the average age for undergraduate students and 33-years old the average age for graduate level students. Graduate students can earn an Online Master’s in Public Administration through the College of Public Affairs. This program is ranked 64th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, and continually rises in rankings from year to year. Students interested in pursuing this academically rigorous Online MPA program are required to submit an online application, copies of official transcripts from all universities attended, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of personal interest.

Affordability Score: Above Average
TMD Ranking Score: 68.50

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


Students at the University of Illinois Springfield can earn a highly respected Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Public Affairs and Administration. This program offers an intensive course of study to prepare students for careers in government and nonprofit agencies.

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The College of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield offers a superior Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 36-hour program can be completed fully online, and utilizes the latest technology to access educational resources, advisors, and materials. The curriculum consists of courses such as Organization Dynamics, Analytical Tools, Budget and Finance, Human Resource Management, Public Policy, Workplace Democracy, Social Policy, and many other engaging, relevant classes. Students are also able to choose to pursue a graduate certificate in Management of Nonprofit Organizations and Community Planning to meet their interests and future career goals. Students interested in health professions may complete a joint degree in MPA/MPH, also offered 100% online. 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 Illinois Springfield is a four-year, public institution of higher education, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. UIS has a current student body enrollment of approximately 5,500 students. UIS offers 27 undergraduate degree programs, 20 master’s degrees, and one doctoral program. Tuition for a master’s degree is affordable, with pricing in between $14,000 and $19,999. Graduate students may obtain an Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Public Affairs and Administration. This MPA program is ranked 96th nationally for public affairs programs by U.S. News and World Report. Prospective students must submit a completed MPA department application form, official college transcripts, a resume, a statement describing career goals, and an additional statement explaining preference for an online program. GRE scores are optional, but may be submitted by students with low GPAs or who wish to strengthen their application. Undergraduate courses in American national government, basic statistics, and microeconomics should also have been completed.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 68.42

#44 Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs – Athens, Ohio


The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University offers an academically rigorous and 100% online Master’s of Public Administration. This program ensures students are well-prepared to serve the public through leadership.

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Ohio University offers a highly respected Online Master’s of Public Administration through the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. This well established, 36-credit hour program offers flexible online courses to meet the needs of working professionals, and can be completed in as few as two years. Students will complete 27-hours of integrative core courses and nine hours in a concentration area. Students may select a concentration in Public Leadership and Management or Non-profit Management. Core courses cover topics such as research methods, organizational leadership, program evaluation, budgeting, policy analysis, and public private partnerships. This distinct program also includes opportunities to work with local and state officials. U.S. News and World Report ranks the MPA program #77 nationally for public affairs programs. Graduates of the Master’s of Public Administration program from Ohio will have the right credentials to add to their resume to obtain careers in the competitive public services sector.

Ohio University was chartered by an Act of Congress in 1787, and is the oldest university in Ohio. OU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The main campus is located in Athens, with five additional regional campuses throughout the state. Ohio currently enrolls a little over 29,500 students each year and offers more than 250 undergraduate programs, and a wide array of master’s and doctoral degrees through their 11 academic colleges. U.S. News & World Report ranks OU 78th among Public National Universities, and the Princeton Review lists Ohio on its “Best Midwestern” list. Among the many, academically challenging programs at Ohio University is the Online Master’s of Public Administration through the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Students wishing to apply to the program must submit an application, letter of intent/personal statement, official transcripts, a resume, and three letters of recommendation.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 67.81

#45 Wichita State University Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Wichita, Kansas


The Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wichita State University offers an academically rigorous Master’s of Public Administration. This degree stands out in our ranking because the program’s excellent faculty, affordability, and convenient online format.

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Wichita State University offers a highly respected Online Master’s of Public Administration through the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, fully accredited by the prestigious National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This well-established, 39-credit hour program offers flexible online courses to meet the needs of working professionals. Students can complete courses on a full-time or part-time basis and participate in experiential learning by serving the community through research and professional services. They may also add on a certificate in Public Finance to enhance their resume by taking just 12 additional hours. U.S. News and World Report ranks the MPA program #108 nationally for Public Affairs Programs. This is an affordable master’s degree with pricing in between $14,000 and $19,999. The Online MPA program at Wichita State University is the perfect fit for professionals seeking to advance their careers in both public and non-profit organizations.

