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Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online for 2021

Are you passionate about public service and wish to into a public sector job? If yes, then consider getting a master’s in public administration online. A master’s in public administration will teach you valuable organizational management skills needed in public service. They also help existing professionals in the field grow in their careers. They have a higher earning potential with an online MPA and options to work in various areas like state and local health agencies, federal agencies, law firms, nonprofits, and corporations that deal with public affairs. 

A master’s of public administration curriculum is designed to increase students’ knowledge of the various public sector fields. Thus, the coursework will help you develop knowledge and skills to excel in public administration and policy analysis. Online master’s in public administration programs will help you understand the public decision-making process and the various factors, like – the social, political, and economic contexts.

Key focus areas of master’s of public administration programs include: 

  • Public Administration 
  • Public Management 
  • Public Policy Process
  • Foundations of Policy Analysis
  • Public Managerial Economics
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Nonprofit Management 
  • Ethical Leadership Issues in Public Administration
  • Legal Issues in Public Administration
  • Healthcare Issues in Public Administration
  • MPA Analytics

MPA students are trained to manage and support local government projects and services, lead local public agencies and governmental subdivisions. Along with the different perspectives and practices in public administration, you will also gain a strong foundation in public policy and administration theories. Graduates of online master’s in public administration programs serve diverse populations and their local communities with objectivity, integrity, and creativity. They go on to become innovative leaders of public and nonprofit organizations. Graduates work in public administration, law, human resources, policy, management, and ethics.

You will learn to blend theory and practice to address complex organizational problems and tackle public policy and administration issues. Some of the online master’s in public administration programs listed here are: 

  • Online Master of Public Administration and Policy
  • Online MPA- GLPP
  • Online Master of Public Safety Leadership and Administration
  • Online Executive Master of Public Service and Administration Program
  • Online Master of Public Affairs (MPA)
  • Online MPA-Local Government Management
  • Accelerated Online MPA
  • MPA Online/Online MPA

A master’s in public administration online is a perfect choice for busy public service officials who wish to get an advanced degree as they continue to work. The flexible, online format allows students to go to a school of their choice without worrying about their day jobs or locations. They can plan their schedules around their responsibilities, thus maintaining a life-work balance. 

In this article, you will find the information to choose the right degree, specialization, and school. The online master’s in public administration programs and specializations listed here will help you choose the different paths you can take with an MPA online and advance your degree. We have considered the school and program accreditations, the faculty experience, curriculum and specializations, formats and flexibility, and student support system. The programs have been ranked based on their affordability.

For easier navigation through the rankings:

Top Ten

  1. Valdosta State University
  2. Arkansas State University
  3. University of Central Florida
  4. University of Illinois Springfield
  5. Georgia College & State University
  6. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  7. University of Nebraska Omaha
  8. California State University Long Beach
  9. Florida Gulf Coast University
  10. Florida International University
  11. Top 20
  12. Top 30
  13. Top 40
  14. Top 50
Rating and Ranking Methodology

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $18,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points
  • Flexibility of the Program (asynchronous course delivery, hybrid options, part-time/full-time schedule, etc. ) – 1 point per item
  • Online Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, etc.)— 1 point per item
  • Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item (5-pt cap)
  • Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item
  • “Wow” Factor – 1 point

#50 Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Online MPA

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Points: 5

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University offers a master’s in public administration online. Students learn to address real-world governance and policy issues and how they can help. The innovative and flexible program helps them grow in their government or public service careers. They learn basic general management fundamentals. These include policy analysis, financial management, economics, fiscal policy, and public policy and administration. Students can specialize by choosing among one of three areas of focus:

  • Public Policy Evaluation
  • Public Administration and Leadership
  • Public Financial Management and Budgeting

The program combines rigorous academics with strategic management skills. It prepares students for government and public service roles.

Fast facts:

  • 12 courses
  • Offered through: Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition per course: $4,234

#49 American University

Washington, DC


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + American University

Online MPA

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Points: 6

American University offers an online Master of Public Administration and Policy. The MPAP curriculum combines courses in public administration and policy analysis. It teaches students to blend theory and practice to address complex organizational problems. Students develop knowledge and skills in public administration and policy analysis. They learn to tackle public policy and administration issues. Key focus areas include: 

  • Public Administration in the Policy Process
  • Legal Issues in Public Administration
  • Foundations of Policy Analysis
  • Public Managerial Economics
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Foundations of Program Evaluation

The program culminates in a capstone course that allows students to show what they have learned via a real-world project. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: School of Public Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition per credit: $1583

#48 Marist College 

Poughkeepsie, NY  


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Marist College

Online MPA

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Points: 6

Marist College offers a Public Administration Master’s degree online. It provides students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to excel in their public service roles. The program is offered 100% online and as a hybrid option. Students can choose from the following concentrations to customize their degree:

  • Ethical Leadership 
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Public Management 
  • Nonprofit Management 
  • Analytics MPA 

Students learn to manage projects in a diverse, technologically engaged society effectively. They go on to become innovative leaders of public and nonprofit organizations. Graduates work in public administration, law, human resources, policy, management, and ethics.

Fast facts:

  • 45 credits
  • Offered through: School of Management
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; NCATE
  • Tuition per credit: $1,209 

#47 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Online MPA

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Points: 6

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a master’s in public administration online. It combines online education’s flexibility with the best of a traditional learning experience. There is live online class delivery along with hands-on learning and self-paced coursework. Students can choose from the following electives to customize their degree: 

  • Federal Policies and Institutions
  • Government and Nonprofit Accounting and Reporting
  • City and County Management
  • Productivity Improvement in Local Government
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Grant Writing and Evaluation
  • Managing Economic Development
  • Technology and Community Engagement

The groundbreaking program trains professionals to advance their careers in public service. 

Fast facts:

  • 45 credits
  • Offered through: School of Government
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Tuition per credit: $1,209 

#46 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Online MPA

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Points: 7

Rutgers University offers a 100% online Master of Public Administration program. It provides students with a broad understanding of public administration and its relevant issues. The curriculum teaches students to:

  • Gain key professional competencies for public and nonprofit sectors 
  • Gain foundational knowledge in organization and human resources management
  • Explore quantitative and qualitative data methods and research design
  • Learn financial contexts and budgeting skills
  • Apply what they have learned via a real-world project

Graduates excel in analyzing quantitative and qualitative data and defining public problems. They learn to develop creative solutions and put ethical and practical courses of action in place.

Fast facts:

  • 42 credits
  • Offered through: School of Public Affairs and Administration
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition per credit: $986

#45 Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL 


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Nova Southeastern University

Online MPA

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Points: 7

Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Public Administration online. It trains professionals to lead local public agencies and governmental subdivisions. The curriculum is designed to help students:

  • Understand the social, political, and economic context that affects public decision-making
  • Gain a strong foundation in public policy and administration theories
  • Understand the different perspectives and practices in public administration 
  • Manage and support local government projects and services
  • Improve their analytical and critical thinking skills

Graduates serve diverse populations and their local communities with objectivity, integrity, and creativity.

Fast facts:

  • 39 credits
  • Offered through: Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $967

#44 Northeastern University

Boston, MA


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Northeastern University

Online MPA

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Points: 7

Northeastern University offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) online. It is designed for professionals who want to lead in the public or nonprofit sectors. Offered both online and on-campus, this degree takes a practice-oriented, research-based approach. Students gain core leadership, budgeting, management, and analysis skills. They also gain advanced technology and applied research skills. Students can choose a graduate certificate, which is completed by selecting relevant electives. Certificates options include:

  • Nonprofit Sector, Philanthropy, and Social Change
  • Urban Studies
  • Urban Analytics; Data Analytics
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Information Ethics
  • Security and Resilience Studies

Graduates excel in various public administration roles. They work as program directors, research analysts, management analysts, and town administrators.

Fast facts:

  • 40 credits
  • Offered through: College of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc. (NECHE)
  • Tuition per credit: $952

#43 University of Delaware

Newark, DE


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Delaware

Online MPA

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Points: 7

The University of Delaware offers a master’s in public administration online. It seeks to meet the demand for effective leaders. Students master the strategies needed to shape policy. They use experiential methods that prepare them for real-world service. Students have to complete coursework in their chosen area of specialization along with the core courses. They may choose from one of the following specialization areas:

  • Nonprofit Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Public Management
  • Student-Designed Specialization

The school has a proven track record of producing leaders—graduates of the school work in various government, nonprofit and private sectors.

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per credit: $950

#42 Villanova University 

Villanova, PA 


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Villanova University

Online MPA

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Points: 7.5

Villanova University offers a master’s in public administration online. The program blends an innovative and practical curriculum with solid community partnerships. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and practices to excel in their public service roles. They can choose from the following electives to customize their degree: 

  • Administrative Communication
  • Strategic Planning
  • Effective City Management
  • Urban Politics and Government
  • Effective Nonprofit Management
  • Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Managing Public Networks

Students prepare to become ethical, intelligent, inclusive, and creative leaders. The degree is the same as the on-campus program and is taught by the same facility. The 100% online format is convenient for working professionals who can complete it in two years.

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition per credit: $925

#41 Pennsylvania State University 

University Park, PA


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Pennsylvania State University

Online MPA

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Points: 7.5

The Pennsylvania State University offers a master’s in public administration online via the Penn State World Campus. It is designed for professionals in the public sector and teaches them to promote positive change. They gain in-depth knowledge and real-world skills that they can apply to their work right away. It offers elective courses in the following areas:

  • Policy analysis and evaluation
  • Nonprofit management
  • Public budgeting and financial management
  • Homeland security
  • State/local government and administration

Students gain the competencies to become effective leaders in their fields. The program meets the demand for trained public administration professionals in the nonprofit and nongovernmental sectors.

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per credit: $924

#40 University of Baltimore 

Baltimore, MD


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Baltimore

Online MPA

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Points: 8

The University of Baltimore offers a master’s in public administration online. The program teaches students the various aspects of public administration. They gain skills to impact and shape a democratic society. They also enhance their skills in research methods and quantitative techniques. Students can specialize by choosing any of the following electives:

  • Budgeting & Fiscal Administration
  • Global Affairs & Human Security
  • Health-Care Policy & Administration
  • Negotiations & Conflict Management
  • Public Policy & Administration
  • Public & Nonprofit Management

Students gain a thorough understanding of their civic responsibilities as a public servant and how they can bring change. 

Fast facts:

  • 36-39 credits
  • Offered through: College of Public Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per credit: $824

#39 Ohio University 

Athens, OH


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Ohio University

Online MPA

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Points: 8

Ohio University offers a master’s in public administration online. The curriculum helps students build the skills to address public needs in efficient ways. They gain an understanding of public administration and the various professional tools needed for the job. Students can tailor their degree per their goals by choosing from these concentrations:

  • Public Leadership and Management
  • Non-Profit Management
  • State and Local Government Management
  • Crisis and Emergency Management

The curriculum is built for real challenges faced by public administrators. Graduates work as project managers, communicators, policy analysts, and financial managers in the public and non-profit sectors. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $800

#38 University of Massachusetts Boston

Boston, MA


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Massachusetts Boston

Online MPA

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Points: 8

The University of Massachusetts Boston offers a master’s in public administration online. It comes with a concentration in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy (GLPP). It is provided online via a hybrid format. It allows students to: 

  • Hone their leadership and public policy skills 
  • Explore and analyze policies and power in organizations 
  • Apply learned skills to their work immediately 
  • Prepare to work in government and nonprofit agencies, diversity programs, and human resources
  • The Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy track explores the intersection of gender, class, race, and ethnicity in policymaking 

Students prepare for successful public service careers and leadership roles in nonprofit organizations. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition per credit: $789.20