Wichita State University is a four-year, public institution of higher education, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Wichita was originally founded in 1886 as a women’s college, began offering coeducational class in 1892, and currently enrolls over 14,000 students each year and offers more than 60 undergraduate programs, 44 master’s degrees, and several doctoral degrees through its six academic colleges. “Innovation University,” an initiative to renovate and build 20 additional buildings, kicked off in 2014, providing students with state of the art technology centers, new academic buildings, residence halls, and an improved student center. Among the many, highly acclaimed programs at Wichita State University is the Master’s of Public Administration through the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students wishing to apply to the program should fill out the online application form, and an Enrollment Specialist will contact you to personally guide you through the next steps. There is no GRE/GMAT requirement.

Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 67.27

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


The School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs offers an elite and fully online Master’s of Public Administration. This MPA prepares students for advanced leadership roles in the public and nonprofit sectors.

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The School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs features a well-respected Master’s of Public Administration degree program, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This distinguished MPA degree is 36-39-credit hours, and can be completed entirely online, in person, or a combination. Students without relevant work experience will be able to complete an internship. The average time to complete this program is three years, but some students can graduate in as few as 18 months. Elective credits may be used to earn a certificate in Criminal Justice, Grant Writing, Homeland Security & Emergency Management Leader, National Security Intelligence, or Nonprofit Management. U.S. News and World Report ranks this program #123 nationally for public affairs programs. The multiple certificate options coupled with small class sizes, make this MPA program one that is sure to produce some of today’s most valuable leaders in public and nonprofit agencies.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is a picturesque campus, with a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains, including Pikes Peak. UCCS is a four-year, public university with a diverse and growing student body of over 12,500 students, and offers over 45 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees, and five doctoral programs through its six colleges and graduate school. Colorado Springs holds regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks UCCS 6th among Western regional universities. UCCS has been recognized as a military friendly school by GI Jobs, and even has a veterans and military student center on campus. There are many top-rated degrees offered at Colorado Springs, including the Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Public Affairs. In order to apply, students must submit an online graduate school application, official college transcripts, a professional resume, three letters of recommendation, and a personal/career goals statement.

Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 63.81

#47 University of North Carolina at Pembroke College of Arts & Sciences – Pembroke, North Carolina


The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers a well-rounded Master’s of Public Administration that can be completed from the comfort of your home. This program made our ranking due to their excellent price point and flexible format.

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Students at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke can earn an exceptional Online Master’s of Public Administration degree through the College of Arts & Sciences. This MPA is a 42-credit hour program, consisting of 21 hours of core courses, 12 hours in a concentration area, six hours of electives, and a three hour internship. Curriculum includes courses in leadership, organizational behavior, analytical methods, human resources, quantitative analysis, policy studies, and budgeting. Students may select a concentration in Public Management, Emergency Management, Criminal Justice, or Health Administration. Students in online classes will receive the same quality education as on campus students, taught by the same professors through the use of streaming videos and interactive Internet-based learning applications. This is a very affordable master’s program, with pricing below $13,999. Graduates of the Master’s of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke have gone on to successful leadership careers in public organizations and political institutions.

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is a four-year, public university, founded in 1887, and regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. UNCP serves over 6,200 students each year, through their four academic schools and colleges, and offers more than 40 undergraduate and 15 graduate degrees in a wide variety of disciplines. The Princeton Review lists UNCP among the Best Southeastern Universities. UNCP stays accountable to its motto “where learning gets personal”, with a student faculty ratio of 14:1, and all classes being taught by professors, rather than graduate assistants. Among the many prestigious and competitive programs available, the College of Arts & Sciences offers a first-class Master’s of Public Administration. Students wishing to apply to this elite MPA program must submit an application, official college transcripts, an essay describing reasons for seeking admission to the program, and GRE scores. Students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher are exempt from the GRE requirement.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 63.30

#48 University of Wyoming School of Politics, Public Affairs & International Studies – Laramie, Wyoming


The University of Wyoming offers an established Hybrid Master’s of Public Administration degree. This program is a great addition to our ranking because of their flexible format and multiple elective tracks.

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The University of Wyoming’s School of Politics, Public Affairs, & International Studies offers students a highly acclaimed online Master’s of Public Administration. The college’s esteemed 39-hour program can typically be completed by full-time students in two years, and part-time students in three to four years. Course topics covered include legal institutions, economic systems, organizational and managerial skills, budgeting, and personnel. Students may choose from one of the following elective tracks: City Management, Environmental, Fiscal, Generalist, Healthcare, Management, Non-profit, or Personnel/Human Resources. Students do the majority of coursework online, and generally spend one to three weekends per semester at face-to-face classes in a geographically central location in Wyoming, based on where the current students in the class reside. This is a very affordable master’s program, with tuition rates below $13,999. The University of Wyoming offers students a well-rounded Master’s of Public Administration that can lead to advancement in federal, state, and local government agencies.