#37 California State University, Northridge

Northridge, CA


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + California State University, Northridge

Online MPA

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Points: 8

California State University, Northridge offers a Master of Public Administration online and on-campus. It is designed for professionals employed in public, private, or nonprofit sectors. Those looking to get into these fields will also find the program beneficial. Students receive a theoretical foundation, practical experience, and exceptional student support services. They can choose from the following concentration options:

  • Health Administration 
  • Public Sector Management and Leadership 
  • Nonprofit Sector Management 

CSUN’s great industry and government connections ensure that students get a hands-on learning experience. Graduates can network and build valuable working relationships with public sector professionals. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 units
  • Offered through: Tseng College
  • Format: Online/Traditional
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Tuition per unit: $775

#36 Clemson University


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Clemson University

Clemson, SC

Online MPA

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Points: 8.5

Clemson University offers a Master of Public Administration online. The program is offered entirely online and in a blended version allowing students to choose a format that matches their schedules. The core curriculum provides strong foundational knowledge in public service and public policy. Students can choose from the following five specialization areas to customize their degree:

  • Emergency Management
  • Local and State Government
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Homeland Defense and Security
  • Regional Sustainability

The program attracts students who are public administrators and non-profit professionals. It helps them merge their career experience with the academic rigor of graduate study to excel in their roles. 

Fast facts:

  • 42 credits
  • Offered through: College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $742 

#35 Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Arizona State University

Online MPA

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Points: 8.5 

Arizona State University offers an online Master of Public Safety Leadership and Administration (PSLA). It is a good fit for public safety professionals and those planning to get into the field. They can gain leadership and management skills for public safety organizations. They also gain skills in data analysis, public policy, and administration. The program prepares students to impact positive change within public safety agencies. They have the option of choosing a concentration in:

  • Executive fire administration
  • Emergency medical services – mobile integrated healthcare
  • Executive police administration

Graduates work in varied fields like government agencies, law enforcement, non-profits, fire protection, and emergency medical services.

Fast facts:

  • 33 credits
  • Offered through: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $720

#34 Texas A&M University 

College Station, TX


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Texas A&M University

Online MPA

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Points: 8.5

Texas A&M University offers an Online Executive Master of Public Service and Administration Program. The non-thesis executive degree program is offered by the prestigious Bush School. Students can attend the school online with two required weeks in residence at the College Station campus. Students can choose from the following tracks to customize their degree according to their career goals: 

  • Homeland Security Track
  • Public Management Track
  • Nonprofit Management Track

The program prepares principled leaders who excel in the public service field. They gain knowledge, critical skills, and expertise to work in homeland security, public management, and nonprofit enterprises.

Fast facts:

  • 39 credits
  • Offered through: The Bush School of Government and Public Service 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $710.30

#33 Kent State University

Kent, OH


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Kent State University

Online MPA

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Points: 9

Kent State offers a master’s in public administration online. It is designed for busy working professionals who wish to advance their public sector careers. They gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and credibility to succeed in their roles. Students can choose three elective courses from the following list: 

  • Leadership in the nonprofit and public sector
  • Nonprofit advocacy
  • Labor-management relations in the public sector
  • Electronic governance
  • Seminar in public administration 
  • Nonprofit financial resource development
  • Nonprofit law
  • Nonprofit board executive relationships

Students learn techniques that help them apply what they learn in real-time. They focus on ethical leadership and financial management for the private and nonprofit sectors. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Department of Political Science
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $676

#32 Regent University 


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Online MPA

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Points: 9

Regent University offers a master’s in public administration online. It equips students with executive management skills. They learn through hands-on learning and sound foundational knowledge. They also gain strong knowledge in constitutional government and public administration analysis skills. Students can choose a concentration to align their degree with their career goals. These include: 

  • Emergency management & homeland security
  • General public administration
  • Nonprofit & faith-based organizations
  • Public leadership & management

As with all Regent programs, this too is taught from a Christian perspective. It provides students the skills and competencies to promote the public interest. Graduates work in City/County Management, Budget/Finance/Economic sectors, Emergency Management, Public Affairs & Communication. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Robertson School of Government 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $675

#31 Central Michigan University 

Mount Pleasant, MI


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Central Michigan University

Online MPA

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Points: 9

Central Michigan University offers a master’s in public administration online. It provides practitioner-based learning experiences for students interested in public service. It includes hands-on learning along with in-depth theory. It helps students develop the skills and public service competencies necessary to succeed. Students learn to:

  • Implement data-driven decisions
  • Evaluate programs
  • Use practical techniques to manage projects
  • Integrate cultural competency
  • Conduct policy analysis 
  • Engage stakeholders 

The program has a long history of furthering students’ careers already in service. It also helps others start their careers in state and local governments. Graduates also work for the military, the federal government, and nonprofit organizations.

Fast facts:

  • 37 credits
  • Offered through: College of Humanities & Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $637

#30 Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Eastern Kentucky University

Online MPA

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Points: 9.5

Eastern Kentucky University offers an online master of public administration degree (MPA) program. It provides students with leadership and managerial skills to excel in public service careers. It allows professionals to leverage their interests and work experience by gaining in-depth specialization in a range of focus areas. Students have the option to add a specialized certificate to complement their degrees. These specialty areas include:

  • MPA with a Certificate in Community Development
  • MPA with a Certificate in Emergency Management and Disaster Resilience
  • MPA with a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • MPA with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management

The flexible program is designed for working professionals. They can study at their own pace, enhance work experience and credentials, and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through:  College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $611 

#29 Park University

Parkville, MO


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Park University

Online MPA

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Points: 9.5

Park University offers a Master in Public Administration online. It helps students develop leadership skills and gain advanced knowledge of the public sector. Students can choose from any of the following areas of concentration:

  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Disaster and Emergency Management
  • Information Systems and Business Analytics
  • M.P.A.
  • Management Information Systems
  • Nonprofit and Community Services Management
  • Project Management
  • Public Management

The coursework is designed to help students build their knowledge base and develop essential skills. These include critical thinking skills and decision-making capabilities. They also help build their governing expertise across business, government, industry, and nonprofit sectors.

Fast facts:

  • 36 semester hours
  • Offered through: College of Management
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: ACBSP; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $597

#28 University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, CO


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Online MPA

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Points: 9.5

The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs offers a master’s in public administration online. The multidisciplinary program is for those looking for jobs in government and nonprofit sectors. It also provides education and training for existing professionals in the public or nonprofit sectors. 

It prepares students to lead and excel in the public and nonprofit sectors. Students can complement their degrees with certificate programs. 

  • Public Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Homeland Security & Emergency Management Leadership
  • Grant Writing, Management & Program Evaluation
  • National Security Intelligence
  • Nonprofit Management

Students learn about administration, management, and policymaking. They can enhance their skills and advance their careers. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 semester hours
  • Offered through: School of Public Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $21,300

#27 Indiana University

Bloomington, IN


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Indiana University Bloomington

Online MPA

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Points: 10

Indiana University Bloomington offers an online Master of Public Affairs or MPA. It is a combination of the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Public Policy degrees. The versatile degree prepares students for public service jobs and helps them become leaders in their fields. The six required core courses are: 

  • Public Management 
  • Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision Making 
  • Public Management Economics 
  • Law and Public Affairs 
  • Public Finance and Budgeting 
  • Capstone in Public and Environmental Affairs 

There are six courses from a focus area, four more elective credit courses, and an experiential component. The curriculum provides students with the foundational knowledge to move up in the public affairs field. 

Fast facts:

  • 48 credits
  • Offered through: Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $27,976 

#26 Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL 


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Northern Illinois University

Online MPA-Local Government Management

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Points: 10

Northern Illinois University offers an online Master of Public Administration – Local Government Management. Students gain advanced skills and knowledge to excel in professional public management jobs. Applicants must have at least two years of employment in local government to be eligible for this program. The curriculum includes topics of local government management such as:

  • Local and Metropolitan Government
  • Local Government Administration
  • Local Economic Development Policy
  • Leadership in Public Sector Organizations

The program has been ranked among the top 5 in local government management by the U.S. News & World Report. Graduates can grow into management and leadership roles in their public service careers. 

Fast facts:

  • 40 credits
  • Offered through: School of Public and Global Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $582.06

#25 Aurora University

Aurora, IL 


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Aurora University

Online MPA

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Points: 10

Aurora University offers a master of public administration online. It provides students with the skills to succeed in public service or nonprofit administration. The coursework includes community relations, public policy, budgeting, and nonprofit management. There are specialized electives to help students build on their previous academic and field experience. These elective options include: 

  • Nonprofit Management and Leadership 
  • Grant Writing, Philanthropy and Advancement
  • Public Safety Administration
  • Public Sector Law and Civil Liability
  • Principles of Community and Economic Development

The program was developed in partnership with public service professionals, experienced faculty, and community leaders. It, therefore, offers the perfect blend of theory and practice. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Dunham School of Business and Public Policy
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $565

#24 Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Liberty University

Online MPA

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Points: 10

Liberty University offers a master’s in public administration online. It provides students with the knowledge and skills to put a civil servant policy in place. The program blends theory and practice to create effective public service professionals. They get training in the fundamentals of graduate-level government concepts. They also learn about community economic development and public policy analysis. Specialization options include: 

  • Public and Nonprofit Management
  • Business and Government 
  • Fire Administration
  • Disaster Management
  • Healthcare
  • Law and Public Policy

Students are equipped with written and verbal communication skills for public administration. Graduates work in government, the private sector, or nonprofit organizations. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Helms School of Government 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $565

#23 Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA 


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Old Dominion University

Online MPA

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Points: 11

Old Dominion University offers a master’s in public administration online. It provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to advance their public sector careers. It is designed for students who wish to get into the field and existing public sector professionals. The curriculum helps them develop competencies in five areas:

  • Public management processes that include public budgeting and personnel management systems 
  • Issues of public administration along with political, ethical, and legal concepts
  • Organizational design processes and behavior
  • Policy analysis and program evaluation
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques

Students build foundational skills, knowledge, and competencies to excel in their careers. 

Fast facts:

  • 39 credits
  • Offered through: Strome College of Business School of Public Service 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $551 

#22 John Jay College of Criminal Justice

New York, NY


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Online MPA

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Points: 11

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers an online Master of Public Administration: Public Policy and Administration program. It prepares students for positions in government and non-profit organizations. It is a good fit for those committed to public service and social change. The program emphasizes diversity, integrity, equity, and transparency.

Specializations options include: 

  • Criminal Justice Policy and Administration
  • Human Resources Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Management and Operations

The program combines public service experience, academic instruction and study, and faculty interaction. Students gain professional and political knowledge along with essential skills. The flexible program can be completed in two to three years; students can set their schedules and pace. 

Fast facts:

  • 42 credits
  • Offered through: Department of Public Management 
  • Format: Online/Traditional
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition per credit: $545

#21 Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Capella University

Online MPA

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Points: 11

Capella University offers a master’s in public administration online. Students can enhance their knowledge, skills, and theories to increase their professional impact. The program uses a practitioner-scholar model to help students apply what they learn in the real world right away. Designed to meet NASPAA and ASPA standards, the curriculum offers valuable industry skills. Coursework includes: 

  • Theories and Concepts in Public Administration
  • Ethics in the Public Sector
  • Public Sector Policy Analysis
  • Public Sector Budgeting

Students are trained to lead as public administration professionals. They also prepare for doctoral programs. They develop skills to collaborate with diverse populations and prepare for many public administration careers.