The University of Wyoming is a four-year, public institution of higher education that enrolls over 12,300 students each year and offers 80 undergraduate and more than 90 graduate academic programs through its seven colleges. UW was founded in 1886, and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. UW made the Princeton Review’s list of Best Western universities. Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the United States, along with many other notable local, state, and federal politicians are alumni of UW. Students can earn a Master’s of Public Administration through the School of Politics, Public Affairs, & International Studies. Those wishing to apply to this dynamic program should submit an online application, all official college transcripts, GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, a letter of interest, and an analytical writing response. Students interested in obtaining a graduate assistantship will need to submit an additional application for this highly competitive program.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 63.08

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


Valdosta State University offers an Online Master’s of Public Administration through its College of Arts and Sciences. This program is a great choice for the fiscally-minded student because of its elite accreditation and affordability.

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Valdosta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers students a Master’s of Public Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. This 36-credit hour program consists of 24 hours of core courses and 12 hours of concentration courses. Students may complete this degree fully online, through traditional face-to-face courses, or a hybrid. Concentration areas offered online include Public Policy and Public Sector Management. The Public Sector Human Resources Management concentration is only offered at the Moody Air Force Base Campus. As part of the core course requirements, all students will complete an internship to gain hands-on experience in program development, evaluation strategies, budgeting, process mapping, report preparation, or general administrative activities. This is a very affordable master’s program, with tuition rates below $13,999. The economical tuition, coupled with the multiple concentration areas make the MPA at Valdosta the perfect degree for students interested in a government, non-profit, or NGO career.

Valdosta State University is a four-year, public university, founded in 1906, that has a student body enrollment of over 11,300 students each year and offers more than 55 undergraduate degree programs and over 40 graduate programs through its five academic colleges. Valdosta began as a two year teacher preparation program. Today, Valdosta is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Students also have over 200 student organizations to participate in, as well as study abroad and local research opportunities. In addition to Georgia residents, VSU offers in-state tuition rates to students from Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. Students can earn a reputable Online Master’s of Public Administration through the highly commended College of Arts and Sciences. Those wishing to apply to this vigorous program must submit an application, official college transcripts, resume, career goal statement, three letters of recommendation, and either GRE, GMAT, or MAT scores.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 62.92

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


Students can earn an Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas A&M International University. This program shows a strong commitment to accessibility and excellence.

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Texas A&M International University features a well respected Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences. This program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the global standard in public service education. This 42-credit hour program consists of 33 hours of core courses and nine hours of elective courses, and can be completed fully online, from the comfort of your home. Students are able to customize their elective courses to optimize their future career goals, with the approval of the program director. A special emphasis is placed on developing leaders prepared to manage a culturally diverse international society. This is considered a very affordable master’s program, with tuition rates below $13,999. Students of Texas A&M International University who desire future employment or career advancement opportunities in the public and non-profit sectors should purse this flexible, affordable Master’s of Public Administration program.

Texas A&M International University is a four-year, public university, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and a member of the Texas A&M University System, which is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation. TAMIU is home to approximately 7,400 students each year, and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as the Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Business through its four academic colleges. U.S. News & World Reports ranks TAMIU among the Top Public Regional Universities, West. The University is known for having high retention rates, and 64% of currently enrolled graduate students hold undergraduate degrees from TAMIU. Among the many degrees offered is the Online Master’s of Public Administration through the College of Arts and Sciences. In order to apply, prospective students must submit an online graduate application, all official college transcripts, and a personal statement. Students must also contact the program advisor to schedule an interview.

Affordability Score: 62.71
TMD Ranking Score: Very Affordable

For more information on public administration, check out our Public Administration Resource Guide.

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 online Master’s in Public Administration degrees available. A list of almost 330 schools was obtained and evaluated first on a distance format, and then evaluated by the following factors: Accreditations, Affordability, and Prestige.

Regional Accreditation (20%): Institutional accreditations 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 organizations recognized by the US Department of Education.

Public Administration Accreditation (20%): In addition to regional accreditation, each MPA program is ranked based upon if it holds an accreditation from the NASPAA. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) is the highest recognized global accrediting body of master’s degree programs in the fields of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. This accreditation attests that a master’s program in public affairs has gone through a rigorous process of voluntary peer review and has 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 entirety of the degree, 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 for these factors 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 Online Master’s in Public Administration Programs.

Business Management Degree Finder

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