Fast facts:

  • 48 credits
  • Offered through: Health Sciences Department 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $540

#20 The University of Texas at Arlington

Arlington, TX

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Texas at Arlington

Accelerated Online MPA

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Points: 11

The University of Texas at Arlington offers an Accelerated Online Master of Public Administration. The program emphasizes the urban community and public managers’ challenges who serve in urban areas. Students learn about current theories of management and analysis. They also learn about the political, economic, and social characteristics shaping today’s urban environment. Coursework includes: 

  • Foundation of Urban Theory
  • Public Budgeting
  • The Urban Economy
  • Urban Politics
  • Urban Policy and the Law
  • Community Development

The program is a good fit for those looking to grow in public management’s existing career. It is also a good foundation for those who wish to enter management careers in gov­ernment agencies.

Fast facts:

  • 39 credits
  • Offered through: College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition per year: $10,514

#19 University of Colorado Denver 

Denver, CO


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Colorado Denver

Online MPA

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Points: 11.5

The University of Colorado, Denver offers a master of administration online. It prepares students to excel in public administration and policy careers. They learn to lead and manage in public governance and participate in the public policy process. Students can choose an area of concentration from the following: 

  • Disasters, Hazards and Emergency Management (DHEM)
  • Education Policy
  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS)
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • State and Local Government

The program expands one’s knowledge of public administration and policy. Students gain the skills and ethical standards to be leaders in public and nonprofit organizations. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: School of Public Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $526

#18 San Diego State University

San Diego, CA


Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + San Diego State University

Online MPA

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Points: 11.5

San Diego State University offers an online Master of Public Administration. The 16-month program is designed for professionals who work in government and nonprofit agencies. The format is rigorous and competitive. The curriculum provides them with the knowledge, skills, and experience they need. The curriculum includes seven required courses, including: 

  • Public administration theory
  • Research methods
  • Public finance and public policy

It also includes four electives tailored to a student’s area of interest. They have to complete a capstone, which is a live problem-solving project. Students gain the knowledge to excel in managerial positions in public administration, urban planning, criminal justice, or nonprofit administration.

Fast facts:

  • 36 units
  • Offered through: School of Public Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Tuition per unit: $509

#17 University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of North Dakota

Online MPA

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Points: 12

The University of North Dakota a master’s in public administration online. It helps students become successful public policy leaders with established credentials. The program prepares students to: 

  • Address the strategic challenges facing government and non-profit organizations
  • Confront issues such as ethics, leadership, and management, other public policy topics 
  • Specialize in the field of healthcare with a health-administration track
  • Add graduate certificates in Policy Analysis or Public Administration to their degrees

Students learn to understand the challenges that public leaders face today. The coursework teaches them to take them head-on and develop creative solutions. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Nistler College of Business & Public Administration
  • Format: Online/On-Campus
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $468.56

#16 DePaul University

Chicago, IL 

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + DePaul University

Online MPA

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Points: 12 

DePaul University offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) online. It prepares students to lead in the public sector. They develop the critical management skills needed to succeed in a public service career. Students can customize their degree by choosing a specialization in one of the following areas:

  • Public Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Metropolitan and Urban Affairs
  • International Public Management

Students can complete an internship or professional development experience in a government setting. DePaul’s ties with government and nonprofit agencies allow students to gain practical, real-world experience. Graduates go on to serve in a range of public service settings. 

Fast facts:

  • 52 credits
  • Offered through: School of Public Service 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $465.80

#15 University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD 

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of South Dakota

Online MPA

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Points: 12

The University of South Dakota offers an online Executive Master of Public Administration. It is designed for public service professionals who wish to advance their public and nonprofit careers. The program strengthens their administrative and professional competencies. The curriculum prepares students to: 

  • Lead and manage organizations
  • Take part in the public policy process
  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions
  • Articulate and apply a public service perspective
  • Communicate and interact productively with a diverse workforce

Graduates build essential skills to provide effective leadership in public and nonprofit organizations. 

Fast facts:

  • 30 credits
  • Offered through: Political Science Department
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $465.80

#14 University of Missouri

Columbia, MO

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Missouri

Online MPA

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Points: 13

The University of Missouri offers an online Master of Public Affairs. It is designed to help students advance and excel in their government or nonprofit public service careers. It emphasizes a positive collaboration across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Students passionate about serving their communities and making a positive impact will find this degree a good fit. Course work includes: 

  • Organizational dynamics and leadership
  • Ethical leadership
  • Collaborative governance
  • Economic analysis
  • Public policy strategy
  • Financial management

The program is 100 percent online, with no campus visits required. Classes are eight weeks long, and students typically finish the program in about two years.

Fast facts:

  • 30 credits
  • Offered through: Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission 
  • Tuition per credit: $453.55

#13 Purdue University Global

Indianapolis, IN

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Purdue University Global

Online MPA

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Points: 13

Purdue University Global offers a master of public administration online. It prepares future and existing administrators to develop management and decision-making skills. Graduates are prepared to drive positive change in their communities. Core coursework includes topics like: 

  • Public administration and management
  • Budgeting and public funds
  • Leadership in the public sector
  • Applied research
  • Administrative law
  • Public policy analysis 
  • Program evaluation
  • Human resource management

Students learn to apply their knowledge of public administration to make effective and ethical decisions. Graduates go on to work in varied fields like government, security and protection, public safety, and emergency management. 

Fast facts:

  • 55 credits
  • Offered through: Graduate Studies
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $420

#12 Wichita State University 

Wichita, KS

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Wichita State University

MPA Online

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Points: 13.5

Wichita State University offers a Master of Public Administration Online. It is designed for professionals seeking to advance their careers in public administration. It teaches them to lead in public and nonprofit organizations worldwide and connect with the community’s needs. The program combines theory and practice in:

  • Public management
  • Public policy
  • Public finance

As part of the degree requirements, students can complete a certificate. Options include Nonprofit Management, City and County Management, Economic Development, or Public Finance. Graduates work in diverse fields as program managers, budget and management analysts, city managers and department heads, finance directors, and agency planners.

Fast facts:

  • 39 credits
  • Offered through: Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission 
  • Tuition per credit: $412.98

#11 California State University Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA 

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + California State University Dominguez Hills

Online MPA

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Points:14

California State University Dominguez Hills offers an online Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. The flexible program is designed for working professionals who wish to grow in their public service careers. The program offers several concentrations to meet students’ career goals. These include: 

  • Public Management (12 weeks and campus modality)
  • Health Care Policy and Administration
  • Criminal Justice Policy and Administration 
  • Nonprofit Management

Students have the chance to engage with local public and private organizations and learn more about the industry hands-on. They are taught by faculty who conduct quality research in various academic fields. They also learn from industry experts who come from varied professional backgrounds.

Fast facts:

  • 42 units
  • Offered through: College of Business Administration and Public Policy 
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Tuition per year: $8,379

#10 Florida International University

Miami, FL

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Florida International University

Online MPA

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Points: 14

Florida International University offers a master of administration online. The U.S. News and World Report has ranked the program as the 9th best Online MPA program. The core curriculum is designed to help them grow and excel in their public service careers. There are several specialization options to help students customize their degree. These include: 

  • Human Resources Management
  • Public Management
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Nonprofit and Community Development
  • Comparative and International Public Administration
  • Urban Policy Innovations

Courses are offered online on an annual rotation and allow students to one, two, three, or four graduate classes at a time. 

Fast facts:

  • 42 credits
  • Offered through: Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $379.95

#9 Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, FL

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Florida Gulf Coast University

Online MPA

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Points: 14

Florida Gulf Coast University offers an online Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. It prepares students for administrative roles in the public and not-for-profit sectors. The coursework focuses on state and local governance. It seeks to provide advanced public service knowledge and practice. The online program is a good fit for students with experience in public or not-for-profit organizations and newcomers to the industry. Students can select from two concentrations:

  • Public Leadership and Management 
  • Environmental Policy and Planning 

It is Southwest Florida’s only professionally accredited distance MPA program.  The program seeks to improve a student’s critical thinking skills, leadership and management, and communication skills.

Fast facts:

  • 39 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts & Sciences
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $373.38 

#8 California State University, Long Beach

Long Beach, CA 

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + California State University, Long Beach

Online MPA

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Points: 14.5

California State University, Long Beach offers a master’s in public administration online. It provides professional knowledge and competency in the public administration processes and analysis. The degree includes: 

  • Public Works Administration and Urban Affairs option 
  • Graduate certificate programs in Public Management Analysis, Employer-Employee Relations and Personnel Management, and Public Sector Financial Management

Students learn to apply new knowledge, skills, and leadership techniques to the solution of public problems. It is a good fit for government service professionals who wish to pursue a graduate program while continuing with their day jobs. The degree prepares them for new public service opportunities or grows in their current roles.

Fast facts:

  • 39 units
  • Offered through: Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Tuition per semester: $3,588

#7 University of Nebraska 

Omaha, NE

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Nebraska Omaha

Online MPA

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Points: 15

The University of Nebraska Omaha offers a Master of public administration online program. It seeks to educate students to manage and lead public and nonprofit institutions. The coursework helps students develop an intellectual identity and foundational knowledge. It includes hands-on learning in operating nonprofit agencies and emergency services. There are six MPA concentrations to choose from:

  • Emergency Management
  • Public Management
  • Local Government
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Public Policy

Additionally, students can choose from two specializations:

  • Information & Technology Management
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice

Graduates work in a range of federal, state, and local government agencies. They also work for nonprofit organizations, international development, and public service-related private businesses.

Fast facts:

  • 39 credits
  • Offered through: School of Public Administration
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $341

#6 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Edwardsville, IL

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Online MPA

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Points: 15

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) online. It is designed to prepare students for management careers in the public and nonprofit sectors. It is a good fit for pre-service students who are bachelor’s degree holders and wish to earn a master’s degree to enter the field.  It is also popular with professionals in the public or nonprofit sector who want to enhance or upgrade their skills and knowledge. The areas of emphasis are: 

  • General administration
  • Public management
  • Nonprofit management
  • Human resource administration
  • Safety and security
  • Leadership

Graduates of the program hold a wide range of public and private positions. 

Fast facts:

  • 39 semester hours
  • Offered through: Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis 
  • Format: Online/Hybrid
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission 
  • Tuition per 3 credits: $1,019

#5 Georgia College & State University 

Milledgeville, GA

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Georgia College & State University

Online MPA

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Points: 15

Georgia College & State University offers a master’s in public administration online. It helps students develop the skills to establish policies, projects, and programs in a public service career. Students learn to ethically and competently manage and serve. They also prepare to excel and lead diverse public sector organizations. Graduates of this program work in all levels of government like:

  • Healthcare
  • Nonprofit organizations 
  • Housing and community development
  • International development 
  • Youth and human services
  • Public service-related private businesses

Students learn to promote diversity and impact positive change in the communities they serve. Graduates serve professionally with efficiency, competence, and objectivity.

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts and Sciences
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $338

#4 University of Illinois Springfield

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Illinois Springfield

Springfield, IL

Online MPA

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Points: 15.5

The University of Illinois Springfield offers a Master’s of Public Administration online program. It prepares students to excel in public sectors and government agencies. The coursework includes: 

  • Introduction to the Profession
  • Organization Dynamics
  • Analytical Tools
  • Budget And Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Public Policy for Managers (Public Policy for Managers)
  • Information for Decision Making (Information Decision Making)      
  • Elective Courses – at least 6 hours from Public Administration (PAD) courses
  • Capstone Seminar

Students can choose a Graduate Certificate in Management of Nonprofit Organizations or the Graduate Certificate in Community Planning. Adding these certificates helps them tailor their degree per their career goals and interests. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Department of Public Administration
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $332.25

#3 University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + University of Central Florida

Online MPA

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Points: 16

The University of Central Florida offers a master’s in public administration online. It prepares students for jobs or career growth in government and public sector organizations. The focus areas of the program include:

  • Public policy
  • Strategic planning
  • Organizational management
  • Financial management 

The program blends theory with practice so that students can gain real-world experiences. They cultivate leadership skills and prepare to become better leaders for their communities. They learn to create opportunities for the public service they provide and impact change. The School of Public Administration has partnered with the department of criminal justice and the nonprofit management program to offer two online dual degrees. 

Fast facts:

  • 42 credits
  • Offered through: Community Innovation and Education
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Tuition per credit: $327.32 

#2 Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, AR

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Arkansas State University

Online MPA

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Points: 16

Arkansas State University offers an online Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a Public Management track. It is designed for law enforcement and public sector professionals. The curriculum helps them gain deeper knowledge and achieve senior-level positions. Students learn to: 

  • Focus on specifics of management within public administration 
  • Focus on the skills required for effective public administration
  • Gain hands-on experience through internship opportunities
  • Examine administrative structures and patterns of behavior in public sector organizations
  • Manage people and money to resources and programs
  • Learn about policy analysis and evaluation and political processes

They also gain an understanding of governmental revenues, spend, and finances. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: College of Liberal Arts & Communication
  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $11,412

#1 Valdosta State University

Valdosta, GA 

Top 50 Great Value Public Administration Master’s Online + Valdosta State University

Online MPA

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Points: 17

Valdosta State University offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) online degree. The non-thesis program accepts applicants from diverse fields. The flexible format allows working professionals to study and work simultaneously.  

The curriculum covers areas like:

  • Public administration and government
  • Program development
  • Report preparation
  • Budgeting
  • Evaluation strategies
  • Process mapping
  • General administrative activities
  • Diversity 

The concentrations are Public Sector Management, Public Sector Human Resource Management, and Public Policy. Students also gain strong analytical, oral, and written communication skills. They need to work 300 hours as a participant-observer in a government, NGO, or non-profit organization. 

Fast facts:

  • 36 credits
  • Offered through: Department of Political Science
  • Format: Online/Traditional
  • Accreditation: NASPAA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $293

More about master’s in public administration online

What does a master’s in public administration online degree mean?

A master’s in public administration online degree helps students develop the skills to succeed in public service.

They study public policy, law, organizational theory, community relations, public finance, nonprofit management, and more. They learn about different areas of public administration and nonprofit organizations. An MPA online program teaches them to impact each of these areas positively. The programs are a blend of theory and practicum. The latter teaches them to apply public administration theories to real-world situations.

The interdisciplinary online degree is designed for working professionals. It is a good fit for public affairs sector professionals who want to enhance their existing skills and advance their careers. It also teaches newcomers valuable organizational management skills that they would need in public service.

An online MPA prepares them to work in various areas like federal agencies, state and local health agencies, nonprofits, law firms, and corporations that deal with public affairs.

Students learn about the complex challenges governments, corporations, or nonprofit organizations face and how to tackle them. The online Master of Public Administration degree trains them in leadership and innovation to lead in all these sectors. They receive advanced training in strategic planning and management. They also learn about program evaluation, economic and financial analysis, and project management.

A curriculum is designed to help students gain in-depth knowledge of public administration and policy analysis. They also gain the necessary skills to excel in the field. Those who hold a master’s in public administration have a higher earning potential. Graduates go into a wide variety of public administration and nonprofit careers.

100% online MPA programs are perfect for busy public service officials who wish to get an advanced degree while continuing their day jobs. The flexible, online format allows them to plan their schedules according to their convenience and study at their own pace. Public administration programs include studies in law, public policy, organizational theory, and a variety of other subjects

How does a master’s in public administration online help?

A master’s in public administration degree can lead to a fulfilling and successful career in government or public service. Many graduates are also employed in the private sector for companies that operate in the public service space. They work in various management, administration, and finance jobs. They learn to draft, analyze, and implement policies through their work. Public administrators can directly impact the lives of the people in their communities. They affect the general living standards, access to resources, needs, and opportunities. Public administrators set budgets, manage public agencies, and create government policies.

How long does it take to complete online MPA programs?

Typically, MPA online programs take two years to complete. Some schools allow more flexibility and allow students to complete their degree in two to three years. It is a good choice for working professionals who cannot go to school full time due to their existing jobs and family obligations.

What are the career prospects with a master’s of public administration?

The career prospects of a master’s of public administration are good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for administrative managers is $96,940 per year. Jobs for administrative services managers will grow 6 percent through 2029. This is faster than the average for all occupations. There are many entry-level jobs for bachelor’s degree holders who wish to enter the public service field. However, earning a master of public administration will help one grow and earn a higher salary. The advanced degree and experience in the area will lead to a steady salary to increase over the years.

What jobs can you get with an MPA online?

There is a wide range of jobs available for those who have completed online master’s in public administration programs. These include: 

  • County administrator
  • Mayor
  • Urban and regional planner
  • Community relations manager
  • Director/Manager of economic development
  • Budget Manager/Analyst
  • Policy analyst/Policy Manager
  • Tax Examiner
  • Public Administration Consultant
  • City Manager/Director
  • International Aid/Development Worker
  • Fundraising Manager
  • Local Government Administrator
  • Local Transportation Board Executive
  • Public Housing Manager
  • Community Health Director/Manager
  • Parks and Recreation Manager/Director
  • Charity Manager or Director
  • Local Education Board Executive
  • Public Affairs Director
  • Police Commissioner
  • Public Relations Consultant
  • News Writer/Reporter
  • United Nations Executive
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Association Executive/Manager
  • CEO/President of companies that deal with the public sector

How much do online MPA degree holders earn? 

The above list shows the wide range of jobs for MPA online degree holders. The salaries range from $50,000 to $150,000 depending on the industry, role, and title that one holds. The average annual salary is around $90,000 per year.

What are the different types of online master’s of public administration degrees?

  • Executive Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Administration and Policy
  • Master of Public Policy and Administration
  • M.A. in Public Administration

What will you learn in a master’s in public administration online program?

An online master’s in public administration curriculum prepares students for a competitive job market. They learn about policy research, economics, and statistical analysis. They also know how to assess the various challenges facing the public and the government. The core courses prepare them to provide policy recommendations that foster positive change.

The following list details some of the courses that students may take during an online public administration degree:

  • Strategic Management in Public Service 
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Public Administration
  • Managerial Statistics
  • International Public and NGO Management
  • Nonprofit Finance and Management
  • Microeconomics for Management and Policy
  • Public Affairs
  • Leadership in Public Affairs
  • Effective Writing for Public Affairs
  • Systems Thinking and Modeling for Public Affairs
  • Public Finance and Budgeting
  • Leveraging Information Technology for Public and Nonprofit Management
  • Translation of Research into Policy and Practice
  • Legal Aspects of Public Agency Decision Making
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Fundraising, Grantmaking, and Lobbying
  • Strategic Stakeholder Engagement
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Project Management
  • Market Regulation and Public Policy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Vulnerability and Resilience Planning
  • Politics of the Policymaking Process
  • Public-Private Partnerships

Where do online MPA graduates work?

Online MPA graduates work in the public sector as well as in non-profit organizations. They also work in public health management, social services, government relations, and international agencies.

How can online MPA specializations help?

Careers in public administration need specialized knowledge and skills. Like most online master’s degrees, online master’s in public administration programs also have concentrations or specialization options. Students can choose from the options offered by the school they choose. Choosing a specialization or concentration allows them to tailor their degree to meet their career goals.

A specialized degree shows future employers how focused a student is and how he or she can contribute to the field. A master’s degree leads to steady career progression. The higher-level positions involve more general leadership and management skills. 

Depending on the school one attends, students may work with their student or faculty advisors to create their own specialized programs. Others may choose to follow a pre-designed specialization path from the number of elective requirements stated in the curriculum. 

Students who are new to the field may choose to focus on more general management and administration topics. This will prepare them for a broader range of jobs. They will have the opportunity to explore various aspects of public service before focusing on any one area. Those who are already working in the sector may have a better grasp of what specialization they want. 

Many existing public administration professionals who have specialized on-the-job experience may be looking for an advanced degree. They may be lacking in a theoretical background, which increases their knowledge. With an MPA degree that focuses on their area of specialization, they can further improve their career prospects. 

What are the different kinds of specializations in online MPA programs?

Many online MPA degree programs provide a flexible alternative for these busy professionals. They can complete an MPA degree at their own pace without worrying about locations. These are some of the common specialization areas available to those pursuing an MPA:

  • Public and Nonprofit Management
  • Public or Nonprofit Administration
  • International Policy
  • Human rights
  • Global management
  • Leadership and strategy
  • International Development
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Global Public Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management
  • Social Policy

How to choose the right online master’s in public administration degree?

Choosing the right master’s in public administration degree could be confusing with so many options available. One has to choose the school and program that best suits one’s criteria. These could be flexibility, choice of degree, specializations, and cost. When one is a busy professional, looking at these options matter even more. Students have to get the right blend of flexibility and knowledge. 

Here’s a checklist for students to refer to and choose the right online master’s in public administration programs: 

In-person requirements – One important question to ask is whether there are any in-person requirements for the program. Some programs require students to come to campus for projects, team-building activities, or networking. Others are completely online, which may work better for busy professionals. They may need to take off work and incur travel expenses, which is not an ideal situation unless the campus is nearby. Therefore, many online MPA programs allow 300 to 400 hours in a public service environment as a part of the practicum requirements. For most students, this can be done as a project or interim duties as part of their current job.

Specializations or concentrations – Students need to thoroughly research the program requirements and curriculum before they make a choice. They must look for programs with specializations that align with their interests and career goals. Choosing the right specialization or concentration will go a long way to ensure a steady and successful career. 

School recognition and rankings – It is also a good idea to research the school’s on-ground program’s regional reputation and the institution’s overall ranking. Leading schools that offer online MPA programs have been ranked high in various sectors. This sheds a broader insight into the overall quality of an institution. Most of the on-campus programs are recognized for their learning, faculty, and regional job placements for graduates. 

Accreditation – One should research the school, program recognition, and value of the degree before selecting. A crucial question to ask is whether the online master’s in public administration programs are accredited. It should be on every student’s mind since an accredited program will improve their job prospects.  Accreditation is a process that is conducted by an external authority. It helps determine and ensure that an online or on-campus university meets certain quality standards. 

For future employers and other universities, an accredited degree is required for jobs and transfer or pursue additional degrees. 

There are program-specific accreditations, which further ensures the program’s high quality and the value of a recognized degree. Master’s of public administration programs are accredited by NASPAA or the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. It is a nonprofit body and an international association. It is the stamp of recognition of public affairs schools at universities in the United States and overseas. 

Job prospects – Students also need to research the job prospects and growth potential with their chosen specialization. They need to find out the credibility, salary, and value of the advanced degree. Will the online MPA help him or her stand out in a competitive market and advance their career? Will the curriculum and specialization help them become subject matter experts?

How much time and money will you need to invest? – This question is even more important for working professionals since they will be juggling a day job, family, and other life commitments. The flexibility of the online program will be a big differentiator. The cost of the MPA online program is important as well. One has to be comfortable with the expense and have the confidence to meet the tuition and fees outlined. 

How does the online format of online master’s in public administration programs work?

The online format helps students gain the skills and knowledge they need to excel as public administration experts. They can select the program and school they want without worrying about the locations. They can choose to study at their own pace and time and complete the degree in two to three years.

Sources

U.S. News & World Report
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
NASPAA
Salary.com
Glassdoor.com
PayScale.com

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